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RECKONING AND REVIEWING IN CONTEXTS: ART IN THE PUBLIC SPACE “Public space” is something fraught with tensions. Primarily, these issues stem from the wide variety of ideas people have about the public: What should it be? Who it should cater to? Should our public spaces be as open and as inoffensive to as many people as possible? To what extent should they provide people with places to consume? Should they serve as a venue that encourages the dissemination of underrepresented ideas? (And if so, what counts as underrepresented?) Answers to any of these positions have the potential to exclude; as a result, public matters often involve significant conflicts if not controversies. And as we might guess, art is often involved in these situations, sometimes directly, sometimes in ways that comment from a distance. This progression then, endeavors to examine the relations between an aesthetic object, a public space, and contexts related to the space and the object in compelling ways. We can define space broadly here: it may be something highly abstract (like the public formed by listening to a radio broadcast), or it may be highly localized and concrete (like the specific audience for a play). these two do however, have to have some compelling conceptual relations to each other. You will develop your idea out of both the questions you ask about those relations and the insights provided by the contexts to which those questions lead you. Skills and Techniques for Reckoning and Reviewing in Contexts •Performing formal readings of public space/artwork(learning to see spaces in aesthetic terms) •Relating those forms and/or issues to worldly and/or artistic contexts •Researching those contexts and employing expert texts to help you present those backgrounds(histories or other situational factors)in ways that clarify the significance of the social issues/sites/artwork under consideration. •Engaging with written texts in ways that complicate your idea. In addition to accurately representing these texts on their own terms, your writing about them must also generate further insights into the relations between aesthetics and some matter of public concern. •Exploring what aesthetics/form teach us about that public issue and vice versa •Learning to develop an idea that helps you organize the relations among your disparate evidence(space, artwork, contexts, texts); more than merely finding connections among those pieces of evidence, this idea must emerge from your interpretation of the Progression 1 Reckoning and Reviewing in Public, Space, Art Contexts Lesson Subject Assignment 1 The Essay Course Introduction. Review “Art Objects” 2 The Public Writing Exercise 1 due. Read ”Artistic Citizenship: A Public Voice for the Arts.” Site visit 1 3 The Art Object and the Space Writing Exercise 2 due. Read “Tom Otterness: Public Art and the Civic Ideal in the Postmodern Age” and “Panorama Mesdag.” 4 The Art vs. The Public Writing Exercise 3 due. Read “Sitings of Public Art: Integration versus Intervention” and “Underground” 5 The Art, the Public, the Space Writing Exercise 4 due. Site visit 2. Read “How Does a Work Work Where?” and “Battling for Bethesda: Public Space in Play” 6 Choosing Contexts Writing Exercise 5 due. Read “Shadow Cities” and “The Synthetic Sublime” Site visit 3 online. 7 Reading the Evidence; Writing Exercise 6 due. Read Developing an Idea “Hybrid Place: The Experience of the Local and the Remote” and “Point of Departure” Site visit 4 8 Writing Exercise 7 due. Read “A Moment in the Light” 9 Representing Texts First Draft due. Read “Running Ahead” 10 Incorporating sources Second Draft. Read “Mapping” 11 Peer Group Reading Third Draft. Read “Giants in Paradise” Sign up for conferences 12 Coherence and Beginnings Fourth Draft 13 Public Reading Essay 1 due. CREATIVITY AND CULTURE In this essay you will pick an artist whose body of work you will examine in detail, your goal being to explore the relations between the creative process(how the artist brought the work into the world) and cultural influence(both the cultural contexts that have affected the artist’s development and those that have shaped the work’s reception). The primary questions: Where does the work of art come from and how was it made? What are the contextual factors (intellectual, material, aesthetic, cultural, and biographical) that may have shaped it? How is the audience anticipated in the work itself and how has its critical reception affected its significance? Finally what does the work disclose about its cultural setting? There is no formula for building these various areas of inquiry into an idea, but at the most basic level, you need to do two things: first, using selected insights you’ve gained from your ruminations, to show us why your artist matters (build a case for the work’s significance using the most compelling evidence you’ve found, including an interpretation of the works you include); second, building on that significance, turn things around to show us what your artist’s work teaches us about the surrounding world; ultimately your goal is not simply to gain some insight into the art but to use the art as a means of gaining other insights. Skills and Techniques for Creativity and Culture: •Performing formal readings of your artists’ body of work: looking for formal patterns(similarities, variations, oppositions) within and among the various pieces •Using knowledge of those formal patterns to make nuanced claims about the works significance and meaning(if applicable this will involve relating your formal readings to the work’s content.) •Connecting those claims to artistic and/or worldly contexts •Researching those contexts and employing expert texts to help you present those backgrounds(histories or other situational factors) in ways that clarify the significance of the social issues/sites/artwork under consideration. •Engaging with written texts in ways that complicate your idea. In addition to representing these texts on their own terms, your writing about them must also generate further insights into your artist’s significance. •Learning to develop an idea that helps you organize the relations among your disparate evidence( artwork, contexts, texts); more than merely finding connections among those pieces of evidence, this idea must emerge from your interpretation of the significance of those relations. Progression 2 Creativity and Culture Art, Culture, Creativity Lesson Subject Assignment 14 Read “The Role of Arts in a Time of Crisis” 15 Creativity Writing Exercise 1 due. Read “On the Relation of Analytical Psychology to Poetry” and “Soulful Anima: The Penitent Magdalen” 16 Creativity and Culture Writing Exercise 2 due. Read “Tradition and the Individual Talent” and “Desert Passage.” Select an artist and begin research. 17 Creativity Writing Exercise 3 due. Read “Stereotype.” Revision of Essay 1 due. 18 Culture Writing Exercise 4 due. Read “Avant Garde and Kitsch” 19 Representation and Writing Exercise 5 due. Interpretation Read the essay from the lecture. 21 Contexts Writing Exercise 6 due. Read “Something Borrowed” 22 Contexts Writing Exercise 7 due. Read “A Paradox of Truth and Fiction” 23 Writing Exercise 8 due. 24 Writing Exercise 9 due. 25 Reading the Draft 1 due. Read “Mann Evidence/Developing the Made” Idea 26 Revision Draft 2 due. Read “Et in Arcadia Ego” 27 Revision/Peer Group Draft 3 due. Read “Hold Discussion Me.” 28 Conferences Draft 4 29 Final Essay due.
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