Nevertheless & despite everything
Nevertheless and despite everything, we will confer
The School of the City First International Conference was supposed to open on April 19th. The conference was going to take place in apartment n. 6 in the Liebling Haus, and its participants were going to be seated on selection of foldable chairs from designer Yaakov Kaufmans’ private collection.
Due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, and in adherence to the restrictions dictated by the ministery of health,
we were reluctant to postpone the conference to a later date.
Nevertheless, and despite everything, we wanted to confere.
We considered what means are at our disposal, under current circumstances which prevent us from physically meeting.
This is how the new format was born: we sent Kaufmans’ chairs to participants’ houses, for a period of a month.
The participants were invited to follow a private journey, in their own homes, their domestic spheres – while seated on the chair; To embark on a learning experience, each following their own interests and methodologies. While connected in an imaginary network to all other conference participants. It is a poetic gesture, which implies a tangible experiment: how can we confer, in a different way? This task will be studied and tested in the coming month.
The conference treats the notion of pedagogy, and in its foundation the assumption that learning is not an activity strictly limited to schools. Learning is a state of mind, an activity which can occur anywhere and and at anytime. Learning is a matter of attention, intention and conditions.
The chair is an ad-hoc space of personal learning, a frame bounded by a timeframe and an idea.
This is the text we addressed to the participants:
Participation in the conference is realized by sitting on a chair.
Participation in the conference is an invitation to demarcate your current activities; to advance, expand, support and enrich that which you are choosing to do. We are giving no task, no assignment or prescribed activity: we are giving a chair. We invite you to try and use this time with the chair to arrive to somewhere else than the place you started from. It might be one extra paragraph in your thesis; it might be a new formed friendship; a fully realized feature film; climbing an allegorical mountain... Someplace else.
The participants of the conference are available as advisors. You could choose three of them to talk with, consulted, share thoughts. We will put you in contact.
You are welcome to consult our conceptual framing of the conference, as articulated in the “about” page of the website: the ideas, methodologies, forms of investigation-action that we named “learning movement”.
When it will be made possible, we intend to present an exhibition at the Liebling Haus of Kaufman’s chair collection, alongside the collection of things made by participants during this month-long period.
The Kaufman collection contains a few dozens of foldable chairs collected and kept for many years. Each chair is a singular piece, and we ask you to take good care of it.
At the end of the conference period, we will ask you to return the chair.
You are welcome to contact us – Eran, Maayan and Ana – for any matter at any time.
About the collection
In the last 30 years, designer Yaakov Kaufman has been collecting dozens of foldable chairs. The collection served him as learning aids in his course of foldable-chairs design.
A foldable chair has several desired properties: it should be light, transportable, its folding mechanism should be effective and efficient. It should be easily taken outdoors, taken out for seating guests, folded and conveniently stored afterwards. The design of the chair should answer those requirements, without missing on a chairs most basic requirement: being comfortable.
Malki Tesler, Adva Weinstein, Paz Ponce, Rotem Volk, Yasmin Steinmetz, David Lockard, Shira Levy Benyemini, Mai Aylon, Oded Webman, Eldad Prywes, Bili Regev, Shir Moran, Haim Hakimyan, Anat Levy, Shani Tamari, Hila Cohen Schneiderman, Ishai Shapira Kalter, Itamar Banai, Dana Mor, Liran Shapiro, Alisa Oleva, Mai Omer, Maya Felixbrodt, Sharon Golan Yaron, Roni Raviv, Naama Bar-Or, Or Hertz, Shay Persil, Sabrina Cegla, Tal Alperstein, Kineret Haya Max, Or Haklai, Galina Arbeli, Noa Schwartz Lev Har, Alma Eliaz, Gal Levinson, Eiv Kristal, Omri Livne