My principal intentions as instructor are: to equip each student with a critical awareness of art and education that includes a questioning of their ultimate functions; to facilitate ownership of process and product; to professionally train, while emphasizing the interdisciplinary value of artistic process; and to induce liberation from canonic limit.
My curricula are designed to foster (this) awareness, ownership, training/valuation, and liberation. Critical awareness is initiated through course components which: utilize the ordinary agendas and practices of art-making; and re-assign each student as their own director -- coupled within a friendly, energetic environment that seeks to breed power structure dissolution. The development of ownership, begun with the preceding practices, is spurred specifically through: requirements that each student frankly discuss and qualify their choices; act as primary observers / critics of each other's choices, and my treatment of everything which arises from this confluence as potentially relevant to the question at hand...at least for the moment. Professional, interdisciplinary training is undertaken through course(s) / components modeled after the artistic fields' conventions, cross-pollinated with "real world" applications of creative activity, and a pragmatic exchange of values between them. Liberation from canonic limit, (disciplinary or otherwise), is aggressively pursued through course(s) / components which: illustrate the often problematic "thought" processes of art-making; promote agendas and practices originating outside of art-making; and function to redirect students towards those endeavors most directly attuned with the satisfactions they seek.
My critique is intense, varied, drawn from many fields and deployed through many methods. In class, in individual meetings and through elaborate written commentary, I respond accordingly with practical assistance and critical review -- sometimes in poetry / prose, and quite often, kung-an. My critique raises questions -- "accurate" response is neither sought nor necessary. What I seek to provoke here are practices that will provide personal, useful transmutations of language and encourage (r)evolutions of thought and form. Contingency is an admixture of which I am only part.
These practices are employed with all students at all levels, varied only by degree.
My effectiveness in translating these practices and achieving my goals as an instructor is measured primarily through the developing breadth and depth of each student's work, within the clarity of their decisions, and in the ready enthusiasm of their engagements. It is perhaps most clearly evidenced in the resulting, stubborn demeanor of students who know that they are no longer simply imbuing their works with hopeful words. I hear it when students can precisely articulate why a contradictory suggestion does not fit. I feel it when students bring back something that is intense and authentic.
"Our" world suffers from a preponderant, panoptic sacerdotalism. My greatest ambition as an educator-artist is to serve simply as a transparent, dissolving prophet of this beliefs' destruction, fostering the practices of personal priests, each in visible pursuit of their own, partially visible god. A world engaged in this practice allows us all to get on with our own. Ultimately, we know where we want to go. It is my pleasure and my profession to help remove obstacles within the paths of these movements.