Teaching + Education

At SAIC since 1996, I value the ability to develop courses and curriculum in tandem with the trajectory of my research. As chair of the Department of Arts Administration and Policy, my courses have addressed intersections of Performance Studies and Cultural Policy Studies, Deliberative Ecologies, and Research Methodologies, through a lens of epistemic diversity. Keenly interested in 'middle terms', constructs that both hold and generate meaning, I have also been able to offer classes on Reading as Creative Practice, Diagrams in Art and Activism, Media Futures, and the work of Vilém Flusser, among others. Below, I am sharing projects students participated in. The image above shows a session from a course, "Narrative Proximities: Art, Design, and Politics of the Map", co-taught with Jonathan Solomon at SAIC's Homan Square classroom in 2017, with guest Kenny Bailey, of ds4si, Boston.

SAIC at Homan Square
After Kristin Dean, then the President of the Foundation for Homan Square, invited the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to consider becoming a tenant and program partner in what is now the Nichols tower, SAIC commissioned me in 2013 to conduct conversations with arts and culture leaders in the North Lawndale neighborhood, to help imagine modes of engagement. Graduate students in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Graduate Program in Arts Administration and Policy participated. Recommendations how SAIC might initially engage with existing initiatives around Arts and Culture were accompanied by a diagram. This project also served as a foundation for future involvement. More on this and similar, commissioned projects that explore deliberative ecologies with student participation with the South East Chicago Commission (SECC) and the Evanston Art Center is posted here.
North Lawndale Historical and Cultural Society
In the summer of 2018, intern Dolores Ochoa and I worked on creating a Neighborhood Tour map of North Lawndale, as part of a residency at Homan Square. Blanche Suggs, of the North Lawndale Historical and Cultural Society, had already expressed a desire for such a map during our first meetings in 2013, and introduced us to the sites. We also designed the initial NHLCS website.
Creative Participation
Students, alumni, colleagues, and SAIC and AIC staff have contributed to all Performative Diagrammatics projects. Many have worked with me in my studio, at SAIC's galleries, and at other sites, contributing most recently to performances at the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago, a gallery and at the Vilém Flusser Archive in Berlin, Kurimanzutto in Mexico City, and Performance Studies international online workshops. Alum Daniel Jiménez Quiroz co-edited the magazine issue, CSPA-Q33. The image above shows a Performative Topologies workshop in Berlin, in 2019, facilitated by Joseph Lefthand, with Vero d. Orozco, and Caroline Kawen Ng (all MAAAP 2020), working with students of the Bauhaus University Weimar, SAIC alumni living in Berlin, and members of the public. My Instagram is a good place to see current examples.
Curatorial Projects
My curatorial projects have always originated with thought experiments, well-suited for pedagogic contexts. From 2007 - 2014/15, curatorial projects were course driven exhibitions or, in the case of the "Hairy Blob" at the Hyde Park Art Center, were accompanied by a course, with students creating an audience feedback project and programming. The image above shows curatorial assistant Leah Oren with Faheem Majeed, during the installation of his contribution to the "Hairy Blob", in 2012. All exhibitions are included here.
Facilitating a Faculty Retreat
In the fall of 2021, I facilitated a 2-day retreat at Grand Ravines Park in Michigan, for the Visual and Media Arts Department of Grand Valley State University, Michigan. About 30 Faculty, staff and alumni participated. Starting with Braid diagram supported conversations about participants’ own, creative practices, we moved on to using five String Braids in reflecting on curriculum, pedagogy, and connecting narratives among Art History, Art Education, Visual Studies, and Fine Arts, Design and Production areas. A final report contained recommendations.

Braiding with Students
Working independently in three groups with as many Braid Kits, participants in an SAIC Performance Seminar share out their conversations, sparked by the included prompts. In the image above, a group is standing around one of the Braids on the path in the background, about to be joined by students just finishing their Braid exercise, on the left. On the grass in the foreground is an already annotated Braid that the full group returned to next.

Education Symposium Contribution
The video above was a contribution to the symposium "Art as Education, Education as Art", organized by Laurence Rushby as part of her PhD proceedings, presented at CAS, Andover, UK, in 2022. One of two keynotes, along with Olu Taiwo's, it addresses context and uses of The Braid in education, including the two examples above.