Monday, June 27, 2016


The Institute of Prophetic Activist Art 
will be offering the following two courses for the fall semester:

Great BooksAn exploration of mystical core of all religions
The great Sufi saint Abu Hamid al-Ghazali said: "You only truly possess that which can't be lost in a shipwreck."  This course concerns the things which cannot be lost in a shipwreck.

Cost: $150, with all reading materials provided as pdf documents

September 19; October 10, 17, 24November 7, 14, 21, 28;  December 5, 12 and 19.

Prophetic Activist Art: A seminar exploring how to build specific activist art projects along the "Prophetic Activist Art" model, as outlined in my manifesto/handbook: Prophetic Activist Art: Handbook for a Spiritual Revolution (Centre for Human Ecology, Glasgow, Scotland 2014)
Cost: $125, includes a copy of the manifesto/handbook: Prophetic Activist Art: Handbook for a Spiritual Revolution 
September 20, 27; October 11, 25; November 15, 29; December 6 and 20        

To apply for one or both courses, please email Tom Block at for further information.


Great Books
Mystical Foundations
Artists and activists have a very strong sense of spirituality, yet often do not consider themselves “religious.”  So from where is the spiritual wellspring from which they draw?  This course will help expand and develop an understanding of spirituality outside of religion’s social, political and legal grasp.  For a full semester, we will explore many thinkers who have plumbed the depths of the human spirit, yet were not always in accord with religious precepts. They range in time period, religion and ethnicity to include the full breadth of humanity – from ancient China through Greece and Rome, into medieval Europe and then the modern world.  Taken together, they can provide an important foundational intellectual and spiritual structure upon which to build a prophetic activist career. 
This course will involve moderate reading, in the area of 30-50 pages every week.  All texts will be provided free, emailed in pdf format.  Class conversations will revolve around what we read the previous week.  There will be no writing assignments.  The price of the course is $150, which includes all digital texts.
To Apply: please send a one-paragraph cover letter explaining your interest in taking this course, plus a resume.  Deadline for the application is September 9, 2016.

The course syllabus will be as follows:

Mondays, 2-5 pm @ Dixon Place

September 19: Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy
October 10: Chuang Tzu: The Essential Chuang Tzu
                       Lao Tzu: The Way
October 17: Buddha: The Dhammapada

October 24: Baghavad Gita
November 7: Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
November 14: Aurelius, Marcus: Meditations

November 21: Eckhart, Meister: Selected Writings
November 28: Rumi Fihi ma Fihi
December 5: Buber, Martin: Hasidic Sayings

December 12: Weil, Simone: Waiting on God
December 19: Merton, Thomas: Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander

Prophetic Activist Art        
Strategies for a Spiritual Revolution

The Institute offers an intensive workshop to build individual art-activist projects over the semester-long seminar. Classes include an introduction to the specific aspects of the Prophetic Activist Art model (developed by Tom Block out of his own work), and then an exploration about how these ideas can be applied to each artist and their endeavor.

The Institute will consist of 12 activist artists who would like to build their projects during the semester-long seminar, basing their work on Tom Block’s manifesto/handbook of art activism: Prophetic Activist Art: Handbook for a Spiritual Revolution  (Centre for Human Ecology, Scotland, 2014).  Mr. Block ( will be running the seminar.

The eight session seminar will explore the motivations and strategies for each particular activist art project.  It will then introduce artists to the specific ideas of the model, including co-opting political, business and social energy; partnering with non-profit groups; making liaisons with other artists; utilizing unusual exhibition and outreach methods; “Machiavellian” activism; how to build a project from inception through completion; how to imagine and successfully attain quantifiable activist goals and other specific aspects of a Prophetic Activist Art intervention.  

To applyplease send a coverletter outlining your activist idea, plus any activistart experience you have had; a link to a website or portfolio of images and a resume to:   Deadline for applications September 9, 2016.              

The course syllabus will be as follows:

Tuesdays, 2-5 pm @ Dixon Place
September 20, 27; October 11, 25; November 15, 29; December 6 and 20    

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