Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Next Steps: group projects
Now that there are group projects/activities underway, there are some processes and methods that need to be established and adapted for both groups and individuals. While all of these basic components must be addressed by everyone, the manner in which they are addressed is flexible.
At the group level:
1. A basic statement of purpose. The group should be able to state what
the planned and desired outcome(s) of the group's efforts are, some sense of why
this is desired/planned. You could think of this as a mission statement, although it may not end up sounding much like one. If the outcome is an experiment (i.e. the results will be determined by a process) rather than something that follows a plan (a preconceived rendering of something), then that experimentation should be accounted for in both the what
2. An accounting of the group's membership. Who is going to be involved in making decisions and carrying out those decisions? Who is doing what?
3. A contract between group members that the group agrees to. This needs to be an actual document that includes the basic statement of purpose as well as a general set of terms for working together than everyone agrees to. If "outside" groups or people are involved, they should be considered in your contract. What are the obligations and responsibilities between you and them?
4. Following the contract, there needs to be some kind of functional and reasonable scheduling. This can be facilitated in whatever way works best for the group, but it needs to be accessible and documented.
5. Thorough documentation of all activities, including all the components listed above. You can use a web-based platform to facilitate group documentation in any media (writing, video, photography, etc) or any other combination of forms (electronic or not) that can be submitted at the end of the class.
At the individual level:
1. Documentation of your own contributions to the group process. This does not need to be formal, but should be consistent. It could be as simple as notes in a journal.
At the end of the semester:
1. Some form of group evaluation of the project/activities at the conclusion of the semester.
2. Self and peer-evaluation of your group's work. Each person will submit a basic peer review at the end of the semester.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
For Wednesday, March 13
Following up on our conversation with Paul:
An article on site-specificity, aesthetics and "community" by art historian Miwon Kwon
A different perspective on the problems of community and art by another art historian, Grant Kester
Please take a look at these articles (no need to post about them in a separate discussion) so that we can include some of the concerns they bring up.
Also, if you haven't looked at Mess Hall's 10 point "manifesto
," please do.
I'd like everyone to write at least one (but no more than three) statements that could serve as a guiding principle that you would like to follow (as it relates to a class like this). These should not be statements about "interests," ("I want to learn how to tango.") but statements of ideology or philosophy. Try to avoid overly generic statements like "We need more cultural spaces," and try to get at something that defines the desire a bit more (e.g. "...more cultural spaces run by the people who use them").
We don't necessarily need to produce a "manifesto" like Mess Hall's, but everyone should have some kind of understanding of how your personal desires/needs relate to our situation within the class, the University, and our surroundings.
Also, PLEASE take a look at what has been written in the "project" discussions
so far, and respond if you have ideas or thoughts.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Thanks Samantha and Tyler for starting the discussions in the forum, and to everyone who's contributed so far. There are some really good questions that we need to consider there and many more yet to be asked. I have grouped these discussions under the category "Projects" and you can find the three current discussions here
. I'd like to just gently remind everyone that the class is as much about process and figuring out what questions to ask (and how to answer them) as it is materializing a "final product." We'll most definitely produce a "project" that unfolds in some kind of public manner, but I expect there will be differences of expectations and motivations amongst us.
Our conversation with Paul Wittenbraker should be a great way to learn from his experience with Civic Studio.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Before Paul Wittenbraker's visit on March 6
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
So, for next week, let's bring together what people imagine as outcomes. I've created a discussion post on the forum
where everyone can write out their thoughts.
For reference, the other related projects we looked at are Civic Studio
, Public Works
and Rebar's Park(ing) Day
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Graziela Kunsch Visiting Us This Week
If you haven't seen Graziela Kunsch's work in the KAM show "Blind Field" yet, you should try to see it before our meeting with her tomorrow. The work on view in "Blind Field" is part of a larger and ongoing project titled "Projeto Mutirão," described as:
an open-ended dialogical research process that exists solely in the form of conversations, lectures and classes. The starting point for these verbal exchanges are single take videos that investigate the ways in which self-organized cities are generated. These "A.N.T.I. cinema excerpts" are designed to kick start discussions. Graziela varies her screening programme at each presentation to create different focuses for debate. She prefers it if audiences made up of activists address formal issues, and those dominated by members of the art world explore political matters. However, since the intention is for the audience to constitute themselves as a self-conscious and concrete community, the resultant debate often heads off in directions unforeseen by its instigators. The idea is to “produce a public” every time. (source)
This will be a good chance to hear from an artist that is dealing with the problematics of working with and documenting communities. As she writes of her work in such contexts
This work seeks to investigate and point out certain limits and conflicts inherent to the collaborations, avoiding that they should be perceived only in a celebratory key.
So, instead of me working in collaboration with a community to which I do not belong, I chose to develop a project about a group of architects who has been working with popular movements for the last twenty years in the process of building another spatiality.
This work is not just about the relationship of these architects with Brazilian social movements, but also about my relationship with those architects and about my relationship with these very movements. And of the architects with the architects.
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Week 5 and Beyond
I want to remind everyone to use the class discussion forum to respond to the readings. Responses are not essays, or even fully articulated arguments, but rather short thoughts on the readings. I usually start with some kind of prompt or question, but encourage everyone to bring in additional things that seem relevant.
To follow up on some of the conversation from Feb 6, some terms, ideas and names get thrown around that maybe not everyone is familiar with, such as "relational aesthetics
" or "social practice."
These are professional terms used to describe the work of some contemporary artists as a genre or medium (like "history painting" or "installation"). While there are certainly overlaps between these professional categories and things we discuss in class, this class is decidedly not
about them. The need or desire to create spaces or counter institutions for culture/art and the aesthetic evaluation of experience have multiple precedents and contexts, some of which we've looked at. I referenced the ideas of John Dewey from the 1930s
, for example. While we are learning and acting in the context of the professional world of art and design (with the important similarities and differences that come with those fields), part of what we're exploring is how to not take the profession, as it is currently described, for granted.
The readings for next week are Gregory Sholette's "Mockstitutions" chapter from his Dark Matter book and a piece on a Hamburg-based project called Park Fiction.
These texts are very related to a lot of the things we looked at last class, which I will link to below.
Actions: What You Can Do With the City
The Center for Urban Pedagogy
Carl DiSalvo's Neighborhood Networks
The Bioethics of Beer
David Liittschwager's One Cubic Foot photo project
Fieldwork's Hallucinogenic Parks
Mel Chin and the Fundred Dollar Bill project
We'll also be meeting with the artist Graziela Kunsch from Brazil (she is in the KAM exhibition, "Blind Field") on the 13th.
Subscribe to Posts [Atom]