Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Before Paul Wittenbraker's visit on March 6

A few short introductory texts about the Civic Studio:
An intro to Civic Studio
An interview between the late Ben Schaafsma (a co-founder of InCUBATE in Chicago) and Paul

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Imagining Outcomes

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
Seed Broadcast
We'll also be meeting with the artist Graziela Kunsch from Brazil (she is in the KAM exhibition, "Blind Field") on the 13th.


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