Reflections on an Alternative Art College

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter, in conversation with Dr Mary O'Neill explores the experience of forming, running, and activating an alternative art school at the precipice of the Brown report and subsequent changes to higher education announced in 2010 and subsequently enacted. This first hand reflection will be underpinned by a critical examination of other alternatives at that time, Really Open University, the University for Strategic Optimism and Tent City University and consider the notion of study (Moten and Harney) in regards to the location of where learning happens and what is defined as ‘common.’ I will draw on my own experience of founding the Alternative Art College (2010-2014) during my final year of study at Lincoln University and the actions, implications and outcomes of this type of dissent within the institution and outside of it. This examination will track four key moments, the founding and inaction of multiple alternative art school campuses through private homes; the connection and inversion within the university itself; the following activity in London between 2012 and 2014, and the formation of the Free University Movement and conference held in Oxford in 2013. Each section will pull on interviews and accounts from constituents actively involved in the Alternative Art College, former students of the university, academics who supported the action and those it reached beyond the geographical site and its digital presence. The review of the Alternative Art College will be explored through the lenses of conviviality (Illich), the actions from both the human and non-human collision of site (Deluze; Rossini) as well as demonstrate the potential of forming or claiming site/space in response to adversarial violence’s (Mouffe; Laclau). The chapter will summarise the actions and intentions of those multiple parts that refuted the consumerisation and financialisaton of art pedagogy and Higher Education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolitics of Art Education
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 May 2024


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