Marina Abramović to Teach Girls at Online School of Doodle

An image promoting the School of Doodle. Photo: the School of Doodle.
An image promoting the School of Doodle. Photo: the School of Doodle.

After helping out Adidas, Marina Abramović is throwing her name behind a far more deserving project, Molly Logan and Elise Van Middelem’s School of Doodle, which aims to found a free online high school for girls, reports the Hairpin. Currently, the fledgling organization is running a Kickstarter campaign, featuring an incredibly twee animated video stressing the importance of fostering creativity and the imagination.

There is a definite need to improve arts educations in our schools (one that Bill de Blasio is working to address), and the project’s efforts to provide a free education designed to empower young women are certainly laudable. However, the arts seem somewhat ill-suited to be being taught in an online environment.

To be honest, the School of Doodle, which the Kickstarter video modestly refers to as “quite possibly the most amazing project ever,” sounds a little hippy-dippy. The founders have coined a bevy of cutesy doodled-themed lingo: the curriculum, if you can call it that, calls on girls to “dabble, dig, or do”; instructional films are “How Do Videos”; lessons are “Daily Doodles”; and homework assignments are “Doodle Challenges.” There are no grades, but the students earn “Doodle Dollars” that can be put toward products that “aid imagination,” live online chats with experts, and field trips, cloyingly referred to as “dream trips.”

Luckily, the video is backed up with a string of impressive diagrams, quotes, and research that support their contention that fostering imagination and creativity leads to success and self-confidence. And, despite another string of alliterative words (“colorful, curious, compassionate, creative, courageous, and confident”), their call for girls to embrace “Being Loud” is one that artnet News is perfectly willing to get behind.

Appropriately, an impressive roster of fiercely successful women have signed on to offer original doodles as incentive for Kickstarter donors, including Arianna Huffington, Alice Waters, Courtney Love, and artists Jenny Holzer, Laurie Simmons, and Abramović. They have all also signed on as teachers (who the school refers to as “Heroes”), along with Yoko OnoJohn Baldessari, Klaus Biesenbach, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Taryn Simon, Yinka Shonibare, El Anatsui, and architect David Adjaye.

The School of Doodle hopes to launch in late 2014, and, with 23 days to go, is more than two-thirds of the way to its $75,000 goal.


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