Category Archives: Readings

Week 12 Assignment Post

For class on Monday, you will need to have submitted your proposal for your final project; be ready to present your Simultaneous Group Action project; added four links to your site; and read The Institutionalization of an American Avant-Garde: Performance Art as Democratic Culture, 1970-2000 by Britta Wheeler (follow the link to JSTOR) and post two thoughtful comments on the reading to this assignment post. You can respond to any aspect of the article that you wish, but remember that your comments are to be thoughtful and should represent your reading, considering, and understanding of the central issues, even and especially if you take issue with the author.



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Assignment Post Week 9 (Part 2)

Please also post at least 2 thoughtful comments about the Marshall McLuhan article we began in class, The Relation of Environment to Anti-Environment (originally published as an independent article in the Windsor University Review in 1966). FYI, some of his other influential writings include the books War and Peace in the Global Village and The Medium is the Massage.

Here are some considerations:

  • Explain and discuss the claim on page 87: “When an environment becomes an object of attention it assumes the character of an anti-environment or an art object.” How does this inform your decisions about art making, esp. performance work?
  • What is McLuhan’s essential argument? How has he developed and explicated his thesis?
  • Discuss an art work, perhaps one of your own, in the context of this reading, particularly the function of anti-environment. What elements are qualifying the work as such and what purpose does this serve?


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Week 8 Assignment Post

Here is what you need to have done by class on March 31:

Email me your proposal for the Being Audience project; read pages 97-113, 177-194, and 203-224 in the Fusco book and section 8 in the library reserve binder: Actuals: A Look into Performance Theory by Richard Schechner; add four links to your site; and post at least two thoughtful comments on the readings for this week (if you choose to post more than 2 comments and if they are well-reasoned, I will give you extra credit.)

Here are some considerations:

  • Comment on the usefulness and functionality of some of the alternate labels for work (other than “performance art”) mentioned in the Ramos essay. How might some of these terms better describe your own work? How are they useful in the context of Venezuelan work, or do you find similar problems with all terms?
  • Discuss the claim from the 1981 CADA work that “the work of improving the accepted standard of living is the only valid art form/the only exhibition/the only worthwhile works of art.” Pay attention to specific implications of words and how they translate for you and your experience, i.e., if this statement is assumed to be valid, what is really meant by “form” and “exhibition”?
  • Are you persuaded by Lotty Rosenfeld’s discussion of her work? Why or why not?
  • What are the implications of Felipe Ehrenberg’s designation of the street happenings between the two galleries as art? If these are pieces, is he the artist of the piece because he identified them as such? Or do the pieces have unwitting artists, or no creating artist at all?
  • Concerning Schechner’s use of the term “actuals:” what are the implications for performance art specifically? What examples can you think of that fit within/outside of his parameters?
  • What examples can you cite relevant to artistic practice that bear out his categories of contemporary (or modern) movements: “wholeness,” “process and organic growth,” “concreteness,” and “religious transcendental experience”?
  • Concerning ritual, are you aware of rituals that are examinable and explainable following his model? Elaborate.

For those of you especially concerned with issues of documentation, consider this JSTOR essay: “Presence” in Absentia: Experiencing Performance as Documentation” by Amelia Jones.

Enjoy your Spring Break!


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Week 7 Assignment Post

Here is what you need to do by class on Monday:

Read pages 59-96 in the Fusco book; read the Nick Zangwill article, Art and Audience (follow the link to JSTOR); post four links on your page; REMEMBER THAT CLASS MEETS IN THE DANCE STUDIO ON MONDAY; post at least two thoughtful comments on the readings; and if you are feeling sassy, peruse some of the other audience-relevant articles with links below.

Here are some considerations:

  • What is your response to Jesusa Rodriguez’s theories of humor, and do you see these claims translated into her work?
  • How do you think Tito Vasconcelos’ characters, especially Tatiana Illhuicamina, translate differently to an American audience than to his community?
  • Distill Zangwill’s main thesis and detail your reaction to it, i.e., are you persuaded by his argument, do you accept his grounding claims, and so forth. Why or why not?

Other writings on audience:

Shaping Belief: The Role of Audience in Visual Communication, by Ann C. Tyler

Casting the Audience, by Natalie Crohn Schmitt


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Week 5 Assignment Post

Here is what you need to do before class on Monday:

Read pages 225-265 in the Fusco book; read these selections from the Interventionists book (follow this link (3.8 MB)) and inSite 05 (links below); listen to the Bad at Sports interview with the Center for Tactical Magic; make at least two thoughtful comments here regarding the readings; post four links to your page; write a working proposal for your Social Intervention project (please email this to me if possible).

Here are the links to intervention projects from inSite 05:

Paul Ramírez-Jonas

Måns Wrange and here

Judi Werthein

João Louro

Here are some considerations:

  • How is a figure like Alejandro Jodorowsky especially pertinent to current students of art, and more particularly to students like you in programs like VaPA?
  • Respond to Bustamante’s contention that the group movement in Mexico ended with the 1983 MAM exhibition. What other “institutionalizations” are you aware of and what effect do you think such recognition or inclusion has on artists and art forms/trends that were previously uncannonized?
  • Link or trace the use of the term “tactics,” especially in the Thompson essay and the Chavoya essay. How does this term function and how is this useful in your efforts to construct an intervention proposal?
  • Respond to the direct dealing with situation, concept, space, community, and issue in Asco’s work. Does this account of some of their projects help you in concieving your own piece? (What direct issues are you involved in/aware of and do they seem like subjects for art work to you?)


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Week 4 Assignment Post

Please post at least two thoughtful comments on the readings for this week: pages 152-226 in the Goldberg book; Performance Art: (Some) Theory and (Selected) Practice at the End of This Century by Martha Wilson (JSTOR); and section one in the library reserve binder, chapter 5 in Performance: A Critical Introduction by Marvin Carlson.
Here are some considerations:
  • After the descriptions of performance art as a genre in these two readings (and almost one month in class), locate/delineate your understanding of the nature of performance art.
  • How do the discussions in these readings of some of the artists you are already familiar with clarify, expand, or change your understanding of these artists’ works?
  • For those of you with a background in theatre, respond to references to theatre as the antecedent and discussions of theatre’s relationship to performance art.
  • Select an artist from the Goldberg section and do some independent research on them. Post what you discover.

Remember your posts as well for this week. In class we will first complete the two performances from this past week, and then we will hopefully jaunt over to the dance studio for some exercises.


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