#ViewpointExperiment is to explore a possibility of Nam June Paik Art Center as a plaza where different perspectives are gathered and shared through the process of collecting, changing or exchanging various viewpoints in the museum. Among them, #change is an unlearning workshop for a community. Unlearning involves questioning existing thoughts and attitudes acquired or created so far, and means providing a place to re-learn from them. The workshop, which consists of dialogues, participatory performances, and collaborative projects, is led by Choi Taeyoon, an artist and educator. Together with artists, educators, curators, and others interested in unlearning, this workshop is to discover and question the boundaries of ideas, concepts, and values that we have taken for granted around the art museum, and each participant performs this in their own way of learning. This event aims to be an open environment in which anyone can participate, and text interpretations are also provided.
Unlearning Workshop will question what and how we learned, the standard information and normative knowledge. Learning is more than a transfer of knowledge, it is making space for our growth and transformation. Unlearning is more than undoing the wrongs, it’s recognizing our patterns of learning, embracing our shortcomings, and becoming sympathetic to our incapabilities and limitations. The feedback loop of learning and unlearning can be very slow, unsatisfactory, and it’s easy to become frustrated. However, it is this time of learning and unlearning, we arrive at the radical honesty and trust ourselves. In this space, we can find a community of fellow learners and build the commons for learning.
Let us consider a few spectrums of binaries to unlearn.
Museum – Life
Artist – Audience
School – Work
Teacher – Student
Professional – Amateur
Participation – Direct action
Observation – Creation
Complicity – Resistance
Flexibility – Plasticity
Public – Private
The polar opposites tend to have a lot in common. They create artificial boundaries with markers and constructions for distinctions. Rather than focusing on the differences, let’s examine the commonalities between the binaries. Can we practice a different way to have a conversation to preserve our integrity and ethics? Can we understand the boundaries of the things we took for granted; thoughts, concepts, definitions and values? Can the act of drawing the boundaries become transformative power to change the real? Or can it become an obnoxious microphone that amplifies uncomfortable sensations? Let’s face the discomfort. Unlearning is becoming familiar with the visceral sensations of a division, one becomes two. Learning is becoming familiar with the sensations of integrations, two becomes one.
In this two days intensive, participatory workshop, we will reflect on our learning journeys and collaborate on a project about radical trust. Unlearning workshop is based on Taeyoon Choi’s pedagogy at the School for Poetic Computation, and his class “Teaching as Art” at the New York University. The workshop is designed for artists, designers, writers, educators, curators and anyone who’s interested in unlearning. The workshop intends to be inclusive for the Deaf and disabled people, real time captioning and access needs will be considered.
Choi Taeyoon is an artist, educator, and activist based in New York and Seoul, who mainly engages in social work based on storytelling, across performances, electronic devices, drawings, and installations. He has published artist books, including Urban Programming 101 and Anti-Manifesto, and has took part in residency and research at Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace, and many others. As the co-founder of ‘School for Poetic Computation’, he is continuously in charge of its operation and educational programs. He organizes such projects as Uncertainty School, Media City Seoul 2016, where participants could unlearn the barriers between disabled and non-disabled people, and accessibility and diversity could be increased through art and technology.