Journal of the Free / Slow University of Warsaw provides a summary of another year of activity of our educational para-institution. In 2010 we continued our critical reflection on the transformation of the public sphere in Poland. We analysed the current changes in creative and cultural circulation, in the world of independent initiatives, official institutions of art, academies and universities. We organised: 12 open seminars from the cycle Readers for Artworkers hosted by sociologists, artists, curators and activists; Second Congress of the Free / Slow University of Warsaw – Creative Industries and Knowledge Factories: Analysis and Resistance participated by educators, artists, activists and cultural theorists from the entire Europe. The present report includes texts and transcriptions that summarise our seminars, the congress and debates organised by the FSUW in 2010.
INTRODUCTION // PDF
TOMASZ SZKULDAREK: KNOWLEDGE SOCIETY AND ITS WORKERS // PDF // VIDEO // DISCUSION
The idea of knowledge society is gaining a considerably wide acceptance of the academic circles – for them it is specifically nobilitating and entails social recognition of their rank. This acceptance desensitises us to a range of controversies stemming from this ideology. They are connected with the capitalist character of knowledge society. Knowledge is a commodity, which entails the necessity of its parcellation and privatisation, and therefore undermines the basic principles of public education.
CRITICAL PRACTICE: A CASE STUDY OF A CULTURE IN COMMON // PDF // VIDEO
The presentation considers the organizational ethos of Critical Practice (CP) as an interdisciplinary community of practice (Lave and Wenger, 1991). CP brings together artists, designers and/or researchers based in London and beyond to explore what it means to co-create knowledge about culture in common, i.e. culture that is not only shared, distributed and publically accessible but also investigates the sharing, distribution and accessibility of culture more generally.
KAJA PAWEŁEK: WHEN ATTITUDES BECOME PROFFESSIONS // PDF // VIDEO
Haunted, especially in Eastern Europe, by the phantom of cultural underdevelopment and lack of solid structures and formats, we prioritize the professionalization of the field. As a counter-tendency to huge events, biennials and curatorial starship, collaborative values and collective process/authorship are juxtaposed again. But is it really a way for contemporary art and culture to get away from the trap of codification and systematization which exclude genuine choices and replaces them with repetitive modes easy to multiply and adopt?
MICROSILLONS: "FLY IN - FLY OUT" WORKSHOP // PDF // VIDEO
In 2008, Irit Rogoff discussed what she called “the educational turn“ in curating. Microsillons collective discuss this institutional frenzy for projects around pedagogy from our own perspective of cultural workers dealing with education and as curators of an exhibition presenting art practices dealing with pedagogy.
PATRYCJA KRUCZKOWSKA, MAGDALENA REK-WOŹNIAK: ON INSTITUTIONALIZED CULTURE AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION IN A POST-INDUSTRIAL CITY // PDF // VIDEO
The text deal with a relation between the field of cultural production and consumption and social exclusion in the city of Łódź. By analyzing strategies and events undertaken in the recent years, especially in relation to the application for the “European Capital of Culture” , we would like to explore the question of identification and responding to social problems typical for a deindustrializing, pauperized city. Our main concern will be the possibility to bridge the gap between institutions and the citizens, which has been emerging in the public sphere on the local level.
PIOTR KOWZAN: PEDAGOGY OF DEBT // PDF // VIDEO
It seems that more and more adult choices lead us into debt. From getting university degree, a place to live, a car, to launching a business. Basing on his research in Iceland Kowzan identify social differences which appear in modern societies when people are in debt.
HEATH BUNTING: A FORTUNE OF $1,000,000 BEGINS WITH A SINGLE TRANSACTION // // VIDEO
As artists, we create meaning, the driving force of societal change and cultural life, but very few of us are able or willing to accept and assert this some of us surrender to other powers. As a young artist, Heath Bunting actively refused to engage with this distortion, but now he choose to stand my ground, speak and walk the monetary walk. Hence the heath bunting collection.
THE CARROT WORKERS COLLECTIVE: WHEN THE CARROT BECOMES A STICK: ON RECENT TRENDS IN FREE LABOUR ECONOMY // PDF // VIDEO
The carrot represents the promise of well-paid work, meaningful experience, success and fullfilment, which, more often than not, is never actually realised. The figures of the ‘intern’ , the ‘volunteer’ and the 'unemployed' person undertaking 'mandatory work activity' encourage a series of expectations around labour that, from the cultural and creative sectors outwards, infiltrate the entirety of productive relations.
KRYSTIAN SZADKOWSKI: RECLAIM EDUCATION // PDF // VIDEO
Maciej Gdula once wrote that granting mass access to higher education and progressive proletarisation of students can lead to the outbreak of a Polish May 1968. Yet time passes and nothing heralds the forthcoming revolution. The anti CPA movement in France, Movimento Onda Anomala in Italy, instances of campus occupation in California, protests in Puerto Rico or recent mass demonstrations of students and trade unions against budget cuts in Great Britain – all these events had the potential reaching far beyond the postulate of free public education for all.
RADICAL EDUCATIONAL COLLECTIVE: BEYOND THE FACTORIES OF KNOWLEDGE // PDF // VIDEO
»In factories and on universities - resist the dictatorship of the capital!« This was one of the slogans that marked the 2007 student uprising in Slovenia against neoliberal reforms of higher education, which started the series of more, but mostly less connected cases of student resistance against commodification of universities. In our analyses of these practices of resistance, we will not focus on the demands for the maintenance of the autonomy of the scientific sphere, which (autonomy, that is) we find non-sufficient at best, and non-existent at worst.
JAKUB MIKURDA: "NATIONAL PROGRAM FOR DEVELOPMENT OF HUMANITIES" // PDF // VIDEO
On the 8th of November, by virtue of the decision of the Minister of Science and Higher Education, the National Programme for the Development of Humanities” entered into force, which is to constitute a “genuine answer to the expectations of humanistic circles in Poland”. The departure point for the debate will be the extraction of the programme’s premises and objectives, the analysis of the ways in which it operationalises the “developmental needs of Polish humanities”.
FOUR PATA-ECONOMICS UNDERTANKINGS, INTERVIEW WITH JANEK SIMON // PDF
SUMMARY // PDF
FSUW curators: Kuba Szreder, Jan Sowa
Edited by: Arek Gruszczyński, Bogna Świątkowska, Joanna Turek, Szymon Żydek
Transcription: Joanna Turek, Zuzanna Stańska, Katarzyna Maniak
Graphic design: Grzegorz Laszuk
Fold: Halina Mirowska