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Learning Sprint #2 | ‘Play: Redux’

‘Play: Redux’ is a two-week learning sprint, the third in the 40 Credit Themes Course within the MA Contemporary Art Theory programme.


The great trouble with art in this country [the United States] at present, and apparently in France also, is that there is no spirit of revolt— no new ideas appearing among the younger artists. They are following along the paths beaten out by their predecessors, trying to do better what their predecessors have already done. In art there is no such thing as perfection. And a creative lull occurs always when artists of a period are satisfied to pick up a predecessor’s work where he dropped it and attempt to continue what he was doing. When on the other hand you pick up something from an earlier period and adapt it to your own work an approach can be creative. The result is not new; but it is new insomuch as it is a different approach.

(Duchamp, 1946)

Play: Redux Resources

To begin with, here is an evolving resource list for this sprint:

Weeks 3 & 4 Play: Redux Resources (link)

What will we be doing in this learning sprint?
As a way of responding to the provocation, we will explore how (and if) play can redux our artistic processes of thought and action by revisting, remixing and modifying prior materials generated during the first Theme in Contemporary Art Learning Sprint (Weird) thus far to create new understandings and approaches to our learning and making.
To do so we will explore organology, copyleft and sampling practices to theoretical practices and materials produced by one another so far on the course by remixing and replaying materials from our portfolios. If you are attempting this sprint ‘in the open’ then any corpus or catalogue of materials that are open access or have been produced by you will suffice as base materials for these activities.
What else might this learning sprint involve?
During Sprint #2 we will harness the ambiguity of play (Sutton-Smith, 2001) as a metacommunicative (Bateson, 1976) and metacognitive (Chick, 2012) process that can reframe prior learning experiences and allow us to explore the possibilities of critically reconfiguring them into new articulations of knowlegde and provocations for future action.
In the post-Huizingian (1970) conception of play, it is a modality of being and doing (Bogost, 2016; Sicart 2014) and as such can be applied to anything. It is not only limited to games and gamification of experience, this sprint will investigate the posibilities this perspective enables and/or limits and what practices we can reflectively develop to pursue these aims.

Week 8

Monday 8th November | Day One – “Play it Again Sam!” |Jake Watts | R.02B, Hunter Building, Lauriston Campus

10:00-10:30 | Introduction to the Sprint

10:30-11:30 | M.V.S.E: Framing Our Play – This session will examine the M.V.S.E (Watts, 2016) workshop as a model of organology for adpating, remixing, reenacting and playing artworks as scores for future experiences. The workshop was commissioned by MANY Studios of Glasgow and iteratively developed for the Icelandic Academy of the Arts and takes George Brecht’s propositional score ‘Motor Vehicle Sundown [Event]’ (1960) composed for his tutor John Cage as the basis for a paragogical workshop.

11:30-12:30 | Basho Portfolio Review – In your designated bashos you will review the materials you have co-produced and work to identify a specific set of activities or materials that can provide the basis for you to remix your past experiences and compose a new way of scoring them for others to engage with in consideration of your summative project book submission.

Wednesday 10th November | Day 2 – “Slay it Again Pam!” | Lecture Theatre O17, Hunter Building, Lauriston Campus

10:00-11:30 | follow this link for a breakdown of assigned readings for the group to work, please engage with these readings before our class together. During the first part of our session together we will reflect on the reading each group has completed.

11:30-12:30 | We will work together to develop our collective scores this will involve working in your bashos to refine and rework your portfolio materials to score a new version of the course materials as an OER.

We will work in Lecture Theatre O17, Hunter Building, Lauriston, the lecture theatre projector will be used to screen ‘Playtime’ by Jaques Tati (1967).

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Jake Watts 2021-23


As much as possible of the Play: Redux sprint  will be taught ‘in the open’ (OER)

This page contains information specific to MA CAT students, but, if it’s open, you are free to use it providing you stay within the license of the OER:  ‘Play: Redux’ | Learning Sprint designed by Dr Jake Watts and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.



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