the story goes further...
It is the year 2045. This years Footnotes gathering will be hosted by the School of Commons. This meeting was named after a function within the Learning Platform, a tool devised in 2021 to facilitate knowledge and resource exchange, host digital learning formats (seminars, lectures, etc.), coordinate the use of physical resources (workshops, seminar rooms, technical equipment, etc.) and publish or present theoretical and artistic practices.Slowly over the last 24 years, the platform was deployed globally across numerous Art and Design Schools. In some places, academies and educational institutions decided to repurpose and cut back on their financing of physical classrooms, studios, and workshops and invested heavily in digital infrastructures such as data centers and connectivity services. The reasoning was that needs-based rentals of workspaces and equipment would be far more economical than the maintenance of often centuries-old buildings. Of course, this was not the case everywhere. Other schools decided to use the Learning Platform ‘lightly’, emphasizing the need to meet and study in physical environments. Without a doubt, these different models emerged due to the changing and asymmetric educational policies adopted by regional, national and international governance bodies.Yet over the entire time, another trend emerged, threading its way through faculties and institutions.Footnotes, a standardized functionality hard-coded into the Learning Platform, grew into a buzzing place of transgenerational exchange. Initially thought to simply comment and annotate institutionally canonized corpora of knowledge, different working groups formed. In activating the space of the margin, these groups revisited feminist theories of critical pedagogy, the black radical tradition, decolonial methodologies, artistic gestures of subversion, and practices found in medieval scriptures to understand this place as one with a rich history of emancipatory struggle and resistance. For more than twenty-two years now, the Footnotes function of the Learning Platform has become its own platform for individuals and working groups to discuss and organise around issues of arts education. Over time, many different conversations and threads emerged between the lines. These threads coalesced into working groups, in-person meetings, and larger gatherings of translocal exchange. In April 2045, one of these groups called the School of Commons put out a call for a gathering. It didn’t take long until seven engaged groups signed up. They called themselves: DIS/CONTINUITIES, ORGANOLOGY, CHAOS/MOSIS, COMMONALITIES, RE/PROGRAMMING, SYMBIOSIS, and PLASTICITY. Each group would explore its unique theme.In a long message thread, the groups decided that there would be 2 ½ days dedicated to workshops, while the last 1 ½ days would host a conference. The latter would be committed to synthesizing the many discussions and thought forms that emerged over the last decades and were processed during the workshop sessions.During the workshops, the groups will deepen the understanding of their research and practices, situating them both within their local environments and wider global developments.Carving out new pathways for arts education and zones to nurture common bodies of knowledge builds on the efforts of many generations. Therefore some of the working groups will be annotating video lectures from future archives of the past. Others invited remote speakers to share experiences, provocations, and reflections from their own contexts and conditions.Because not everyone will be able to attend, newfound insights will be shared through the Footnotes Channel, the shared knowledge base of Footnotes. In addition, those who are not able to attend will be remotely embodied by a real-life avatar, who will visit the different groups over the course of the workshops and transmit questions and comments.In the end, this will all be an experiment, but one that will hopefully allow for Footnotes to walk all over the bodies of organised texts.