Some quick reflections on this project:
Episode 02 of Vibe Check is built around the module designed for last week's Dark Matter Playgroup activity, 'Speculative Itineraries,' which many of you generously participated in! (Thanks, again). I tried out a move here of 'publishing' the learning module through the radio episode itself, using both the live broadcast and its later online life as a digital archive / transcription as a form through which to 'publish' or 'make-public' a document / workshop. Taking up this strategy, I tried to translate or transpose our recent module for an imagined cohort of listeners, who could later in theory take up the exercise themselves if they were keen...
This has made me think about the future (or current) 'making-public' of the wider Fabricating Vibe project itself as an Open Educational Resource (OER), and also of how the quality of 'porousness' that is often sought out / claimed by informal educational projects such as these is actually quite 'hard won' (as Mulholland notes in Re-imagining the Art School) and difficult to achieve... It means re-thinking how we share our learning, away from making outputs and towards offering mechanics.
I'm drawn to Neil's projects and writing, for sure, which I understand as following through on and committing to these aspirations of 'porousness' by rendering art-educational projects as 'open research objects' that are licensed in a way that makes them capable of inter-operable remixing and reuse by whoever - making through these projects a network of 'reciprocal readymades' (as he says in the episode), where each re-use by a participant would ultimately contribute to the complexity of the learning habitat that the object is in the process of making. Publics become paragogues.
A reminder here is that the Fabricating Vibe project itself is one such remix, as it has warped the course Contemporary Art + Open Learning to our own informal context here in Kingston, and within the Agnes' educational initiatives. We are in the process of making a modified platform through our interactions with the modules, the structure of which could for instance be restaged in Edinburgh someday, or be implemented elsewhere / again in Kingston, and yield different results in those 'modded' versionings that would inflect its future playability and scope.
Neil expands on all this in a recent talk he gave, below - highly recommended!
Some other open-ended thoughts: I think the radio episode also troubles or wrestles with this drive towards 'porousness.' Itself an art project, made by an artist, the transmission starts to desire an obscure or opaque relation with the listener. The soundtracking seems to be fighting its way into the mix, modulating the program's levels of legibility and density, and at one point even overtaking the didactic address of the workshop score, as I start singing to the listener instead - not a typical behaviour for an educational platform...
Your own responses to the Speculative Itineraries project I think also also turn us towards these desires for more opaque relations. To me the 'thickening' process you applied to the itineraries has a layering effect that serves to obscure those otherwise transparent, graspable logistics of the essential activities. In the final section of the radio program, I try to weave together an edit of the results and prompts that you shared with me from your speculative itineraries in a way that preserves the obscurity of the habitats you've created for each other, and also try to summon the slightly 'alien' time-travelling subjectivities and avatars that some of the scores seem to interpellate. It didn't feel very interesting or right to publish the full scope of your alterations and performances through the mix - for me the itineraries you made are art objects that have a built-in desire for a certain level of abstraction or untranslatability.
So, I am left wondering about what do we do with this a desire for obscurity in making an open art-educational platform such as this? Do these charges make the OER less inter-operable and accessible? I think Bicky's grocery shopping reflection on lemons in the episode might give us a tool to think with - to approach and embrace our art-educational projects as imperfect 'weak' structures that ultimately afford 'complexity in the world' of learning. Could evolutionary 'weakness' be what art offers wider education?
Following Neil again and his book Re-imagining the Art School, I think the key here would be for an open art-educational project to position itself in a way that allows it to plug its set of enabling 'weaknesses' into a wider ecology of 'stronger' educations - say, the 'perfect tomatoes' of higher education (to follow along with Bicky's tuna sandwich grocery list). Making our weaknesses plug-able would involve committing to the externalisation and codification of our art-and-learning projects beyond sharing only the results of those projects, and embracing an attitude that artistic thinking is not something that is destined to retreat to the 'black-boxes' of our personal, privatised imaginations... For me, this module has shown how a drive towards the socialisation or porousness of artistic thinking does not have to mean sacrificing its inherent 'weirdness' or its otherworldly 'vibe' - an energising thought.
Final question: I wonder if the radio might give us a nimble tool to stage these obscure but generous and open externalisations of our artistic thinking? As a technology, how does it provide our group with a gentle gravity that would pull our otherwise hidden, imaginative processes outwards, towards sharing them with an imagined viewer / listener and a public encountering our transmission? Following what Neil says about Boshears early on in Episode 02, could nesting aspects of our project on the radio compel us to keep an eye on how our artistic learning and educational resource is actively 'generating new publics' as an open research object? Could this give us a legitimate claim to the porousness of our endeavours?
Radio as a porous lemon rind, wrapped around artmaking's zest for opacity. (Haha)