Category Archives: F.Y.I.

Dan Graham finally on Ubu web

Now you can watch Dan Graham’s Performer/Audience/Mirror on Ubu web.


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Extra Credit Options

For those of you interested in extra credit, here are some guidelines:

I am open to extra credit options that allow for individual and unique experiences and demonstrate student initiative. From time to time I have and will announce and suggest some options–like creating a flyer for our gallery show in April (details forthcoming) or posting extra comments on Week 8’s Assignment Post. You are also welcome to design and propose your own extra credit ideas. The amount of credit possible will depend on the extent of the project you propose, how relevant it is to class, and how much it incorporates theories and issues we have read about. You can propose a small project or self-assignment, a series of small options for a larger cumulative effect, or one or two larger, extensive projects. Be creative and consider areas of our study that are most useful to you in your personal practice. You can email me your proposal idea or give me a write up in class, and then I will tell you how many points the project would be worth before you start.

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Critique Guidelines

Here are the guidelines for critiques that we will be using in this class starting on Monday. We will discuss the method at the beginning of class before we start your performances, but you can read over them now to get a preview:

There are a few key steps in critiquing artwork. These steps can apply to other specialties and fields, but we will only discuss them in terms of visual art.

  1. Description: The description of the object(s) is a matter-of-fact listing of what you are actually looking at. What is it? If you are looking at the Mona Lisa, you may say that it is an oil painting on wood, approximately 30″ x 20″, hung at such-and-such a height, the paint is applied in a delicate manner to depict a seated woman before a pastoral landscape. Other details may come out about the painted background and the way her hands are situated, but there is to be no interpretation or evaluation during the description process. Only hard facts about the physicality of the object are to be discussed – not history, context, or intent. It may seem redundant to describe work that everyone is standing before, but different people notice different things and it is helpful to point out those details. Describing the object(s) also sets the groundwork for the rest of the discussion as the following steps depend upon what is pointed out in the description phase.
  2. Interpretation: Now you may take what was discussed in the description phase and talk about how those factors come together and what it means. Do not discuss artist’s intention during interpretation, however you may bring in historical and environmental context.
  3. Evaluation: At this point you should be able to articulately evaluate the work based upon how well the work operates between what it is and what it is doing/trying to do. This should be the culmination and combination of the description and interpretation to result in well-stated judgments and opinion. If a work seems to be attempting humor, but the materials take themselves to seriously, you may raise that point. A work may succeed because what it is and how it operates are in accord. The artist’s intentions should still be left out of this phase. As a matter of fact, the artist’s intentions should almost always be left out of critiques. Artists rarely know what they are talking about in relation to their work.

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Project Proposal: Bad Example

The following is an example of a bad project proposal. Some of the problems include: typos, grammar and spelling issues, lack of choice justification, illogical reasoning, verb tense shifts, apparently trying to make one project count for two classes. . . just to name a few. The proposal is a hypothetical one for an assignment that we will not have this semester: Micro- and Macro-Performance.

Micro/Macro Performance

I was thinking that I might do a performance of painting two small paintings. Like 2 inches sqwared. I’ll probably paint these in front of the class, but I might also just video myself doing this at home and show the video in class. I like to paint and if UCCS offered a painting major, that’s what I would do. I’ll paint one still life of a plant or something like that. The other would be of myself using a mirror. My face just small. Can you get a video projector or TV for me in case I video myself? And a video cassette player. For my big performance maybe I would see if I could rent one of those big fat sumo suits from a party supply store or something. I could challenge my girlfriend to a fight in front of the class but she couldn’t really hurt me since I was wearing a big fat sumo suit. My girlfriend and I sometimes fight, but we never hit each toher. We’re just be acting. I think that since performing is all about the actors, I would just make one of the actors bigger than normal. Since one actor would be small (my girlfriend is super skinny) then the other actor (me) would look really huge. I would just be reading a book or something and my girlfriend would walk in and start yelling at me about something like I left the toilet seat up. The book I am reading is one I made in my other class about my grandma who died a few years ago. It is shaped like a person and has different color paper in it. The person is my grandma and I wrote about a time that she showed me the asparagus in her garden and then we ate it. So, my girlfriend is all yelling at me and I start yelling at her and then she’ll try to punch me, but I won’t feel it. Then I can roll over her or something and we can just fight. I saw someone using the sumo suits at a student activity a couple years ago and it was pretty funny. I think I might know who to ask where they got them. After a while my girlfriend will start yelling at me about how her mom used to abuse her (not really, just pretend). I’ll stop bumping her and rolling around and say I’m sorry. We’ll make up. So I’m really big and the fight will be really big and then we’ll make up showing that everyone has things that they carry around and that we can get along.

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Link to VaPA 390 Flickr

Performance Art Lab 2007

Here is a link to the class Flickr page. I will be posting images from class exercises from time to time.  You can also see some images from the Spring 2007 class if you are interested.


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