Friday, March 29, 2013

Collaborative Performance/Relational Aesthetics/Social Practice

Collaborative Performance/Relational Aesthetics/Social Practice

As we move into the second half of the term, our goal will be to continue to explore the many facets of performance art - specifically moving away from the "individual" or "solo" performer towards what is perhaps an equally as challenging area of group, collaborative and community based practice.

For next Tuesday, bring ideas/inklings/ruminations/concepts/thoughts to what will be an intensive, group/collaborative discussion and decision making process.

We've done some basic readings and discussed art, social sculpture and an expanded view of the potentials of "relational aesthetics" as well as touching upon "social practice" as related to performance art.  Think carefully about how we, as a group collaborative might create an event or series of events that at once engage and move the notion of "audience" to "participants" or even equal partners in creative action(s).

For now, here are a number of links to get you started:

First, read this:

Outside the Citadel, Social Practice Art Is Intended to Nurture recently from the NYtimes.

Some links for Participatory Art and Social Practice (also, do look up the many artists mentioned in the Relational Aesthetic reading!).

Be sure and check out Parfyme linked above! (she is the artist who spoke at UNR this past week)
and this one, forgot to mention in class - an internet based project happening now:
and of course, on the snarky/satirical side of things -

On Collaboration...
The Guardian - Interesting piece from the UK on creative collaboration

Monday, March 4, 2013

Performance #3 Evans Creek Park

Performance #3 - Evans Creek Park - Performing the Urban Forrest

Scheduled to take place, Wednesday March 13th, 1pm!  Invite people!  We will make a flyer!

Create an original, solo-performance work to take place within the geographical confines of Evan's Creek Park. See the googlemap below for a reference on the location.  We've gone from semi-private Skyped Monologues to taking on public and semi-public spaces for your Performative Reenactments.  For this assignment, you are creating a performance for a public space that lies quite literally on the border between our urban and "natural" environments.  I would suggest this as a point of ideation for all of you to think about carefully.  We live in a unique geographical area surrounded by harsh desert, lush alpine mountains - we are quite literally within walking distance of wide open spaces.

Developing Your Concepts:
Consider this an opportunity to investigate solo-performative activities within a public, semi-natural space.  The area in question is within the area of a "park", what is a "park" and why do they exist?  Think about actions, movements, rituals, sounds that might somehow bring something meaningful to this space.  Think about your audience - are they spectators or willing or unwilling participants/collaborators?  Do you want to build a temporal installation or leave something in place?  Most importantly, visit the space in question prior to developing your ideas.  You are to respond to this location in developing your ideas.

Some Ground Rules:
Do no harm.  Any materials that would potentially remain in the park should be harmless to the natural environment and or all foreign objects could be removed at the end of the event.  Be mindful and respectful of the public space to which we are visiting.  10 -15 minute pieces maxium.

Some Artists to Look At:
Fern Shaffer:
Andy Goldsworthy:
Richard Long:
Anna Mendieta:
Kathryn Miller:
Greenmuseum: (look at the amazing list of artists, many perform in the landscape)

I've cut a section from the map to show the more precise location for your performances.

View Larger Map
Note the "Evans Creek Trail" leading to the "Nature Trail", the latter is where your performances will be held.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Performative Reenactment/Interpretive - Assignment #2

Performative Reenactment/Interpretive

Choose a significant artist/group or collaborative performance artist(s) and a performance by said artist/group or collaborative.  Develop a new performance art work that is a creative combination of reenactment and interpretation of the original work.  In other words, your work should be update, reinvent or otherwise be in a reenactive conversation with the original work.  Read the first section of the book "Performance: Live Art Since the 60's", including Laurie Anderson's introduction and Chapter 1 (from the beginning of the book to page 62).  Consider the works therein and continue to research online - the chosen performance could be from an artist mentioned in the text or selected from those mentioned in our first reading or from the history of contemporary performance using 1970 as a starting point.

This is up to you.  Ideally, where should your work be presented?  Duplicate the original location as closely as possible or adapt your work to a new setting.  Should this be on campus or off?

You make work as a solo artist or in pairs or groups.  You man enlist performers from outside the class as long as you are the primary director/performer of the work.

Next week, February 13th, you will present the class with your proposal.  Ideally, we will experience your performance the following week during class time February 20th.

The above video is by Eva and Franco Mattes, they reenacted a series of performance artworks online in Second Life. Take a look at a series of works by Marena Abromovic, she reenacted a series of 7 famous performance works at the Guggenheim, and this:

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Skyped Monologue - Performance #1

Swimming to Cambodia, 1987, Spalding Gray

Performance #1 - Skyped Monologue/Identity/Impossible Communication/Performance

Write an original monologue as if you were communicating, via Skype, imagining that you are communicating a personal story or adecdote with someone with whom it would likely be impossible for you to ever actually talk to.  This could be someone who has died (personal relative or friend or long dead historical figure) or someone in the future who does not, as of yet, exist.

Also, watch Swimming to Cambodia in it's entirety and read the Laurie Anderson interview - be prepared for discussion of both next week!

Each of you have the Project NV Gallery for 5 minutes.  This should include any set-up or arranging of the room, lighting or laptop.  You can control the POV of the Skyping laptop as long as you do so carefully (I will provide the laptop with camera and Skype connection).  The resulting video image of you performing your monologue will be watched by the class in CFA 207 as projected on the big screen.  We will be recording these for possible future playback (it will be very beneficial to each of you to watch yourself perform!), we may as well use the resulting recording for potential exhibitions.

How to write a monologue?  Feel free to reference past journals, letters, memories - how you develop this is really according to individual preferences.  Here are some online guidelines for such - these are varied, focused primarily on writing for theater - that is, mostly developing a "character" etc.  I would be mindful of these guidelines for sure, they are very interesting but focus on developing a monologue that is "true" and from real experience - the character is obviously you!

 Laurie Anderson, from United States.
her website:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

First Exercises - The Abramovic Method...

Do four one hour exercises based from the book "Student Body" by Marina Abramovic.  Write a short journal/blog entry in response to each.

1) Walk in a Circle Exercise - walk in a filed in circles as fast as possible 1hour

2) Slow Motion Exercise - for one hour do everyday actions in slow motion

3) Mirror Exercise - Sitting on a chair, facing a mirror.  Motionless. 1 hour

4) Writing the Name Exercise - Over a period of one hour, write your name only once with your pen poised on a white piece of paper. 

Art 452 Performance Art Syllabus

Art 452 Performance Art
Professor Joseph DeLappe

Wednesdays 1:00pm - 3:45pm CFA room 207
Office Hours: TW 11:00am-12:45pm
Office CFA 158, 784-6624 (always best to reach me via email!)

Course Description:

In this class we will critically engage performance art in a combined lecture and studio environment. The student will be introduced both to the history and theory of performance art as relevant to experimental contemporary art practice while at the same time being challenged by studio project assignments.
The goals of this course includes creating a problem-solving atmosphere towards engaging in creative and critical performance art. The intent is to provide the student with the ability to work with a variety of performative ideas, processes and techniques towards the production of innovative creative production.  Through lectures, readings, discussions and the production of individual and group performances, students will be challenged to consider the shifting nature of embodiement in contemporary art.

Course Content:
This course will explore a variety of possibilities for engaging and understanding performance art in the 20th and 21st centuries.  Course content will explore numerous critical issues, concepts and practices related to contemporary performance art, these will include but are not limited to:
Private/Public, Art = Life, Spectacle, Participation, Action, Endurance, Ritual, Reenactment, Instructions/directions, Relational Aesthetics, Video and Performance, etc.

Lecture/Lab Component:

The course will meet for three lecture hours per week. Class time will be devoted to lectures, demonstrations, reading discussions, strategizing sessions and critiques. Students are required to work at minimum an additional 6 hours per week of work outside of the scheduled class times (studio production, reading assignments, etc.)

Course Requirements:
1) Attendance is mandatory at all scheduled class meetings. Unexcused absences will affect your final grade (each absence is -20 on your overall points for the class). Please arrive on time and prepared to participate in all course activities.

2) Participation in all class critiques, reading discussions and brainstorming sessions are expected and mandatory.

3) You will receive a written evaluation and letter grade for each completed performance assignment.

4) Each student is REQUIRED to attend two approved lectures and one exhibition, performance or film screening (these will either be in the real world or virtual). These will be regularly announced in class. I will provide you with a list of approved lectures/screenings/exhibitions both on and off campus and online.
You are required to write a one page critical summary of the event and two questions to ask the speaker (extra credit will be given to those who actually ask their question at the event!).


Astonish Yourself: 101 Experiments in the Philosophy of Everyday Life (Required, available from $6.13 used on Amazon
-Performance: Live Art Since the ‘60’s RoseLee Goldberg and Laurie Anderson (Required, available used from $17.07 on Amazon)
-Exercises for Rebel Artists – Radical Performance Pedagogy (excerpts provided)
-Performance: A Critical Introduction – Marvin Carlson (excerpts provided)
-Participation – Claire Bishop (excerpts provided)

-Reading assignments will be both online and in the form of various Xeroxed articles.

Your body.  A good pair of walking shoes. Props and other materials as needed for as yet to be defined performances. 
This course will provide the student with a working knowledge of the history and context of performance art in the contemporary arts milieu. Students will as well learn to conceive and execute works of experimental performance art.
This course will meet primarily in the Digital Media Studio, CFA 207.  We will be meeting in a variety of locations as the term goes forward.  These will include the drawing classroom in JTB and other on and off campus locations.
Performance #1                                        200 pts
Performance # 2                                       200 pts
Performance # 3                                       200 pts
Performance # 4                                        200 pts
Performance # 5                                        200 pts
Class Exercises                                          200 pts
Homework Exercises                                            200 pts
Blog/Journal                                                       250 pts
In Class Participation/Attendance                          300 pts                                                         
15 classes -  20 pts ea wk
Reviews on Lectures/Exhibits                                250 pts         
3 reviews – 83 pts ea
Total Possible Points:                                          2000 pts
2000 – 1800 = A
1799 – 1600 = B
1599 – 1400 = C
1399 – 1200 = D
1199 – 0 = F
Each assignment is based on the normal percentage grading scale: 90-100%=A, 80-89%=B, etc.
If a student chooses to not turn in an assignment, the student will earn a ZERO (0) for the assignment.  NO LATE WORKS ARE ACCEPTED!
  • Grades for the critiques based on quality of work, evidence of time spent, attainment of project goals, articulation of your processes, etc.
  • Grades for projects based upon creativity, innovation, excellence, finished nature of project, original thought, conceptual properties.
  • Grades for blog/journal based on clarity of writing, quality of responses, number and quality of images, organization, composition.
  • In class participation grades based upon attendance, notes required for medical excuses.
  • Grades on reviews based on clarity of description of event, concise (1 pg) critique and analysis, original thoughts and responses.
I will meet with each of you individually at the midterm to discuss your progress in the class and provide advising regarding the Digital Media program. You will receive written comments and a grade for each project.

The “+” and “-“ system will be used for grading.

Policy on Academic Dishonesty:

"Cheating, plagiarism or otherwise obtaining grades under false pretenses" constitute academic dishonesty according to the code of this university. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated and penalties can include canceling a student's enrollment without a grade, giving an F for the course or for the assignment.
For more details, see the University General Catalog.

Policy on Disability:
If you have a disability and will be requiring assistance, please contact me or the Disability Resource Center (Thompson Building Suite 100) as soon as possible to arrange for appropriate accommodations.