Sunday, 29 May 2016

#makinguse 15

The exhibition Really Useful Knowledge, followed by this book, looked into diverse procedural, non-academic, anti-hierarchical, grass-root educational situations primarily occupied with the transformative potentials of art. "The notion of “really useful knowledge” originated in workers’ awareness ofthe need for self-education in the early 19th century. In the 1820s and 1830s, workers’ organizations in the United Kingdomintroduced this conceptto describe a body of knowledge that encompassedvarious ‘unpractical’disciplines suchaspolitics, economics and philosophy, as opposed to “useful knowledge” proclaimed as suchby the business owners,who some time earlier had increasingly begun to invest in the advancement of their businessesby funding the educationofworkers in‘applicable’ skills and disciplines such as engineering, physics, chemistry or mathematics.Whereas the conceptof “usefulknowledge”operates as a tool of social reproduction and a guardian of the status quo, “really useful knowledge” demands changes by understanding the causes of exploitation and tracing back its origins within ruling ideology. It is a collective, emancipatory, theoretical, emotional, informative and practical quest that starts from acknowledging what we do not yet know”.