Enmeshed in the Borders: The Para-Institutional Practices of Alternative Arts Education Online


  • Rosie Hermon




para-institutional practice, alternative arts education, pluriversality


This article takes up new online experiments in alternative arts education as examples of para-institutional practice, arguing that the online experiments discussed can be understood as enacting modes of border dwelling. In this context, the para-institution acknowledges and works with the tensions and compromises that exist in attempting to operate besides and beyond gatekeeping art world structures, rather than enacting a total refusal of these institutions. As an example of how these tensions play out in practice, the article focuses on the wiki Mesh: a sharing hub for emerging artists, initially developed out of the Into the Wild alternative arts education programme. Mesh was conceived by Esther McManus, who spoke with the author for the purposes of exploring the Mesh project as a case study for this article. In re-articulating para-institutional practices as forms of border dwelling within the ontology of the pluriverse, this article aims to demonstrate how borders of institutional practice are a fertile space to question the terms of the conversation when exploring institutional processes and parameters, as part of an ethically engaged project seeking more inclusive and pluriversal artworlds.