TIL PotW

Programme of the week

TIL PotW

Week Eleven:

The first week of the Final Workshop is over and today we are ready to start the second and last week of the workshop.

Last week everyone was supposed to move closer to an idea of what to do as their final project. They were told to focus on and work with their senses in many different ways and through different exercises including drawing and sound and so on, and then slowly different ideas and projects started to evolve.

But in this week we are sprinting the last meters. The students are continuing to work on they individual projects and they will be more than busy, because they have to be done before Saturday at 16 o’clock.

Because this is when we have an open exhibition with all their final projects and pieces, and you are all of course invite to come and have a look and celebrate the students and the first ever full-length program of the LungA School, which is almost at it’s end. We really hope to see you. And until then have a fantastic week.

grimurteaching

A diary from inside the child

grimurteachingIn the beginning of each new week we publish a story about the week that just passed at the LungA School. It is written from the inside and can be about anything. That’s all. This is the nineth chapter:

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I am sitting beside him on a big, blue plastic barrel. I am his assistant. Actually I was supposed to walk around with a hunchback and wear grey and brown clothes, he demanded it, but I forgot all about it, and he has already mentioned it to me.

In front of us eight people sit at tables with papers and pencils in front of them.

– Why is it important to draw, I ask him loud enough for everyone to hear it.

– Because then you have something to do when you are bored, he replies and looks at me as if it is the most well known fact in the world.

– And it is also good because you can draw your own world where you can do everything you want, he adds.

I nod my head and look down at the papers in my hand.

The guy next to me lives just across the street in a blue house. He has blond hair and wears football shoes. He is a kid. A nine-year-old kid. Right know he is facilitating a one-day workshop about drawing monsters for the students of the school.

A minute ago he walked around to every table to give individual advices to the students on how to improve their monsters.

– Maybe try to draw wings and horns, he told just about everyone of them.

We have been at it for about half an hour, doing different drawing exercises, and now it seems as though he is a little bit bored.

Or maybe it is just because of the candy he has eaten until now. I bought some candy on his desire and found four bowls, so each table with students could get a bowl. But then he decided that all four bowls should stand on his table so the students had to walk to him to have a piece. That also means that the liquorice and the M&M’s are within an arm’s length of him.

Earlier in the week him and I had a meeting, where we talked about what we should do during the workshop. It was his workshop and he should decide everything about it.

He said that he wanted them to draw monsters and to make a symbol to put on their drawings instead of initials. He also wanted to have candy and music. And that was about it. The rest of the meeting he spent fifty-fifty between showing me some of his own drawings of monsters and shooting me in the face with foam rubber bullets from his toy gun.

So in fear of the workshop becoming a ten minute long sugar disaster, I sit down the day before – like a real painstaking grown-up – and prepare to make it as perfect as possible. I come up with some different drawing exercises, write them on a piece of paper and then I try to gather a bigger arsenal of arguments of why the students should listen to and learn from a nine-year-old fellow.

My first argument is: just because.

My second argument is: kids are happier than grown-ups.

My third argument is: kids think differently, because they are not ruined yet.

But I don’t really believe that will convince anyone, so I go to Google and search for Picasso quotes.

Somewhere, sometime someone told me that Picasso once said something about kids and drawing. SO I go to the search engine and write:

Picasso + quotes

Dozens of quotes from the bold painter pops up and two of them catch my interest. I write them down and feel like an artistic authority is backing up the idea.

Back in the classroom I am still looking down at those papers. I am looking for the quotes. Oh, there they are:

– “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up”, I read out aloud and continue with the next one:

– “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child”.

Then I look in the direction of the teacher. He is looking down at the piece of paper he is drawing on while stretching the other arm towards the bowls of candy. He gets fingers around a green M&M and starts to pull it toward his mouth.

– Have you ever heard that before, I ask him.

He looks up, shakes his head and chews the green M&M.

– Okay, I say and ask him if he can remember what we decided to do next.

He ponder for a minute while looking at the ceiling.

– Oh, is it that they can just draw freely for 15 minutes, he asks.

But it is not time to free drawing. Actually we have never talked about giving any time to draw freely. At this point I don’t realize that it is probably because he himself would like to have 15 minutes to do whatever he wants to do, so I give the students a new assignment.

The nine-year-old teacher joins the assignment and starts to draw a leprechaun with a machine gun, but suddenly he knocks over a cup of coffee that floods the leprechaun and colours it brown. When I come back with paper to clean it up he has left the table and is pulling fabric out from the shelves. He wants to make a costume for the following day’s Halloween party.

At this point I realize that he is a kid, that he is just a kid, and no matter how much I prepare, no matter how big my arsenal of arguments is, he will still just be a kid. And kids don’t really care about arguments or perfection or predetermined exercises. Especially not when they have eaten candy for one and a half hour.

– And why should they, I asked myself while looking at him.

He has fund a pair of glasses and placed them on the tip of his nose. He walks to every table, and while looking over the frame he shakes everybody’s hand and says thank you for today. Now he wants to reward the students.

We move all the tables to the side and put eight chairs in a circle. I start the music and people start to walk around the chairs. In a moment I have to stop the music and everyone else have to sit down on a chair as fast as possible, because we are one chair short.

I look at them walking with my finger on the pause button. They are all smiling while moving attentively, just waiting for the music to stop.

I have forgotten everything about the arsenal of arguments and Picasso. Right now there is no need for arguments. I not sure the students learned anything about drawing, and I don’t think it really matters. Because I do know that they had some candy and that they have smiled several times during the workshop. And that is sometimes enough.

Maybe we should all just act a bit more like children more often instead of painstaking grown-ups, I think. Just play and draw monsters with big wings and horns. So we wont get bored, but instead create a world where we can do everything.

Then I press the button, and the music stops.

til potw 10

Programme of the week

til potw 10Week Ten:

So, yet another week is over and a new one has already begun, and this particular week is in a way very special. Because this week we are moving into a new chapter of the LungA Scholl’s Fall 2014 semester. And in many ways this chapter can be seen as the final chapter of the program. Because today is the first day of the two week-long final workshop.

The final workshop is as the name reveals the final workshop, the last workshop. But it is also a gathering and explosion of everything the students has learned, worked with and gone through since they arrived in Seyðisfjörður in September.

Basically, this all mean that the students have to figure out a project and work with it throughout the next two weeks. But they will of course get some help. Therefore the workshop is led and facilitated by the two Icelandic visual artists, curators and cultural entrepreneurs, Nina Magnúsdóttir and Daniel Björnsson.

Through talks, individual guidance and different exercises the two facilitators will help the students to create some goals for the period of the workshop and then figure out what to do and how to do it.

In principle the students can choose to work with and within whatever medium and theme they find interesting, but the two teachers will also make sure that there is a somewhat red line between the different pieces and projects.

All of this will end up in the students and teachers together creating a final space of complete exploration, which will erupt as an open exhibition in the end of week number two.

That day is Friday 28th of November, and you are of course all invited.

minerva release

minerva release

Goodmorning dear world!

This morning we are excited to announce that the Finnish poet Minerva Pietilä will be coming in the spring program to do a workshop in creative writing!

She was here recently and did a two-day workshop and beautiful words have ben filling the halls ever since. In the spring she will be back to do a full-week workshop and we are looking very much forward to this!

The spring program is still totally open for applications and you can see more about it HERE.

annaforapocalypse

A diary from inside the apocalypse

annaforapocalypseIn the beginning of each new week we publish a story about the week that just passed at the LungA School. It is written from the inside and can be about anything. That’s all. This is the eighth chapter:

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I am standing on a mountain by a waterfall that is below another waterfall. It is raining heavily and my holed running shoes are just about to drown.

In front of me is a girl. She is wearing a pair of white silk pants and a small blue top. I can see the top because the light-blue kimono jacket she is wearing over it is open.

Her hair is wet and her cheeks have slowly turned red and warm.

She is dancing. Her hand and arms are swinging everywhere – in front of her and to the sides. She bends her knees, gets up again. She punches the air, falls to the wet grass and gets back up. She is trying to catch her breath and pants as she is trying. She is dancing. Like a mad woman, like it was the last dance of her life.

And actually it is the last dance of her life.

Or at least it is supposed to look like it is the last dance of her life. Because when I zoom the picture a bit out, I also see a short guy in a brown suede coat and a tall guy in a black coat. One is controlling a camera, the other is holding an umbrella over that camera.

They are making a movie. A short movie called ‘Fin’. And they are doing it as a part of a workshop that circle around a post-apocalyptic theme.

Right now, though, I have a hard time imagining that in a couple of days this beautiful scene and this soaked dancer will turn blue and work as a symbol of a world that is going under.

– Cut, yells the guy with umbrella.

He is the director of the movie and also a student at the school. He’s glasses are covered with raindrops and while shooting he moves to the music he made for this purpose and plays from inside a plastic bag on the ground. He looks like he can’t be inside himself, as if something or someone is trying to break out. Every move is like a small twitch or blast.

As I watch him I smile to myself, because I know those moves. It is the moves of extreme excitement, the moves of exaggerated passion, and the moves of doing something that gives you so much joy, that you want to do all of it at the same time, but you can’t so you get all your build-up energy out in a physical way instead.

It amazes me that even after eight weeks of being under a constant bombardment of inspirations, assignments, workshops, different people, ideas, sound, images and visions, that students still have the energy and the lust to go fully and completely into almost every project they get thrown in front of their feet. And as if that wasn’t enough they also still take initiative to make their own stuff on the side, like making their own chocolate, building a whale, teaching each other how to dance, participating in the city’s theatre group and loads and loads of other things.

I mostly just go home, read a book, stare into the air and then fall asleep.

– Is it the age difference? Or is it really just because I am turning into a boring, old fart, who wakes up early in the morning and who puts his clothes on the hangers instead of on the floor, I wonder and look down myself and notice that I am wearing waterproof clothes and don’t really look that apocalyptic.

– Well, at least I still got some holes in my shoes, I think and shrug my shoulders.

The waterfall is roaring and the rain just makes it flare even more up than usually. Is this how he imagines the apocalypse would sound, if a big meteor would smash into earth and kill everything that breaths.

By the way, why is it that every time I think of the end of world, I think of a big meteor smashing into our earth? Is it because of the stories of the dinosaurs? Or is it because that is how it happens in Lars von Trier’s movie ‘Melancholia’? No. Wait. That can’t be, I haven’t even seen that movie. It most be something else.

But how else could the world go under? Too much Co2 in the air? An enormous ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano that would cover the sun for so long that all vegetation would die?

And why is it, as one of the two workshop holders pointed out earlier, that it is easier for us to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism for instance? What is it that draws us to the apocalypse?

How would it even look? How could it even look? Could the earth suddenly grow a pair of sharp teeth and eat itself? Could it be a rose that caught fire and burns until it vanishes and a new one grows? Or could it maybe just be a girl in a light-blue kimono dancing intense in front of a waterfall?

Oh, speaking of, we better get back to the girl in the silk pants and the light-blue kimono by the waterfall. She isn’t dancing anymore. Now she is now lying in the wet grass with closed eyes and with the camera and the umbrella hanging above her face.

She is done dancing. Actually she is dead. But the mountain is still standing and the waterfall is still roaring. So maybe the world isn’t going under after all. Just her world. If so she used her last minutes dancing. Dancing the last dance of her life.

57. himlenogbjergenetop

Programme of the week

57. himlenogbjergenetopWeek Nine:

The snow has been falling to the ground for most of the weekend, so this Monday morning we are waking up to a white and fluffy Seyðisfjörður. A Monday that marks the beginning of the ninth week of the LungA School’s Fall 2014 program.

Last week we had the great, Swedish animation duo Performing Pictures here with us. They brought the apocalypse with them but luckily Seyðisfjörður and hopefully also the rest of world still exist after all. That means that we can now give you the programme for this new November week.

In some ways this week is similar to our seventh week. Because once again it is a kind of festival week where a lot of different activities is going down.

Among them are a drawing and a bookbinding workshop with the artists that go under the name RoShamBo. And then we will walk through the town to the Technical Museum and have a printing workshop, where we will learn how to print the classic way.

Also there will be a workshop in how to make your own chocolate, we will once again jump into the fiord to swim and on Thursday our youngest workshop holder ever will do a workshop under the title ‘Monster in the closet’.

Besides all of this the ‘Infinite Learning Cave’ will once again open up it enormous arms. And of course there will be time to work in the studio on once own projects, which also sets the scene for the two following weeks which are dedicated to the students final project. But you will hear much more about that next Monday.

For now – please have an exaggerated week.