Led by Justin Langlois and Holly Schmidt, Float School is the catalyst and culmination of many embodied, affective, and improvisational experiences that create the opportunity to ask, “what can school be?” Float School is at once a site, a time, a collective endeavour, and a school.
Float School takes the shape of a School in the earliest understanding of the word, drawing from the etymological base of skholē, which translates as spare time, leisure, rest, or ease. It considers these practices to be important, vital, and even sacred ways of learning together. Float School aims to work beyond dominant narratives of public and private western education, instead looking to the slowness of floating, as the spatial and temporal condition needed for meaningful resistance and the creation of a new capacity for social action and radical presence. It takes as its focus the study of the everyday and the world around it through concentrated embodied and social actions and reflections, understanding the contemporary moment through presence and dialogue. Through its form and program, Float School embarks on collectively imagining diverse and multiple futures of the role of art, public engagement, and learning can play in various communities, and promoting access to these conversations through its numerous public-facing events.
The first iteration of this project took place at the Omineca Arts Centre in Prince George, BC in March 2018. The second iteration of the project took place in Summer and Fall 2019. Float School: Pedagogical Experiments and Social Actions was published in 2020.