j. morgan puett
listen to this tidbit.
go see her home/school/complex(ity) mildred’s lane
1. i ran across mildred’s lane surfing the internet for art a few years ago – no doubt needing a break from mothering. after i explored the website thoroughly, i knew it was on my list of places to visit. now, having listened to the interview between ms. puett and nato thompson, it has moved to the top of my list. her recent work is challenging the current thoughts about education and what we need to know living in the 21st century. i love the foundational thinking of mildred’s lane and how they view it as a work in progress. the mildred complex(ity) – a place designed to collectively create and discuss new pedagogical models of being in the world with regards to the environment, systems of labor, forms of dwelling, ethics and sociality.
2. i have been reading claire bishop‘s book – artificial hell: participatory art and the politics of spectatorship where she argues that small gestures have a potentially liberating effect for many individuals. she traces the history of participatory art and then makes her own observations about what is happening today in that realm.
3. a few weeks ago, i attended a particpatory project at southern exposure created by my friend valerie imus and her group a citizen’s labratory. there was a boy, maybe ten years old, helping the artist who had orchestrated three participatory sequences (involving the audience) exploring the themes of closeness, collectivism, constraint, togetherness, touching, working together, etc… seeing the boy there past bedtime was an inspiring thing for me – it is so rare to see children in the adult world. gallery space after bedtime is one example of where you don’t expect to see children. (on the streets during school hours is another example.) i admit that i too was there for a break from my life as a mother, but as soon as i saw this boy walk in and participate, i wished my daughters were there.
why am i bringing these things together here? because when i look at the topics that ms. puett is bringing to the table for discussion, i am inspired to keep doing what i am doing – keeping my children on the streets and at home instead of in school. when i read a book like ms. bishop’s i am inspired to continue to live as an example of how we might live differently. when i see a boy walk into a gathering like “seed the sensible” i am inspired to take my children everywhere, especially where they are not expected. i view this as a radical act.
from all three of them i draw inspiration to collaborate with my kids more and to interact with the world around us.