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Arts of Intervention: Social Practices in Public Spaces

Semester and Year SP 2018
Course Number ARTS-UG1444
Section 001
Instructor Mark Read
Days MW
Time 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Units 4
Level U



The worlds of art and political activism each have highly developed theories and practices that engage audiences in critical dialogue through acts of intervention in public spaces, where political ideology is both produced and enacted. Within the field of art such practices have increasingly been put into the genre-category of "social practice," whereas within the field of political activism it is often referred to as "artistic activism." In this course, we will explore the historical and theoretical roots of both, and you will develop work that falls within either, or both, of these categories. We will investigate a variety of social forms that can be utilized as containers for your ideas, and consider how the idea of public space has evolved over time, up to and including considerations of virtual public space. We will research and produce projects about complex social sites of power such as The Classroom, The Library, The Newspaper, The Walk, The Lecture, The Potluck, The Road Trip, The Party, The Salon, and The Community Center. Students will examine and discuss the work of contemporary artists and activists such as The Guerilla Girls, Krysztof Wodiczco, The Yes Men, Bread and Puppet Theater, Martha Rosler, Rick Lowe and Suzanne Lazy. We will read and discuss the work of authors such as Lucy Lippard, Shannon Jackson, Clare Bishop, Henri Lefebvre, Guy Debord, Pablo Helguera, Nato Thompson, Greg Sholette and Grant Kester.


All Syllabi

Course Type

Arts Workshops (ARTS-UG)