WEEK 9 STAGING INCURSIONS
Our work is spatial, urgent, and public. Using the previous exercises and workshops as a foundation, we will look as various frameworks for blitz performances, sanctioned and unsanctioned. This will include the definition of forms of dissemination and scales of production and influence. Given limited time and resources how can designers act urgently?
Staging Incursions - Participants will explore the design of a brief totalizing environment and experience that deploy multimedia elements. Our classroom can be the stage for your exploration or another accessible area in the school/ location we can move to. Notify us beforehand if you plan on locating your work away from the classroom, so we can schedule your review time accordingly.
Consider the formats that you have used in the past few weeks: do you need a screen? Are you projecting an image onto a scene? Do you need instructions for participants? How structured is your incursion? What is the duration, and how does temporality play into your concept?
A totalizing environment that stages an experience;
A complementary document (a manual, brochure, poster, website, etc.) that would carry the project beyond the experience.
Exercise 5 is due October 31, 2019. Incursions will be experienced and reviewed by external guests.
Yuriko Furuhata, “Multimedia Environments and Security Operations: Expo ’70 as a Laboratory of Governance” (2014)
WEEK 8 DISOBEDIENT OBJECTS
As designers, we have an incredible set of skills to challenge rules and authority. We also possess the ability to make thoughtful conceptual and aesthetic choices that allow our work to appear in multiple realities. This week, we will look at physical objects as another visual language in our communication toolkit. Since this week requires special attention to how our work is situated within the world, we will look briefly at the material culture of objects (creation, usage, and consumption) and how their qualities are transformed in space and time.
In class, we will use the 2014 exhibition “Disobedient Objects” as a common starting point. We will look at the history of objects at the heart of various social movements since the 1970s to contemporary and even ongoing demonstrations.
Using your topic of interest, your collected research, and designed performance, fabricate and disseminate multiples of an object into the world. Please bring the original object to class (if possible) as well as a series of artifacts documenting the deployed object.
What are the primary principles and tactics at play in your object? Does your object leverage its inherent qualities to subvert expectations or has it been completely transformed to provoke?
Exercise 4 is due October 24, 2019
Please read and be prepared to discuss the following readings:
Catherine Flood and Gavin Grindon “Introduction” in Disobedient Objects (2014)
WEEK 7 PERFORMANCE AS HYPOTHESIS
What is “performance” today? What is lost and gained within a visual language that requires the representation of a body in space? This week, we will investigate performance/performativity as the complex negotiation of space, time, and the body. As a form of visual communication, we are especially concerned with how “performance” engages and communicates with a particular audience.
In class, we will look at historical forms of performance art such as the dance performances of the Bauhaus to contemporary examples like Sun, Sea (Marina) at this year’s Venice Biennale. We will explore the exciting and evolving relationship of politics, tradition, social engagement, and the creative/art world.
Using your research from Week 6 to guide your investigation this week, design and enact a performance in space that proposes an alternative means to engage with information, improvisation, rules and systems. The performer’s body and its appearance in a medium is inextricably linked to various technical and formal issues that should be engaged to further the position you have taken about your research.
How is your performance meant to be witnessed? Is it instructive, participatory, or collaborative? How do you intend to document your/others actions for distribution, if at all? The design of your performance can be aided with the addition of something you make, project, or write.
Produce your work so that it can be shared, experience, and/or enacted by others. If you documented your performance via video, that counts as shareable material. If you produced complimentary ephemera for your performance, such as posters or surveys or objects, they count as shareable, as well.
Exercise 3 is due October 17, 2019
Please read and be prepared to discuss the following readings:
Alexander Galloway, “Are Some Things Unrepresentable” in The Interface Effect (2012)
Shannon Mattern, “Local Codes: Forms of Spatial Knowledge” (2019)
WEEK 6 RESEARCH AS CRITIQUE
How do we gather, edit, alter, and present information? How do we reveal the network of ideas and influences that produce our information? We will explore how methods of research transform communication, inspire new methods of communication and community. In addition to being able to categorically identify the strengths/weaknesses of information, we’re interested in what information is underrepresented, even negated, and what it reveals about the politics and aesthetics of its creation.
In class, we will look at the act of marginalia, and the power it has to critique and subvert narratives. We will examine the material culture of historical acts of notation to contemporary guerilla projects. The workshop we will conduct in class will be geared towards building a consensus around the terminology central to the course through the negotiation of language. Interests will emerge from individual agency, while supporting collective action.
Select an existing document that relates to an issue of concern for you - it can be a recent news article on the climate crisis, an advertisement on train fares, a website, a portrait. Markup the existing texts or images and produce an alternative narrative via maginalia.
The processes of “reviewing” can take on many forms. Is your markup an act of subversion that takes on the original aesthetics of the document? Or is it an explicit drawing or writing over existing information? The original work can be visible or your “marginalia” can take on a life of its own. Consider how the presentation of your work next week will impact our experience, and how the reader will encounter your new narrative.
Produce your work as a multiple that can be shared and circulated.
Exercise 2 is due October 10, 2019
Nishat Awan, “Mapping Otherwise: Imagining Other Possibilities and Other Futures” in Feminist Futures of Spatial Practice: Materialism, Activism, Dialogues, Pedagogies, Projections (2017)
WEEK 5 FIELDS OF PRODUCTION
In preparation for our first class next Thursday 10/3, we’d like each of you to bring in two publications or objects for discussion: one you like, and one you dislike. Considering the themes of our workshop, the items you choose should be a print multiple or a mass produced object. Who were they made for? How were they distributed and how do they travel? We hope to get to know each of you through this sharing.
This discussion will also provide us with an opportunity to think about publics/public space and publishing. We hope to develop together in the upcoming weeks, methods to establish positions about design as a spatial practice.
Exercise 1 is due October 3, 2019
Seth Price, Dispersion (2007)
Henri Lefevre, “The Plan of the Present Work” Section III-IX pages 3-18 in The Production of Space (1974)
Parsons School of Design, School of Art Media and Technology
PSAM 3060, Currents: CD Workshops; CRN 5897
Workshop 2: Staging Practice, Fall 2019
Matthew Bohne (contact)
Lucy Siyao Liu (contact)
Thursday, 12:10 to 14:50, 63 Fifth Ave, Room: 503
STAGING PRACTICE WITH PROPS
About the Course
In this workshop, we will consider publishing as spatial practice. Publishing is inherently extra-disciplinary. It lies beyond the expertise of any one knowledge sphere, demanding an engagement between disparate fields of study and different modes of knowing. It is a practice that mediates: every system of organizing, accumulating and distributing actively reshapes its contents, and in turn, contributes to new lines of thinking. We will engage with topics such as scales of production, dissemination, modes of interface, techniques in spatial practice and activist epistemologies.
Course materials are distributed on are.na, a collaborative research platform: https://www.are.na/lucy-siyao-liu/cd-workshop-staging-practice-with-props. We encourage students to contribute to this experimental working archive by curating a body of research to complement individual projects. The goal is to situate student research and interests within a broader landscape of design production and to address parallel concerns in other disciplines.
We will be meeting Thursdays from 12:10pm to 2:50pm. Unless notified, absences will result in a lowering of grade.
October 3 Introductions; Fields of Production
Exercise: Research as Critique
October 10 Review: Research as Critique
Exercise: Performance as Hypothesis
October 17 Review Performance as Hypothesis
Exercise: Disobedient Objects
October 24 Review Disobedient Objects
Exercise: Staging Incursions, FInal Project
October 31 Final Workshop Review