The Relevance of Critical Making: Practice and Education
The Think Tank #6 - open call for papers, presentations and moderated talks is now extended until April 24 2020.

Dear reader,
In tumultuous times like these, the focus shifts to the personal and adjusting to the daily changes of life as much as possible. It is clear that, when we get out of this isolation, we will find a different world. The immense impact this pandemic has on the societies all over the world will not only show in social structures, as it affects the economically and most vulnerable, but through that will also inflict a major impression on the current educational structures. This seems a lesser concern at this point, when you have to deal with the restrictions and consequences of the isolation. And it is legitimately questionable if we should ‘just’ continue to prepare for our next conference.

We have decided that we will continue, as we feel that the engagement in this community reaches further than professional life. We see this call as an opportunity for ourselves and the next generation to engage in the perception of a culture that exposes its vulnerability in solidarity, healthcare and economy. We thus believe that more than ever, we should invest in artistic research, which calls for more inclusivity, impartiality and constructive criticality in art education.
Educational structures are being tested to the extreme right now. Whichever way we will come out of this crisis, in the best case we will develop an understanding of how we can learn from the lengthy months of shut-down and isolation. The relevance of criticality, and what critical making can add to the education as we know it, is as urgent as ever.

Therefore, we want to extend our open call until the end of April 2020. Our aim is still to have the Think Tank #6 on November 6 and 7 2020.
We would like to encourage all colleagues to submit to our call for papers, presentations and moderated talks. The Think Tank #6 will hopefully look back onto the limitations and implementations we are experiencing and seeks to find out what we have learned from them.
Consequently, we want extend the call to graduate students, artists-groups and researching artists who want to reflect on the actual challenges and come forward with renewed concepts for teaching and learning.

We do appreciate your consideration and ask you to forward this call to your peers and possible contributors.


Stay safe and healthy

The committee of the Glass Virus Think Tank#6

Think Tank #6 - open call for papers, presentations and moderated talks

The Relevance of Critical Making: Practice and Education

The Glass Virus is now inviting practice led researchers and postgraduates to submit abstracts for ‘Relevance of Critical Making: Practice and Education’ Think Tank VI to be held at the Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, November 6 - 7, 2020.
We are seeking papers, provocations, presentations, moderated discussions, dialogues and/or poster-board presentations that emerge new paradigms relative to critical making in art practice and education.
The aim of this year’s Think Tank is to provide a discursive forum to interrogate and develop current and innovative research constructs relevant to practice led research in art practice and education, with particular relevance to glass.
The Glass Virus welcomes the opportunity to publish proceedings or completed research documents on the website.

To present at Glass Virus Think Tank VI, ‘Relevance of Critical Making: Practice and Education’, you must submit the abstract submission form and abstract outline electronically via email to the glassvirus@gmail.com by the abstract deadline of Monday 23 March 2020 with the subject line:
2020 OPEN CALL Glass Virus Think Tank VI
The Glass Virus Think Tank panel will operate a double blind review process.
Abstract submission requires:
Your name(s), institution (if applicable), phone, and email address
Name and email for all co-authors
An abstract title
An abstract outline (300 words approximately)

Poster Presentations
Poster presentations are paper displays that must be prepared in advance. They may not include exhibits of models, devices, or computer programs. You are responsible for printing your own poster. The poster should be on A2 paper. Presenters should be available to discuss their displays during an assigned session.
The results of the call for contributions will be announced by 4 May 2020.

Click HERE to download the abstract submission form.

Happy New Year

2020: Working towards a lively glass art community

In the past years, The Glass Virus has become the platform for glass art education that we envisioned. The community is growing and so is the demand for collaborate endeavors that bring people together and strengthen the network of artists, educators and thinkers in glass.

We want to thank all our supporters, helpers and advisors who helped The Glass Virus with their good spirits, their active help or financial support.

As our grid is growing, we can see plenty of opportunities worth being tackled. More than ever, this growing structure depends on your dedication and support. Many of our activities can only happen with your individual commitment by being part of the virus and contributing to the discussion. There is a greater need for financial support to achieve our goals. As a foundation, we do not have memberships but depend solely on your gifts.

If you are in a giving mood, please consider to contribute to the success of The Glass Virus. Your gift of literally any amount will help us build this community into a strong network.

Would you want to invest in the future of glass art education?
Do you consider a gift to The Glass Virus right now?
Just transfer the amount of your choice to Stichting The Glass Virus:
Iban: NL84TRIO0788810480. Bic: TRIONL2U
For regular monthly or annual donations or specific individual support, please visit https://theglassvirus.com/support for more information or write to us: theglassvirus@gmail.com

A merry Christmas and a prosperous 2020 !

ThinkTank#5 at Urban Glass

The Glass Virus was asked to do a mini-think tank-workshop at the Robert M. Minkoff Foundation’s Academic Symposium at Urban Glass, Brooklyn, NY, titled "Issues in Glass Pedagogy: Criticism, Critique, and Critical Thinking".
This was a great opportunity to re-introduce the Glass Virus, after we had launched it at the first Academic Symposium in 2013.
Here is Jens’ short report of Think Tank#5 at Urban Glass.

“Critique in the Classroom”

To do a mini think tank-workshop at the Academic Symposium at Urban Glass was a new experience for us and given the limited timeframe, it was questionable if the talks could reach the intensity and depth that we are used to. But all concerns seemed redundant as we divided the guests of the symposium in groups and started discussing the topics.
After a short definition of my personal perception of critique in the classroom, the participants were challenged to break down a number of questions, which were in direct relation to the preceding talk or came about in previous lectures at the symposium.
After just 40 minutes of concentrated discussions, all groups were able to present their résumés. Those notes are by no means final answers to the questions, nor do they intent to create a common definition of critique in the classroom. Sometimes even, a group would follow its own dynamic and find other issues more significant.
All those findings are equally valuable. As in many practices, think tanks are about the content an process. They are by definition enclosed gatherings in which all sorts of issues can be discussed, in order to find a common strategy and maybe give advice to other authorities. Our think tanks are about the process much more than the result. We do find that it can be more challenging to proceed with the notes and other outcomes of the discussions rather than dealing with predetermined results. One of the biggest accomplishments of the think tanks is the understanding that frequent communication is the key to progression.

Provided questions to discuss in groups during the mini think tank:

Look at the course of critique – as a teacher, a student, a researcher or former any of that –

• Do we know what’s best for our students and how much of that can we provide?
• Is glass education per definition too monastic?
• Do we allow critique in the classroom?
• Are we fit enough to educate our students to become what we want them to become? (do we even know what that is?)
• Has glass education failed?
• Looking at your own approach: where do you stand, how can you improve your practice?



Think Tank #6 will be launched in November 2020 in Amsterdam!

In fact, you can pencil it down for the next years to come: The Glass Virus will return biannually in October or early November and very possibly it will be organized in different cities throughout Europe.

As our web is growing constantly, we just need more time and effort to organize the events. Besides, The Glass Virus wants to establish other activities alongside the biannual meetings, which also need some attention.

So, from now on, we take turns with the Robert M. Minkoff Academic Symposium at Urban Glass and seek to build a transatlantic educational forum, of which educators and artists both in Europe and in the USA can benefit equally.

The next Think Tank will be held on November 6th and 7th 2020.
More info will be shared in the beginning of next year. Keep checking the website and make sure to mark your calendar.

The Glass Virus at the Robert M. Minkoff Foundation Academic Symposium at Urban Glass

Jens Pfeifer will lead one of his signature Glass Virus ‘Think Tanks’ on the subject of effective critique. In a mini-think tank, we will discuss and explore various ways of constructive critique in the academic classroom. Find out more about this event and many more exiting workshops, panel discussions and lectures and get your tickets at "Issues in Glass Pedagogy: Criticism, Critique, and Critical Thinking"

Our First Announcement on the New Website!

Jan Egbers and Celine Hurka made a big effort to get a complex website going that is easy to navigate and full of information.
The website is made to spread information about our activities and offer a platform for critical dialogue.
In the reading section, we publish your essays, theses or other texts that you want to share with our audience.
On the map you will find a vast collection of universities and academies with glass programmes. This information comes in handy for potential glass art students, when looking for the most appropriate school. It provides an interesting overview of the diversity of European glass art education and we hope for it to be the most complete source of reference on European glass education very soon.
Your contribution is vital! Be it the practical information about your education, your graduation thesis or your PhD paper. If you send it, we will publish it on the website. See examples and information here.
But we also depend on your generous financial support, which will allow us to do research, accelerate the discussion about the future of art education in the glass field or simply maintain the website. Please spare a minute to check out our sponsors and become one yourself: support

Introducing The Glass Virus Foundation

After several years of building an international platform to communicate, debate and exchange, we thought it was about time for the next step. Just before the summer, the Glass Virus became a foundation. With this legal status we hope to be able to appear and perform on more levels, broadening the operating range and team up with other organizations and professional partners. The board consists of Marie De Bruyn, Jens Pfeifer and Bert Willems and has various advisers, who are all giving shape to the content and the appearance of the Glass Virus activities. Please check here for more information.