Image courtesy of tonx.
Over at the Not For Nothing blog by Kaitlin Butler, a UMW Art major, there is a wild post about The Spore Collective Manifesto that her sculpture class has framed as a way for experimenting more radically with their artwork. Here is how she describes this manifesto:
The Spore Collective Manifesto, now featured as one of my pages, is going to make such a huge impact on myself and the class as a whole. As I discussed with the class during debates about the Manifesto, I am hesitant to take risks in art classes. This resistance is from my head constantly asking “What will your classmates think of this? What will your grade be? What will your professor criticize?” So in this case, instead of taking risks and being as creative as possible, I tend to ask around for suggestions and get the general consensus about where to go from here.
You can see the manifesto in its entirety here.
So, what’s happening here? Are student collectively deciding that in order to experiment and and take risks they have to come together and acknowledge it and make a larger statement about it? Well, yeah, and they are even as going as far as to publish their ideas as a manifesto. I love it!
So, given that I still keep abreast of the UMW Blogs, I have found that the Manifesto is having a rather powerful impact on several students. For example, Roblog notes in this post that “the Spore Collective Manifesto gives me the freedom to concentrate on art instead of ‘art class.’ For me, the manifesto changes my perspective on my work.”
How cool is this? I have goosebumps just writing about it. It’s not only that these students are aggressively framing and reclaiming their education, but they are pronouncing it far and wide. An act which in many ways makes them that much more visible and powerful. I think I see a movement fomenting in the UMW art department (and UMW more widely, just look at UMW Blogs!), and that is more than exciting, it is what education should be!
Say it loud — I’m Spore and I’m proud!
Thanks a million, Jim, for this link! I have posted it to my course blog to show my students that they are not alone AND that, as you say, these kids are not only taking their creativity seriously and taking responsibility for their education, they are shouting it from the rooftops. A Manifesto. Wow. Leave it to the artists.
We will follow the UMW sculpture class and its semester adventures as we grapple with our own.