The Locksmithing Graduate Institute of ArtPadSF, San Francisco, CA, May 2013

Lesson #13 of The Locksmithing Graduate Institute of ArtPadSF took place at the Phoenix Hotel in San Francisco on May 16, 2013. Students were first taught how to break into one of the hotel rooms by using an “under the door tool” which manipulates the interior lever of the door from the outside. After breaking into the room students were then given the opportunity to try and open a small cabinet that utilized a “puzzle lock” while the rest of the audience observed them through the hotel rooms window. If the student was able to get the cabinet open they found a key to the bathroom inside. They were then instructed to unlock the door to the bathroom, go inside, and shut the door. The door to the bathroom could only be opened from the outside. Once inside, the student was trapped until the next student let them out. Inside they found the lesson plan and some other reading material to pass the time until they were set free. Special thanks to The Charlie James Gallery for getting me involved with the show and to Maria Jenson for making ArtPadSF happen. Extra special thanks to Dave Malloure for shooting video of the class and Chris Woodcock for shooting the photos. Below is the lesson plan for the class:

The Locksmithing Graduate Institute of ArtPadSF
Lesson #13: Victimless Oppression; Self-Muzzle, Self-Puzzle, Self-Nuzzle

The faculty and staff of The Locksmithing Graduate Institute are pleased to announce San Francisco’s first class in almost 5 years. In Lesson #13, students will first be taught how to open a lever lock without using a key. Next they will be required to crack open a safe that has no lock. And, lastly each student that chooses to participate will be given the chance to reflect quietly in isolation.

Muzzle: To restrict or curtail the activity of (a person or thing); to keep in check, as with a muzzle. (1450 AD).

Puzzle: To cause (a person) to be at a loss what to do or how to proceed; to create difficulties for, obstruct; to perplex, bewilder, confound (with some obstacle, circumstance, etc.). (1595 AD)

Nuzzle: To bring the nose towards the ground; to grovel. (1450 AD) To lie snug in bed, etc.; to nestle. (1687 AD)

Since 2005, the students of The Locksmithing Graduate Institute have been pushing themselves to learn how to be their own captors, jailers, and liberators. In the past, many of the professors of the Locksmithing Graduate Institute romanticized the notion of a “noble prisoner”. Someone, who despite being held captive finds spiritual and emotional freedom in their detention; a person who never looses hope or their sense of freedom despite the fetters of their bondage or the injustice of their incarceration. The Locksmithing Graduate Institute hereby rejects this modality of noble suffering and detainment as a model of idealized enlightenment and spiritual commitment. From this day forward The Locksmithing Graduate Institute challenges each of its students and alumni to carry a new mantel and never again sit quietly in a cell (be it mental or physical) pacified into an inactive state and allowing the notion of noble poverty and oppression to persist in this world.

Many aspects of our mental sensibilities have been shaped by this paradigm. A small example of this can be found in the historical use of the word “nuzzle” in the English language. Originally the word nuzzle was used to describe the act of groveling. About 237 years later its meaning changed to describe the act of snuggling or nestling. Groveling at the feet of ones master migrated to finding solace and warmth at the feet of the same oppressor. This paradigm cannot be permitted to continue.

If you are reading this it means that you have successfully manipulated the lock of the motel room, cracked open the safe, and are now locked in the bathroom awaiting the next student to let you out. The faculty and staff of The Locksmithing Graduate Institute challenge you to never again allow another person, institution, idea, or memory to willfully lock you away in contemplative incarceration.

Lastly, it is with great sadness that the financial aid department of The Locksmithing Graduate Institute must inform its students that for the first time ever classes are not free and open to the public because ArtPadSF charges $25 to come to their event. However, lunch of the day will be chocolate and vanilla swirled soft serve ice cream in waffle cones.

The Locksmithing Graduate Institute of ArtPadSF, 05/13 | 2013 | Locksmith