We designed workshop ‘Values, Tools, Emotions and Economics’ for Syllabus V, and developed a new version of it for Syllabus VI.
Syllabus is a national, collaboratively-produced alternative learning programme, delivered by Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge; Eastside Projects, Birmingham; Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts), London; S1 Artspace, Sheffield; and Spike Island, Bristol.
We developed practical exercises that explored the dynamics of group working using the topics of ‘Values, Tools, Emotions and Economics’. As a material that’s moldable and reshapable, we used clay in fast-paced making sessions to model how different areas of our working lives, and those of people we work with, might rub up against, support, smother or confront each other. Working as individuals and in groups we took on roles of director, editor and assimilator, to think about being less precious about our own creations and protecting what’s useful for the group.
Totems for the four workshop areas – Values, Tools, Emotions and Economics – were generated by the artists taking part, giving them a snapshot of their group, and the commonalities and differences within it. Given the lack of physical meetings for the group due to Covid leading up to this workshop, our session drew on ideas of sharing, physical collaboration and exchange through making.
We fired their experimental creation and returned it to them for their next Syllabus VI meeting.