“Artereality: rethinking art as craft in a knowledge economy” – a manifesto for arts and humanities pedagogy, and indeed research, was published today in a collection of essays about the future of arts education in the US, edited by Steven Madoff for MIT Press.


I wrote it with Jeffrey Schnapp, drawing on our experience of running, enabling, and encouraging interdisciplinary, indeed transdisciplinary projects through Stanford Humanities Lab. For me also it continues a line of argument I started in my book “Experiencing the Past”, back in 1992, that we need to look to the practices, the infrastructures and instruments, the cultures of our disciplines, looking to the craft and industry, the making of knowledge: what is now a well-established focus on the culture of science and the academy.

Artereality – the management of distributions, the devising of junctions, making flows, impeding others, promoting and demoting links or conduit in socio-cultural networks across and through currently separate and diverse social and institutional spaces. Artereality re-engages the act of cultural production (as opposed to detached “research” or “art”) with social, economic, and political processes, as well as technological innovation.

Artereality also connects with Aristotle’s phronesis: knowledge integrated with practical reasoning, an intertwining of reflection upon practice and the practice of reflection in the service of the social good.

Key points, backed by a good range of examples from Stanford and beyond

  • foster collaborative transdisciplinary, project-based learning
  • arts practice as research | research as arts practice
  • a new conception of collegiality and of teaching-learning communities: the craft workshops for the digital age.
  • The reviews of the collection have already been encouraging:

    an indispensable source of experienced voices … an amazing cross-section of art world contributors providing as complete a picture as is imaginable on the needs and possibilities of the art school in the 21st century

    Garry Kennedy – President and Professor Emeritus, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design

    For anyone concerned with art school education – and the broader issues surrounding it – this book is essential reading

    John Miller, Barnard College

    For entrenched entropic faculty and bureaucratic administrative hacks this book is a brick through their window

    Mark Dion, artist

    Here is the text, unedited – the “directors’ cut”, as it were – [Link]

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