MobilityShifts Demonstrations and Actions: Ghana ThinkTank at The New School

Residency, exhibition, workshop, actions Mon 10 Oct 2011 - Sat 15 Oct 2011 66 West 12th Street
Free admission
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The Vera List Center for Art and Politics presents the Ghana ThinkTank for a week-long residency to engage the public in examining issues posed by the MobilityShifts International Future of Learning Summit, taking place October 10-16, 2011 at The New School. During their residency, Ghana ThinkTank presents a variety of events that raise questions and provide possible solutions to the problems of digital education. These events includes the Ghana ThinkTank Mobile Unit at 66 West 12th Street, an exhibition at the Skybridge Curatorial Project, a workshop, a sunset reading, and a series of actions and interventions throughout the MobilityShifts conference.
    • Ghana ThinkTank workshop

Ghana ThinkTank Mobile Unit
Monday, October 10, through Saturday, October 15, 2011
Open every day, 12:00–6:00 p.m.
Conveniently parked outside the MobilityShifts headquarters at 66 West 12th Street
Free admission

The Ghana ThinkTank Mobile Unit is a custom-built teardrop trailer designed to journey into the so-called First World, where it collects issues of concern from various local communities. The collected problems get sent to think tanks in Ghana, Cuba, El Salvador, Mexico, Serbia, Iran, Afghanistan, and/or other countries, where strategies are developed. The trailer then rolls back into the previously visited communities, this time as a workstation, cooperating with community members to apply the strategies received from this global network of think tanks—whether they seem impractical or brilliant—for effected communities. Ghana ThinkTank thus reverses the customary flow of know-how from "developed" to "developing" countries in playful and provocative ways.

The Mobile Unit serves as a base for Ghana Think Tanks operations, including solutions being implemented during the conference. Stop by the Ghana ThinkTank Mobile Unit throughout the week to participate in any of these actions.

Ghana ThinkTank at The Skybridge Curatorial Project
Monday, October 10, through Saturday, October 15, 2011
Open every day, 12:00–6:00 p.m.
65 West 11th Street, 3rd Floor

Ghana ThinkTank's exhibition at the Skybridge Curatorial Project serves as an extension to the Ghana ThinkTank Mobile Unit, and a visual grounding for more ephemeral actions and interventions. Specifically, the exhibition asks passersby to consider the gaps rampant in cross-cultural interactions across borders and technology.

Ghana ThinkTank: Developing the First World
In addition to a series of unscheduled interventions into the conference suggested by think tanks in Serbia, Kosovo, Mexico, and the Gaza Strip, Ghana ThinkTank conducts the following scheduled events:

Sunset Reading Action
Thursday, October 13, 2011, 6:00–7:00 p.m.
Rooftop on 5th Avenue at 13th Street
RSVP required at

This rooftop sunset reading event is a solution proposed by think tanks in Gaza Strip, Serbia, and a U.S. prison to the question: Are there different qualities of reading/learning? Suggested texts include Orientalism, by Edward Said, and Dutch by Terry Woods. Attendance is extremely limited, please email to reserve.

Thursday, October 13, 2011, 7:30–9:00 p.m.
The New School, Malcolm Klein Reading Room
66 West 12th Street, Room 510
Free admission

Ghana ThinkTank founding members John Ewing and Christopher Robbins speak with artist and educator Kianga Ford and curator Carin Kuoni about the surprising solutions that address the concerns around digital education, and many related issues raised by the conference. After their discussion, Ewing and Robbins divide the audience into action teams to explore the ideas collected from the think tanks, and discuss plans for their application to affected communities.

Potential solutions to be enacted include creating an analog system for personal status updates in "meat space," turning PowerPoint presentations into social theater performances, forming communities of common interest between participants around shared interests unrelated to education or technology, and a series of unannounced actions meant to question some of the assumptions of the conference itself.

Occupy Wall Street Action
Friday, October 14, 2011, 5:00–6:30 pm
The New School, 66 West 12th Street

Meet at the Ghana ThinkTank Mobile Unit to strategize how to occupy Wall Street.

Ghana ThinkTank was created in 2006 by Christopher Robbins, John Ewing, and Matey Odonkor. Maria del Carmen Montoya joined the project in 2009. Please contact the Ghana ThinkTank at if you would like to be involved in any of these actions, at the conference or back in your home institution.

John Ewing, artist, founder, Ghana ThinkTank
Christopher Robbins, artist, founder, Ghana ThinkTank
Aaron Krach, collaborating artist, Ghana ThinkTank
Kianga Ford, Director of BFA Fine Arts, Assistant Professor of New Genres, School of Art, Media, and Technology at Parsons, The New School for Design
Carin Kuoni, Director, Vera List Center for Art and Politics

The Vera List Center presents The Ghana ThinkTank in conjunction with MobilityShifts International Future of Learning Summit.