makes an assumption that art and education are more than training for
a nihilist future . . .
small group of us are attempting to use the concept of the ARK as an
installation that will promote questioning of values and stimulate
expansive thinking that is oppositional to reductive and
intellectually controlled expression. It is to be called INSTALLATION
and will focus both Visual and Performing Arts,
Philosophy and Digital Media students
and teachers on to the creation of a major work that aims to be
meaningful for participants, audiences
and the wider community.
it is necessary to coin a phrase to distill an idea and to focus on
a point that needs developing. And so it is with ArkWork.
What is ArkWork?
It is an essentially creative process of artificially creating a
crises as a stimulation for identifying questions and for providing
ways to physically communicate group responses and generate awareness.
there is nothing new or innovative in any of the concepts
incorporated into ArkWork,
it assumes the necessity of a crises in order to generate creative
thinking and to motivate the necessity of generating physical,
emotional and intellectual applications to SEEING. Popular TV reality
programs all use this principle: eg. Survive, Master Chef et
al. Essentially, place people in a confined space with a problem and
a deadline and something will emerge that is greater than the sum
total of each part. Theatre, with its deadlines, provides just such
an artificial creation of crises.
evolving; but unless our schools and our communities develop a
culture of creativity and learning, the result for our future is a
nihilistic one or worse, a Fascist and totalitarian society where coercion
and Draconian rules are made to protect the interests of those who
benefit from the products of corporate power . . . and more significantly,
people slip into an ennui where apathy and distraction reduce
capacity for development of personal and community growth.
institution such as a school is like a closed and contained system or
ark travelling towards yearly destinations or check points where a
rite of passage is enacted and groups pass through. The imagination associated
with the concept of "ARK"
has penetrated artistic and philosophical traditions. From the idea
of Noah's Ark to Stephen
Baxter's novel "ARK"
(have a read) there is a suggestion of retrieval or preservation of
what is important or significant for human kind.
project is less ambitious than Baxter's novel in one sense. It does
not aim for the kind of coherency necessary for a novel. On the other
hand, it is more ambitious in its attempt to generate the kind of
questioning and intellectual processing that can have on-going
effects within a school community. To this end, the project is to
provide a kind of prototype for an "academy" or
"school" of the arts and humanities. As such, it will be
phenomenological approach to research and incorporation
of methodologies from different fields of study to define and
questioning base for all its actions and strategies derived from
identification and negotiated articulation of questions seen to be relevant
of individual perception, skills, aptitudes, inklings with
of the expert" approaches to in-role exploration and presentation
of "fictional" scenarios based on real "values"
and the processing of "information"
ended" base for starting points for projects (though within a
context with deadlines and challenging inputs from teachers and facilitators
sensory awareness using systems of training related to
"Viewpoints" techniques and other means for combining
physical, emotional, intellectual potentials with intuitive awareness
in artistic, technological and communicative presentation.
can certainly add to the list.
WHAT WILL IT LOOK LIKE?
element is only speculative at the moment. The information on which
questions might be derived has only now been assembled. We are
currently trying to forge out a means to reveal a process of creating
and delivering a unique collaborative work. This process is simply
The crises is now in motion and the energy is being released.
bottom line is that the work needs integrity and genuine vulnerability
from each of the protagonists in this venture. The antagonists are
visible and vocal. The reductionists are the Daleks in the system who propagate
a myth of statistical reliance in dealing with the messy areas of
human thought and deed. The Daleks seek order and efficiency. The
Daleks seek statistical accountability within the system. The Daleks
control so much of human endeavour. And they don't need to be NAZIs
or totalitarian despots. The Daleks are in our families, our schools,
our workplaces, our shopping centres, our corporations, our
governments, our churches, our sporting organizations, our hospitals
. . . in every aspect of twenty-first century living. Can they ever
. . .
and apologies for being so polite to all these Daleks for so many
Woodward (June 2013)