The educational programs of the konS ≡ Platform for Contemporary Investigative Art are crucial for an efficiently functioning ecosystem of contemporary investigative art, which is developed and nurtured by nine partner organizations located in five cities. That is why, in the phases of project design and implementation, the partnership has put great emphasis on the development of so-called hubs – spaces where like-minded people come together and put their ideas into practice. Four new creative learning labs have been created, joining the existing spaces in Ljubljana: Xcenter in Nova Gorica, Nukleus in Velenje, Inkubator in Maribor and Sonar in Novo mesto.
All the hubs of the konS platform are part of a network called konS≡Park, whose two most important activities are (i) the design and delivery of workshops aimed at sensitizing the public to contemporary investigative art through informal educational processes, and (ii) the delivery of training for new mentors who wish to learn about investigative artistic processes.
More than thirty new workshops have been developed in partner organizations during the project, and they, along with other workshops developed by external partners, were carried out in hubs more than 300 times altogether. The workshops are developed in different ways – some on the initiative of authors or as offshoots of art projects, others as part of mentor training, others still were submitted to the platform’s public call for proposals and developed with the help of their respective producers. Some are also accompanied by so-called lab books, that is, booklets with instructions on how to deliver the workshops. More than ten have been added to our collection so far, and that number will double by the end of the project. The workshops cover many areas: sound, wearable technologies, environmental issues, biotechnology, programming etc.
A good number of those who participated in the three editions of mentor training (the fourth will be completed in 2023) have become mentors. Many of them have remained active in their primary hubs after completing the training and continue to develop content. In these training programs, mentors are taught about the methods and areas of workshop delivery as well as the principles of informal education that konS≡Park is based upon, and they are also given the task of developing a new workshop. In fact, it was one such workshop, entitled What does the future smell like?, that has won the award for the platform’s best workshop in 2022, proving once again that teamwork, enthusiasm and curiosity are important values of informal education as fostered and promoted by the konS platform.