ARTs + Change Virtual Conference
Virtual Event

In 2018, Goddard College launched the first low-residency BFA program in Socially Engaged Art. The college’s history of radical politics and its current model of Freirian Critical Pedagogy and project-based learning make Goddard a unique incubator for an interdisciplinary arts program focused on the relationship between creative practice and social change. Instead of offering courses that present “Socially Engaged Art” as a technique or delimited field, we have created spaces of dialogue and collaborative inquiry where students redefine art itself in terms and practices that are relevant to their own communities.

This presentation seeks to share out the lessons that we have learned in the design and implementation of this program, and through three years of student work, and to open a space of collaborative brainstorming around pedagogical practice through the following stages: 1. A summary of Goddard’s BFA in Socially Engaged Art including: a. Discussions of Socially Engaged Art, drawing upon the work of Pablo Helguera, Claire Bishop, and others b. An overview of Critical Pedagogy as presented in the work of Paulo Freire, Antonia Darder, and bell hooks. c. A description of the structure, criteria, and modalities of the program, and their implementation. 2. Key discoveries from our first three years, including: a. Observations of themes and trends in student work; b. Discussions of pedagogical ramifications regarding decoloniality, anti-racism, and institutional structure 3. A group discussion and brainstorming session on the ways that Socially Engaged Art can be conceived as a generative disruption in pedagogical praxis.

Otto Muller is a composer, educator, and sound artist, whose work explores the complicity, grief, and geography through installation, participatory performance, hybrid poetics, and sound. Muller’s music and interdisciplinary collaborations in dance, devised theater, and new media have been performed and presented throughout Europe, Asia, and North America and have been supported by the New York State Music Fund, Vermont Arts Council, and National Endowment for the Arts. Muller received his PhD at the University at Buffalo, and has studied with David Felder, Amnon Wolman, Chaya Czernowin, and Steve Takasugi. He teaches at Goddard College in Vermont, where he co-founded the BFA program in Socially Engaged Art. His research includes publications on noise aesthetics, rural sound practices, and critical arts pedagogy.

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