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Tools for Learning

Tools for Learning, generated with Biennial participants and collaborators, comprises group exercises, performative scores, proposals for collaborative thinking and making, artist interviews, and audio tours. Tools can be instruments to make and repair, but also strategies to undo and refuse. Whether in the Biennial, the classroom, or at home, our multimedia toolbox can be put to use by educators, students, and other community members in connecting their own experiences and curricula with process-based, playful approaches to contemporary artistic practices. Practically and conceptually, Tools for Learning offers materials and methods for reimagining relations with land, water, and each other.

Tools for Learning is made possible with founding support from the Lang Family Foundation and a generous contribution from the Rossy Family Foundation.

Book a visit for your students or community group. All ages welcome.

Tools for Learning Toolbox

This growing Tools for Learning Toolbox offers a host of collective activities which invite visiting schools, community groups, and others to make and repair—or even undo and refuse—relationships between their own experiences and the artistic practices within The Shoreline Dilemma. Inspired by the approaches of many Biennial participants, as well as educators and thinkers, the Tools for Learning Toolbox, designed by Chris Lee and Ali Qadeer, can be downloaded for free and activated in exhibition spaces or closer to home.

The list below comprises downloadable individual tools. To receive a consolidated PDF of all tools, please email ppl@torontobiennial.org.

Toolbox: Introduction

“What is a Biennial?”, “Where are we?”, “What are tools for learning?” Exploration of these questions helps provide a context for the Tools for Learning Toolbox within The Shoreline Dilemma exhibition and the many approaches that have informed the Biennial process.

Toolbox: Abel and Wilson Rodríguez

The relationship between Abel Rodríguez and Wilson Rodríguez’s lives and work inspires an intergenerational tool for observing and learning from the natural materials around us as well as each other.

Toolbox: Adrian Blackwell

Through a bodily exercise, this tool responds to the ways in which Adrian Blackwell’s Isonomia in Toronto? (2019) reconsiders how we learn with and through the body in space.

Toolbox: Adrian Stimson

As a survivor of the residential school system, Adrian Stimson shows that ways of remembering and sharing knowledge can take many forms through Iini Sookumapii: Guess who’s coming to dinner? (2019).

Toolbox: Arin Rungjang

Sometimes words are not enough to describe an experience. Inspired by Arin Rungjang’s Ravisara (2019), this tool offers a silent space for gestural and embodied modes of expression that go beyond words.

Dana Claxton, Headdress-Jeneen, 2018. Image courtesy of the artist

Toolbox: Dana Claxton

What stories do cultural belongings tell? Dana Claxton’s Headdress fire-boxes offer a meaningful way of representing relationships based on kinship and exchange.

Toolbox: Hera Büyüktaşçıyan

Memories are often hard to transcribe. In the spirit of Hera Büyüktaşçıyan’s Reveries of an Underground Forest (2019), this interview exercise invites you to listen to memories of “home” from another perspective.

Toolbox: Judy Chicago

In response to Judy Chicago’s pyrotechnic Atmospheres (1978–), this tool offers some starting points for creating your own spatial intervention.

Toolbox: Kapwani Kiwanga

How long does it take land to move? This tool invites you to take time in relating to the methods and materials brought together through Kipwani Kiwanga’s Soft Measures (2018-9).

Toolbox: Maria Thereza Alves

“Remember, the rivers are here,” says Maria Thereza Alves in relation to her site-responsive projects in Toronto’s Bickford Park and Riverdale Park West. This tool continues the process of tracing waterways both above and below ground.

Toolbox: Susan Schuppli

As global temperatures rise, Susan Schuppli’s Learning from Ice (2019) invites us to tune into ice core samples and listen to the wisdom of glaciers.

Additional Tools for Learning

What tools do you need when visiting the Biennial? Maybe a tool for making notes, a tool for finding your way, a tool for looking more closely, or a tool for resting? The word “tool” has been used in many ways, in relation to more practical tasks of making, repairing, and undoing, to political strategies of collaboration and resistance. Through a growing toolbox of downloadable Tools for Learning, we adopt some of these approaches along with many others inspired by the participants and artworks in the inaugural edition of the Biennial.

Exploring Inuit Culture Curriculum

Exploring Inuit Culture Curriculum is one of a host of multimedia units of instruction designed by Isuma—Inuit independent production company—to teach students about the Inuit, native people of the Canadian Arctic, and Nunavut, the newest territory in Canada established in 1999.

Before All Else Activity Pack

This guided activity kit, conceived and designed by Ange Loft, based on Victoria Freeman’s historical research, includes symbols sourced from Talking Treaties interactive workshops since 2015, expressing what needs to be considered when making choices in Toronto.

Audio Dispatches

Dispatch is an expansive program offered in multiple parts. Individuals are invited to respond to Syrus Marcus Ware’s Afro-futuristic speculative fiction installation, Antarctica, located at 259 Lake Shore Blvd E.

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