Tables and Chairs to Live With

Thoughts on the physicality of education and scholarly work, and its workings in artistic research

As an artist who is interested in educational questions, I have spent quite some time in workshops held in university and academy buildings. Usually, some of this time is spent shifting, pushing, and carrying around tables and chairs. The rooms are filled with these objects. We use them, stack them on top of one another, create the space by arranging them, or we sit at them and write. Nevertheless, these objects and the bodily labor through which we engage with them, often become strangely invisible, providing the background of the workshop scene. Not to mention the unseen labor expended for this scene by caretakers, to provide what then becomes the backdrop for our scene.

The following contemplations are an approach to several questions that have arisen in my artistic practice through the way we engage with everyday objects in educational institutions: How do daily objects in institutions shape our bodies and the ways how we encounter the world and act in it? Moreover, how does paying attention to the physicality of education and scholarly work help in tackling issues of hierarchy and social positioning?

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Ahmed, Sara (2006): Queer Phenomenology. London: Duke University Press.

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Ahmed, Sara (2012): On Being Included. Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life. London: Duke University Press,.

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Bourdieu, Pierre (1977): Outline of a Theory of Practice, Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.

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Foucault, Michel (1977/1995): Docile Bodies. In: Discipline and Punish. The Birth of the Prison. Vintage New York, pp. 135-169.

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Foucault, Michel (1982/1983): The Subject and Power. In: Hubert Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow, Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and
Hermeneutics. University of Chicago Press, p. 208-226.

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Krauss, Annette (2008): Hidden Curriculum. Utrecht: Casco.

The format of the HC project is workshop-based. The workshop series were carried out with students between the ages of 13 and 17. It has taken place seven times since 2007 in different countries including France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK.

Annette Krauss : (2014) Tables and Chairs to Live With.

Thoughts on the physicality of education and scholarly work, and its workings in artistic research

In: p/art/icipate – Kultur aktiv gestalten #05 , https://www.p-art-icipate.net/tables-and-chairs-to-live-with/