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Self-organized Seminar was a project with several art graduate students who wanted to problematize the professionalization of their art degree, labor in the neoliberal university, and find ways way of generating a collective practice in a atomizing environment. You can see a few projects below.

See a short introduction for more on the project:
Autonomous Research within and/or Beneath the Ruins; Or, We are Finally Getting our Feet Wet



In December 2011 we held a seminar on institutional critique with faculty, graduate students, and artist from around Iowa City. We created a reader for the event, which is available here can be downloaded here, all in one pdf.

A more in depth documentation of the seminar can be viewed on the project website.


In December 2012 SOS organized an event at the Midwest Matrix printmaking conference in order to problematize the uncritical embrace of the prestigious printmaking degree at the U of Iowa. We asked conference attendees and fellow artists to print their debt on an photoshopped image of a brain-factory.

from the flier passed out at the event:

In the Shadow of Debt: Participatory Relief!

To state our personal academic debt declares publicly our vulnerability to a financial and political system that we share with millions. Debt is a global condition, suffered by people around the world. Acknowledging our academic debt publicly enables us to connect ourselves, as debt-ridden graduate students, with the precarious everywhere.

We ask you to join us in making our precarity evident — to wear our debt on our sleeves and take steps towards building a culture that problematizes the value of the graduate degree, as well as gestures towards a larger movement.

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