Jan Masschelein

Jan Masschelein

professor in Leuven – pedagogical

Philippine, Gosie and Damla:
to discuss the milieu idea of the common learning space back to the cave  – need to get his book – the cave with the first drawings as a space.
What is common learing. He might be interested in us (apss) as an experiment / lab for learning. Miliue as a school
Early in the block + at the end of the block (?) / one day every 14 days / full week (?-might need preperation)
Nicolas added – knows someone who uses walking as a learning and teaching method, that follows the idea of the pedagog (peda-gogy).
(already some of his writings are in the apass reader: “E-ducating the gaze: the idea of a poor pedagogy” / Jan Masschelein https://drive.google.com/?tab=mo&authuser=0#folders/0B54cQbMi6v5PMzEzZTIwNmUtZjE5Ny00MDMzLTkzZTQtM2MzYWY0YjRiYWE2)

Who is Jan Masschelein?

Professor at the university of Leuven, theory of pedagogy, experimental pedagogy. Special interests, among others, pedagogy of cinema and the camera, the architecture of the learning environment etc.
Why him?

The idea to invite Jan Masschelein arose because:

-Philippine saw a lecture by him at the Witte de With in Rotterdam about collective learning, the ‘public school’ and the common
-he was Gosies professor and she can imagine he could be interested in our  Milieu experiment
-he was Kristiens research adviser and she has a high regard for his ideas on Poor Pedagogy, walking practices etc.
-Nicolas is very interested in his ideas on commonality, as is Damla.

What would we do with him?

Our idea is to invite him to come twice or several times. The first time he could perhaps feed into the milieu ideas on commonality, community and collective learning. And we could share with him the intentions and ‘ideology’ of the milieu. At a later date or dates we could try to, together with him or through him, come to some reflection on how these expectations are playing out or played out, why and how.

Some additional information/notes on his ideas and writings

In relation to current education and knowledge, he talks about consumerism  (students as consumers of education, the entrepreneurial student), he is critical of the demand for everything to be made productive (productive time, time as a commodity, and also knowledge production) making the ‘school’ a place of formation, he calls this the taming of the school.

He calls the space of learning a public space, not in the sense that it has been appropriated or disappropriated but because what is ‘put on the table’ (Hanah Arendt) is put ‘at the disposal of-‘. The world is made common, put on the table. Around the table gathers a community of singular beings.
On the world ‘put on the table’ he says: “According to Agamben: ‘Pure, profane, freed from sacred names is that thing that is being replaced in view of the common use by people”. A condition of profane time, space and material thus is not being a place of emptiness, but being a condition where time, space and things are disconnected from their regular use, no longer sacred or occupied in that sense, and therefore referring to a condition where something of the world is open for common use. “
On Attentiveness: “E-ducating the gaze is not about arriving at a liberated or critical view, but about liberating or displacing our view. It is not about becoming conscious or aware, but about becoming attentive, about paying attention. Consciousness is the state of mind of a subject that has or constitutes an object(ive) and aims at knowledge. Attention is the state of mind in which the subject and the object are brought into play. It is a state of mind which opens up to the world in such a way that the world can present itself to me (that I can ‘come’ to see) and I can be transformed. Attention opens up an atopical (and not an utopical or heterotopical) space: a space of possible self-transformation and self-displacement, i.e. a space of practical freedom.”

He describes different learning environments such as the seminar, the workshop and the lecture hall: “In this sense, the lecture hall can be described as a heterotopia; a ‘place without place’ or ‘location’ with its own order, its own technologies, rituals, ways of speaking and discipline. According to Michel Foucault, it is a space where we are exposed, that is to say ‘drawn out of ourselves, in which the erosion of our lives. Our time and our history occurs’. It is a place where we are exposed to a thing-in-common and are engaged in public thinking.”


Dear Jan Masschelein,

In the context of our artistic research practice Milieu, organized by a.pass* (advanced performance and scenography studies) we would like to invite you to both contribute to Milieu, and explore the possibilities in which Milieu could contribute to your fields of interest and research.

My name is Philippine Hoegen, I am an artist participating in a.pass where I am working on an artistic research on, to put it very shortly, the performativity of the (self) image. I am also a teacher of visual art at the AKV St Joost, the art academy of Breda and Den Bosch in the Netherlands. I saw your lecture Making Art School at the Witte de With on January the 31st this year. Besides myself, several other participants and mentors in a.pass are very interested in your work on the Public School, collective learning, your discourse on different learning environments, but also on ‘walking lines’ and ‘the world once more’.

Notions of commonality, community and collective learning are key in the Milieu experiment. We would be very interested to understand and discuss with you your research and practice in these areas. We would like to share with you the intentions and ‘ideology’ of the milieu. Perhaps towards the end of the experiment we could try to, together with you, come to some reflection on how these expectations are playing out or have played out, why and how.

Milieu is a collective artistic research environment for the participants, mentors and other workers of the a.pass program. In a shared workspace we develop our practices in a collaborative context, on the basis of self-organization and self-rule. Through individual actions Milieu generates a dynamic territory for exchange, cooperation and (tacit) negotiation. A mutual creation of the individual and the common.

We are inviting different guests to enter into this environment with us, to participate, open up the proposals and issues addressed in the collective work and/or to problematize the situation, fueling the ecology of ideas and practices inMilieu.

We are very keen to, if you are interested in this proposal, discuss with you beforehand the form of our encounter or collaboration. Whether it be a master class, a discussion, an interview, which subjects to choose exactly and how to handle them, we would gladly talk this over with you.

Milieu is taking place between the 28th of April to the 3rd of August 2014, in the common space of the 4th floor of the a.pass studio in de Bottelarij. It could be a possibility, if your agenda allows it, to organize several moments of encounter during this periode.

Naturally we offer a fee for your contribution as well as compensation for travel and, if applicable, accommodationexpenses.

*a.pass is an artistic research environment that develops performative and spatial research in an international artistic and educational context. a.pass emphasizes the relation between the research practices and a broader societal field, and encourages engaged transdisciplinary practices.
a.pass offers a one-year artistic research training program at post-master level for artists and theoreticians, based on the principles of self-organization, collaboration and transdisciplinarity. a.pass participants develop an independent artistic research project, with a personalized curriculum in a shared and collectively created research environment.
The a.pass artistic research center develops, documents and archives tools for qualitative and relevant artistic research practices. The research center uses this growing archive to communicate and interact with the artistic and educational field and functions as a forum for the development of a critical approach on
artistic research. In the context of its artistic research center, a.pass offers a tailor-made PhD trajectory for doctoral students that gives the possibility to develop the practice-based part of their PhD research in a collective research environment.

Milieu: Elke Van Campenhout, Nicolas Galeazzi, Kristien Van den Brande, Peter Stamer, Pierre Rubio, Vanja Smiljanic, Audrey Cottin , Danny Neyman, Marta Verónica Cruz Campos, Philippine Hoegen , Hans Van Wambeke, Gosie Vervloessem, Sara Santos, Silvia Pereira , Samah Hijawi, Cecilia Molano , Anna Sörenson, Damla Ekin Tokel, Rareş Crăiuţ, Stef Meul , Camila Aschner Restrepo



Possible proposals:

1.A workshop on horizontal learning environments/structures.

2.Seminar/informal lecture on learning environments, share with us how he analyses and describes these learning environment, see how we can apply these tools for a reflection on the milieu, ask him to come back towards the end of the block to discuss/analyse milieu as a learning environment.

Or in other words, find a way to do something that is a trigger to define collectively what the milieu can do and does.

3.Simply ask him: what is it that interests you right now/what are you working on, how could that be attached to the milieu.

4. Can one create a school for oneself? What is the role of the school as an institute, milieu is about self teaching, how can we think of different ways of creating school?

5. De-capiralised labour, what could it be? How to counter the production oriented machine (knowledge production, instrumentalisation of terms like research in education, in art. (How does this affect knowledge production in a (n artistic) research environment? How to keep the ‘school’ as a place of ‘free time’.





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