September 8, 2017

New York’s Bruce High Quality Foundation University Will Close

NEW YORK—For the Brooklyn Rail, Seth Cameron, a painter, writer, and now-former president of the Bruce High Quality Foundation University, writes about the change in circumstances over the influential, free, not-art-school art school’s eight year run that have led to its closure:

“We learned quickly that classes where anyone can attend can actually close down the free exchange of ideas. We learned that democracy, in all its bureaucratic glory, can stifle individual freedom. How much? is the only answerable question. And while we’ve spent the last eight years tinkering with what free and open mean, the context of BHQFU itself has started to congeal into a fixed meaning.

We got lazy. I got lazy. It’s just easier to call BHQFU a ‘school’ or an ‘institution’ or ‘nonprofit’ or an ‘art project.’ It’s just easier to not worry about where the money comes from, or how the curriculum gets designed. And without any sign giving us an urgent I’m going to piss myself-sense of the imperative of participation in a social contract, Donald Trump is going to keep being the President of the United States and BHQFU is going to become just another offering on a ‘Free Crap To Do In Brooklyn’ listicle.

So, before BHQFU stops meaning ‘THE SHIT PILE BEFORE US’ and starts meaning ‘someone else will fix it,’ let’s take down the sign. BHQFU is dead. There’s no space, no classes, no faculty, no students, no staff, no president, no plan. All that remains is a problem. It’s my problem, Bruce’s problem, and it’s yours if you want it.”

Cameron’s text can be read in full here.

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