PERFORMANCE ART AND INSTALLATION

 

The focus of this course is to engage in the art of performance through intensive practical experience, class discussions, and critiques of your work.  In addition, contemporary and historical practices in performance art will be presented and discussed. The structure of the course will be assignment-based: we will follow a weekly and bi-weekly schedule of assigned projects.  Strong emphasis will be placed on improvisational structures, site-specificity, and the hybridizing of different mediums within the context of performance and installation.

 

In this course there are three main areas of focus: the body as the primary medium of performance art, time and the temporal structuring of actions and site-specific/installation performances.  These three areas--body, time, and site--will be the major conceptual and practical focus as well as integrating the use of electronic mediums and various social and mechanical systems. The component of installation will be approached through site-specific strategies. There will be a final public performance at semesterŐs end.

GRADES
1/3rd class participation

2/3rds on performance work

 

Performances/installations will be graded on 50% - 50% split:

50% on concept     50% on execution of concept.

 

The strength of your concepts and how well they are executed are the two primary areas of evaluation of your progress.  What  you are attempting to communicate in your work is inexorably linked to how  you say it--therefore, the class is aimed at the creating the best ways to make this happen.

 

ATTENDANCE

Simple!  Come to class. Attendance is mandatory.

More than three unexcused absences will lower your grade by one letter.

 

MATERIALS NEEDED

High quality VHS video tape (Fuji, TDK, Maxell are good) for documenting your work.

A notebook for conceptualizing and note-taking on projects.

Equipment needed for projects will be checked out from the Media Center and Photo/Video. Schedule your equipment IN ADVANCE--it helps all involved.

 

ABSTRACT OF SCHEDULED ASSIGNMENTS:

 

 THE BODY AS MEDIUM OF PERFORMANCE ART

--working with the biological body: non-representational physical action, ordinary, everyday actions, balances, imbalances, repetitions, exhaustion, etc.

--working with the symbolic body:  language & communication systems, myths, figurative speech/metaphor, ritual, body language

--mortification

--sociopolitical dimension of your actions

--acting verses not acting

--discussion of contemporary and historical practices of body modification

 

 VOICE WORK

--Volume: the full range of vocal dynamics  

--acoustics of a chosen site:  reverberation, echo, duration, decay, etc.

--integrating your voice with existing soundscape

--electronic and acoustic amplification

--field recordings

 

  USE OF TIME

--"real time" as opposed to theatrical time

--symbolic time (clock, calendar, etc.)

--biological time (subjective time, solar, lunar, heart rate, circadian, etc.)

--non-linear and non-narrative uses of time

--process (as opposed to product)

--improvisation

--ritualized time

--sacred and profane time

 

BODY & PERSONA, OBJECTS, FETISHES,

BODY MODIFICATION, ALTER EGO

--constructing & performing with your alter ego (actual or fictitious)

--clothing and body modification

--the construction of personality through daily performance                       

--use of fetish objects for physical & psychological

--use of objects with both positive and negative powers

--investigating trickster & shamans

Note: if it is possible, we will attend the Fetish Ball on Aug. 31st

 

 USING TECHNOLOGY AS  AN EXTENSION OF THE BODY

 --technology used as an extension of the body, I.E. video, audio, electronic communications systems, etc.

--manipulating your electronic identity that exists apart from you physical body                                                                                  

--closed circuit video & the psychological dimensions of electronic representations of self

--connecting up with systems already in place within the city and on out across the globe

--Internet performances & installations

 

SITE-SPECIFIC PERFORMANCES & INSTALLATIONS,

--working with all aspects of a site chosen for a performance/installation

--working with social & political aspects of site

--working with time at the site

 

 

TAZ, HUMOR, IRONY, PARADE, SATIRE, TRICKSTERS, SHAMANS

 PRANKS, STREET PERFORMANCES (gorilla), PLAY

--T.A.Z. Investigating Hakim Bey's ideas of "poetic terrorism" within

"Temporary Autonomous Zones" or T.A.Z. Creating a T.A.Z. is a process of creating zones where autonomous behavior (desires, wishes etc.) can occur

--creative and responsible pranks, jokes,

 --street performances and site-specific improvisations

 

NOTE:

Throughout the semester unannounced impromptu performances/actions in the form of a T.A.Z. will take place.  These performance/actions will be included in your grade.

 

READDING LIST

 

T.A.Z.

The temporary autonomous zone, ontological anarchy, poetic terrorism

Hakim Bey

Autonomedia

 

 

Society of the Spectacle

Guy Debord

B&R Press

 

Performance Art from Futurism to the present

Roselee Goldberb

Abrams

 

DADA PERFORMANCE

Edited by Mel Gordon

 

The Theatre of Mixed-Means

An introduction to Happenings, Kinetic Environments and other Mixed Means Presentations.

Richard Kosteloanetz

RK Editions 1980

 

Performance Art

A Critical Anthology

Edited by Gregory Battcock and Robert Nickas

E.P DUTTON INC.  NEW YORK

 

Performance Anthology

A source Book for a Decade of California Performance Art

Carl E. Loeffler, Editor & Darlene Tong, Associate Editor

Contemporary Arts Press, San Francisco

 

ARTICLES & PERIODICALS

 

The Dematerialization of Art

Lucy Lippard, written with John Chandler

 Art International,  Vol . XII, No. 2 (February, 1968)

 

Theory of the Derive

Guy Debord

Situationalist #2 (December 1958)

 

The Recasting of Some Basic Psychoanalytic Ideas, pgs 25-29

Ernist Becker

Excerpted from

The Denial of Death

Free Press

 

The Real Experiment

Allen Kaprow

Artforum  Magazine

1983

 

High Performance

 

VIDEOGRAPHY

 

"Four Scenes in a Harsh Life"

Ron Athey

 

"The Red Tapes"

 

Some ideas for ongoing performances

 

GIVE A TOUR OF CAMPUS

  On a day of your choice, give a tour of campus to a group of people (if possible) or on video tape. You may document the performance with other means such as audio tape, still photos, brochures, etc.  This tour can be factual, fictional, factual/fictional, ironic, humorous....whatever point of view you wish to take. We will critique the tours during the next class period; you will be required to have the evidence from the tour to show.

 

 

WEAR A HAT ALL SEMESTER

  Wearing a hat is no small event.  It has psychosocial dimensions that can be engaged as an extended action/experiment in performance.  Give it a shot!

 

TAKE ON A NEW NAME FOR THE SEMESTER

  At the beginning of the semester, give yourself a name and try to get others to address you by this name.  Choose a name that has potential, one that can generate a new identity.

 

 

PROCESS PERFORMANCE/INSTALLATION

  Develop a performance/installation in which a process takes president over product.