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Reading the cards: Tarot as an epistemological repositioning to defend against the neoliberal structures of Art Education

Dare, Eleanor; Yamada-Rice, Dylan; (2022) Reading the cards: Tarot as an epistemological repositioning to defend against the neoliberal structures of Art Education. In: Filimowicz, Michael, (ed.) Systemic Bias: Algorithms and Society. Routledge: London, UK.

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Abstract

This chapter addresses the many tensions implicit in the increasing use of psychometric and behavioural evaluation algorithms within Higher Education (HE), including remote proctoring technologies often now presented as “artificial intelligence”. These systems explicitly deploy psychometric methods as well as less overt approaches to “personality” metrics and behaviour, including facial recognition, sound analysis and eye tracking. We report here on our own experiences of and research into behavioural and psychometric evaluation within HE, critiquing those approaches against the creation of critical chatbots and tarot readings – processual actions and processes that sit outside the neoliberal university, but which have no less scientific “validity”. We go on to suggest that art practice can be an antidote to such systems being thrust upon academics. In doing so, we invite readers to test the stability and categorisation of their own subjectivities and contrast them with the ergodic and contingent processes of these alternatives to see how they can provide a holistic view of a person in a way that current metric tests employed in HE cannot. The alternatives we present here are predicated on systematic social justice imperatives, on priorities which do not reduce to a split between individuals and others, between subjectivity and society, nor do they replicate the neoliberal imperatives of a marketised educational system. Finally, we assert that reflecting on this via art practice can help academics stay sane and question the neoliberal metrics pushed on us.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Reading the cards: Tarot as an epistemological repositioning to defend against the neoliberal structures of Art Education
ISBN-13: 9781003173373
DOI: 10.4324/9781003173373
Publisher version: https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.432...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10149469
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