Week 1

Course Information: SART 2800

Welcome back to school everyone, I’m very happy to have a way to come together to learn about contemporary experimental art practices. During the pandemic, we will engage in weekly exercises, demos, readings and videos to learn some of the historic, theoretical, and technical aspects of working in experimental media forms.

Our virtual course will emphasize ideas, research, regular exercises and practices, as opposed to more developed and resolved artworks.

Students will perform and create studio exercises at home and in the world – within strict adherence to public health guidelines at all times – using materials and situations at hand. Together we will practice being resourceful and creative within the limits of any given situation. We will explore how to be an artist now – using aspects of performance, snapshot photography, video, audio, and artist multiples – in this unique and challenging historical moment.

Every week we will have Tuesday class meetings – and then you will do the week’s homework (things to read, write and create) posted under Weekly Assignments.

All work is due for the following Tuesday class. If you are finished your work many of you will have an opportunity to share and get feedback. You will need approximately 4-6 hours to complete your work for this course every week in addition to class meeting time.

Schedule your work and you will be able to keep up with your assignments!

All your notes, images and videos must be on the class BLOG – under your name. ONLY edit your own page – do not edit anything else on the blog. I will periodically read and evaluate your work on the BLOG and we will occasionally look at examples of works by students together in our class HUDDLE.

See course information, and evaluation for details.

WEEK 1 ASSIGNMENTS:

Summary of Week 1 work:

  1. Watch lecture materials
  2. Notes on Yoko Ono and Bruce Nauman’s works
  3. Do Kilometre exercise and post all work to blog under your name.

WATCH:

In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work.  When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art. This kind of art is not theoretical or illustrative of theories; it is intuitive, it is involved with all types of mental processes and it is purposeless. It is usually free from the dependence on the skill of the artist as a craftsman.” SL from Paragraphs on Conceptual Art

WRITE: How does Sol Lewitt express the notion that “the idea is the machine that makes the art” in his work? What does the artist’s actual hand have to do with the final work in a conceptual art context?

WATCH:

WRITE: Where do you draw the boundaries around the artworks in this video? What are the artworks? What strategies and tools does Ono use to challenge the viewer? Do you like any of these concept-works? Discuss.

WATCH:

WRITE: Describe two works by Bruce Nauman (include images) where he frames every day actions (non-heroic, banal) as art. How are they “framed” as art, and what does the framing do to our understanding and experience of the actions?

DO THIS EXERCISE:

A kilometre is a concept. Make a kilometre in any medium – photo, video, object, text etc. Post documentation and description of your kilometre on your blog page.

It could be a walk down the street, a path down an intestine, a line going up into the air, a kilometre’s worth of rocks. It can be a kilometre made of chewing gum. Made of telephone conversations. Made of complaints. Made of a walk with a cat.  Made with light. It can be a distance between two points. It can be imagined, traced, documented, listed, performed, evidenced on the bottom of your shoe, rolled up into a ball.

Make sure to measure your kilometre in some way. Discuss your process in your description of your kilometre, and how you know it is precisely a kilometre. Don’t decorate your kilometre or make it “artistic” and masterful. Use only the necessary materials to be what it must be.

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