Learning with Others (2021)

The knowing self is partial in all its guises, never finished, whole, simply there and original; it is always constructed and stitched together imperfectly, and therefore able to join with another, to see together without claiming to be another.

Situated Knowledges, Donna Haraway, 1988

The potential of subjectivity resides in acknowledging the limitedness of any individual, story, argument, discipline, or tradition and making space for those unknown or even yet-to-be. In this seminar, Learning with Others, you will look at your pedagogical practice from the perspective of partial knowledge combined with collective entanglement.

With sessions planned amongst flora, fauna, and fungi, the seminar focuses on how educational practices might take into account the limits of the human while imagining perspectives from others, both human and non-human. Through the theoretical frameworks of Posthumanism and New Materialism, we will be asking: How might educational practices in art academies, primary schools, museums, and communities relate to multiscale, multispecies environments and contexts? While sounding abstract, it is actually closer and more grounded than you think. For example, these questions might mean challenging learning spaces, such as traditional classrooms, workshops, and studios. It could entail addressing disciplinary divisions and specializations and reaching out to other bodies of knowledge. Instead of the academic canon that valorizes mastery, it could result in promoting embodied, artistic, experiential, and more open and vulnerable approaches to learning and even not knowing.

Through observation, documentation, and notetaking, we will examine how we engage in meaning-making. We will look critically at how we register, name, acknowledge, describe, and remember the world around us. Putting these observations into words and other forms, we will build relational structures, transforming them into a new sort of language. Eventually, we aim to create a glossary as a modest attempt to challenge and inform our sense-making capacities. Specifically, you will nurture a word that is near and dear to your practice as an educator. Eventually, you will collaborate with others to create a shared glossary. Glossary in this context is unorthodox in its interpretation. Rather than being authoritative, it is living, contingent, dynamic and relational. As we work individually and collectively, we will question how words emerge, are selected, and relate to each other. The wording exercises are a method of getting to know each other, but also a means of disrupting expectations and understanding language as a non-neutral medium that can render forms of being, practicing, and thinking legible or illegible, visible or invisible, audible or inaudible.


Co-taught with Irina Shapiro, Learning with Others is a seminar in the Master Education in Arts at the Piet Zwart Institute, Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam.