Tom Holert, Harun Farocki Institut

Date: Friday 18 March 2022
Time: 6pm (GMT)
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Expansion, Invasion, Contestation. On the Spatial Politics of Education in the 1960s and 1970s

Since the late 1950s, and throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the spatial politics of education that were put in place – many of which in response to the doctrine of “human capital” – were multipolar and conflictual. While the expansion of the educational sector entailed a re-scaling of the physical infrastructures of education, the invasion of new technologies and new theories of learning were to decouple the scenes of pedagogy from the built environment of traditional schools and universities. Both tendencies would be contested in the course of radical institutional critiques which, for a while, attacked their underlying ideologies as well as their material architectures. By taking the research and exhibition project “Education Shock. Learning, Politics, and Architecture in the 1960s and 1970s” (HKW, Berlin, 2019-2021) as its starting point, the talk will attend to some of the predicaments of “student experience” in the early years of the “knowledge society”.

Tom Holert works as an independent scholar and curator. He authored and co-authored various books and organized exhibitions—such as Neolithic Childhood. Art in a False Present, c. 1930 (with Anselm Franke), and Education Shock. Learning, Politics and Architecture in the 1960s and 1970s, both at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin. In 2015 he co-founded the Harun Farocki Institut in Berlin. Recent book publications include Knowledge Beside Itself. Contemporary Art’s Epistemic Politics (Sternberg Press, 2020), Politics of Learning, Politics of Space. Architecture and the Education Shock of the 1960s and 1970s (De Gruyter, 2021) and ca. 1972. Gewalt – Identität – Methode (Spector Books, forthcoming). 

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