The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Art mediation

The Manifesta Workbook is a free, print-on-demand art mediation resource. Manifesta biennials set out to investigate, develop and reflect on new aspects of contemporary art, specifically within a European context. Education, in the broadest sense of the word, is not an additional program for Manifesta; it is at the core of how Manifesta works. During the biennial exhibitions, but also with such projects as the Manifesta Journal and now the Manifesta Workbook, we strive to create meaningful, long-term cultural dialogue and to build strong links between European and international artists and art audiences. The Manifesta Workbook is a growing resource aimed at facilitating access to the various approaches to art mediation, as developed during the successive Manifesta biennials. In keeping with the literal sense of its name, the Workbook is intended as a tool to help open debate, rather than as a theoretical reference book on the subject of art mediation. The Workbook is organised as an expanding collection of non-linear chapters, able to be downloaded separately. Each of these chapters addresses a topical subject in the field of art mediation and includes a hands-on assignment. This provides you with a platform for discussion, including inspirational ideas for developing art mediation projects and practical guidelines as how to put developed skills and knowledge into practice.
Gallery Education – or preferably Art Mediation – today is a vibrant field. Throughout the visual arts sector one can observe a proliferation of education-based practices. Old methods and prejudices are being cast aside, sparking a strong debate on the role and function of education in exhibition settings. To date relatively little material has been available to open up this discussion to a wider audience. With the Workbook Manifesta hopes to create a growing platform for the development and exchange of methods for art mediation. As such Manifesta will open up the platform by inviting guest contributions by our colleagues working at other biennials, museums and other art mediation contexts. So;
— Are you an art mediator or student and would you like hands-on material to complement your theory books? What are you waiting for? Start downloading right away, and keep an eye out for new chapters as they become available.
— Are you an artist or curator, and is education and audience inclusion part of your practice? Scan the contents based on those keywords that most interest you. Our subject matter, methodologies and discursive models are certainly not exclusively reserved for art mediators.
— Are you director or manager of an art institution and are you wondering what all the fuss is about? Help your education team by discovering how relevant and recognisable some of the subjects may be for your own practice.
— Are you nonetheless interested in mediating between art and its audience? You are more than welcome to use the Workbook in whatever fashion or situation you wish (and please send us an email about it, since we are most interested in how the Workbook can be used in different ways).
The Workbook is available at:

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