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Portrait of An Eye, February, 2013 Site Specific Installation

9200 Valley View St.
Cypress, CA 90630-5897
February 28th, 2013 - April 11th, 2013
Opening: February 28th, 2013 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

orange county
Mon-Fri 10-2
Cypress College
SOCIAL PRACTICE, mixed-media, installation, performance


“Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.”
-Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Teach-In is a series of artist projects and relational activities, which manipulate methodologies from traditional education to create a temporary school within a school. As is common with artist social practices, the events organized by the artists through the gallery focus on topics such as aesthetics, ethics, collaboration, persona, media strategies, and social activism. These issues are often central to artworks and projects that cross into public and social spheres. Artists working within these modalities either choose to co-create their work with a specific audience or propose critical interventions within existing social systems that inspire debate or catalyze social exchange.1

The first teach-in began in 1965, conceived by Marshall Sahlins, professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. A group of University of Michigan professors planned on cancelling classes to protest the US occupation of Vietnam. After much debate, the professors decided to extend their classes to last all night, effectively occupying the campus. The teach-in consisted of guest speakers, seminars and films. Over 3,000 students attended and 200 faculty members showed their support. Other schools across the country started using teach-ins on their own campuses, and at Michigan Teach-Ins were subsequently held on a wide range of topics such as the environment and women's issues.2

The invited artists are also teachers who employ teaching tactics within their art practices. Their art-education praxes operate in a manner as to inspire reflection and action upon the world in order to transform it in some way. The collective and participatory atmosphere during the exhibition should be viewed as an opportunity to bring challenging questions and dialogue to the campus through convivial, user-friendly artistic projects. Teach-In will serve as a platform to organize actual teach-ins for and by the staff and students at Cypress College. A calendar of workshops will be posted on the Cypress College Art Gallery Facebook page.

2. Jack Rothman to William Haber, 1972, pp. 11-12, Teach-in Vertical File, Bentley Historical Library