Summer and Fall 2016, MAKING AMERICA AGAIN

Summer and Fall 2016, MAKING AMERICA AGAIN


A series of Summer and Fall learning days that seeks to ponder, in light of the current presidential race, the repetitive and seemingly ceaseless ways in which America has been made and made again since colonization and founding—and explore our own refuges from many projects to make America as well as our own ways of remaking it. Amidst many claims that assume the product of these makings to be both self-evident and beneficial for all, we ask: Who is it that makes America? Who is it that has made America and yet finds no home here? What attempts at unmaking and remaking America do these makers inspire us toward? Each class ends with a production—in the realms of art, nature, & politics—of falsework, our gesture to necessities & possibilities that exist alongside existing structures and realities in the USA & beyond. All classes are open to the public, and are free this summer. Registration is required since space is limited. Please register here.

Read more about us here. 


Saturday, June 4, Richmond Town Hall, 10 am-1 pm

Building Communities of Study, Thought, and Practice (Materials)

This is the inaugural gathering of the Falsework school, and the first class in the Making America Again series. The topic will be community education. We hope to discuss various models of social and political education, present our thinking about the Falsework model, and invite friends to clarify each of our own investments in alternative education. Close reading and workshopping together will serve as forays into thinking about education that produces new relations without reproducing the world in which we find ourselves.


Saturday, June 18, Richmond Town Hall, 10 am-2 pm

Unsuspected Wordsmiths: Writing and Reading America (Materials)

This class, the second in Falsework School’s Making America Again series, moves through some “minor” works of major literary figures of America, especially from New England, to attend to aspects of literary expression that cross the boundaries of locale and nation. Given that the Berkshires are a haven for wordsmiths of all kinds, we will consider what it means to read a writer or poet as belonging to a place and time, and to take seriously where and when they wrote their words? How can we see both the writer and the reader as wordsmiths of America, of an America yet to be, as we speak of the continued conditions of its making and makers (as workers, slaves, immigrants, women)? We will read short works from writers who wrote in this area and interacted with issues of justice and equality in their own singular manner–by addressing belonging to space and nation in ways that might yet fruitfully inform contemporary American life. We will end with producing our own statements on being wordsmiths–as readers and writers of America. No prior knowledge or experience with these writers is required.


Saturday, July 30, Norman Rockwell Museum, 10 am-2 pm

Artworking the Berkshires (Materials)

This class, the third in Falsework School’s Making America Again series, offers a chance to recollect the politics and meaning of our own art (broadly understood) in communion with other artworkers in the area. What kind of meaning do we want our work to have and why, and who do we think determines that? How do we bring a critical self-reflection to the production of art and culture in the Berkshires by getting together and articulating over, for ourselves at least, the communities in which we make our art, and to whom we feel accountable. Surrounded by the lifework and infused with the spirit of Norman Rockwell and his contemporaries, this learning day will engage with the minor and major works of local artists and the range of their connected, intended, and received politics in the world. Readings will include a range of manifestoes and artist’s statements, and we will conclude with workshopping experimental artist statements of our own.


Saturday, August 13, Richmond Town Hall, 10 am-2pm

Listen in: Hearing and Speaking America (Materials) 

This class, the fourth in Falsework School’s Making America Again series, explores radio and sound experiments as ways of investigating, producing, cultivating, and disrupting political attachments. In which historical moments and under which conditions are different kinds of radio produced and different kinds of storytelling prioritized? What political impulses have guided the making of interesting sound projects? Reading radio plays, essays, and interviews and listening to a variety of radio experiments, we will challenge each other to open our ears and think more deeply about our listening experiences. We will end with recording clips of radio plays and our own sound experiments to be shared/broadcast.


Saturday, August 27, Richmond Town Hall, 10 am-2 pm

For the Love of the World: On the Seventh Day in America (Materials)

“In this sense, in its need for beginners that it maybe begun anew, the world is always a desert.”–Hannah Arendt

With the tireless efforts it takes from so many to build our communities, raise awareness, and right wrongs, this course seeks to provide a space of reprieve, retreat, and reflection for those who produce a world under rampant conditions of what philosopher Hannah Arendt called worldlessness. For this class, the fifth in Falsework School’s Making America Again series, we will ask everyone to bring one inspirational text that keeps everyone going and ever begin anew to do the work of producing a more just and fair “America,” liveable for all. We will take time to speak of challenges and draws, exhaustions and rewards, and allow a space for the worldmakers–activists, educators, organizers, entrepreneurs, and the like–among us to create a quieter conversation after always projecting their voices to be heard, and share how they make room for thought and reflection as they embody the political and social stances that they hold dear.


Sunday, October 9, Richmond Town Hall, 10am-2pm 

“From Which One Will Never Recover Unscarred”: Racism in the Berkshires, a day of study (Materials)

This day of community study works with texts and artifacts that might allow us to grapple with the current ambience of everyday life and politics in the Berkshires and how its tenor and affect communicate with national and global discourses and trends. Readings and materials will be provided, no preparation required.