Playing Along

I was recently thinking about how nice it is to continue with a variation of our last topic instead of going in a totally different direction.  Once my hangover has worn off from our dinners, I frequently have a burst of inspiration for all of the things I wish I had talked about.  I suppose that is part of the idea behind our dinners; after talking about a topic more in depth we see things differently.  Suddenly there are all of these little synchronicities that we would never have seen before.  That’s exactly what happened when I learned about the artist Amy Franceschini.  She is visiting UGA right now and will be talking to my Iron Horse class (more on that later) tomorrow morning.  Not only is her work a prime example of the types of participatory and often overtly political projects that I find so interesting, but her collective Future Farmers, is working on a project about PLAY!  Check out Future Farmers website to get a full run down on the The Politics of Play, but in the mean time here is an excerpt from the description of the project:

The Politics of Play is a collaborative workshop inviting artists, sociologists, designers, game designers, urban planners… PEOPLE to come together in an expedition. The purpose of this journey is to foster collaborative networks in the city through the medium of play.
The workshop will take the form of an exchange and collective learning experience divided into 3 parts; research, experimentation and implementation.Play can offer a common ground for people to meet and exchange.
Almost everyone can play a game. The term “playing around” infers impermanence or a format for a deferred stance on an issue which offers up a way to let down ones guard. Often times this provides a sense of freedom that cannot be found in a sanctioned panel discussion, meeting or class room. Far more than humor, there is the play of ideas, the playfulness of free experimentation, the playfulness of free association and the play of paradigm shifting that are as common to scientific experiment as to pranks.The Politics of Play is a workshop conceived by Amy Franceschini and Myriel Milicevic. The workshop serves as a plaform for research; sociological, urban studies, and game theory. The workshop was premiered at Mal au Pixel in Paris in April 2006.

I think this project sounds great and I love that it’s a different way of looking at Play, but I also love that so much of what she says about play applies to what we are doing at Night School.  We are still wading our way through any kind of structure we want to incorporate into Night School, but I think play should continue to be a big part of it.  Having the opportunity to revisit the topic of play not only gives a chance to expand on our original ideas, it gives us a chance to really make it a part of what we do.

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