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Risky Business 3: Hi-Performance in Blurry Times

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Abbeydale Picture House and Jaywing Studios

United Kingdom

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Risky Business 3: Hi-Performance in Blurry Times
Art & Design Learning, Teaching and Employability Conference 20–21 June 2018
Sheffield Hallam University

Risky Business 3 invites you to consider Art & Design education and post-graduation through the language of performance.

We will explore what it means to play the part of tutor, student, graduate, employee, designer, artist, academic, researcher, technician, practitioner and manager, and we will consider learning, teaching and approaches to employability as roles that are learned, rehearsed, presented and re-presented over time – as a series of performances. We will also ask what it means to act in contexts where performance is measured, managed, developed and reviewed, since in the HE theatre of operations, students, tutors, programmes and graduate outcomes continually play out under the gaze of government, media, employers and the wider community.

Just as performance might be characterised as an immersive event involving actors and audiences, it is the same in education where academics, technicians, professional staff and students are engaged in making meaning together; in both cases, lasting effects are intended beyond the actual performance itself. We will contemplate our collective responsibility to prepare students to perform in diverse, uncharted and often improvised futures.

Through the idea of performance, Risky Business 3 will celebrate and bring critical perspectives to our learning, teaching and employability practices and ask how we and our students might re-script, un-rehearse, re-stage, re-act and improvise.

The two days will include thought-provoking keynotes and workshops, critical and supportive conversations, great external catering and time well spent as a community of Art and Design staff.

Speakers include:
Natasha Arselan (AucArt)
Felicity Baggett x Ian Campbell (Campbell Cole)
Sophie Demay
Dr Bob Gilworth
Professor Neil Mullholland
Professor Alison Shreeve
Professor Carol Taylor


D–A–Y O–N–E : L–E–A–R–N–I–N–G & T–E–A–C–H–I–NG
9.30–4.00pm Wednesday 20 June

Abbeydale Picture House
387 Abbeydale Road
S7 1FS

09.30 Registration Coffee and Tea served

ACT ONE 10.00—12.15

KEYNOTE: Professor Alison Shreeve, Emeritus Professor Bucks New University
Academic Identities in Art and Design
What does an academic identity mean for creative practitioners teaching in art and design? How and why might this differ to other subject areas? This presentation will ask you to consider your own identities and will explore how different aspects of identity might be configured within a formal academic environment. Drawing on research into relations between teaching and practice, examples will be used to illustrate how different ways to experience certain aspects of creative identity are present and interact. There are ways that this might impact teaching and learning as well as individuals’ creative work practices.
KEYNOTE: Sophie Demay, Designer and Educator LCC/Camberwell UAL
The figure of the Joker as a metaphor/method for teaching
In his 1973 Theatre of the Oppressed, Augusto Boal (1931–2009), a Brazilian political activist, theatre practitioner and theorist developed a theatrical method for social and political change. First developed to fight the authoritarian regime of Brazil in the early 70’s, it uses the ‘Image’ is a key tool. Actors — those who are involved in collective act of research, enquiry or learning about the world — construct a scenario from their lives which reflects an issue. His ‘Forum’ is an environment which aims at teaching people how to change their world. Central to Boal’s method is the figure of the theatre director, the educator, the facilitator, the difficultator, which Boal’s calls the ‘Joker’. Sophie Demay will present her ongoing research taking this figure as a starting point.
LUNCH Served by Bessie's Bistro Middle Eastern Sharing Menu
ACT TWO 13.15—16.00
Two paralell workshops curated by:

Shift/Work IN/OUT
Professor Neil Mulholland and Jake Watts, Edinburgh College of Art and Shift/Work
Founded in 2010 by Neil Mulholland and Dan Brown at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, Shift/Work supports the active peer production of open educational resources for artists by artists though a ‘paragogy' (Corneli 2011) in which participants compose and play-test workshops for one another. IN/OUT is a short workshop composed in May 2018 at Basic Mountain in Edinburgh specifically for Risky Business. It involves one group (OUT) performing the context for the activities of another group (IN). Each group will experience an IN and an OUT in turn. This will give both groups a broader perspective on the ways in which learning in art and design is organisational and paragogic. IN/OUT will be facilitated by Neil Mulholland and Jake Watts (Edinburgh College of Art) and observed by Griánne Coughlan (DIT, Dublin).

Walking with/and string figure/ing: SF provocations for slow scholarship
Carol A. Taylor, Professor of Gender and Higher Education, Sheffield Hallam University and Karen Tobias-Green, Senior Lecturer, Leeds Arts University

We are two feminist-scholar-activists each engaged with posthumanisms, new materialism, learning, teaching, and the embodied politics of knowing. We are inspired by Haraway’s (2016) book Staying With the Trouble and its SF potential. As Haraway (2016: 10) explains, ‘SF is for science fiction, speculative feminism, science fantasy, speculative fabulation, science fact and also string figures’. And so … This workshop is an invitation and a provocation. It is an invitation to do some string figuring – literally and figuratively. We invite you to make string figures with your hands, feet and bodies; to become entangled with-us-with-string in and around this space; to craft/do/make things with string, to walk with string, to become-other with string. It is also a provocation to develop the practices of slow scholarship. In working with string figures in entangled becomings we provoke/evoke other ways of being which work against the ‘managerial, technocratic, market and profit-besotted, modernising and human-exceptionalist business-as-usual commitments of so much Anthropocene discourse’ which saps our energy, imagination and caring capacities (Haraway, 2016: 49). String figure/ing, we suggest, is about working with each other in relays and rhythms to help us activate a slow scholarship oriented to ‘attentiveness, deliberation, thoughtfulness, open-ended inquiry, a receptive attitude’ (Leibowitz and Bozalek, 2018: 3). This is not slow as ‘slowing down’ but slow as quality of time-space given over to the cultivation of receptivity so that relationality, care and creativity are allowed to move into the foreground. Slow scholarship, we suggest, shifts the emphasis away from speed, counting of outputs, commodification of self, intensification of work, and the ubiquity of neoliberal microagression, and helps expand our ethical capacities. Where might this SF-ing invitation-provocation lead? We don’t yet know but we’d like to work with you to find out.


D–A–Y T–W–O : E–M–P–L–O–Y–A–B–I–L–I–T–Y
9.30–4.30pm Thursday 21 June

Albert Works
71 Sidney Street
S1 4RG

09.30 Registration Coffee and Tea served

ACT ONE 10.00—12.30
Intro to the building, Jaywing and the Workshops

Workshop A1
Group A - Shape

James Titterton
Employment can enable individuals to be self-sustaining through their practice. However, this practice isn’t always sustainable for the world in which we live. Staying alive by killing ourselves: this doesn’t make sense. Neither does an education system that ignores or propagates the problem. How might we, as educators, provoke and facilitate consideration and change around sustainability within an Art & Design education (and beyond)? Let’s start with SHAPE.

Workshop B1
Group B - Engage

Rachel Firth & Caroline Hanson
Art and Design students have many opportunities to engage with activities and experience beyond their course: enterprise activities, freelancing, societies, networking events with Sheffield Creative Guild, work experience, volunteering, career mentoring.
In this session, you will hear from Art and Design students about their own experience of extra-curricular engagement and what this has meant for them. We will be asking the question - what role should academic staff play in engaging their students with extracurricular activities?

Lynnes Pantry.

Lunch Buffet & Canned Drinks
ACT TWO 13.30—16.30

Keynote 01
Ian Campbell & Felicity Baggett
Campbell Cole

Nottingham based designers Ian Campbell Cole and Felicity Baggett create meticulously designed, seasonless accessories for those who share an appreciation for the confidently understated. Designers Ian Campbell Cole and Felicity Baggett understand the connection that is developed with an item used every day, a consideration that informs a thoughtful design process with a focus on quality. Designed & Made in England.

Keynote 02
Dr Bob Gilworth
Career Cartography and Student Satnav

Dr Bob Gilworth is the Director of The Careers Group at the University of London. He is responsible for setting overall strategy for the Group as well as leading the Senior Management Team. Bob is also Director of Research for the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS).

Keynote 03
Natasha Arselan
the Art School Vs the Art World

Natasha is an up and coming art world disrupter, AucArt is her Solution to both nurturing new talent and feeding the masses with exquisite works of art. Natasha is a graduate of King’s College London, originally born in the UK, she has lived in many cities around the world. Natasha is the founder and CEO of AucArt, the world’s first online interactive auction house, exclusively consigning art from the finest recent graduates across the UK. Through Natasha’s International connections, she has conveyed her passion and belief in the project to some of the biggest names in the art world, who now support her and AucArt.


Birdhouse Restaurant. Sidney St, Sheffield S1 4RG. Bar and Food available. * next door to Jaywing

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Abbeydale Picture House and Jaywing Studios

United Kingdom

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