The limited resources of time and energy available to all concerned has been devoted to ongoing activity rather than archiving/updating/posting, and those tasks are being worked on gradually. Below is a skeletal list of all Star City Shadow School activity to date, with descriptions and links to relavent material where it has been uploaded. More links, downloads, and descriptions will be added intermittently.

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Major Projects

Liberté: France in the 19th Century (Sept. 2012—June 2013), in partnership w/Community High School
Facilitators: Olchar Lindsann & Brian Counihan

An ongoing collaborative project between Community High School and Star City Shadow School, the project takes the form of two classes running simultaneously, very different in their nature, and intersecting in several ways. It is an experiment in how progressive educational institutions can interact with unofficial, experimental educational communities, and in the potential intersections of pedagogy, research, publishing, and community organizing. The class at CHS will combine seminar, lecture, and independent research, and is taught by Brian Counihan, with the collaboration of Olchar E. Lindsann; it is accompanied by a series of extra-curricular lectures, discussions, and living-history events and an exhibition. The Shadow School side of the project is moderated by Olchar lindsann and hosted through an online blog, is open to anyone, and can be joined at any time. It consists of a variety of collaborators from all over the world, working non-hierarchically, and without any official structures such as assignments, ‘class time’ etc. All collaborators bring their own interests, perspectives, and knowledge-bases to the project to share. Many are involved with Avant-Garde, Decadent, and other underground communities, which will probably result in an intensified focus on the counter-currents of French culture. Both versions of Liberté class share a four-volume series of anthologies being assembled as the course progresses, available in printed format and as free PDFs. The Liberté books are the most concrete link between the CHS and Shadow School courses; CHS students are encouraged, but not required, to take part in the conversations and investigations occurring on the blog. The blog serves as a resource for students interested in further exploring topics discussed in class, in a context which is diverse and non-institutional, and to see how what they are learning can relate to an array of real-world issues and contemporary activities. It is also be a place to access (and share) texts and resources not included in their official syllabus, to investigate other directions.

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The Campbell Ave. Study (April—June, 2012), in partnership w/Philosophy Inc & Liminal Gallery
Facillitator: Matt Ames

The month of May Shadow School and Philosophy INC will be studying Campbell Ave between Williamson Rd and 9th ST SE.

The plan of the study is to explore this area using playful techniques including: loose science, poetic geography, magic thinking and dowsing rods, photographs, found objects, plant identification, video, old maps, psychogeographic elements, soil samples, color studies and other components that attempt to bring together an understanding of this area using historical, scientific and playful exploration. Results of the study will be presented at Community School’s Liminal Gallery in June.

So, if you like to walk around, talk, look at things and document your activities-please join us!

Documentation Video by Matt Ames/Philosophy Inc:

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SCSS @ the Marginal Arts Festival (Feb. 16-20, 2012), in partnership w/ [Exclamations] & The Roanoke Marginal Arts Festival
Facilitators: Warren Fry & Olchar Lindsann

Come share a series of short presentations, conversations, workshops, demonstrations and experiments with local and visiting friends at the Marginal Arts Festival! What do you like talk about, and never get the opportunity? In what do you find fascination which you wish to convey to others? What do you have to show us? To teach? To introduce? Come share it at the Marginal Arts Festival!

The Festival runs from Feb. 16-21, 2012. Star City Shadow School will be coordinating a series short talks, demonstrations, micro-lectures, workshops, show-and-tells, and whatever else YOU can come up with. Presentations will be taking place in several venues throughout the festival, in collaboration with other community projects. Subject and form are up to you: the more variety the better! This is an opportunity for us all to discover knowledge, resources, interests, resources and possibilities that lie hidden within our community–sowing seeds which we can cultivate over the following months and years. Presentations will be given and attended by visiting artists from our various extended communities as well, and will be one more platform for building dialogues and networks of friendship between Roanoke and other communities worldwide.

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Single Session Events & Exhibitions

History, Community, and the Micro-Archive (Dec. 23, 2012), in partnership w/Liminal Gallery
Facilitator: Olchar Lindsann

The past is strewn with tiny subcultures, traditions, and communities that have been forgotten, written out, or re-written by mainstream history; and the tangible relics of these lost worlds are in constant danger of being forever lost, along with the unwritten histories for which they are the touchstones. This loss is all the more sad in that, very often, these relics can be gathered together at very little financial cost and without undue effort, revealing our own forgotten collective histories to broaden and deepen our understandings of current subcultures and collective efforts. In an informal lecture and guided discussion, Olchar Lindsann will address the concept and the practical techniques of ‘micro-archiving’: assembling very small, very focused archives of art, books, music, and ephemera that body forth very specific subcultures or themes. He will describe how he has assembled the entire archive exhibited in the Liminal Gallery on a poverty-line budget, followed by an informal tour of the collection in which multiple histories will be opened up—not only the histories of the writers and artists represented, but also of the people who have owned and preserved these objects for over a century, ranging from destitute alcoholics to art historians to inhabitants of the White House.

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REMATCH: Classicism vs. Romanticism (Dec. 7, 2012), in partnership w/Liminal Gallery & Community High School
Facilitators: Olchar Lindsann & Brian Counihan

In association with the Liberté Project, Star City Shadow School and Community High School invite you to take part in the CULTURAL BATTLE OF (a different) CENTURY! To mark the exhibition ‘Romanticism and the Avant-Garde’ at the Liminal Gallery, long-dead aesthetic hatreds will be exhumed, to rage against each other for the first time since the 1830s, for your edification and amusement! Two opposing teams–the refined paragons of a Classicist coterie, and the wild barbarians of a Romanticist Cénacle–shall wage battle through their poems, plays, prefaces, music, fashion, and food.

Come hiss and boo your enemies, cheer and bolster your chosen side! Come in your Classicist or Romanticist costume, and banter in your out-dated slang! (never fear, we shall tell you what that might mean.) Dance triumphantly round the busts of your enemies, or spear them with verbal witticisms! Drink nectar from fresh pomegranates, or wine from skulls!

HISTORY FIGHTS BACK!
Because if you can’t fight for a 200-year-old idea, what CAN you fight for?!

Associated with the Liberté Project

Documentation of Event from live stream via Bambuser

Publications Distributed at the Event:
Classicism / Romanticism: A Very Brief Primer

A Handbook of Argot: A Tourists’ Guide to Romanticist Slang & Classicist Wit

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A Secret History of the 19th Century: The History of the Early Avant-Gardes (Dec. 2, 2012), in partnership w/Liminal Gallery & Community High School
Facilitator: Olchar Lindsann

For most of us, the French Romanticist Movement is remembered, if at all, through just a few ‘big name’ representatives: Delacroix, Hugo, Chopin, etc. But almost unknown to the English-speaking world are the hundreds of cultural workers who were more extreme, more experimental, and less famous, who forged an underground community that came to be known (among other names) as the avant-garde.
In conjunction with the joint SCSS & CHS Liberté project,  join Olchar E. Lindsann, archivist and curator of the exhibition, for a lively, informal introduction to the teeming counter-cultures that have been written out of mainstream art, literature, and cultural histories: a dizzying amalgam of utopianism, occultism, mysticism, radical politics, formal experimentation, identity-bending, popular culture, altered states of consciousness, and the fringe extremes of philosophy and metaphysics. In this presentation, the Historian will not appear as an academic or objective observer, but as a storyteller bringing back to life the shared past of the avant-garde community whose present incarnation was represented in the previous Liminal Gallery exhibition, the Decentralized Networkers’ Congress. He will be joined by other members of Roanoke’s avant-garde community who will add the fruits of their own research and reflection on the history of underground literature, art, and alternative lifestyles.

Documentation of Event from live stream via Bambuser

Notes and Info from lecture

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Romanticism and the Avant-Garde (Nov. 19, 2012-Jan. 9, 2013), in partnership w/Liminal Gallery
Facilitator: Olchar Lindsann

This exhibition explores the roots of today’s avant-garde networks in the extremist subcultures that flourished on the fringes of French Romanticism between 1825, when experimental writers and artists first began using the term ‘avant-garde’1840, and traces the continuous development of the tradition into the early 20th Century. This historical trajectory has almost entirely disappeared from today’s Art-Historical narratives, and the current show represents the fruits of recent discoveries by a network of independent researchers collaborating and sharing their work since 2006. The show, and its associated events, address questions of historiography, archiving, and financial markets: who makes our creative histories, for what motives and with what materials? How can subcultures without regular access to the major institutions of academic power participate in this process? And how can historical research be integrated into the continuing life and growth of today’s creative communities?

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Learn @ Leisure: Incubus & Esperanto (Nov. 18, 2012)
Facilitators: Olchar Lindsann & Matt Ames

A  viewing of the 1966 film Incubus, filmed entirely in Esperanto, preceded by a short presentation and discussion on Esperanto, the largest constructed language in the world.

w/Philosophy Inc

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The Findings of the Campbell Ave. Study (June 1-30, 2012)
Facilitator: Matt Ames

Philosophy INC & Star City Shadow School present the findings from their month long study of Campbell Avenue SE.
The presentation includes photographs, found objects, plant identification, video, old maps, psychogeographic elements, soil
samples, color studies and other components that attempt to bring together an understanding of this area using historical,
scientific and playful exploration. Visitors will take a walk down Campbell Avenue.

w/Philosophy Inc & the Liminal Gallery

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Documentary Night: Terry Jones’ BARBARIANS (March 25, 2012)
Facilitators: Olchar Lindsann & Matt Ames

Terry Jones is not only a member of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, but also an Oxford-trained historian whose many documentary series combine off-canon sources, cutting-edge archaeological research, and dark humour to give stories and perspectives that have been written out of Western history by the dominant powers.

We will be watching an episode of his series BARBARIANS, which attempts to reconstruct the pan-European Celtic culture whose civilization and history were obliterated by the Romans. There are some surprising revelations, and a picture of the Roman Empire very different from the prevailing one. As a chaser we’ll watch an episode of his series Medieval Lives.

w/Philosophy Inc

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Documentary Night: Black Power Mix Tape (March 16, 2012)
Facilitator: Matt Ames

w/Philosophy Inc

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Performance and Public Space Workshop (Feb. 10-20)
Facilitators: Rebecca Weeks & Warren Fry

Associated w/ SCSS @ the MAF
w/Community High School & Roanoke Marginal Arts Festival

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Microtechnology and Ethics (Feb. 17, 2012)
Facilitator: Tomislav Butkovic

An informal conversation exploring intersections of technology, creative practice, and the ethical/ economic/ social issues surrounding them. How might artists and thinkers orient themselves toward emerging technologies in the coming generation?

Associated w/ SCSS @ the MAF
w/ [Exclamations] & Roanoke Marginal Arts Festival

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Seedbomb & Composting Workshop (Feb. 19, 2012)
Facilitator: Krista Faist

Associated w/ SCSS @ the MAF
w/ [Exclamations] & Roanoke Marginal Arts Festival

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Social Intersectionality: A Consciousness Raising Experiment
Facilitator: Emily Panzeri

Where are we on the continuum of privilege and oppression? How do we gain a deeper understanding of our culture? This session will involve 2 guided exercises in reflecting on and exploring your personal social intersectionality and privilege (race, class, gender, etc.) and of your culture from your family-of-origin. Take-home resources will be provided for further exploration through readings and exercises.

Associated w/ SCSS @ the MAF
w/ [Exclamations] & Roanoke Marginal Arts Festival

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The Lyric Response: Toward a Neo-Modernist Voice
Presenter: Raymond Higgins

A series of lyrical readings responding to auto-biography, the Canon and an artistic moment guided by the Modernist paradigm. Canonical works to be referenced include Moby-Dick, The Sound and the Fury and Mrs. Dalloway. One contemporary work of lyrical non-fiction by Annie Dillard will also be approached: For the Time Being.

Associated w/ SCSS @ the MAF
w/ [Exclamations] & Roanoke Marginal Arts Festival

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Social Work Advocacy and Cultural Identity (Feb. 18, 2012)
Facilitator: Emily Panzeri

This discussion will include a brief overview of the social work profession, and examples of micro and macro social advocacy. I will talk about recent projects that I have worked on in the social work sphere, and how this connects with my creative identity as a poet/writer. Participants will also be encouraged to share their advocacy interests and ideas which can be shaped by suggestions from the group. Take-home resources will be provided for further readings and activist opportunities.

Associated w/ SCSS @ the MAF
w/ [Exclamations] & Roanoke Marginal Arts Festival

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Why a Square is a Circle (Feb. 17, 2012)
Presenter: Cathy Mehrl Bennett

Fluxus performance lecture which will include a powerpoint slideshow, some info about women artistamp makers, and a reading of a collaboration: The Blaster aka Ackerman Hacks C’s Flux event scores.

Associated w/ SCSS @ the MAF
w/ [Exclamations] & Roanoke Marginal Arts Festival

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Somasemia: Poems Wearing meat-Suits (Feb. 17, 2012)
Presenter: Olchar Lindsann

Performative Lecture-Demonstration examining the poetics of interpretation and bodily rhythm in sound poetry, in particular the issue of semic scale of interpretation–on what levels are the ‘text’ and ‘voice’ considered as poetic material–and the ways in which repeated or rehearsed performance brings about a convergence of text, body, and brain.

Associated w/ SCSS @ the MAF
w/ [Exclamations] & Roanoke Marginal Arts Festival

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Making Your Own Sauerkraut (Feb. 17, 2012)
Presenter: Shelly Smith

Sauerkraut is cheap, easy to make and delicious. This class will cover the basics of making sauerkraut, safety considerations, troubleshooting tips and more. Open your kitchen to home made fermented food.

Associated w/ SCSS @ the MAF
w/ [Exclamations] & Roanoke Marginal Arts Festival

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Madness, Friendship, and Ethics in the Avant-Garde (Feb. 17, 2012)
Presenter: Rebecca Weeks

Associated w/ SCSS @ the MAF
w/ [Exclamations] & Roanoke Marginal Arts Festival

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Micro-Artists’ Books, 1980-1982 (Feb. 17, 2012)
Presenter: John M. Bennett

Powerpoint presentation of collaborative books by John And C. Mehrl Bennett.

Associated w/ SCSS @ the MAF
w/ [Exclamations] & Roanoke Marginal Arts Festival

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Live Arts Workshop (Feb. 15, 2012)
Presenters: Alexandra Zierle & Paul Carter

Associated w/ SCSS @ the MAF
w/ [Exclamations] & Roanoke Marginal Arts Festival

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Fun with Ferments: Sourdough, Kimchi & Kombucha (Jan. 28, 2012)
Facilitator: Robin Knapmeyer

A hands-on workshop. Explore the processes by which these lively, nutrient-laden foods can be made inexpensively by you, in your own kitchen.
“One small but tangible way to resist homogenization of culture is to involve yourself in the harnessing and gentle manipulation of wild microbial cultures.” –Sandor Katz, Wild Fermantation

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Live Art / Performance Workshop (Dec. 6, 2011)
Leaders: Warren Fry & Olchar Lindsann

This workshop is a first step in trying to establish a local community of experimental performance work in Roanoke, in which both experienced and beginning performers can depend upon communal support, an environment in which to learn and collaborate, and opportunities to present their work. The workshop will involve a group discussion about what a local performance community might look like and how the workshop and other activities can be helpful to everyone in the community. Dialogues, exercises and activities will help us begin to get a feel for each others’ work, ease new performers into unexplored possibilities, and help bring out mindsets and awarenesses to strengthen our performances.

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Orchestral Music of Avant-Garde Romanticism (Aug. 27, 2011)

Leaders: Terri Lennard, Chris Lennard, & Olchar E. Lindsann

A learning-and-leisure listening potlatch party!

In the 1830s and ’40s a vibrant underground of radical intellectuals and creators developed an avant-garde community which continues today. Come by to learn and listen to some of the music that came out of this community to transform the cultural landscape, and at the same time meet Olchar’s family who’s visiting Roanoke for the first time!

This is a casual event that is both educational and social–an experiment in the kinds of things that YOU can also organise and host through the Star City Shadow School. Bring a dish to share if you can, and BYOB. We’ll eat and socialise for an hour or so, and then have some short talks and listen to music together! And then socialize some more.

Terri Lennard has taught both vocal and instrumental music from kindergarten through high school for many years, and Chris Lennard is completing his degree in percussion and has played some of the music we will be listening to. (They are also Olchar’s mother and brother!) They will be helping us to contextualise the music of the Romanticist avant-garde, distinguish it from mainstream Romanticism, and appreciate the music in a more detailed way. Olchar will be talking a bit about his research into the early 19th Century avant-garde generally and how this music related to that community.

The playlist includes Hector Berlioz’s Frenetic-Gothic ‘Symphonie Fantastique’, Franz Liszt’s ‘Faust Symphony’, a bit of Mozrt to contextualise these innovations of the avant-garde. Books and images by writers and artists who were friends and collaborators of these musicians will also be passed around as we listen.

DOWNLOADABLE MATERIALS:

Video of Lecture (incomplete)

Olchar Lindsann’s lecture notes on Avant-Garde Romanticism (Download)

Hector Berlioz, Narrative Programme for the Symphonie Fantastique (1830) (Download)

Hector Berlioz, Symphonie Fantastique (Download)

Terri Lennard’s listening notes for Lizst’s Faust (1857) (Download)

Franz Liszt, Faust Symphony (Download)

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