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Site-Specific Performance: Art, Activism and Public Space

Semester and Year FA 2013
Course Number ARTS-UG1080
Section 001
Instructor Martha Bowers
Days R
Time 9:30 AM - 12:15 PM
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Units 4
Level U



This course looks at the development of site-specific performance with a special emphasis on projects that directly involve specific communities and include activist agendas. “Site-specific” is a term frequently associated with the visual arts but since the Happenings of the ’60s and ’70s, a body of work termed “site-specific performance” has evolved as highly structured works of art that are designed around, for or because of place and associated communities. As site artists confront the matrix of social forces and overlapping communities that relate to a given site, their aesthetics, creative process and goals have shifted. How are they blurring the lines between art and activism, art and urban renewal, art and spirituality, art and real life? This arts workshop will emphasize making site work by completing a progressive series of studies, using various artistic mediums, designed to build skills as students work towards creating a final hypothetical site project . We will also be reading about and viewing site work by seminal artists in this field. This course is recommended to adventurous students with interests and some training in at least one of the following mediums: dance, theatre, spoken word poetry, media, photography and/or visual art. Readings include excerpts from One Place After Another , Miwon Kwon; Mapping the Terrain: New Genre Public Art , ed. Suzanne Lacy; Local Acts , Jan Cohen Cruz, among others.


All Syllabi

Course Type

Arts Workshops (ARTS-UG)