Thursday, 14 February 2013

Forcible Frames - Curriculum’s summer school Forcible Frames is an 8-week programme that builds on our reputation as a vital community and site for the production, discussion and dissemination of practices engaged with the moving image, politics, technology and aesthetics. The summer school is not interested in reproducing the structures, canons and learning models on offer in Higher Education; equally we are not an autonomous free school. Though cannot operate outside the rampant privatisation of education we can provide a pedagogical environment that grounds itself on egalitarian, non-profit terms. Forcible Frames will offer participants a combination of theoretical seminars, student-led activities, field trips, guest workshops led by artists and theorists alongside an intensive programme of hands-on film and video making. These components are reliant upon and reflective of one another in a manner that allows practice to enlighten theory, collective experimentation to inform individual production. 

The school runs Monday-Fridays, 10-5.30pm, with Thursdays reserved for independent time in the lab. There will be 2/3 confirmed guests each week including: Larne Abse Gogarty & Josefine Wikström, John Akomfrah / Smoking Dog Films, George Barber, Leah Borromeo, Evan Calder Williams, Marine Hugonnier, Peter Kennard & Cat Phillipps, Omar Kholeif, Esther Leslie, Melanie Manchot, Mosireen, Joshua Oppenheimer & Andrea Zimmerman, Lee Patterson, Vanda Playford, Frances Rifkin, Aura Satz, John Smith, Milica Tomic and Jelena Petrovic / Grupa Spomenik (The Monument Group), Gee Vaucher. 

Each week kicks off with a theory seminar led by Brad Butler on Monday mornings. 

“The Forcible Frame is a term I first encountered in Judith Butler’s landmark text 
Frames of War (2009). In this essay she argues that “To learn to see the frame that blinds us to what we see is no easy matter ... And if there is a critical role during times of war it is precisely to thematise the forcible frame, the one that conducts the dehumanising norm, that restricts what is perceivable and, indeed, what can be”. 

This continues to resonate with me; that the neoliberal project in particular restricts and imposes constraints on what can be heard, read, seen, felt and known. My seminars in this summer school will intertwine experimentation with theory & practice to get inside the power dynamics of images and the film apparatus to understand and subvert how we as artists and/or filmmakers are identifying with what we see, as well as what we don’t see. What forces are in operation in the connection between the viewer and the image? What power do we have to reclaim these processes through the imagination and/or Art? How can we experience problems of film representation beyond the image? What can we learn from past work that has pushed at the edges of a Forcible Frame? As Judith Butler states, seeing the frames that blind us is no easy matter, and so inevitably the seminars running as a thread through the 8 weeks will rarely be conventional film screenings. Rather, together, we will seek other ways to problematise the condition of seeing” 

The Summer School also supports hands on workshops experienced in the Lab at This practice is crucial to the summer school, as we both highly value the experience of ‘thinking through and by the camera’ that will come through this contact time as well as the value of learning through making, practice as research. We are pleased to announce that I-Dailies have agreed to support the summer school with 16mm colour processing and telecine. Please download the Lab Curriculum Forcible Frames 2013 for more details (link). 

How to apply 

The summer school is now open for applications, which will be received on a first-come first-served basis. This course is open to 22 participants and we expect to fill the places quickly; if you are keen to join us please book promptly in order to avoid disappointment. 

To book please call on 0207 729 4494 or email james.holcombe|at| Payment can be made by card over the phone.

• Prices 

This 8 week course is £1000 for members, and £1300 for non members 

• Can I pay through installments? 
Yes. We know that for many people signing up to the Summer School is a financial commitment. We are therefore happy to take payments in three planned installments. In order to secure your place, we will need a £400 deposit at the time of booking. Following that payment, we will take a second payment on 25th May and a final payment of by 25th June. The installment payments will be for two lots of £300 or £450 for non members. Payments will need to be arranged by card or standing order. 

• Where is my money going? is a not-for-profit organisation and the money generated from the fees for the Summer School go directly back into the running costs for the school (staffing, guest workshops, lab materials, studio space, film hire & screening costs). Forcible Frames is priced so that it is self sufficient and can run without being dependent on corporate or commercial sponsorship. The fees go directly back into the teaching and facilitation and not into administration or other projects. 

• Why does this year’s Summer School cost less than last year’s? 
This year was successful in getting a small grant from Tower Hamlets, and we felt this was a good way to pass this small saving directly to our constituency. 

• What can I expect? 
A record of the last summer school can be found here by looking at past posts in 2012 for June / July / August. You can also read some reflections on last summer school in conversation between Julia Parks and Piotr Krzymowski (click here). 

• Who is teaching on this course? 
Brad Butler, Karen Mirza and James Holcombe (from with Larne Abse Gogarty & Josefine Wikström, John Akomfrah / Smoking Dog Films, George Barber, Leah Borromeo, Evan Calder Williams, Marine Hugonnier, Peter Kennard & Cat Phillipps, Omar Kholeif, Esther Leslie, Melanie Manchot, Mosireen, Joshua Oppenheimer & Andrea Zimmerman, Lee Patterson, Vanda Playford, Frances Rifkin, Aura Satz, John Smith, Milica Tomic and Jelena Petrovic / Grupa Spomenik (The Monument Group), Gee Vaucher.


• Is this only for film makers? 
The course is open to all; participants without prior experience in film making will gain new skills in the lab, whilst those who have experience can build on both their practical and theoretical knowledge. But the course itself is designed for those wishing to deeply work on contemporary moving image practice and the interface of film and video with art, documentary, politics and other disciplines through theory and practice. 

• How often can I access the lab? 
Alongside a teaching session in the lab on Wednesdays (see timetable for details), the lab is open to summer school participants on Thursdays. Access to the lab on Thursday needs to be booked in advance individually or as groups; everybody will have a chance to do this during the eight week school. 


• Can I volunteer to help out? 
This year we were again overwhelmed by volunteers and so these posts have already been filled. 

• Can I take the course in modules? 
The course is not available in a modular format; participants are asked to attend the whole programme. 


• Do you provide accommodation? 
Unfortunately we simply do not have the resources available to provide accommodation. 

• Is this course accredited? 
The Summer School is not accredited. 

• Can you help me with my visa? 
Unfortunately we do not have the capacity to support visa applications. 

• Cancellations policy 
In the event of having to cancel or postpone a course you are entitled to a full refund. In the event that you cannot attend the summer school having booked a place, a 100% refund is available up until 10th may, 50% refund is available if you cancel by the 25th May. We are sorry but absolutely no refunds can be made after this date. 

• Am I a member once I have joined the school? 
If you sign up and pay for membership at the same time. 

• Does offer an alternative to the Summer School? 
While the Summer School is unique in its intensity, also runs courses, screenings, critical seminars and artist workshops throughout the year and we remain committed to our basic ethos, that our lab and facilities can be accessed by anyone for £120 a year.

The Wealth of NationsPeter Kennard and Cat Phillipps, 2012
Summer School 2012, photo by Piotr Krzymowski

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