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.
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.
Simple! Come to class. Attendance is mandatory.
More than three unexcused absences will lower your grade by one letter.
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
--sociopolitical dimension of your actions
--acting verses not acting
--discussion of contemporary and historical practices of body modification
--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
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)
--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
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.
The temporary autonomous zone, ontological anarchy, poetic terrorism
Society of the Spectacle
Performance Art from Futurism to the present
Edited by Mel Gordon
The Theatre of Mixed-Means
An introduction to Happenings, Kinetic Environments and other Mixed Means Presentations.
RK Editions 1980
A Critical Anthology
Edited by Gregory Battcock and Robert Nickas
E.P DUTTON INC. NEW YORK
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
Situationalist #2 (December 1958)
The Recasting of Some Basic Psychoanalytic Ideas, pgs 25-29
The Denial of Death
The Real Experiment
"Four Scenes in a Harsh Life"
"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.
Develop a performance/installation in which a process takes president over product.