Poi Documentary film 2m45s Poi Artists’ Statement by Audrey O Brien – Download
A homage to John Cage prepared piano* by Lochaber High School S3 Music class; applying new and experimental ideas and methods to music, art and technology. The film showcases the pupils’ pictures and film, sound from field and voice recordings; sculptural objects, drawings and interactive artwork*.
Room 13 Artist in Residence Audrey O’Brien worked with the class to explore new and experimental ideas and methods to music, art and technology using new electronic touch board tool, which allows any surface to connect to the digital world by conductive material or electronic paint.
Over four class periods in May/June 2016 Audrey worked with music teacher, Mr Young and 17 young people to learn and use and create their own ‘instruments’.
Mr Young had previously taught the class about one of the major figures in the modernist movement in music, John Cage. The class studied Prepared Piano – in which Cage placed objects on piano strings to alter the sound when played. To reintroduce this method, Mr Young suggested the pupils experimented with objects on the school piano strings.
The project started by collecting the objects pupils had in their school bags that were conductive, adding these to a collection of conductive objects on a table in the middle of the room. The most notable object to emerge from a school bag was a ruby shoe! The metal studs recorded on the piano generated unusual sounds.
A series of field recordings were then made by pupils from their own environment.
Sculptural objects were made by cutting and bending aluminium wire rods. These small sculptures would form the main body of their ‘instruments’ and the surface to connect to the digital recorded sounds via the Touch Board.
The project culminated in a performance with pupils acting as both audience and participants as their handmade ‘instruments’ were played alongside an improvised musical score.
Pupils photographed and filmed the entire process, which is shown here in this short documentary film.
In the Poi Artists’ Statement written to accompany the film, Audrey O Brien explains:
‘The title Poi comes from a tradition of performance art using voice, music, objects and dance (originating from New Zealand). It also means object manipulation. I have used the word Poi as a symbol of young people shaping and constructing their own learning. I like to use materials easily changeable. In this project, aluminium wire rods were shaped to make objects in the instrument construction. I wanted to find a word that supported the idea of young people having more control of their learning experience.’
Audrey O Brien was appointed by Room 13 International to work with pupils and staff to develop and deliver a series of cross curricular projects and creative engagements at Lochaber High School. Audrey’s role, and the many projects she effected during her residency with Room 13, was made possible with project funding from Highland Youth Arts Hub and supported by Creative Scotland’s Time to Shine initiative.
Room 13 International was thrilled to be represented at this event organised by Freelands Foundation and hosted by Tate Modern on Saturday 9th April 2016. Bringing together an eclectic mix of artists, teachers, curators, writers and organisations, the day provided an opportunity to foster unexpected connections and explore ideas about art, education, play and society. Featuring films, talks and a marketplace bursting with ideas and inspiration from a host of organisations who advocate, create and facilitate arts activity and development across the UK.
The 2004 documentary film about Room 13, ‘What Age Can You Start Being an Artist?’ was screened, and found itself in great company, as part of a programme of screenings throughout the day which included ‘Fully Awake’ a documentary about Black Mountain College* and ‘DADA’, Greta Deses’s unique 1969 film about the history and significance of Dadaism.
Mike Fairclough, Head Teacher of West Rise Junior School, took the stage in the main auditorium. His school is not only home to Room 13 West Rise but also a protected marshland complete with bronze age settlement and a herd of water buffalo. For the children at West Rise Junior School, everyday activities include forest school, bronze smelting, caring for the buffalo, sheep and a million bees, construction and maintenance of their very own roundhouse, archery and firearms training. Mike gave an inspirational presentation, explaining how his approach, which involves taking advantage of every possible opportunity to create the most interesting and exciting learning environment in and around his school, has lead to endorsement from OFSTED, Times Educational Supplement and the Health and Safety inspectorate.
The day concluded in conversation with Michael Craig Martin and Mark Wallinger, two speakers with years of experience as artists and educators. They talked of their experiences as professor and student during what could be considered a golden age of art college education. Their discussion included the observation that the most important difference in the study of art is its difference. There is no subject to be studied as such. There is no such thing as a general work of art. It requires an individual to jump in at the deep end on the first day, and grapple with the substance of their ideas and expression on the same terms as their professor, resulting in a specific, very substantial education. So the answer to the question ‘What age can you start being an artist?’ might be – whatever age you take that leap.
* Hidden in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Black Mountain College (1933 – 1957) was an influential experiment in education that inspired and shaped twentieth century American art. Fully Awake: Black Mountain College is a documentary film that explores the college’s progressive pedagogy and radical approach to arts education.
** As Bosnia descended into the depths of war, a group of artists and curators formed Ars Aevi Project as an expression of collective international will. Resisting the destruction of life and culture the group staged a series of contemporary art installations across Europe that focused on bringing the artists together to create and cultivate the heritage of the present day. This resulted in an extensive new collection of contemporary artworks being created and donated by the artists involved. Ars Aevi Project is now engaged in building a new Museum of Contemporary Art in Sarajevo, which will host the collection.
Post Author: Claire Gibb
‘Grow Your Own Room 13’ is an interactive workshop designed to help you understand what Room 13 is all about and how it works in practice.
Artists involved in the original Room 13 studio in Fort William will share the story of this remarkable initiative and help you explore how you can put Room 13 into action in your own school or community.
We are thrilled to be offering this new series of events to support and develop the Room 13 network. The first of the ‘Grow Your Own Room 13’ will be held at The Window, Room 13 International’s new organisation base in Caol. Look out for dates and locations of future events across Highland.
Wednesday 16th March 11.00am – 3.00pm
Caol, Fort William
This workshop is offered free with support from Highland Youth Arts Hub.
Places are limited and will be booked on a first come, first serve basis.
Book your place by contacting:
Interested in hosting a Grow Your Own Room 13 workshop in your community? Please get in touch.
Schooling Scotland: Education, Equity & Community, by Daniel Murphy, book 7 in the ‘Postcards from Scotland’ series, will be launched this evening in Glasgow. The book features a chapter on Room 13!
‘Postcards from Scotland’ – a series of small books relevant to Scotland but also about the big issues of our time – is a collaboration between Centre for Confidence and Wellbeing and Argyll Publishing.
Postcards from Scotland aims to help develop new thinking in a readable and accessible format and publicise, to a much greater audience, some of the projects in Scotland which are already aiming to help bring about a new way of living.
Visit the Postcards from Scotland website for more information or to buy any of these fascinating and insightful books.
The webpage contains a link to Daniel Murphys’ Tour Journal in full, which includes a detailed description of his visit to Room 13 Caol. Jump to page 29 for Room 13, or browse the full document to find out about a range of other inspirational schools across Scotland.
Curated by Kym Maxwell, UNEDUCATED presents artworks and projects that explore ideas of society, knowledge and institutional learning that both provoke consideration of our role as spectators and reflect on the debate of the ‘educational turn’ in contemporary art discourse.
Read a review of this exhibition: http://primermag.net/art/2014/9/kym-maxwell-interview-uneducated
The Room 13 World Tour is the latest fundraising initiative organised by TBWA.
TBWA Tiger Academy is a global training programme run every year for 40 of the company’s young and most promising employees. Every year, the TBWA Tigers are tasked to come up with an entrepreneurial and creative project to raise funds for Room 13 International.
This year, the TBWA Tigers commissioned Room 13 studios to design and create a unique artwork that would also serve as a moneybox to travel the world raising awareness and money for Room 13 International. The proceeds are directed to the Rod Wright Bursary Fund, introduced by the trustees of Room 13 International in honour of our founding Chairman, and will be used to support entrepreneurial and creative projects put forward by Room 13 studios.
Room 13 studios in Scotland, England, India and the USA put forward designs and created the 5 artistic pieces you see below. Each of these is now on a route around the worldwide network of TBWA – from Europe, to the America’s, Africa, Asia and the South Pacific.
Follow the tour: http://room13worldtour.mytbwa.com/
Public school youth face tremendous challenges entering the professional workforce. Lightbringer project have been working to advance high school youth into college and careers with their LA Futures programme. This is a work-based learning program which partners public schools with major creative companies to prepare students for success in college and beyond.
L.A. Futures emboldens classroom learning by learning and life skill experiences with industry professionals in the classroom and at their places of work. Theory and principles are translated into real-world practices as students connect acquired knowledge with the needs and expectation of the workplace. Through L.A. Futures students make the connection between college and career and become workforce ready.
By helping them win this funding, we can make sure that future generations are supported to achieve their creative aspirations.
It’s simple. Just CLICK on the link and Vote:
Every vote really counts towards their goal so please VOTE NOW AND SHARE this with all your friends!
Room 13 International works closely with Lightbringer Project to support and develop the Room 13 studio network. Please take 2 minutes to vote and support our friends in this worthwhile venture!
Today is the 20th anniversary of Shikshayatan School, now home to Room 13 Shikshayatan. Aruna and Raghavan, who founded the school in 1994, held the first classes around their kitchen table. They are to be congratulated for their energy and vision; not only building the school facilities brick by brick, but allowing the children access to an education of the highest standard.
In 1992 Raghavan and Aruna left Bombay with their small daughter and invested their entire life savings to establish a primary school at Arasavanangkadu, a village of 1500 people in a remote corner of Tamil Nadu.
They established The Anugriha Charitable Trust with the intention of evolving and demonstrating alternative educational methods in India. Shikshayatan School opened on 15th August 1994 admitting 15 3-year-old children to the first class. All of the children were drawn from low income, scheduled caste families in which they are the first generation to receive any education. Within this community, the Raghavans have spent the last two decades exploring and experimenting with new methods of early childhood education. They have grown and developed the school year by year, striving to keep pace with the requirements of their students, resolute in their aim of providing free education to the under-privileged. Expanding its capacity gradually from pre-school to primary and then to middle school, Shikshaytan now gives an education, uniforms, textbooks and snacks to 225 students, on a four-acre, green campus, without charging a single rupee.
In 2004 the Raghavans met with Room 13 and were inspired by a presentation given by two youngsters from Scotland. Confident by this point in their ability to instil the skills of literacy and numeracy in their pupils, they felt intrigued by an approach to arts education that appeared to sit so comfortably with their own methods. Room 13 Shikshayatan was introduced to the school in 2005, and has since been host to a number of visiting artists.
Room 13 will be presenting at the Emporium of Dangerous Ideas, in Edinburgh’s Merchant’s Hall. Our dangerous idea comes from the present generation of artists at Room 13 Caol, and is simply that everyone should have a Room 13! We imagine a whole world of people who are prepared to think and act for themselves, as the movement of young artists that we recognise as Room 13 spreads around the world.