Teaching the Unteachable: A Critical Survey of Educational Approaches to Artists' Film and Video

This article examines the historical attitude of media artists to the university, and takes a short critical tour through educational approaches to artists’ film and video, ranging from the early 20th century to the present. Taking Bourdieu’s sociological analysis of the avant-garde as a starting point, it is argued that approaches to artists’ film and video in higher education are typically informed and limited by an anti-institutionalist, antinomian social identity. Using select examples of strategies influenced by media teaching research, a case is made for a positive inflection of creative practice education based on awareness of the functions lending social distinction to art, and on acknowledgement of, rather than opposition to, the organisational ambience of the university.
There is now a significant volume of literature proposing to define, document, and theorise artists’ film and video, but in this literature relatively little attention is paid to teaching. It should be noted that the origins of the form, otherwise known as “experimental” or “avant-garde” film, are to be located prior to institutional affiliation. In Australia, as in Britain, artists’ film and video emerged from ’60s counter-culturalism and psychedelia to a more explicitly modernist concern with problems of cinematic representation, the materiality of the medium (the film-strip, the camera, the projector), and the active engagement of the spectator (Curtis 2007, Rees 1999). Through the ’80s and ’90s a new generation of artists explored a broader set of approaches which include narrative, feminist perspectives, and identity and post-gender politics (Danino and Mazière 2003), leading the form into a less doctrinaire and more hybrid state. Today, not excluding the layers of previous generations, artists’ film and video is at once gallery, film festival, and Web-based and, in a return to it’s ’60s origins, might arguably include digital media activism (Juris 2008).
But at the same time, from the late ’60s onwards, artists’ film and video has moved into closer and closer alignment with higher education. With the establishment of media studies areas in universities and art schools in the ’70s, artists took up teaching posts and fostered a kind of ‘family tree’ (Mazière n.d.) of students who would in turn become professional teachers. In Australia, for example, experimental film pioneer Arthur Cantrill taught at Melbourne State College/University of Melbourne for more than 2 decades. Now it is not uncommon for artists to secure permanent professional residence in educational institutions, and equally for institutions to pursue linkages and partnerships with the art world. So it is surprising that in the critical discussion of artists’ film and video, there should be a lack of interest in teaching, and even a certain hostility toward academia, all the more so given this literature has been mostly authored by artists and published for an educational readership. In a manifesto for the first publication ofFilmnotes, funded by the Australian Film and Television School Interim Council, the Cantrills wrote, ‘our films have no story because all the stories have been told and retold, they have been dissected, analysed in the morgues of the universities. We want to make films which defy analysis… defy the dissector’s blade’ (1971,1). In this article I will be examining the attitude of media artists to the university, and will take a short but critical tour through educational approaches to artists’ film and video, which it turns out, are very much informed and limited by a consistent trend toward anti-institutionalism.
When asked what he had expected from an artists’ life, Marcel Duchamp replied, ‘I have no idea. I really had no program… one is a painter because one wants so-called freedom; one doesn’t want to go to the office every morning’ (Cabanne 1971, 25). Duchamp’s stance might be taken as the very quiddity of the 20th century avant-garde artist, for whom any form of bureaucratic or institutional affiliation, and as he called it the ‘slightly imbecilic’ (15) necessity to work were considered antithetical to the artist’s life, non-professional profession, and signature commitment to bohemianism. Amongst the most extreme statements of anti-institutionalism in the 20th century were those of the Italian Futurists, who in their manifestos ‘denounced intellectuals as the slaves of antiquated rites, museums as cemeteries, and libraries as burial chambers’ (Connerton 1989, 62) and reserved an especially high degree of contempt for the ‘pedantry and formalism of the academics’ (quoted in Ackerman 1969, 376). One of the expressionists of the Weimar era, George Grosz pejoratively labelled artists who sought the patronage of state institutions as moderates (Laqueur 1974, 170) and berated any and all peers who did not leave their ivory towers: ‘your brushes and pens should be weapons’ he is reported to have said, ‘but they are empty blades of straw’ (170).
A useful point of departure for understanding the traditionally antinomian, anti-institutional orientation of artists is suggested by Bourdieu (1993). The social identity of the avant-garde artist, says Bourdieu, is based upon a “game of ‘loser wins”, or a principle of systematic inversion: ‘that of business (it excludes the pursuit of profit and does not guarantee any sort of correspondence between investments and monetary gains), that of power (it condemns honours and temporal greatness), and even that of institutional cultural authority’ (1993, 39). According to this principle, the more artists renounce, the higher social distinction they and their practice acquire. As such, Bourdieu points out, the prestige of the avant-garde is not intrinsic, but affirmed through what in capitalism might be thought of as a social miracle (43): the exclusivity, rarefaction and risk of a “job” that is not considered an occupation and of a work that is not intended as a “product”. Nor is the anti-economic orientation of the avant-garde free of economic logic: the social system defining and legitimising the artist connects and communicates value to a wider network of more ‘ordinary’ economies (the gallery system, publishing industry, and education) which generate cultural and economic capital in return.
It is not surprising then, given an upside-down identity which tended to acquire capital in proportion to everyday disengagement, that the movement of artists and art practice into closer proximity with institutions in the second half of the 20th century would raise questions and problems. How would the symbolically elevated and institutionally opposed image of the avant-garde be squared with increasing institutionalisation? Would the institutionalisation of art practice lead to the interrogation, or the enhancement of the functions lending social distinction to art? More practically, how would art and creativity be taught within organisational settings? What problems might an upside-down, anti-economic economy pose for artists who are also education workers facing bureaucratic demands for a strictly professional approach to art education? Evidence suggests that the advent of the artist in higher education has taken place without any significant change in social orientation, resulting in a variety of strategies for separating the task of teaching from its professional and institutional demands.
One such strategy is the withdrawal of pedagogy, or its concealment behind other, fundamentally non-teaching functions. The 20th century Bauhaus school provides an early but prototypical example of pedagogical denial and its effects. Historian Laqueur recounts that one of the first major conflicts at the institution arose between head of school Walter Gropius and the artist-teacher Johannes Itten, the first year composition teacher who conducted classes with breathing exercises and theosophical evangelism (1974, 178), and ‘believed in spontaneity (to the extent that he did not correct the apprentices’ mistakes)’ (177). It seems that Itten was committed as a teacher to everything except teaching, and fostered student enfranchisement to the extent that he left them to teach themselves. References in records from the Bauhaus to students as ‘apprentices’ and the nagging uncertainty about whether teachers there ‘should be called masters, professors or have any rank at all’ (177) are testament to the symbolically elevated conception of art discussed by Bourdieu, but is also profoundly symptomatic of the failure or disappearance of pedagogy.
Though poorly suited to educational institutions, such approaches are typical of hierarchical occupational settings such as media industries where “apprentices” who might eventually ascend to the highest levels of creative production are not taught at all but learn by observation. Occupational resistance to intellectualism and teaching “too much” dates back at least as far as the early Quattrocento of the Renaissance in Italy, when according to Hauser the education of professional artists was based ‘on the same principles as that of ordinary craftsmen’ (1999, 46). Any training, Hauser says, was practical, not theoretical and took place not in schools but in workshops (46). These histories recur in contemporary arguments in art schools for a minimisation of theory, and a “rigorously practice-based ethos” which assume a clear division of theory and practice and trust that “there is no way of learning better than doing”.
In other approaches pedagogy may not necessarily be absent but may be assumed to perform its task automatically or even “magically” by being somehow embedded in the object of study or the personality of the artist/teacher. Small (1994) makes a case for artists’ film and video to be understood as what he calls ‘direct theory’, the characteristic of which is to ‘theorise upon its own substance’ (1994, 5). In support of this case Small presents the example of “flicker film” (a technique whereby sequences of single image frames are juxtaposed with striking kinetic and optical effect), which is designed he says for artists or academics who can directly grasp the work’s shape and immediately appreciate its theoretical implications (75). According to Small’s model all the potential problems and pleasures of pedagogy and indeed of the relations between theory and practice threaten to vanish in a kind of educational disappearing trick. Small presumably doesn’t need to discuss teaching because the job is always already done: as experiments in the fusion of aesthetics and epistemology the films themselves pose and answer the ‘pertinent questions’ (75). Conveniently, the relation between philosophy, screen theory and the films as direct theory is so complex, Small claims, ‘that it will probably remain beyond any semiotic mapping’ (11). Small’s attempt to frame artists’ film and video in intellectual terms makes sense, especially as one starting point for academic research, but how anyone without the requisite cultural competencies would (need to) read the films is not clear. The mysteries of direct theory would be of dubious utility in the face of problems with student boredom reported by teachers of artists’ film and video (Zyrd 2007, 109), but of considerable value in affirming the magisterial authority of the teacher and the artwork, which are both let off the hook by being too complex or too sublime to understand.
A very similar automaticist approach to artists’ film and video is suggested by Lev Manovich’s (2001) research guide to new digital media. According to Manovich the new paradigmatic effect of the digital is that ‘avant-garde aesthetic strategies came to be embedded in the commands and interface metaphors of digital software’ (2001, xxxi). Manovich extends this argument in a specific study of the digital compositing application After Effects, where in a rhetorical strategy reminiscent of Kaplan’s (1978) arguments about music video and the avant-garde, the software is said to be a metamedium, subsuming ‘not only the content of different media or simply their aesthetics, but their fundamental techniques, working methods and assumptions’ (Manovich 2007,10). The language of new media and the hybrid visual logic of compositing applications constitute according to Manovich a ‘velvet revolution in moving image culture’ (8). When considered from the perspective of creative arts education, where potential content or method must be applied for study and classroom practice in sometimes less than ideal conditions, such as high student numbers or unequal student-workstation ratios, Manovich’s position raises as many questions as it answers. If the problems and complexity of theory and practice, the history, criticism and production of aesthetics, and task-specific concepts and techniques are now dissolved in the most basic operations (Manovich 2001, xxxvi) of a software interface, they may indeed, depending on the context, be all the more easily accessed, opened up and understood. But like Small’s direct theory proposal which it echoes discursively in its emphasis on the digital as an instantaneously comprehendible ‘database of film techniques’ and ‘visual epistemology’ (Manovich 2001, xxx), Manovich’s velvet revolution can also be seen to assume a view of education as automatic and self-performing. The principle of automaticity inherent in “doing” art history in the toggle of a layer property switch and the tweaking of a plug-in parameter, or in the adage that ‘all intellectual work is now software study’ (Fuller quoted in Manovich 2008) might just as easily license the teacher to suspend the option to engage students with analysis, debate, and research-informed practice.
Art pedagogy might also withdraw, disappear, or fail not because the student is impelled in one way or another to self-teach, or because the artwork or technology teaches itself, but because at the same moment that it is taught, what is taught is presented as unteachable. In an empirically-based article on film studies in higher education, avant-garde filmmaker and (at the time) teacher at SUNY Buffalo Paul Sharits proposes a design for a comprehensive artists’ film and video curriculum which he calls ‘cinematics’ (1978, 44). In a history of artists’ resistance to direct engagement with problems of teaching in higher education Sharits’ document is a standout. But right from the beginning Sharits frames his design in terms which set up the disengagement of the artwork from educational demands. Unique to artists film and video, Sharits argues, is ‘a deep rupture between the structures of films’, and the structures of ‘language modes’ used in everyday communication. The problem is that these same everyday language modes will be required to explicate the films and the ‘cinematics’ curriculum not only in the lecture theatre but also in the article he is writing.
Sharits asks ‘are there descriptive languages of transformation which are applicable to film?’ (50) but finds only ‘non-applicable… strategies’ (50). The subsequent recognition and analysis of such problems leads inevitably to another question: ‘how can a curriculum guide students into truly filmic discourses?’ (50). Committed as he is to an ideal of the medium as inaccessible to conventional language or even the simple ratiocination of the kind presumably evidenced by the ingrained ‘cognitive habits’ (43) of the uninitiated student, Sharits only succeeds in proposing a model for an elevated object beyond all models, and a self-mystifying pedagogy of the unteachable. Sharits concludes that the optimal student for cinematics is both ‘intelligent and imaginative’ (66) leaving the problem of teaching creativity, imagination and intelligence untouched and defining higher education as a kind of three year sentence for recidivistic students who will either already possess, or else be entirely ignorant of, the qualities prerequisited by the higher status authority of the artwork and the teacher/artist’s discourse.
Together the defining of the teaching object as unteachable and the guaranteeing of the refusal or avoidance of an institutionally compatible curricular structure prepare the way for another variation of the self-teaching and anti-bureaucratic approach to art education: the artist who teaches his or her own work, personality, biography, or value-structure. According to this approach the notion that teachers can and should “only teach what they are into” is accepted as an article of faith (Adler 1979, 76) and the aims, quality and content of the curriculum come to be ratified by and confused with the teacher’s renown. A contemporary example is provided by VJ and academic Mark Amerika, whose ‘spontaneous theories’ (2007, 1) proposal bears more than passing resemblance to Sharits’ anti-systemic system.
Amerika begins his study fearlessly with the acknowledgement, voiced by him against everyone intolerant of the mergence of art with higher education, that ‘to be or not to be institutionalised is no longer a question. It’s an already is situation [author’s italics]’ (2007, 54). As such Amerika is well-placed attitudinally, unlike many before him, to contemplate possibilities for research methodology and ‘modes of assessment’ (59) (referring to assessment of artwork) of new media art in academic spheres. But like Sharits, and indeed the Romantics of the 19th century, Amerika commits himself to a symbolically elevated and self-consecrating attitude to art which leads to no small amount of difficulties and contradictions when taken with his parallel position that art should not be institutionally displaced.
Amerika’s argument contains a number of registers not easy to summarise briefly. Although fully institutionalised, it seems art practice is not entirely at home in the institution. This is not necessarily an intrinsic problem, but has arisen more recently. In participation with the wider bureaucratic consumer culture of late capitalism, he says, higher education has become permeated and suffocated with functions, expectations and structures which allow no space for, or are inimical to, the creative enterprise (58-65). The ‘preconceived agendas and methods of the academic research community’ he argues ‘have little to do with the way an artist or a collaborative network of artists bring creative compositions into society’ (65). It is the artist, he says, not the bureaucratic forms and functions of the institution, who is the medium or instrument that is ‘most capable of conducting radical experiments in subjective thought and experience’ (65). Thus, although undeniably and inextricably subject to an institutionalisation which displaces, circumscribes and threatens it, art is simultaneously conceived as the ultimate solution for the institution’s, and society’s, deficiencies, which in turn serve to define the radicality of art, to be understood contradictorily as interdependent with but in ontological opposition to all bureaucracies and versions of the “mainstream”.
It is in the attempt to define the precise nature of artistic thought and experience within the terms and language of academia, and the possible redemption of the bureaucratic agenda he as a higher education worker is nonetheless bound by that Amerika’s argument most resembles Sharits’: ‘is there any way” he asks, lapsing increasingly into a kind of autobiographical journalism, “to successfully resist… neutralisation?’ (78). The best way, he claims, in tacit agreement with all the other proposals surveyed here, ‘is to royally screw language as best you can’ (78). Amerika’s solution is a ‘spontaneous theory of unconscious play’ (76) which sidesteps the pitfalls of over-intellectualising art practice. As for Sharits, the enemies of art once again are the conventional language and cognitive habits insisted upon by higher education. Clearly, like Small and Manovich, Amerika is more interested in attempting to argue a case for media art practice as research, but I would like to know how this research might flow on as teaching. How, it might be asked, is unconscious play, or ‘screwing language’ to be taught to students in a contrarily geared bureaucratic, economic, and social environment? How might students or indeed researchers learn from, understand, share or intervene in a proposal for a creative unconscious that is not, according to the author’s Dr. Seuss logic, about anything except what ‘just is’ (83)?
The memoirs of Amerika’s own VJ gigs, and anecdotes of his experiences as what I would call an “aca-artist” interspersed through the text imply a solution to the challenges of pedagogy: any gaps in the curriculum opened up by the diminution of bureaucratically-friendly theory and stifling rationality can be filled by the ‘unique subjectivity’ (78), charismatic personality, and renown of the artist. Max Weber (1968) has analysed in some detail the functioning of charismatic education and the fixed, passive role of the student, or exclusionary idea of knowledge, it presumes and constructs:

charismatic qualification can become an object of education, even though at first not in the form of rational or empirical instruction, since heroic and magical capacities are regarded as inborn; only if they are latent can they be activated through a regeneration of the whole personality [author’s italics] (Weber 1968,1143).

The contradiction in institutional contexts of charismatic education according to Weber is that it is not education at all but a discovery of ‘inborn’ qualities while at the same time presenting itself as a kind of ‘instruction’ (1143). Thus, although it may within certain limits include some ‘rational… training’ (1143), genuine charismatic education, he says, is the radical opposite of specialised professionally-oriented teaching as it is espoused by bureaucracy, since its real purpose and actual content is the ‘regeneration… of personal gifts’ which can be ‘tested or proven but not transmitted and acquired’ (1143) from the sage to the novice.
From this perspective Amerika’s spontaneous theories in their definitional opposition to ‘permanent institutional structures’ (Weber 1968, 1133) and emphasis on secret, elusive and prestigiously elevated know-how possessed by the artist, provide us with a quintessential example not only of the teaching of the unteachable but of Weberian charismatic education – a perfect mirror image in fact of the authoritarian blockages and elitism they propose to challenge. The potential difficulties in the professional teaching situation of defining, understanding, assessing, and collaboratively transforming Amerika’s key concepts, together with the lack of case-studies in the text of any attempts to do so, suggest that whilst some students and researchers still conforming to ‘preset agendas’ (Amerika 2007, 66) might be admitted to the exclusive community of aca-artists, many are bound to be excluded. In education practice, as Weber shows, when theory is spontaneous, and creative expression is unconscious, then scholastic achievement either “just is” or “isn’t” and will be subject either to the charismatic authority of the teacher or the tyranny of in-born qualities. For all his ultra-cool references to VJ culture, nomadic net artists, and new modes of interdisciplinary thought (65) of the 21st century, Amerika’s stance on art and education, like Sharits’, appears much closer to the 19th century Romantics, who, in Emile Zola’s words, believed that ‘every genius is born independent and leaves no disciples’ (quoted in Ackerman 1969, 376).
One problem running through the approaches to art education surveyed here is a lack of direct dialogue with applied media teaching research, itself a function of the broader tendency toward intellectual disengagement I have discussed. One such useful research source is the educationally-focused investigation and debate generated by the British SEFT (Society for Education in Film and Television) organisation in the ’70s and ’80s. For example, in an essay on “Notes for a Summer School” (1973) on avant-garde film, Christine Gledhill argues the positive educational implications of clearly articulated theoretical categories. In the study or teaching of the avant-garde, says Gledhill:

ideas and concepts must be taught. Basic information is needed, ideas have to be introduced and clarified, a certain terminology must be presented, critical questions identified: and in the first instance the teacher/student needs to know the issues involved in undertaking the study at all (72).

By today’s standards, these provisions seem somewhat basic, but in making the case for clarity, definition, and collaboration Gledhill provides a still relevant starting point for any educational sector suffused with anti-institutionalist imagery. Other SEFT contributors (Cook, Stoneman, and Rodrigues/Stoneman) move from generalities or fundamentals to trade experiences with, and specific recommendations for, teaching artists’ film and video. Citing the problem of highly varied levels of student engagement (1979/80, 90), Cook recommends the organisation of courses around formal issues or common epistemes rather than “oldest-to-newest” chronologies which, when taught in conjunction with text book histories, invite students to switch off and reserve their attention for the end of semester. Also, because of the films’ variable duration, and the tendency for older pieces to be shorter, artworks are best screened and studied in juxtaposition rather than chronologically.
Cook, Stoneman, and Rodrigues/Stoneman agree that artists’ film and video is more suited to a collaborative learning environment, than a ‘body of knowledge’ (Cook 1979/80, 90) approach which positions the student to passively consume received wisdom. For Rodriguez/Stoneman, the transgressive aesthetics of avant-garde film, which tend to be non-representational and engage unfamiliar forms of cinematic pleasures, call into question the normative presumptions of magisterial and hierarchical education (1981, 133). The problem with this is that “the transgressive” is arguably not an ahistorical or acultural category with any guaranteed impact outside certain teaching contexts. Moreover there is no intrinsic reason why the subversion of orders of truth or knowledge can’t also be taught traditionally or magisterially. Stoneman argues the case for student collaboration and participation more concretely. One example is filmmaker Mike Leggett’s ‘image con text’ (Stoneman 1979/80, 49) approach, in which the artist shows his own films to students in a multimedia, instructional form. Using film excerpts, images, text, and audio recordings Leggett breaks apart the background, creative process, and critical contexts of each work. Instead of a finished display of already produced artefacts (53), Leggett’s method offers an accessible working model for their creative and critical transformation that encourages the student/audience to apply their own variations of the material. The idea is that the artwork, its authorship and teaching are situated in a process, or range of shared activities, in obvious contrast to the Weberian charismatic approach which promotes the artist/teacher as a transcendental author-ity. Discursive, case-study based strategies like Leggett’s, the authors argue (Cook 1979/80, 90, Stoneman 1979/80, 54), are not only pedagogically successful because they are dialogic, inclusive and non-mystifying, but because they do justice to an artform which also tends to be explorative, open-ended, and reliant on audience involvement.
But it should also be conceded that these SEFT- associated studies are all of a similar vintage and as such, like the ’70s avant-garde which is their focus, are informed by an agenda of issues in art and education more likely to be appreciated and understood by teachers than today’s students. This raises a key point. As I glossed at the beginning, artists’ film and video in the ’70s is associated with experiments in aesthetics and politics – the search for formal cinematic devices that, in opposition to narrative cinema, might break with ideology and lead the audience to challenge the dominant order. It is worth considering that there might be grounds for arguing in research and teaching contexts the renewed relevance or return of such ideas, for example in parallels drawn between the ’68 generation and online video forums or open-source software (Cubitt 2009). But, as discussed by Zyrd, even in specialist colleges and creative arts areas, contemporary teachers of artists’ film and video may more commonly encounter student indifference to the material than interest in its enduring vitality.
Avant-garde films are typically difficult, says Zyrd, and whether or not the ideas underpinning the films are (perceived to be) out of date, the difficulty is usually intentional (2001, 109). This poses a unique challenge for the teacher: how to maintain student engagement without denying the difficulty of the material. The strength of Zyrd’s response to this is that he doesn’t offer a catch-all solution, but rather a variety of strategies depending on the artwork. The problem, apart from the amount of work this approach implies, is that Zyrd’s account of teaching quandaries is more convincing than his strategies for dealing with them. One of Zyrd’s recommendations is a kind of “against interpretation” approach, which aims to turn the intrinsic difficulty of artworks to advantage:

I invite students to break away from their learned tendencies… the challenge is to ‘experience’ the film, to see (and hear) its complexity and patterns, and to be sensitive to its atmosphere and mood – more modest and meditative work than the heavy lifting involved in most cinematic analysis (109-110).

Requiring students to “do less not more” sounds catchy, and would probably do some justice to the more personally expressive artworks. Furthermore, Zyrd’s approach shows convincingly how pleasure and enjoyment might be introduced into teaching this form. But I’m less sure how ‘experiencing’ a film might be assessed objectively. This is a danger previously identified by Rodrigues/Stoneman: any movement away from standardisable and terminological grounding can be an excuse embraced by teacher and student alike ‘for muddled thinking and muddled films’ (1979/80,133) and can also be one of the best evasive techniques of the absent pedagogue for whom ‘its all good’.
For Zyrd one of the toughest of the canonical avant-garde films to teach is Snow’s Wavelength, a 45 minute one-shot zoom in a New York loft, and anyone who has screened it will sympathise with Zyrd’s account of students venting ‘anger and frustration’ (2007, 110) in response. But again its not clear how in Zyrd’s experience student intolerance might lead to ‘personal insights’ (110) about how the film or indeed cinema in general works without some very forceful prompting from the instructor. It seems to me that, if articulated in the classroom, Zyrd’s conclusion that ‘students do not need to like it to learn from it’ (110) is only likely to confirm the most stereotypical student perceptions of the artist/intellectual as a hard-headed ideologue and of the avant-garde as a bitter pill to swallow.
The difficulties of teaching artists’ film and video have been compounded in recent years by sources of change in higher education – network communication, privatisation, and globalisation – leading to what some education theorists have called a new paradigm for media studies (Buckingham 2003). Accordingly, argues Buckingham, media teaching might benefit from beginning not with a certain aesthetic, theoretical or political orthodoxy but with what the students already know and their existing tastes and pleasures (2003, 14). In the case of artists film and video, I would suggest after Buckingham that the more heterogeneous and fragmentary contemporary educational environment is likely to frustrate one-size-fits-all strategies, and instead favour context-specific teaching methods informed by the kinds of ideas and experiences surveyed here. Whatever the context, it is doubtful that any aspiration toward a continuing and successful approach to teaching artistic practice in the university will be well assisted by the elevation of creativity as a fragile fetish beyond the reach of intellectual interference, or the conduct of teaching within discourses which, through institutionalised anti-institutionalism, undo the intelligibility of their main concern.
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