Philosophy and Pedagogy

What is the School for Poetic Computation?

SFPC is an alternative school for art and technology. We are striving to create a model of education based on collaboration between faculty and students. By participating you will be actively shaping an emerging culture of open source and transparent education.

You can read some articles about the kind of work that’s developed at SFPC: New York Times, Yahoo Tech, video sketch of the final day at Seen in NY and also students’ reports on their time at the school can be found here: Ida and Lee.

Where did the idea come from?

We have been teaching and organizing workshops at schools and festivals around the world. We want to create a safe haven for others to develop ideas into reality. We want to bring all of our experience and knowledge to make a sustainable system for learning and teaching code, experimenting with pedagogy, electronics, installation, performance, user experience, data visualization and etc.

What kind of students are you looking for?

We are looking for people from all backgrounds, who are curious, generous and open. Anyone with a passion to explore poetic computation is invited, and we are looking for diversity in all its forms. Our only expectation is that you are eager to experiment, can learn from failure, and come fully dedicated to this 10 week experience. In the past, we have had students with a broad array of technical experiences and we were delighted, though unsurprised, that everyone had something to learn from each other. A group of faculty leads a selection process that is based on applicant’s answers to an application form, work samples, and short interviews.

Do I need programming skills to be accepted?

We encourage students to have some familiarity with programming and technology in general. If you are an absolute beginner, there will be assignments prior to the School that will get you familiar with the medium.

What is the teaching philosophy?

We celebrate failure and collaboration. Our classes are going to be a mix of lecture, demo and lab hours. We respect our students and support them as artists and educators. We hope our students will have the experience to create projects on their own and teach after the program.

What other schools like this exist?

Here’s a list of short, non-degree granting programs to learn coding: The Recurse Center, ScriptEd, Women Who Code. There’s also places like The Brooklyn institute, LA Game Space, Kitchen Table Coders. We are very happy that our alumni are starting their own schools such as School of Ma in Berlin, and OF Course in Shanghai. Teachablefile is a huge list of artist-run schools. The book, Art School: Propositions for the 21st Century, is a good intro to alternative art schools.

Who started the school?

The school was co-founded in 2013 by Zach Lieberman, Taeyoon Choi, Amit Pitaru, and Jen Lowe in 2013, with Casey Gollan working on administration.

Who runs the school?

The SFPC Team: Zachary Lieberman, Taeyoon Choi and Lauren Gardner organize the sessions. The SFPC Steering Committee: Ida Benedetto, Amit Pitaru, Tega Brain, Todd Anderson, Robby Kraft, Brian Solon provide additional support. We try to work with new teachers and visitors every session, often involving our alumni and community.

Why do you teach?

Teaching inspires learning. We love meeting new people and we often make our best work in collaboration with others.

Basics and Administration

Is this a real school?

Yes. In the sense that there is a lot of learning and teaching happening in a physical space.

Are you accredited?

No. We do not issue formal degrees. By participating you will join a group of alumni growing into a lively community of collaborators.

Where is the school located?

We are located in 155 Bank street, in the courtyard of the Westbeth Artists Community in the West Village, New York City.

How can I support SFPC?

If you are interested in helping underwrite scholarships or support our school through sponsorship, please contact info@sfpc.io for more details. We are also able to receive tax deductible donation through our fiscal sponsor, Eyebeam Art and Technology Center.

Participating

Where do I apply?

Check the Call for Students in the “Participate” section of our website.

How long is a session?

We offer 1-day Workshops, Two-Weeks: Part Time Intesives and Ten-Weeks: Full Time Immersive.

Can non-US citizens apply?

Yes. The 10 weeks session accommodates international students visiting with visitor visas.

How can I find out about future sessions?

We are planning two Ten-Weeks sessions to take place in the Fall of 2017. We are also planning a short Two-Weeks session in summer of 2017. If you subscribe to our mailing list (on the footer of this page) you will be the first to hear when we announce a Call for Students.