the expanded education programme

The Expanded Education Programme, was envisioned as a series of engagements with students and teachers to identify existing frameworks of learning across art colleges in India, and to imagine new directions in pedagogical practices within and around these institutions.
Facilitated by Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art, the Programme focused on conducting nine workshops held between August and November 2018 at art colleges and other spaces in different cities across the country.  The outcomes of these will be further deliberated upon in a publication as well as a conference on art education in March 2019.

Running in parallel to the exhibition platform “Making as Thinking”, the Expanded Education Programme (EEP) is a long-term enquiry into the paradigms from within which art students emerge into the world – their institutions, educators/mentors and their local contexts of learning. At a time when the art world has acknowledged and embraced ‘the educational turn’ what do we make of our decades-old government art schools and expanding list of newer ones? What roles and modes do educators need to employ? And what do students need to be equipped with to engage in an art practice that extends beyond making? This study also sets up EEP as a symbiotic platform that distributes resources available to the Biennale as well as its partner institutions to address the needs of the art students across India.

EEP Research Team includes Bhooma Padmanabhan, Vidya Shivadas, Karthik KG and Agastya Thapa


20-27 August 2018
Workshop on Intermedia Arts: Sound and Visual Expressions
by Dr Igal Myrtenbaum and B.V. Suresh


S.N.School of Arts and Communication, University of Hyderabad Other participating colleges: Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University; Andhra University, Visakhapatnam; Sri Venkateshwara College of Fine Arts, Hyderabad and Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University, Hyderabad


3-8 October 2018
Workshop on Intermedia Arts: Sound and Visual Expressions
by Dr Igal Myrtenbaum and B.V. Suresh


The School of Visual Arts, Veer Narmad South Gujarat University
Other participating colleges: Mass Communication and English, VNSGU, Surat; Auro University Surat; CVM College of Fine Arts, Anand, Gujarat; Faculty of Fine Arts, MS University of Baroda; MA Parikh Arts and Fine Arts College, Palampur.

The two versions of the ‘Workshop on Intermedia Arts: Sound and Visual Expressions’ took place in Hyderabad and Surat and focused on exploring the process of making through both ‘digital’ and ‘analogue’ exercises on Time. The role of ‘making’ was foregrounded, allowing the students to work their way through the process to the conceptual premises. Technology was unpacked as an aid and extension to artistic creativity, allowing students to re-discover these technologies of making through building their own processes. These presentation and discussion sessions were interspersed with Plugged Sessions where the students worked with softwares like Audactiy, MaxMSP to create/edit sound and Unplugged Sessions which included bodily improvisations through theatre exercises where the body was experienced as the site of sound. During the final stage all these different modules culminated into a collaborative work with pieces of video, sound, performances. This collective way of working with others and experimenting with diverse media raised the level of energy for the students which was the big takeaway from this workshop.

The Inter-Media Workshops were developed collaboratively by Prof. B.V. Suresh, Artist & Educator, Department of Fine Arts, S.N. School of Arts and Communication, University of Hyderabad, India, and Dr. Igal Myrtenbaum, Music Composer & Educator, Bar-Ilan University and Levinsky College of Education, Tel Aviv, Israel.


12-18 September 2018
Technologies and/of art by Santhosh Sadanandan


Faculty of Arts, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit Other participating colleges: RLV College of Music and Fine Arts, Thrippunithura; Raja Ravi Varma Centre  of Excellence for Visual Arts, Mavelikkara; College of Fine Arts, Thrissur and College of Fine Arts, Thiruvanathapuram

’Technologies and/ of Art ’ workshop explored political, philosophical, aesthetical debates around the questions of technology and also its reciprocation within artistic practices. The workshop was structured around the texts of Martin Heidegger, Walter Benjamin amongst other philosophers’ concerns with technology. The mode of this workshop was primarily lecture-based followed by discussions. These conversations pushed students to think beyond instrumental notions of technology and develop a deeper understanding and its primacy in terms of art practice. The discussions opened up the following ideas amongst others: ‘Aura’ in work of art, ‘Aestheticisation of Politics’ , ‘Politicisation of Aesthetics’, ‘enframing’, language as a technology and how it enframes the way we think, how caste operates as a technology in the Indian context. Apart from the lecture sessions also sat through different screenings – which ranged from Hannah Gadsby's Nanette to an episode from a sci-fi series, a documentary on the Helvetica font and a TED talk about the significance of language in thinking. Also, they collectively engaged in ‘meme’ making using photocopied images which resulted in interesting memes about the conditions of Faculty of Art and their ongoing protests against the administration regarding the complete lack of basic infrastructure like classrooms and toilet facilities at the faculty. The recent floods worsened the conditions. These works were later put up around the canteen area for the public to view. All these exercises also helped them to expand their textual understanding around art and technology into practice taking shape in different formats and mediums.

The ‘Technologies and/ of Art’ workshop was developed by Santhosh Sadanand, art historian and Associate Professor, School of Culture and Creative Expressions, Ambedkar Universtiy of Delhi, Delhi.


24 – 28 September, 2018
Erasure & Reclamations: Labour and Migration in Song
by Rangoato Hlasane


School of Culture and Creative Expressions, Ambedkar University Delhi
Other participating colleges: College of Art, Delhi and Faculty of Fine Arts, Jamia Milia Islamia University

The workshop Erasures & Reclamations: Labour and Migration in Song explored a module of community engagement via symbolic creative interventions through song and its aesthetic accompaniments to create a recuperative space for narration that may otherwise escape the dominant and/or the ‘official’.

Responding to the third semester module on community engagement, public art and collaborative practices at SCCE, AUD and the growing interest among art students across various institutions to work in the public domain, the workshop aimed to study and engage the contradictions presented by our subjectivities in relation to our own formations when we consider and enact projects of a collaborative and participatory nature. It proposed to deploy the ‘sonic’ as a point of interest and departure.

Ra began the workshop by inviting participating to draw up their family trees and turn these into ‘Praise Poems’, an important cultural and political form in the African context, that works with self-affirmation and awareness, and equally analysis and critique. The process, grounded in this initial enquiry of the self, began to move outwards to explore other narratives and forms that spoke of reading and writing beyond the formal text. With the support of our knowledge partners Centre for Community Knowledge, AUD the students engaged with diverse set of resource persons who spoke of their practices and engagements with communities around them – this included CCK Researchers themselves, Irshad Alam, a Qissa Goi practitioner from Old Delhi, Arati Jaiman of Gurgaon ki Awaaz, the only civil society-run community radio station in the NCR region of Delhi, Mahesh (MC Freezak) and Sandeep (MC Akshay Kumar), rappers and members of Khirkee 17. Each interaction allowed the group to critically reflect on the modes of engagement and to examine the different speech acts, poems and songs as texts. The process critically looked at theory and praxis, using each site and each interaction as a focus, to raise a set of generative enquiries around this relationship of the self and the other.

The workshop was developed by Rangoato Hlasane Ra, a cultural worker, DJ, educator and co-founder of Keleketla! Library in Johannesburg. He holds a masters degree in Visual Art from the University of Johannesburg and teaches at the University of the Witwatersrand. Rangoato is committed to ‘art/s education’ with a social justice agenda and is also an active member of ARAC (Another Roadmap Africa Cluster).


24 – 29 September 2018
Ways of Seeing the City by Kausik Mukhopadhyay


Sir J.J. School of Art Other participating colleges: SNDT Women’s University, Pune; Department of Fine Arts, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad; Bharti Vidyapeeth College of Fine Arts, Pune and Government College of Art and Design, Nagpur

Ways of Seeing the City’ workshop emerged from an intersectional zone of art and architecture. The entire workshop was structured with this approach of developing new ways of seeing the city and building a ‘kinetic sculpture’ in response to this study. The educators introduced the students to different ways of map-making to visualize the ongoing process of a place and capture its livelihood through the works of designers, artists, and architects. The students formed into groups and each group decided to work on one of these nine locations for their projects: Bhuleshwar, Banganga, Chowpatty beach, BBD Chawls, Crawford Market, Mangaldas Market, Dalal street, Bhochidaka, CSMT station. The initial task for the groups was to visit these localities and document the place as photographs, videos, drawings etc which they presented next day. The next step for the groups was to culminate their findings from the places and come up with ideas to build a ‘kinetic sculpture’. The educators introduced the term ‘kinetic sculpture’ by presenting artworks especially through the works of Alexander Calder, Jean Tinguely, Theo Jansen among few others. In a short span of few days the teams managed to build works inspired from the locality they visited. On the final day these works were exhibited for a mixed group of artist, art historian, curator, educator among other students.

The Workshop ‘Ways of Seeing the City’ was developed by educators Kausik Mukhopadhyay and Sonal Sundararajan. Kausik and Sonal come from the architecture background and are also fellow educators at Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture and Environment Studies, Mumbai. Kausik is also renowned in the art world for his kinetic sculptures which are part of his longtime art practice.

CHENNAI  17 – 23 October 2018    City as artist’s studio  by Sanathanan Thamotharampillai

17 – 23 October 2018
City as artist’s studio by Sanathanan Thamotharampillai

Participating colleges: College of Arts and Crafts, Chennai, Government College of Fine Arts, Kumbakkonam, and Bharathiyar Palkalai Koodam, Pondicherry

City as artist’s studio developed as a series of intense conversations with the students from the art colleges of Chennai, Pondicherry and Kumbakkonam, about the need for an informed and critical ‘art practice’ that grows beyond the act of making art. The workshop unpacked the city of Chennai and its ‘other side’ to the students through a series of Memory Works, or walks around the city with local scholars, artists and activists, thus enabling the students to re-engage with questions of gender, caste, history, memory and the archive in relation to their own practice.

This workshop was developed by Sanathanan Thamotharampillai, the Jaffna-based artist, art educator and co-founder of the Sri Lanka Archive of Contemporary Art, Architecture, and Design (SLAAD). He is a Senior Lecturer in Art History, Department of Fine Arts, Jaffna University, and was an advisor on Sri Lanka's national curriculum for teaching art in schools.


29 October 29 – 02 November, 2018
Another Story: Artists’ Museums, Alternative Histories by Federica Martini

Faculty of Fine Arts, Jamia Millia Islamia Other participating college: College of Art, Delhi

The workshop Another Story: Artists’ Museums, Alternative Histories, explored curation as a method of meaning making for students. Building on discussions around selected artists’ museums, it addressed the notion of collection as part of an artistic and curatorial practice. What happens when we consider substituting institutional museum visions with individual artistic and curatorial narratives, obsessions and fictional acts? How may the collecting impulse inscribe in an artistic practice? Setting the tone with Orhan Pamuk’s Modest Manifesto for the Museum – which makes a bid for stories instead of epics, homes instead of monuments and expression instead of representation – the group examined how such museums rephrase the activities of collecting and curating as at once subjective, convivial and sentimental. They explored thinking about such exhibitory structures that situate themselves somewhere between social and personal histories, between high and low culture, between private and collective memory and between nostalgic and impulsive registers.

The students worked with personal objects and timelines as well as exercises in mapping the neighbourhood and a visit to Saiyidain Manzil, a home of a distinguished social activist in Jamia Nagar that also doubles up as the office of Muslim Women’s Forum and Khwaja Ahmed Abbas Memorial Trust. The workshop culminated in a display exercise where the participants reflected on curatorial as a method, and via this act of adopting, parodying and commenting on the museal strategies, began to consider the museum as a site where knowledge is produced and not merely re-presented.

The workshop was conducted by art historian and curator Federica Martini. She is dean of Visual Arts at the Ecolecantonale d’art du Valais (ECAV). Previously, she was Head of the MAPS Master program at ECAV, and a member of the curatorial departments of the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, MuséeJenischVevey, Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts/Lausanne and the Festival des Urbaines. In 2015-16 she was a research fellow at the IstitutoSvizzero di Roma. Together with Patrick de Rham and Elise Lammer she initiated the Museum of Post-Digital Cultures (2012). She has many publications to her credit which include Blackout Magazine: Art Labour and Olivetti poesiaconcreta (2018, with C. Nüssli): My PhD is my art practice. Notes on the Art PhD in Switzerland (2017, with P. Gisler); Vedialla voce: traversare (2016, Traces); Publishing Artistic Research (SARN, 2014, with B. Drabble); Open Source and Artistic Research (SARN, 2014, with B. Drabble); Tourists Like Us: Critical Tourism and Contemporary Art (with V. Mickelkevicius, 2013); Pavilions/Art in Architecture (2013, Bruxelles: La Muette); Just Another Exhibition: Stories and Politics of Biennials (2011, Milan: postmediabooks).


29 October – 5 November 2018
Making Materiality Matter: Art History as the History of Making
by Sarada Natarajan


B.K. College of Arts and Crafts Other participating college:
Government College of Art and Crafts, Kalikhote

What would the History of Art (in any historical/geographical context) look like if it was reframed as the History of Making? Aptly titled “Making Materiality Matter: art history as the history of making” the workshop focused on ‘slowing down’ and re-engaging with three key areas of an artists’ practice – materiality, making, and matter. By engaging the students in a practical basket weaving crafts exercise, a deep reading of a historical text related to the building of Konark’s famous Sun Temple, and site-visits to Udayagiri caves and Konark Sun temple, the workshop gave way to days-long discussions around materiality vs. matter; art and craft; affordances, resistances and agency of material, and in turn the role of the artist; and most importantly the understanding of processes and making.

This workshop was developed by Dr. Sarada Natarajan, an art historian and educator, who has taught for more than a decade to students of art history, practicing artists and students of theatre at the University of Hyderabad. She helped formulate the art history syllabus for the Fine Art Department at Shiv Nadar University and taught courses there for three years. Her research interests include ancient and medieval Indian sculpture and iconography, art historiography, art history pedagogy and adopting new materialist approaches to understand art practices from the past. Her work is also inspired by her own training in Carnatic music and interest in ecology.


1 - 7 November 2018
The School of Everyday: Practice as Pedagogy
by Mriganka Madhukaillya


Participating Colleges: Government College of art and crafts, Guwahati; Kokrajhar Music and Fine Arts college, Kokrajhar, Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan; and Department of Fine Arts, Assam University, Silchar

A temporary laboratory of thinking and practice was set up in Guwahati in the workshop titled The School of Everyday: Practice as Pedagogy. The idea of the workshop was to create both in thought and practice a critical pedagogy in the future for the North East region. Through an intense week of living and working together, the participants were given space to reflect on two key words – ‘Experience’ and ‘Experimentation’. Taking cues from the seminal essay by humanist geographer Yi-Fu Tuan titled Life as a Field trip, participants deepened their understanding of how these words played out in their practice. The week included a range of activities from reading and discussing, to presentations by practitioners from various fields, daily sessions on self-awareness with mental health experts, film screenings and walks through different parts of Guwahati doing various ‘field’ exercises and using the experiences and observations gathered to provide a context for work.

 What was interesting about the workshop was the composition of its mentors and the participants. The participants came from different art institutions in Assam - Guwahati, Silchar and Kokrajhar, and also Mizoram and Santiniketan. In terms of mentors, the core educator Mriganka invited other resource persons to intervene and shape the workshop– this included artists like Maneshwar Brahma, Nikhileshwar Barua, Raj Kumar Mazinder and Debananda Ulup and the archaeologist Manzil Hazarika. The daily sessions on self-awareness and mindfulness were carried out Dr Sangeeta Goswami and Abhijit Goswami from MIND India. Both of them have been working extensively across Assam to provide tools to young people to improve their critical and creative faculties as well as strengthen their coping and negotiating skills. And finally the logistical support and participation of the members of the Guwahati based artist collective ANGA Northeast – which included Dharmendra Prasad, Sanjib Kalita and Ankan Dutta – added an important dimension to the workshop where the questions of pedagogy, conditions of working and infrastructure were also reflected upon by young artists practicing in the city. The focus of the workshop was not so much to provide participants with insight into a new medium or thematics but to reorient their idea of practice itself and to prepare the ground for an interdisciplinary approach which relied on different knowledge systems - art, ecology, archaeology, technology etc. It encouraged them to expand their sites of production and engagements with the city at large, and explore new constellations of artistic collaborations and relationships, and ways of engaging with the public domain.

 The workshop was developed by Mriganka Madhukaillya, Assistant Professor, in the Design Department at the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati. He co-founded Desire Machine Collective in 2004 with Sonal Jain. In 2007 he co-initiated Periferry, an alternative artist-led space situated on the M. V. Chandardinga, a ferry docked on the Brahmaputra River in Guwahati. He also founded the Media Lab as an interdisciplinary centre within Department of Design for experiments with digital forms of design and learning. The main focus is on film, video, audio, new media, digital culture and technology. The purpose is to promote the creative use of new technologies by providing a collaborative environment for research and experimentation at the intersection of art, technology and culture.

The workshop took place in a newly instituted space Agora, which has been newly founded by the artist collective Periferry and MIND India, Institute of Positive Mental Health & Research. Students from Government College of art and crafts, Guwahati; Kokrajhar Music and Fine Arts college, Kokrajhar, Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan; and Department of Fine Arts, Assam University, Silchar participated in it.

Excerpts from the workshops conducted under the aegis of Expanded Education Programme, Students Biennale 2018 by FICA August to November 2018 With Kochi Biennale Foundation, Tata Trusts, Pro Helvetia - Swiss Arts Council New Delhi, Sher-Gil Sundaram Arts Foundation, French Institute in India, The Raza Foundation, U.S.