This course focuses on the contemporary art world and the forces producing continuous change and the re-creation of tradition. We examine new media, technologies and performance and trace their origins in ancient communities, shamanism and ritual. We explore the relationships between new media/performance forms and traditional artistic practices. We ask such questions as: What is the importance of place in energizing creativity? Have the forces of the art world shifted from capital cities outward toward unexpected influences and movements? Is New York still the capital of the art world? We pursue these questions by visiting museums and galleries, through imaginative writing and making art; and through individual and group projects. Readings may include Meyer Schapiro’s Modern Art , Irving Sandler’s The New York School, Harold Rosenberg’s The Tradition of the New , Toni Morrison’s Playing in the Dark , Clyde Taylor’s The Mask of Art , Suzi Gablik's Reenchantment of Art , John Berger's The Shape of a Pocket , Victor Turner’s From Ritual to Theatre , Dorothy Lee's Valuing the Self, Mary Anne Staniszewski’s Believing Is Seeing and Robert Goldwater’s Primitivism in Modern Art .?