Collective Lecture – Art in Public Space
The Collective Lecture, Co-Lecture or Collecture, as it is sometimes known, is a tool designed for the synthesising of different points of view from participants from a project into one cohesive flow of ideas. Based on the website www.everybodystoolbox.net (which is an excellent resource and everybody should use and add to it more often) it is a score for collating information. Based around a single topic (in this case “Art in Public Space”) all participants are a collective “I”, and deliver the lecture together as if we all are one single person. Every lecturer has to refer to anything that has been said before as if they were referring to what they have just said themselves. It is the group that speaks and generates its collective body of knowledge.
Everybody’s toolbox was a favourite of my Masters degree coordinator Dr Martin Hargreaves, and was also used most recently at Month of Research, at Uferstudios Berlin. Diego Agullo described it as “a beautiful mess for those addicted to making sense”. This was as true about that particular project as it was true about the lecture. The same could, perhaps, be said for our working process here at The School.
In this case, I was interested in synthesising ideas about why art should exist in public space, and what are some of the challenges and benefits involved in this practice. Having just completed the Pop-Up Cinema Festival on Saturday 10th Feb, I felt everyone could do with a sort of philosophical debrief about why we should even bother putting art amongst a public who can be incredibly apathetic (or in fact rude, in some cases). Moving from the definition of art in public space, to audience relationships, to personal failures, to finding a common language, to the shared rights and responsibilities of public space, to urban planning and architecture, we worked together to find a common purpose, and to try to make sense of this kind of work.
The flow of ideas in this example of the lecture was not pre-determined, but participants were allowed to choose between the tools available to them as to how the lecture unfolded, and based on what the previous participant had said. We also shortened the time limit to 4 minutes to keep the debate succinct.
Each participant can add to the lecture in one of the following ways:
• Retell = Retell through your perspective what has been said
• Zoom in = Refocus the debate by zooming in to one idea/ thought
• Example = Give an example
• Summary = Sum up some major points of the lecture
• Transposition = Transpose the topic/ interest/ or way of doing to another field or media
• Question = Ask a question (this is the only card, where you don’t have to move to the lecture place)
– from everybodystoolbox.net
I think so far we have been missing this kind of debate in our working process, and by creating the collective lecture, in which all opinions are right, I think it forces you not to stuck into long, drawn out, back-and-forth arguments. It can re-direct how you convey your opinions, and makes you consider the topic from many points of view. The point of The School is that is is supposed to be a post-academic residency. I am interested in fostering dialogue about the working process, our outcomes and our philosophical goals in a practical way. I am a big fan of structured feedback and dialogue methods, and I think it can create ways of reflecting that keep our current work processes on track.