Public Pedagogies Institute Conference
Turning Learning Upside Down
Footscray, Melbourne
November 23 – 24 , 2017

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The Public Pedagogies Institute annual conference took place on November 23 – 24 , 2017.

If you are interested in participating in our 2018 conference please contact us via our contact page.

We understand public pedagogies to incorporate the many sites in which teaching and learning occurs in the community or outside formal institutions. These may include museums, libraries, neighbourhood houses, community centres, public spaces, as well as through the arts, community engagement, public history and more.

The conference  features a range of presentations and workshops across the diverse field of public pedagogies and is open to participants from many sectors.

The Keynote Speakers for our 2017 conference were Margaret Wertheim, of the Crochet Coral Reef project, and Liss Gabb of cohealth Arts Generator.

About the keynote speakers:

Margaret Wertheim

Margaret Wertheim is an internationally noted writer, artist and curator whose work focuses on relations between science and the wider cultural landscape. The author of six books including “The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace,” a history of space from Dante to the Internet, and “Physics on the Fringe,” she has written for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Aeon and many others. With her twin sister Christine she founded the Institute For Figuring, a Los Angeles-based practice devoted to the aesthetic and poetic dimensions of science and mathematics. ( Through the IFF, she has created exhibitions for the Hayward Gallery (London), Science Gallery (Dublin), MASS MoCA (MA), and Art Center College of Design (Los Angeles). The Wertheim sisters’ Crochet Coral Reef project is the largest participatory art & science endeavor in the world, and has been shown at the Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh), Museum of Arts and Design (New York), Deutsches Museum (Munich), the Smithsonian (Washington D.C.), and elsewhere. Margaret’s reef TED talk has been viewed more than a million times and translated into 22 languages. In 2016, she was granted the AxS Award from the Pasadena Arts Council, for contributions to art and science, and the American Association of Physics Teachers award for public science communication – the first woman to given this honor in 10 years. She has been a Discovery Fellow at the University of Southern California (2012) and a Vice Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Melbourne (2015), and is currently a Phd. candidate at Deakin University.

Margaret’s presentation will be based on the following outline:

Art, Science and Figuring the World

Welsh writer Merrily Harpur has written that: “the duty of artists everywhere is to enchant the conceptual landscape.” It may not be the duty of scientists to produce conceptual enchantment, but in this talk Margaret Wertheim will propose that this is one of the goals scientists and mathematicians achieve. In 2003, Wertheim founded the Institute For Figuring, a Los Angeles-based enterprise with her artist-twin-sister Christine that’s dedicated to “the poetic and aesthetic dimensions of science and mathematics.” The IFF can be conceived of as a “play tank” – a new kind of practice for exploring creative public engagement with topics ranging from geometry and topology, to physics, computation, and biological form. Here, Wertheim will discuss how imaginative speculative play practices can provide insight into the realms of math and science for citizens of all ages. From a worldwide project to model coral reefs using the art of crochet, to building giant fractals from tens of thousands of brightly colored business cards, Wertheim’s work offers experiences for playing with ideas.

Margaret Wertheim

Find out more:

Crochet Coral Reef

Margaret Wertheim website

Liss Gabb

Liss Gabb is creative producer, director, curator in the field of participatory arts and social justice. Over the past 20 years Liss has developed a socially engaged practice that is based on working in partnership with communities that experience structural disadvantage. Liss provides the artistic leadership for cohealth Arts Generator, an award winning, participatory arts space that is a division of cohealth, one of Australia’s largest community health providers. Under Liss’s leadership the program has become an award winning, multi-arts program that serves communities in eight LGAs in the West and Inner North of Melbourne. Arts Generator’s unique model of engagement and cutting-edge artistic outputs are presented regularly at national and international forums and conferences. Liss holds a Masters of Art (Art in Public Space) from RMIT University, that focuses on the ability of the art created with communities to tell difficult stories and its potential to shift the contours of society through empathic thinking.

Liss Gabb

Visit the cohealth website to find out more.

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