Half a Classroom. Building Open Works

Sara Fortuna and Viviana Rubichi, Guglielmo Marconi University1

Today, we are witnessing a progressive gap between many contemporary artistic practices, specifically in the realm of experimentation and in that of education and research. This affects discernibly the quality of the work and camouflages – often unconsciously – the artistic experiences of the past, especially the recent ones (we think, in particular, to the historical avant-gardes) without adequately reflecting on the meaning that repeated repetitions of ruptures and provocations assume, often completely exhausting the significance and the vitality of these gestures.

In order to bridge the gap mentioned above, Sara Fortuna and Viviana Rubichi organized and conceived Half a Classroom – Building Open Works, a series of meetings and seminars regarding experimental didactics. Within this context, we propose to build a transversal teaching path to the existing Literature and Educational Science’s Majors at Guglielmo Marconi University in Rome. Our main objective is to connect knowledge with heterogeneous methodological perspectives, by involving artist and scholars in the realm of esthetic disciplines, specifically within the spectacle realm, as well as in anthropological and philosophical practices. The approach also includes a performative part during which artists, coming from different backgrounds and training origins, will expose their on-going and/or in progress works to the other participants, reflecting on the principles that inspired their creative choices. In reference with professionals, who work in the field of visual arts and entertainment, Half a Classroom primarily offers a historical and theoretical framework related to the different practices involved.

However, since the creative world moves, in a certain sense, in an autonomous and even opposite direction to the dimension of cultural and educational assimilation of contents, it seems particularly important to guide students, throughout the learning path, towards professional outlets in the entertainment world, building for them environments in which the studied contents can become the basis for personal artistic research and experimentation, nourished by examples and provided with theoretical foundations.

As a matter of fact, the experiential component is particularly important, as it is through it that it is possible to revitalize learned contents often in an abstract and even mechanical way, showing how they can become the matrix for experimentation – personal- but related to a sophistication of historical, cultural and theoretical elements consciously acquired. The objective of these cycle of seminars will be to present and discuss the guiding topic that will be open work, in order to prove its unavoidable relevance within the contemporary artistic working realm. The challenge of this seminar will be to prove that the methodology operated can become a precious tool also for those professionals who do not necessarily work in purely artistic fields.

The format of Half a Classroom foresees an experimental research path, through an open space of exploration and participation of the activities that is divided into two parts: the Talks2, ex: introductory the seminar lessons related to the performative part of the Art Workshops3, artists live meetings, presenting their art work or performance-show to the audience, all mediated by an expert, who directly involve all participants.

Specifically, the Art Workshops, following the Talks, are proposed as an investigation of the artistic practices collectively created, and each participant is invited to observe and analyze the fusion between reflection and Live Works4. The performative part will thus be a place of work-sharing, an exercise and a cultural instrument, where openness and fluidity are linked to their interdisciplinary nature. The open space of the theater will allow the public to create a dynamic environment of shared interaction, in order to assimilate and take ownership of the contents of each intervention.

Cite this article as: Viviana Rubichi, Half a Classroom. Building Open Works, in "Guglielmo Marconi University - magazine", 09/04/2019, https://gmu.hypotheses.org/147.

  1. The printed version of this post is published in “Formamente”, XIII, 2018, 1-2, p. 93-94. []
  2. Each seminar has a duration of about 45 minutes, but we foresee – in case of participant’s interventions – extended time formats. Flexibility is a typical characteristic for these type of events that provide a connection between theoretical dimension and avail, being an online university, of the virtual dimension closely connected to this characteristic []
  3. For Art Workshops we intend performative actions of different nature, including performance, sound and new media art, text-based performance, lecture performance, multimedia storytelling, choreographic practices, relational practices, workshop-based projects and projects that question the performance idea beyond the body []
  4. Each Live Works duration will vary depending on the type of performance []

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