08 June 2010

Try to Explain Something You Don’t Understand in Five Minutes
17 June 10.00 – 11.30, Free School. Lecture Hall - Bethnal Green Library Lecture Hall

Try to Explain Something You Don’t Understand in Five Minutes is a participatory lecture led by Bryony Gillard, as part of Free School. Lecture Hall organised by Edward Dorian (Five Years) and Ladies of the Press.

Engaging with the notion of peer learning and exploring ‘interest matches’ raised in the writing of Ivan Illich, members of the audience are invited to attempt to explain a concept or methodology that they do not understand for a five minute period.

Any means can be used to describe the subject; image, gesture, action, or the speaker may simply wish to express themselves through frustrated dictation of text or spoken ramblings. The emphasis will be on the description of a subject that the individual wishes to understand - something that they feel would enrich their life or (if appropriate) artistic practice.

Each explanation will be followed by a five minute ‘micro-discussion’, where, as a group, we will endeavour to assist the speaker and/or each other in understanding the issue.

Subjects or questions that the participants may discuss could be anything from Marxism, what powers a heart? The Soviet Union, how do we remember and understand time? Gravity, or even, how to lead an organised life?

The notion of the impossibility of this task and its almost inevitable failure is intrinsic to the activity. Rationally, it is obviously unlikely to be able to fully understand a (possibly complicated) concept in five minutes. Try to Explain Something You Don’t Understand in Five Minutes strives to questions our perception of ‘understanding’ and conventions of the ‘act of learning’. The activity also intends to contemplate the link between creativity and curiosity, given the contemporary art canon of the lecture series.

If you would like to take part in the lecture, please email bryony_kate_gillard@hotmail.co.uk, with your chosen topic by 15 June.

Bethnal Green Library Lecture Hall, Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 0HL