School of Art, Media, and Technology

Fine Arts Faculty to Host “Unlearning Learning” at Art in General

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Unlearning Learning

Maria Rosa Sossai & BFAMFAPhD

Saturday, October 20, 2018, 4—6pm

Art in General

145 Plymouth St

Brooklyn NY 11201

Organized by Avi Alpert & Rit Premnath

This season Art in General will continue to host an ongoing experimental discussion series organized by Shifter.

Learning and Unlearning is a series of events led by artists who use formats beyond the academic lecture or seminar. The aim of these shared gatherings is to unlearn the assumptions and prejudices we hold about each other and ourselves. Previous installments in the series have included Unlearning Work in Fall 2017 and Unlearning Dystopia in Spring 2018.

Unlearning Learning, the first event of this new season, will consider the relationship between art and education, which lies at the heart of the entire series. Artist collective BFAMFAPhD and researcher Maria Rosa Sossai will consider how art and pedagogy can become tools for understanding the relations of power that shape institutions and practices, but also allow us to imagine new approaches to art and education. As practitioners who have developed workshops, teaching tools, and artworks that blur the boundary between art and educational practices, they will use this event to not simply speak about this subject, but also to activate some of their ideas


BFAMFAPhD is a collective of artists, designers, technologists, organizers, and educators who work in the intersection of art, technology, and political economy. Our current work is a pedagogical project, including a book, a deck of cards, and an open-access website that offers practices of collaboration, contemplation, and social-ecological analysis for visual artists. It is for arts educators who want to connect art to economy; for students who want to make artworks that reflect the conditions of their own production. The project provides a framework that asks readers to explore both who they are becoming as they make projects and also what their projects are becoming as they takes shape and circulate in the world.


Maria Rosa Sossai is a researcher in the field of artistic practices and educational policies, based in Rome. In 2012 she founded ALA Accademia Libera delle Arti, an independent platform for education and contemporary art that conceives the artistic practice as a process of shared knowledge. Among its recent projects a series of workshops and exhibitions of Italian and international artists at FAI Villa e Collezione Panza, Varese. From December 2013 to March 2015, she was appointed artistic director of AlbumArte, with whom she has collaborated since 2011. She also curated projects as well as exhibitions in commercial galleries, art foundations and museums both in Italy and abroad such MAN museum in Nuoro, Real Academia de España, the American Academy, Fondazione Pastificio Cerere, AlbumArte and Nomas Foundation in Rome, Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Istanbul, the Tel Aviv Museum and, with Laura Cherubini, the touring exhibition of the Italian artist Carla Accardi in Toru, Budapest, Thessaloniki and Athens.


Art in General is a nonprofit contemporary art organization that assists artists with the production and presentation of new work. Founded in 1981 by artists, it has been a pioneering force unlike any other institution in New York City, supporting thousands of local and international artists early in their careers. Alongside Art in General’s exhibition programs that take place in New York and internationally, its public programs and publications examine critical and timely issues in artistic and curatorial practice. Offering support that will have a lasting impact on artists remains the cornerstone of its vision and programs.


Shifter is a topical publication that aims to illuminate and broaden our understanding of the intersections between contemporary art, politics, and philosophy. Shifter remains malleable and responsive in its form and activities, and represents a diversity of positions and backgrounds in its contributors. The publication is edited by Sreshta Rit Premnath and Avi Alpert.

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