I am very ambivalent regarding self-education platforms in artist communities that serve to consolidate rather than extend knowledge by encouraging a small group of (often highly educated) people to share their knowledge with one another. I’m also frustrated by the fact that such projects often fail to engage the active discourse of critical pedagogy, and that they are uninterested in the history of learning outside of the classroom. I wish that these projects were ambitious enough to consider the implications of their work for education theory and generous enough to join a larger conversation.

In contrast to these, I’m very inspired in the work of Huong Ngo, an artist who has investigated education theory to inform her own practice as a professor and seeks to build upon existing models for alternative education. Book Club was also influenced by the open reading and facilitated conversation model of 16 Beaver, a group that is consistently attentive to the relationship between art, education, and empowerment. For many years, I have followed the work of Shaina Anand, and I am hugely supportive of her collaborative project, pad.ma. From the perspective of display, two projects that Jamal and I considered as we developed “Alpha’s Bet” were “I Wish It Were True,” a VHS archive by Leslie Hewitt and William Cordova, and the e-flux initiated Martha Rosler Library.

- From a conversation with Steffani Jemison, opening an exhibit at the New Museum in NYC.