In the news for the past couple of weeks, there has been discussion about something referred to as 'the Incident'. This incident occurred at the Alberta College of Art and Design, and involved the killing of a chicken (as part of a performance piece, and commentary on human to food relationship). I'm not going to go into detail, as there are innumerable articles and opinion pieces scattered about the internet, which I'm sure can be found by typing in 'ACAD chicken'.
The situation got quite messy after the school fired an instructor, as a result of the incident. This has caused even more trouble, and is continuing to bless ACAD with the title of 'the chicken killing school'.
As as student attending this school, I'm becoming quite tired of the situation. A great deal of students comments and stand points and letters to the school have been tossed around Facebook, and they all say the same thing. They take this issue and go on to discuss every single thing wrong with the school. The budget issues, politics, so on, so forth. Great things to discuss, but not under the umbrella of the firing of an instructor and the killing of a chicken. As far as protesting goes, this is why modern protesting doesn't work. Remember the Occupy movement? Of course you don't. It started on Wall Street, and was blown out of proportion. Dozens of cities "helping the cause" by taking on the name, and complaining about whatever issues that suited them. When protesting or offering an opinion in the form of a professional letter, you have to choose one battle. Otherwise you look like you're whining, and looks like you can't write a concise letter.
On top of the poor protesting skills that are driving me up the wall, ACAD has earned a black mark. We are lovingly referred to as the chicken killing school. Now, this is a joke within the art community, but when you step outside of that community, you have to carefully explain to non-artists and non-critics how it is art, and yes it's wrong but it raised a point and blah blah blah. I don't really have an opinion about the chicken killing. Personally, I'd have preferred to see the person keep the chicken as a pet. If it was a hen, you could carry it around, keeping it happy, and eating its eggs. It wouldn't have the same strength in message, but it would be less of a health hazard. I don't really care about the chicken thing any more. I care about Gord Ferguson getting fired, and I care about the budget issues. Again, though, one battle at a time. Still, it's hard to want to be involved at all when you tell someone that you go to ACAD, and when it used to be 'Oh! What do you do there?' it is now 'Oh! The chicken killing school?'. ACAD, a formerly well perceived school, has become a bit of a joke. As an extension, the students are being viewed as a joke. It is a hole that we have dug ourselves into and now we can't dig ourselves out easily. We as students need to try to restrengthen the public's view of the school, instead of whatever it is we're doing now. I'm just tired of being embarrassed to be part of ACAD.