CONSIDERING NEW CLASSROOMS, NEW ECONOMIES, NEW COLLECTIVE ENVIRONMENTS:
Often the setting of the college, the university, the high school or primary school is where we house our notions of learning sites. And rightfully so as our most prevalent and in-depth educational experiences - experiences wherein we have had the time and the opportunity to devote ourselves to rigorous research - have often, outwardly, occurred within the walls of these types of institutions. The world outside The School is for work, and play, family, life in general. Yet the majority of our day-to-day experience is filled with our gleaning information which we then filter and process for use and benefit, both personal, as well as collective. We gather information. We learn through observation and dialogue, each and everyday. Our lives are devoted to creating informal systems of knowledge gathering, be that learning about our friend's habits and quirks, or our favorite type of music, literature, or film genre, food, or sexual activity. In this regard we are all students, as well as teachers, available to learn as well as share in tandem with our friends and neighbors. How would our lives differ were we to view them through a lens of continuing and evolving education, as individuals, as well as the collective whole? Where is the classroom in this environment? Flying University suggests that the world around us is filled with a variety of situations along with our more obvious educational spaces wherein pedagogical environments can manifest themselves; appearing and disappearing through the interest and enthusiasm of those participating, confident in the import of the act of manifesting these environments. Kitchen tables, barrooms, city parks, beds, train cars and numerous other forms of transportation, laundromats, hot dogs carts, bridges, and hotel rooms all make for dynamic and thought provoking educational environments which can exist in parallel to the world around them. Able to provide a glimpse into the possibilities of living a life devoted to looking at the world as a series of learning situations, public learning such as this enacts a form of meditative practice, allowing the practitioner/student/teacher to view the world through a new, ever mindful, frame. The accumulated creation of spaces such as these, devoted to education, flatten the fields of power that single-tiered educational environments reside within. That space creation breaks down hierarchies and, with the insertion of multiple subjects at hand housed within the context of learning, you find the formation of a pedagogical politics not of doctrine but deed.
As an ad-hoc educational experiment, Flying University is a model. It is there to be plucked, prodded, torn, and reassembled by our selves, and others. Simultaneously it desires to serve as a plausible model for self-started micro-economies. Transparent, it is ready to provide a reference for those who wish to live their lives more mindfully regarding their relationship to capital. At a time when the global economy is hemorrhaging, Flying University aims to resist a hackneyed urge towards socioeconomic rhetoric, instead considering how, why, and where we spend our money, and positing ideas for cyclical economies and gray markets. As cultural workers, as well as lawyers, doctors, newspaper salesmen, army personal, and farmers, we make a living and, when feasible, spend our excess funds on that which we desire. In the case of Flying University the question is asked, "what if instead of consuming with those funds, the aim is to produce and regenerate revenue streams?"
Flying University is initially funded through its association with its practitioners main source of personal income; museums and other arts spaces, as well as academic institutions. These funds go to the general operating cost of the project which, in turn, is supplemented through the adoption of various existing economic models, parasitically available for either's benefit. For example: school as speakeasy, traveling used bookstore as university in a suitcase, seminar as restaurant.
Education, economies, space. As stated earlier, the formation of free-zones, wherein new sets of rules are adopted, new possibilities formulated, in tandem with a desire towards the investigation of education and economies, elicits a parallel politics within reach. Flying University regards these three poles as hubs for a new reality. A machine you step into. A vehicle which ferries you to a place very much like your own, but one clearer, finer tuned, convivial, equitable, filled with tools to solve problems, instead of tools to destroy them. A tool for the realization that problems cannot be destroyed, because they do not exist. Problems are not physical, but ethereal, there to be molded, tweaked, retrofitted to a new state, different from the shape prior, and the shape before that, into the future, to be reshaped again, collectively.