public school in Dean, Dockray, Ludovico, Broekman, Thoburn & Vilensky 2013


ration.
It’s hard to imagine it now as anything other than it is - which is really
a library, and not a school, a reading group, or a journal! Still, AAAARG
supports quite a few self-organised reading groups, it spawned a sister project
called The Public School, and now produces a small online publication,
‘Contents’. It’s used by many people in many ways, and even when that use is
‘finished,’ the texts remain available on the site for others to use as a shared
resource.
Dmitry Vilensky (DV) The w


public school in Dekker & Barok 2017


lav

219

COPYING AS A WAY TO START SOMETHING NEW

Marxist school Praxis; Sean’s work is critical of the militarization and commercialization of the university (in the
context of which Aaaaarg will always come as secondary, as
an extension of The Public School in Los Angeles); Kenneth
aims to revive the literary avant-garde while standing on the
shoulders of his heroes documented on UbuWeb; Sebastian
Lütgert and Jan Berger are the most serious software developers among us, while their projects such as Tex


public school in Dockray 2010


xchange and has initiated several
collaborative projects including AAAARG.ORG and The
Public School. He recently co-organized There is
noth­ing less passive than the act of fleeing, a 13-day seminar at
various sites in Berlin organized through The Public School
that discussed the promises, pitfalls, and possibilities for
extra-institutionality.

101

t often the starting-point is an idea composed of
a group of centrally aroused sensations due to simultaneous
excitation of a group
This would probably
in ever


public school in Dockray 2013


the individual. (In this sense, Open Access is one configuration of this apparatus). Two projects that I have worked within over the past 7 years – a file-­‐sharing website for texts, AAAARG.ORG, and a proposal-­‐based learning platform, The Public School – are ongoing efforts in escaping this regime of access in order to create some room to actually understand all of these conditions, their connection to larger processes, and the possibilities for future action. The Public School has no curriculum, no degrees, and nothing to do with the public school system. It is simply a framework within which people propose ideas for things they want to learn about with others; a rotating committee might organize this proposal into an actual class, bringing together a group of strangers and friends who find a


public school in Dockray, Pasquinelli, Smith & Waldorf 2010


k, Berlin, Brussels, Helsinki, Philadelphia, Durham, San Juan,
and is still expanding.



an excerpt from Tiqqun’s _Introduction to Civil War_ ,
which was co-translated into English by Smith; and later read a chapter from
Pasquinelli’s _Animal Spirits: A Bestiary of the Commons_. Both authors have
also participated in meetings at The Public School in Los Angeles and Berlin.
Both the panel and the seminar developed out of longer conversations at The
Public School in Los Angeles, which began in late 2007 under Telic Arts
Exchange. The Public School is a school with no curriculum, where classes are
proposed and organized by the public.


## The Education Factory

The University as I understand it, has been a threshold between youth and the
labor market. Or it has been a threshold between a gen


? And what is the consequence of a world
where every person is armed with their vitæ, other than “the war of all
against all?” It’s that sensation that there are no teams but everyone has got
their own jersey.

The idea behind the project The Public School is to teach each other in a very
horizontal way. No curriculum, no hierarchy. But is The Public School able to
produce new knowledge and new content by itself? Can the The Public School
become a sort of autonomous collective author? Or, is The Public School just
about exchanges and social networking?

In the recent history of university struggles, some collectives started to
refresh the idea of coresearch; a form of knowledge that can produce new
subjectivities by researching. New subjectivities that produce new knowledge
and new knowledge that produces new subjectivities If knowledge comes only
from conflict, knowledge goes back to conflict in order to produce new
autonomy and subjectivities.

### The Public School

Sean Dockray, Matteo Pasquinelli, Jason Smith and Caleb Waldorf are founding
members of and collaborators at The Public School. Initiated in 2007 under
Telic Arts Exchange (literally in the basement) in Los Angeles, The Public
School is a school with no curriculum. At the moment, it operates as follows:
first, classes are proposed by the public; then, people have the opportunity
to sign up for the classes; finally, when enough people have expressed
interest, the school finds a teacher and offers the class to those who signed
up. The Public School is not accredited, it does not give out degrees, and it
has no affiliation with the public school system. It is a framework that
supports autodidactic activities, operating under the assumption that
everything is in everything. The Public School currently exists in Los
Angeles, New York, Berlin, Brussels, Helsinki, Philadelphia, Durham, San Juan,
and is still expanding.



public school in Fuller & Dockray 2011


e and sate your hunger. Here, Matthew Fuller talks
to long-term observer Sean Dockray about the behaviour of text and
bibliophiles in a text-circulation network

Sean Dockray is an artist and a member of the organising group for the LA
branch of The Public School, a geographically distributed and online platform
for the self-organisation of learning.1 Since its initiation by Telic Arts, an
organisation which Sean directs, The Public School has also been taken up as a
model in a number of cities in the USA and Europe.2

We met to discuss the growing phenomenon of text-sharing. Aaaaarg.org has
developed over the last few years as a crucial site for the sharing and
discussion of texts drawn from cultural theory, politics, philosophy, art and
related areas. Part of this discussion is about the circulation of texts,
scanned and uploaded to other sites that it provides links to. Since
participants in The Public School often draw from the uploads to form readers
or anthologies for specific classes or events series, this project provides a
useful perspective from which to talk about the nature of text in the present
era.

**Sean Dockray** **:** People usually talk a


ssues people have also put it in, it creates a trace of its use. You can see
that sometimes the issues are named after the reading groups, people are using
the issues format as a collecting tool, they might gather all Portuguese
translations, or The Public School uses them for classes. At other times it's
just one person organising their dissertation research but you see the wildly
different ways that one individual text can be used.

**MF:** So the issue creates a new form of paratext to the text, acting as


ore interesting, the work of the code that strips it
out, so it's also kind of recognising that code as part of the milieu.

**SD:** Yeah, that is a good point, although I don't know that it's more
interesting labour.

**MF:** On a related note, The Public School as a model is interesting in that
it's kind of a convention, it has a set of rules, an infrastructure, a
website, it has a very modular being. Participants operate with a simple
organisational grammar which allows them to say ‘I want to learn this'


ke next, and next,
and next, but rather it's a knot that people can't quite untie, something that
you want to spend more time with, but you may want to move on to other things
immediately, so instead you postpone that to the next class. A lot of The
Public School works like that: it's finding momentum then following it. A lot
of our classes are quite short, but we try and string them together. The
committee are the ones that orchestrate that. In terms of governance, it is
run collectively, although with the c


public school in Hamerman 2015


braries_ ,
retooled for open digital networks.

_Aaaaaarg.org_ , started by Los Angeles based artist Sean Dockray, hosts
full-text pdfs of over 50,000 books and articles. The library is connected to a an
alternative education project called the Public School, which serves as a
platform for self-organizing lectures, workshops and projects in cities across
the globe. _Aaaaaarg_ ’s catalog is viewable by the public, but
upload/download privileges are restricted through an invite system, thus
circumventing


public school in Mattern 2014


and seek
referrals to other community resources. A [recent
report](http://nycfuture.org/research/publications/branches-of-opportunity) by
the Center for an Urban Future highlighted the benefits to immigrants,
seniors, individuals searching for work, public school students and aspiring
entrepreneurs: “No other institution, public or private, does a better job of
reaching people who have been left behind in today’s economy, have failed to
reach their potential in the city’s public school system or who simply need
help navigating an increasingly complex world.” 7

The new Department of Outreach Services at the Brooklyn Public Library, for
instance, partners with other organizations to bring library resources to
seniors, school child


public school in Medak, Mars & WHW 2015


from
critical theory, contemporary art, philosophy, architecture, and other fields in the humanities maintains,
catalogs, annotates, and initiates discussions around
it. It also as a courseware extension to the self-organized education platform The Public School.17
16 Andrew Losowsky, “Library.nu, Book Downloading Site,
Targeted in Injunctions Requested by 17 Publishers,” Huffington Post, 15 February 2012, http://www.huffingtonpost.
com/2012/02/15/librarynu-book-downloading-injunction_
n_1280383.html.
17 “The Public School”, The Public School, n.d.,
https://www.thepublicschool.org/.

Public library (essay)

83

UbuWeb18 is the most significant and largest online
archive of avant-garde art; it was initiated and is lead
by conceptual artist Kenneth Goldsmith. UbuWeb,
although still informa


public school in Sollfrank & Dockray 2013


l that, number
one. Number two, obviously the legal framework that’s in place, obviously that
will cause problems.



After a few years – I mean, we did
something like 35 things that could easily be called exhibitions, in a span of
5 years leading up to that. [00:55] I think we just wanted to try something
else. And so we already had started a project called The Public School a year
prior, so we decided that we would use our space primarily as a school.
[01:10] At that time those two things happened. We eliminated the gallery and
then ended up with two new galleries and a school instead!

[01:20] What The Public School is… it’s been going now for five fears. It
began just as a structure or even a diagram, or an idea or something. [01:43]
And the idea is that people would propose things that they wanted to learn
about, or to teach to other people. And then there


is
not all of what education is to me. To me learning and education is something
that is more inclusive of a lot more of what we experience in life, than
simply theoretical discussions. The structures didn’t really allow that in a
way. [04:56] The Public School came out of just trying to imagine what kind of
structure would be inclusive to overcome some of those self-imposed
limitations. [05:14] I’m very interested in technology in a hands-on way. I
like to code and electronics – hacking around with el


t was kind of an uncomfortable role to be deciding what became
visible and what wouldn’t be. [07:32] And one thing that was never visible was
the sort of mechanisms by which an institution made certain things visible.
[07:40] So the public in The Public School actually in a way is trying to
eliminate that whole apparatus, or at least, put that apparatus as something
that we didn’t want to be solely the ones interacting with. We wanted that
apparatus to be… that our entire community, the community of p


t you see code, in a certain way, as not determining politics,
but certainly influencing what people see as possible and also choices that
they see available to them, and things like that. [11:09] I guess as users of
the site, as organisers of The Public School and as programmers, this kind of
relationship between the project and the software is quite intertwined.
[11:28] And I don’t think that… I think that typically art institutions use a
website as a kind of publicity vehicle, as a kind of postcard o


u don’t
write your opinion about it to someone. So that’s, I think, what comes with
the project, which makes it very valuable to a lot of people.

[19:13]
Yes. That’s going back to what I was saying about some of the failures before
The Public School, which was... As the site was growing, as Aaaaarg was
growing, all of a sudden there would be things in there that I didn’t know
about before, that someone felt it was important to share. [19:37] And because
someone felt that it was important to sh

 

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