Introduction to Pedagogical Interventions: Towards a New Aesthetics

When I think of classical Greek culture, and the role tragedy once played in society, I think: What role would tragedy play in a post-9/11 world? What is the role of radical post-dramatic theater in the City of New York today? And on what level is disruption pedagogical?

This treatise examines the pedagogical aspect of the problematic within a genealogy of disruption, and therein argues for the use of art as a teaching force; providing, perhaps most importantly, a theoretical basis for conflict-oriented, confrontational art practices.

We examine an array of avant-garde tendencies and the respective flood of what is today called contemporary art. We examine behavioral architecture and architectural anomalies. We examine civil resistance movements, urban warfare tactics, democratic and nondemocratic innovations, community initiatives. We examine theories of work refusal, from wildcat strikes to workers’ councils, and consider the legalities, and illegalities, involved in corporate dissolution. Sometimes for theoretical reasons and/or methodical investigations, we look at contemporary sabotage and piracy as ongoing historical processes that affect the aesthetic experience of everyday life.

We will look into Paulo Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”, Jacques Ranciere’s “Ignorant Schoolmaster”, Fred Hampton’s practicum for the Chicago Chapter of the Black Panthers, and Sekou Sundiata’s “The American Project” as models for dialogic praxis. The study of mathematics, physics, biology and so on also play into the picture. Because here we too see the antagonism, the interruption, the sheer learning force (if not the constituent principle of disturbances in the process of human evolution) working to adapt life to the evolutionary powers that be.

Our goal is to do this while we do this – to examine tactics and come up with our own, to work as we write and learn as we go, to learn to speak, and to learn how to use ultimatums in order to sanctify our debates, if need be – and most importantly, our goal is to develop a practicum for designing new weapons, weapons of thought, weapons of language, weapons of image, weapons of all sorts – because we are at war, and this is an alternative school of thought.