Led by Justin Langlois and Holly Schmidt, Float School explores the form of a School through an examination of the earliest understanding of the word, drawing from the etymological base of skholē, which translates as spare time, leisure, rest, or ease.
Float School aims to undermine and interrogate the dominant narratives of public and private western education, instead looking to notions of leisure, retreat, slowness, and play as sites of productive resistance and forms through which to develop new capacity for political and social action. It embarks on collectively imagining and enacting multiple futures for the role that art, public engagement, and learning can play in Canadian society through inquiry, activity, and slow action. Float School will help us to spark the next phase of dialogue around socially engaged art, one that draws from Canada’s specific history of artist-run-culture, and generates an innovative new approach to locating art in rich and complex proximities to public, commons, the natural environment, and learning.
The first iterations of this project will be explored at the Omineca Arts Centre in Prince George, BC.
Justin Langlois is an artist, educator, and organizer. He is the co-founder and research director of Broken City Lab, the founder of The School for Eventual Vacancy and curator of The Neighbourhood Time Exchange. He is currently an Associate Professor and Assistant Dean of Integrated Learning in the Faculty of Culture + Community at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, the Artist-in-Residence with the City of Vancouver’s Sustainability Group, and the Lead Artist on Locals Only with AKA Artist-Run in Saskatoon, supported through the Canada Council’s New Chapter initiative. He lives and works in Vancouver, Canada.
Holly Schmidt has a research-based practice that engages processes of collaborative research and informal pedagogy. Moving across disciplinary boundaries, she explores the relationships between practices of making, knowledge creation and the formation of temporary communities. Her recent exhibitions and residency projects include Pollen Index with Charles H. Scott Gallery (2016), Till with the Santa Fe Art Institute Food Justice Residency (2014/15), Mess Hall as part of the residency Society is a Workshop at the Banff Centre (2013), Moveable Feast with Burnaby Art Gallery (2012) Grow with Other Sights for Artists’ Projects (2011) She maintains a studio in Vancouver and holds the position of Curator of Learning and Community Engagement at the Contemporary Art Gallery.