January 24, 2007

ON THE FUTURE OF ART SCHOOL at the USC Gayle Garner Roski School of Fine Arts

USC Roski School of Art and Design

The Claude and Alfred Mann Symposium


January 27, 2007

10 am – 5pm

Harris Hall 101 (Gin D. Wong Conference Center)

USC University Park Campus

Los Angeles, California 90089

ON THE FUTURE OF ART SCHOOL is a symposium meant to offer artists, students and educators a forum to seriously consider what we want our schools to be, what we want them to do; here’s an opportunity to freely imagine what should be done, unhindered by administrative worries about what can’t possibly be done.

The symposium will take the form of a roundtable discussion featuring Mai Abu ElDahab, Jan Verwoert, Howard Singerman, Lane Relyea and Robert Linsley, moderated by Frances Stark, Stuart Bailey, and students of the USC Gayle Garner Roski School of Fine Arts.

A related publication PRIMER has been compiled on the occasion of this symposium and culls together previously published texts by the participants.

This publication is available for download or print on demand from (Keywords: “Primer”, “Art School”.)

Mai Abu ElDahab, independent curator based in Cairo/Amsterdam, co-curator of Manifesta 6

Jan Verwoert, contributing editor of Frieze, Berlin

Howard Singerman, Associate Professor of Art History, University of Virginia

Lane Relyea, Professor of Art Theory and Practice, Northwestern University

Robert Linsley, Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at the University of Waterloo in Toronto

Stuart Bailey designer, editor, member of Academic Workshop, Parsons/New School in NY

Organized by Frances Stark, Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing, USC Gayle Garner Roski School of Fine Art

10 am – Introductions by Frances Stark

10:15 am – The Meaning and Value of Degrees

Looking at the relationship between post-graduate and undergraduate degrees, part two of our symposium will attempt to outline and examine the pedagogies appropriate to the shifting definitions of the field of Art assumed by each degree. Here we will also touch upon the PhD trend on the horizon and additionally what problems/solutions alternative non-degree granting art school experiments are currently posing.

12:15 pm – Lunch

1:00 am – Examining the boundaries between the Market and the Academy

The third segment of the discussion focuses on the new economy in light of the proposed paradigm “the MFA being the new MBA.” In addition, it debates the need for teaching the role of the market in the field of art.

3:15 – Towards a Critical Faculty

In light of de-skilling as a legacy of the avant-garde, “critical faculty” should be considered as a required tool of art, as a transferable skill that can function across traditional media-based disciplines. Also, we will explore the other meaning of “critical faculty” — in terms of faculty’s potential to shape and/or not be limited by their institutions.

For more information, please visit

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