Alongside her short-form writing on contemporary art, Alix Rule will attend and report critically on a number of artists’ learning communities—i.e., artist-initiated projects that facilitate collective discussion under the auspices of education. These will include the salons organized by Matthew Stone and the School of Life, both in London; the Berlin-based Mobile Academy; Havana’s Catedra Arte de Conducta; and Night School at New York’s New Museum. Today, many artists’ initiatives are more focused on discussion and learning than on art production or exhibition. In addition, we now have schools as exhibitions, schools as artworks, experimental academies, and salons, many involving prominent contemporary artists. Yet this “pedagogical turn” poses particular problems for conventional art writing. Unlike exhibitions, these discussions do not invite casual spectatorship—often by design. Rule’s approach will combine an attention to sociological detail and a sophisticated and intellectually fair treatment of the discussions they undertake—with an eye to their context in contemporary discourse and, where appropriate, their value as art.

Alix Rule writes on art and politics. She has worked for In These Times and Dissent Magazine; her writing has also appeared in a variety of other publications. Rule grew up in New York and studied at the University of Chicago and then at Balliol College, Oxford. After graduating in 2006 she moved to Berlin, where she is a freelance researcher and translator and a correspondent for Saatchi Gallery online magazine, for whom she has written more than twenty reviews, reports, articles, and interviews in 2008, including: “Conrad Shawcross and Buckminster Fuller,” “David Levine,” and “Aida Ruilova at Galerie Guido.”