It is with frustration like a salty thorn embedded in between the flesh of my finger and nail and elation like a waterfall plummeting on the wounds of a wounded back that I sit to write this mandatory two-page-single-spaced-tiny-font paper in a non-destructive alternative class mulled over by the muck and mayhem of the catastrophe that is art academia. The assignment on the chopping block is framed as thus: “a 2-page document of learning philosophy relevant to a student’s learning tendencies and public practice in art (single-spaced in Verdana 9-point font or similar).”
How do I work around the treachery of summarizing in two pages of tiny, closely-spaced font my “learning philosophy?” I might answer it with a question, as did 13 year old Logan LaPlane in his TedxUniversityOfNevada. The White male prodigy posed the following: “What if we base education on the practice of being happy and healthy?” He continued, “Much of education is oriented, for better or worse, towards making a living rather than making a life.” He calls his learning philosophy ”HackSchooling.”
It pains me to mention the race of the child, when this child may have not yet been tainted by the learned stain of racism, and when I yearn to see a world in which the color line has been permanently erased. Unfortunately, such is an observation I make when I look upon this White boy child who is so privileged to share the clarity of his anointed voice with a world which eagerly awaits him. Little Logan reveals that he has placed his heals in the footsteps of a knighted grown White male who had graced the stage of the official Ted Talks, years prior, posing the question, “Do School’s Kill Creativity?”
Yet again, in the midst of his carefully constructed recitation, Little Logan weaves the words of another grown White male into the nest of his performance. He states that his learning philosophy aligns with that of Dr. Roger Walsh’s 8 Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes, the 8th involving religion and spirituality.
I offer this little illustration to illuminate two things: one being that there may be many different ways to perceive the same thing, the other being that it serves as a good example of the innate White male tendency to dominate through subconscious and learned exclusive fraternization with strictly White males. This is the dynamic which is the cause of the catastrophe I’ve experienced in art academia.
It is a challenge to define with clarity my learning philosophy, when my mind has been muddled with the catastrophic muck and mayhem of a pedagogy succumbed to White male dominance. It is easier to state what my learning philosophy is not. It is not of the hypocritical, aloof, egotistical, exclusive, elitist, self-aggrandizing, superficial, pedantic, homogenous, intolerant, myopic, passively misogynistic and subconsciously racist spirit which I have experienced in graduate art school. As an artist, I would rather suffer the consequences of incompliance and hack this document of what my learning philosophy is not, by substituting the remaining text with a performance that equates to much more than two pages of tightly-spaced letters in Verdana 9 font.
Please allow me to substitute the following page of this text with the ensuing performance.