Factory Settings at Tate Exchange – Exploring personalised journeys through creative education

31 Jan 2018

From Wednesday 31 January to Friday 2 February 2018, Plymouth College of Art and Plymouth School of Creative Arts invite members of the public to hit factory reset on mainstream models of schooling by clocking into Factory Settings, the college and school’s education factory. As part of Tate Exchange, participants will have the opportunity to explore and experience personalised journeys through creative education, from 12pm until 5pm on each of the three days, on Level 5 of the Blavatnik Building, Tate Modern. A simultaneous network of educational production stations will take place remotely at Plymouth College of Art and Plymouth School of Creative Arts sites in the South West, with opportunities for members of the public to book tickets to visit Plymouth School of Creative Arts from 4pm to 6pm on Thursday 1 February, where there’ll be live music, a pop-up restaurant and students of all ages leading a variety of interactive art installations and experiences, all inspired by the theme of ‘production’.

Tate Exchange is an ambitious ‘open experiment’ which allows other organisations and members of the public to participate in Tate’s creative process, running events and projects on site and using art as a way of addressing wider issues in the world around us.

Factory Settings - Let's beta test a new, agile model of education

Posing the question ‘How does art make a difference to people’s lives and society?’ visitors to Factory Settings at Tate Modern will be encouraged to disrupt the system, deconstruct the production line and navigate their own routes through an eclectic range of workstations and encounters. By engaging in making and unmaking, learning and unlearning, participants will enjoy a transformative experience that cannot be prescribed or predetermined. In a world of automation, rediscover your creative autonomy and help design a new blueprint for the future of arts education. Each workstation will be designed and operated by staff and students from the school and college community.

All Factory Settings at Tate Modern activities are FREE and suitable for members of the public to drop in and clock in for shifts at any point throughout the three days. The factory will be open to all ages and abilities, with different production stations offering different experiences for participants to select from.

How can visitors participate?
From guerilla screen-printing to purposeful protest, and from student scrutiny boards to disruptive quality controllers – Factory Settings visitors can journey through a range of production stations, discovering the potential for creative encounters and leaving with a new perspective on what education is and can be.

School’s out and learning with purpose is in at the DE-SCHOOL station, where visitors can swap sitting at a desk for performative group 'swimming lessons' and experiment using fruit and vegetables as part of a playful alternative beauty regime.

There’ll also be opportunities for visitors to combine protest and politics by signing a manifesto on the importance of craft skills and joining a picket line that disrupts productivity across the production stations. Whichever path is chosen, every station offers a new way to participate, with lots of opportunities to create artwork to take home at the end of the session.

Making Learning

This is the second year that Plymouth College of Art and Plymouth School of Creative Arts have occupied Tate Exchange, following the Making Learning: Pop-Up School and Symposium in January 2017, which explored the success and value of their radical and progressive continuum of creative learning and practice in the South West established in 2013, ranging from early years to Masters level study.

Factory Settings at Tate Exchange builds on the outcomes of the Making Learning: Pop-Up School and Symposium to ask questions about the value of art and creativity to society and its impact on the lives of individuals, as well as questioning how we can challenge mainstream models of education to create something truly transformative that challenges conformity and promotes autonomy.

Professor Andrew Brewerton, Principal of Plymouth College of Art, said: “Authentic learning is transformative, not transactional. Factory Settings will dismantle the exam machine, clear the shop floor and restore the purpose of learning to the business of living a life. The Tate space offers new possibilities for learning and, in art education, there is no ‘subject’ to hide behind. So this is all about you. What are you going to make of all this?”


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