Over the next few days in the lead-up to the ACT | UJ Creative Conference, we will be posting several op-eds from our ACT Team members as well as the conference presenters & performers. This will allow the delegates to interact with some of the key themes and ideas around this year’s #CreativeUprising.
Today’s Op-Ed comes from SiyafundisaNa, a collaboration between Puleng Plessie and Genevieve Louw. Catch this dynamic duo at the ACT | UJ Creative Conference on Friday 28 July 2017.
Siyafundisana –We teach each other. Siyafundisa na? – Are we teaching each other?
(This conversation between Puleng Plessie and Genevieve Louw took place underneath a scaffolding structure on Wits campus.)
SiyafunidisaNa in Dialogue:
GL: Okay, so what do you mean by “moments” in the scaffolding?
PP: The moments that you speak of are moments of failure, moments of strength, moments of collaboration, and moments of access/lack of access especially in relation to the signage.
GL: … and intersecting… There are lots of intersections but there are also structures that are very geometric- they are structurally sound. When I look at the pile of scaffolding on the floor it seems to become a representation of possibility because you don’t know what it will become- but also chaos… When it comes to collaborations, strengths and failures, I think about the pedagogical significance of scaffolding. What we do as the constructors of it, as the educators and facilitators.
PP: … but also as the facilitators of it, we start to recognize what works and what doesn’t, and how one starts to put away what doesn’t work. What goes on the floor? Think about what should be put up? What still needs to unfold and fold again? I’m thinking about that failure that you talked about, failure as a term that we use in art education. Why was it that one [broken piece of scaffolding stucture] in particular that was a failure? Was it because it wasn’t collaborating with the others? Why?
GL: Why did I immediately think of failure when I saw it? Because it is not doing what it is supposed to do?
PP: What is it supposed to be doing?
GL: It’s supposed to be attached to the part that it needs to fit into but it isn’t.
PP: But does that make it a failure?
GL: Exactly, that’s the thing.
PP: However, It does lose its functionality. It doesn’t function alone. It has to function with others.