Dunseath, J and Squires, K (2023) Chew. In: On Not Knowing: How Artists Teach, 9 - 10 June 2023, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, UK.

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Chew is a series of playful interventions involving multi-sensory, participatory approaches that were interspersed throughout the session ‘Distracted Pedagogy' at the conference. The interventions encourage focus to oscillate from the mind to the body and from thought to action. The interventions draw attention to materials and bring ‘process’ into the space of theory through embodied cognition. Chew aims to tackle the impact of material processes on pedagogical practices; developing research through embodied learning and critical methodologies in relation to subversion, diversion and repetition. Chew asks whether material engagement can help to divert passive thinking into research. It aims to provide a space in which material can draw attention to the individual’s sensual, intellectual, and subconscious thinking through embodiment, subversion, diversion and repetitive actions. It involves four x 3-minute prompts of multi-sensory approaches that are designed to encourage focus to shift from the mind to the body, and from thought to action. Participants are given gum to chew and Playdough to manipulate throughout the interventions. Chew highlights issues of student-centred learning within hybrid and material pedagogical methodologies. The activities allow a chewing through making. The interactions are intended to enable a material processing of theory; a constant oscillation between making and language.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)

Chew was developed by Artists and Higher Education lecturers Kate Squires (Westminster University) and Jenny Dunseath (Bath Spa University). The Chew interventions took place within the 'Distracted Pedagogy' section of the conference, convened by Moyra Derby (University for the Creative Arts) and Flora Parrott (Royal Holloway). The 'Distracted Pedagogy' session explored the creative potential of distraction through a series of participatory formats, interventions and short papers. In contrast to privileging certainty, coherence and singularity, distraction allows for scattered, messy, adaptive and associative thought processes. Informed by the sensibilities of practice generated pedagogies and in response to the neurodiversity of art school communities, the session considered the empathetic and responsive aspects of distraction and attentional dispersal, connecting to multi sensory and cognitively divergent aspects of not knowing. If we activate distraction, can we shift negative descriptions of boredom, indecision or lack of focus in learning environments into the positive attributes of a creative practitioner?

The conference was organised by Glasgow School of Art and Uniarts Helsinki’s Academy of Fine Art. It explored the various approaches, methods and understandings of artists who teach in the field of higher education and beyond. It asked - how do artists teach in higher education, galleries and beyond, within the current climate? If not knowing is crucial to making art, is it also important in the teaching of it? As artist-teachers, what might we learn from each other, and how do artists’ pedagogies change and evolve?

"The not knowing is crucial to art, is what permits art to be made. Without the scanning process engendered by not knowing, without the possibility of having the mind move in unanticipated directions, there would be no invention" Donald Barthelme, Not-Knowing, 1997.

UN SDGs: Goal 4: Quality Education
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NB Sculpture
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Bath School of Art, Film and Media
Research Centres and Groups: Art Research Centre
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2023 15:17
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2023 17:27
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