ONLINE COURSES / Art, philosophy & politics

[AP] online courses are designed to discuss contemporary issues as they intersect with art, film and curatorial practices. Our interest is in divining new ways of thinking and making and bringing these into the course design. The courses will cover different media, including cinema and other screen-based mediums, painting, installation and sculptural practices.

[AP] course designers and teachers have extensive experience in designing and delivering university level courses in art schools and university theory departments.

Antoine Vollon, Mound of Butter, 1875–85, oil on canvas, 50.2 x 61cm. National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.



Commencing February 6  x 4 weeks
Incursions, plants, art practices.
Collaboration with Bundanon

April, exact Dates TBC

-- Contemporary Sculptural Practice with 5 guest artists invited each week. 

-- Art Writing Workshop. An intensive workshop over several months, with a mentorship focus led by experienced art writers, Gwynneth Porter, Jan Bryant, and guests.

COURSE/S (2023)

Incursions, plants, art practices 


Using fiction, poetry, films, and artworks as the bases for discussion, we will investigate some theoretical concepts sparked by Bundanon’s Siteworks 2022, such as:

§  humans’ relationships with plants;
§  capitalism and drugs;
§  colonialism and decolonising strategies;
§  climate change and art;
§  critique of historical earthworks;
§  philosophical and political themes around life/nature/capitalism. 

Set across 3 weeks on line and 1 week onsite (recorded for those who can’t attend in person).

The online weeks will be each Monday in February 2023 @19:00 Aust Summer time  (Queensland, 18:00 / New Zealand (21:00)

Week (1) February 6, Vegetal thinking, Perceptions of plant life / Guest: Gwynneth Porter (writer)

Week (2) February 13, Impact of Colonisation on First Peoples. / Guest: Mandy Quadrio (Artist) Meanjin based, Pairabeenee, Trawlwoolway, woman.

Week (3) February 20, Art, materials, climate change Guest / Andrew Denton (Canadian/NZ filmmaker) 

Week (4)  February 26, Conversation with artists at the Bundanon site / Guests: Naomi Eller and Stephen Rhall

Session will be recorded for those who cannot attend. (recorded). This week is open to the public and there is no charge.

For Direct transfer:
Account Name: Art Programme
BSB: 124001
Account: 22258193
Low or unwaged, please contact Jan Bryant / for options.


Post-Conceptual Painting

Run over two parts, Tuesday eves at 18:00–20:00  (Easter Standard Melbourne) Part A ran from Aug 2 to August 30  / Part B ran from Sept 20 to October 18.

Art Programme and the Melbourne School of Contemporary Art are coming together again to host a discussion group on contemporary painting, with a different guest artist joining us each week.

Our starting point is to consider painting as a pictorial practice in the widest, non-denominational sense. We will question whether a decline in the power of conceptual art has meant that painters have been re-embracing sensation, material effects and diverse approaches this century, unconcerned with the kinds of debates and/or fixations that ebbed and flowed in earlier moments of modernity.

Each week, in consultation with the guest artist,  there will be a different reading (fiction, poetry, philosophy, political theory) or it may be a film, a still image or even a joke!  

On enrolment, you will  also receive a link to a package of historical texts on painting that will help contextualise our contemporary moment.  There is no pressure to do pre-reading, it’s just offered for you if you so desire.

You can enrol for part (A) through MSCA .

Guest artists confirmed:

[In alphabetical order]:
Angela Brennan
Emmanuel Rodriguez Chavez
Fu-on Chung
Sarah Hillary
Clare Longely
Helen Johnson
Patrick Lundberg
Mathilde Rossier
Sam Rountree Williams
Kate Smith

Bodies Without Organs

Commencing first week of August, 2022, Ruth Höflich

Body Without Organs is a five-part course led by Ruth Höflich with guest presentations by New York-based artist H.A Halpert, the collaborative duo Mel Deerson & Briony Galligan and artist/filmmaker Allison Gibbs. We will be responding to the films of Pier Paolo Pasolini (Theorem, 1968) and Claire Denis (The Intruder, 2004) to consider visitor/host relations, folded structures and the porous borders that form around them as well as broader questions on the poetics of cinema and the necessary precarity of open form.

The course is a collaboration between Art Programme and The Melbourne School of Contemporary Art and itself is an experiment in different forms of presentation, spanning lecture performance, discussion and modes of artists’ research that invite collaboration. Weekly sessions will be underpinned by additional film and video excerpts (incl. Valie Export, Marguerite Duras, Alexandre Koberidze and Jean–Luc Godard) as well readings across theory and poetry

On Painting Philip Guston’s Studio

On Painting was a collaboration between Art Programme [AP] and The Melbourne School of Contemporary Art.

Bill Hawkins and Jan Bryant instigated discussions on various ideas in painting using quotes from Philip Guston as catalysts. There was an open discussion in which everyone was invited to participate and to present their own work (if they wanted) to the group. The weeks were divided into 5 parts: (1) positioning Guston / questioning art history methodolgies / Georges Didi-Huberman; (2) political aesthetics / Jacques Jacques Rancière / issues surrounding the postponment of Guston’s large retrospective originally planned for 2020 and identity politics; (3)  Guston’s rejection of abstraction and theories of Mimesis; (4) moods, humour and melancholy / Guston’s allegorical claim for his late works / Walter Benjamin’s theory of allegory; (5) the future of contemporary art under current economic structures (neoliberalism) / Wendy Brown / David Harvey / 

Other painters referenced: Pierre Alechinsky / Fra Angelica / Belkis Ayón / Francis Bacon / Angela Brennan / Chardin / Jean Fautrier / Piero della Francesca / El Greco / Dale Harding / Martin Kippenberger /Julia Koether / Dana Lok / Helen Johnson / José Clemente Orozco / Mathilde Rosier / Diego Rivera / Georgette Seabrooke /  

Participant Endorsements

Eleanor Louise Butt (Painter)
Jan drew with generosity from her rich knowledge of art, critical theory, politics etc. to present a brilliant course on painting and Philip Guston. As a group, we
shared ideas through informal conversations based on set readings where concepts were discussed, guided by Jan and Bill. I enjoyed that participants were encouraged to share images of their own work during the sessions and ask questions of one another. The class was the highlight of my month and has enriched my own painting practice.

[AP] Course Facilitators

[AP] Course Testimonials

 Honours, Fine Arts & Theory, 2020
Over the course of the year we were taken through a complex and thoughtful weave of theory and academia that has proven beneficial and liberating for many of our own research interests. We were presented with challenging topics and provocations that generated formative debates.