Seizing the moment is not a response normally attributed to academic curriculum development. In response to the international art work Our Day Will Come (ODWC), presented at the Tasmania School of Art in late 2011, a complementary studies unit was developed to seize the moment, and the momentum, of a month-long dialogical art project.
ODWC was an ‘alternative’ art school that cross-pollinated ideas and works of international artists, writers and others from across the world, alongside a core group of local artists and academics for a month-long iterative project. The energy generated and the creative innovation that resulted at times presented challenges for the local art fraternity, within and outside academia, but nonetheless precipitated vigorous co-option and collective engagement.
The ‘comp studies’ unit was timed to capture the generative energy left in the wake of the influx of interlopers into the Tasmanian School of Art, and devised to incorporate collaborative participatory practice and to address the idea of the artist-curator. As teachers and researchers new to the territory, our aim was to explore, devise and facilitate rather than teach, and to permit students to devise conditions for their own learning. Salient points about the development of the unit was that it occurred as a result of capturing a moment of productive energy—something difficult to achieve within restrictive institutional conditions, and that it allowed experimentation with teaching collaborative practice in the visual arts, an imperative signaled by the Creative and Performing Arts Academic Standards Statement, 2010