I AM NOT MOVING - SHORT FILM
#OCCUPY WALL STREET
Some notes from Earthcare on the work of Richard Klein, a teacher at the Monarch School, where twice a week I intern as a teaching assistant with a group of children with Pervasive Developmental Disorder and other neurological differences. After working with him, Shannon, and two of my students last week, making straw bale clay with hands and feet on a tarp outside, I’m curious to find out about more outdoors-based programs for special needs children…
Learning in a classroom with no walls
Teachers who are able to offer children outdoor learning activities say children can learn more outdoors than in the classroom with four walls.
Children who have learning differences and special needs respond more positively to learning when it involves hands-on activities outdoors, says Richard Klein, who teaches in the Challenger Program at Monarch School for 6th to 12 graders who have learning differences.
He says if students can do something with their hands instead of worksheets and writing, they are more engaged and are able and willing to learn more information. Klein’s students are involved in building canoes and kayaks so they can float down the Buffalo Bayou in Houston and clean up trash and test the water. Klein says the students will learn about pH with a reason to learn about pH.
The project gives them the opportunity to learn to use power tools and work as a team. Children who have Asperger’s Syndrome or autism, often avoid socializing and making eye contact. The children are learning to work together and make eye contact in order to accomplish the tasks.
Another project of the Challenger science class is a garden near the Houston Zoo. The students are taking ownership with regular visits to the garden. By the third visit, instead of whining - “do I have to do this?” - they are saying , “I want to do weeding, or I want to do compost.” Klein says he doesn’t find this kind of project ownership in a classroom with four walls. But he does find it in a classroom with no walls.
RSA Animate - Changing Education Paradigms
‘panoptICONS’ addresses the fact that you are constantly being watched by surveillance cameras in city centres. The surveillance camera seems to have become a real pest that feeds on our privacy. To represent this, camera birds - city birds with cameras instead of heads - were placed throughout the city centre of Utrecht where they feed on our presence.
Puppets. New Economy. You are your own enemy; and you are alone.
That pretty much sums it.
“Bentham’s Panopticon is the architectural figure of this composition. We know the principle on which it was based: at the periphery, an annular building; at the centre, a tower; this tower is pierced with wide windows that open onto the inner side of the ring; the peripheric building is divided into cells, each of which extends the whole width of the building; they have two windows, one on the inside, corresponding to the windows of the tower; the other, on the outside, allows the light to cross the cell from one end to the other. All that is needed, then, is to place a supervisor in a central tower and to shut up in each cell a madman, a patient, a condemned man, a worker or a schoolboy. By the effect of backlighting, one can observe from the tower, standing out precisely against the light, the small captive shadows in the cells of the periphery. They are like so many cages, so many small theatres, in which each actor is alone, perfectly individualized and constantly visible. The panoptic mechanism arranges spatial unities that make it possible to see constantly and to recognize immediately. In short, it reverses the principle of the dungeon; or rather of its three functions - to enclose, to deprive of light and to hide - it preserves only the first and eliminates the other two. Full lighting and the eye of a supervisor capture better than darkness, which ultimately protected. Visibility is a trap.”
— Michel Foucault ‘Discipline and Punish’
Mona Hatoum (Beirut, Lebanon, 1952)
Roadworks (Performance Still)
According to the artist herself, the oppressive atmosphere at the Slade School of Art may have contributed to that fact that she abandoned the sheltering institutions and began to explore the possibilities of performances. From the outset, the body has always been a central element in Hatoum’s work, whereby she rejects the separation of mind and body she observes in the Western world. For the first time, at Slade, she came into contact with stances such as feminism, which she eventually abandoned as she did not consider it to represent her particularity as a Palestinian woman, but that would lead her to a broader analysis of the relations between different power structures. At the time, performance became the most groundbreaking instrument suited to the urgency of her needs. Therefore, throughout the first half of the decade of the eighties, Hatoum carried out a series of controversial performances brimming with political content.
This piece was produced within this framework, in 1985, on the streets of Brixton, a predominantly black working class neighbourhood, located in the outskirts of London. Hatoum carried out two performances pertaining to an action organised by another artist Stefan Szczelkun entitled Road Works, in which the intention was to create a relationship between a specific group of artists intervening in an impoverished community. In this way, these artists would produce their work in an environment and for an audience very different that that customarily visiting museums and galleries.
Hatoum is portrayed in the photograph barefoot and strolling along the neighbourhood streets with a pair of heavy Doc Marten’s boots tied to her ankles. Her feet appear naked and vulnerable compared to the sturdy boots traditionally worn by the police or by skinheads. The artist presents herself as an impoverished person who questions the system, trying to make manifest its structural mechanism through an action in which even the basic act of walking becomes difficult.
And this is one of the most insightful works I’ve seen lately. Like an uniform to be used at a panopticon… I can only imagine what the performance was like and the very image is loaded with several meanings I cannot grasp not being an artist, not being part of that specific movement, not being a foreginer in London in the 80s. But that doesn’t make much difference, does it? I don’t think it does, unfortunately.