art as social wormhole*

* . . . an “artificial M.F.A.” course/reading group in texts on aesthetic issues relating directly or indirectly to art's potential (or not) to speak to or influence reality. The group’s home base is The Reading Room, 3715 Parry Ave., Dallas; the group also meets at other venues exhibiting art works relevant to the readings. The course was inaugurated on Oct. 27, 2013 and is ongoing for the foreseeable future, and it's free and open to the public. For updates regarding readings and meetings, follow the OccuLibrary tumblr or contact carolyn at c-cyte dot com; more background at the bottom of this page.


Below are links to our texts 2013-14 (some may include notes by other people, or my notes from several years ago, which may not reflect my current thinking). For texts for later meetings, please see art as social wormhole.

Partial background for the course (optional):
  Nicolas Bourriaud, excerpts from Relational Aesthetics (1998; trans. 2002)
  Gene Ray, Art Schools Burning & Other Songs of Love and War (1997)
  Bruce High Quality Foundation, Explaining Pictures to a Dead Bull (undated; found 2010)
  Communiqué from an Absent Future, Research and Destroy (2009)
  Video just for fun: Alex Bag, Untitled Fall '95, 57 min. ("Bag, at the time an art student, 'plays' Bag the art student . . . the eight diaristic segments trace a woman's struggle to make sense of her experience at art school.")
   
For class #1, at 7pm, Mon., Nov. 18 at The Power Station's exhibition, Fair Use, by Walead Beshty:
  Interview of Walead Beshty (the interview is undated but refers to work dated as recently as 2009)
   
For class #2, at 3pm, Sun., Dec. 15 at CentralTrak's Sadie Hawkins group show:
  Claire Bishop, Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics (2004)
  Liam Gillick, Contingent Factors: A Response to Claire Bishop's "Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics" (2006).
  Review of book by Grant Kester & Claire Bishop, Can Art Change Lives? (2012)
   
  Optional additions:
  Grant Kester, "Conversation Pieces: The Role of Dialogue in Socially-Engaged Art," Theory in Contemporary Art Since 1985, ed. Zoya Kucor & Simon Leung (Blackwell, 2005)
  Claire Bishop, The Social Turn: Collaboration and Its Discontents (2006)
  Grant Kester, Wazungu Means "White Men": Superflex and the Limits of Ethical Capitalism (2008)
  And you can find Hyperallergic's review of Bishop's most recent book, Artificial Hells, here.
   
For class #3, at 3pm, Sun., Jan. 12 at The Reading Room:
  The first two "Optional additions" from our previous class, plus:
  Michael Corris, “The Dialogical Imagination: The Conversational Aesthetic of Conceptual Art,” in David Hopkins, ed., Neo Avant-Garde, Series: Avant-Garde Critical Studies. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi Press, 2007. ISBN: 978-90-420-2125-9.
   
For class #4, at 3pm, Sun., Feb. 9 at the Trans.lations work room at 6327 Ridgecrest Rd.:
  Baldwin, Michael; Harrison, Charles; and Ramsden, Mel (2007). "Emergency Conditionals." In: Goldie, Peter and Schellekens, Elisabeth eds. Philosophy and Conceptual Art. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 257–266.
  Brad Troemel, "What Relational Aesthetics Can Learn from 4Chan" (2010)
  Charlie Gere & Michael Corris, "Non-relational Aesthetics," from Transmission: the Rules of Engagement (2008).
   
  Optional additions or background:
  Works mentioned in Corris's articles, or relating to them:
Online version of Blurting in A & L (1973); and note the continuation of the project via the Questions page.
Photos of Index 002 Bxal (1973)
Photo of Dialectical Materialism (1974-76)
   
For class #5, at 3pm, Sun., Mar. 30 at The Reading Room:
  Jacques Ranciere's Ignorant Schoolmaster, trans. Kristin Ross (Stanford U. Press 1991), first chapter only (the PS.1 course included the whole book; we can discuss whether to read further in subsequent classes).
  Bruce High Quality Foundation, Explaining Pictures to a Dead Bull (undated; found 2010) [and if you'd enjoy more in this general vein, check out Gene Ray, Art Schools Burning & Other Songs of Love and War (1997)].
   
Bouncing Beuys GIF

For class #6, at 3pm, Sun., May 4 at The Reading Room:

  Lucy R. Lippard & John Chandler, The Dematerialization of Art (1967-68)
  Writings or Lectures by Joseph Beuys, from sources listed in the foregoing PDF. You may also find it helpful to read the Wikipedia entry on Beuys, to contextualize his words.
   
  Optional (to be read for a subsequent class if we don't get to it in this one):
  Kenneth Goldsmith, "My Career in Poetry or: How I Learned to stop Worrying and Love the Institution," lecture originally given at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2013-03-20.
   
For our first ANCILLARY meeting, at 3pm, Sun., June 1 at the Dallas Contemporary:
  Clement Greenberg, "Modernist Painting," published in Clement Greenberg: The CollectedEssays and Criticism Vol. 4, ed. John OʼBrian, 1993 and other sources.
   
For regular class #7, at 3pm, Sun., June 8 at Homeland Security:
  Thierry de Duve, parts 1 & 2 of a series of essays on the avant garde and "the invention of art," published in ArtForum 2013-14: "Pardon My French," Oct. 2013, and "Don't Shoot the Messenger," Nov. 13.
   
  Optional:
  Thierry de Duve, parts 3 - 5 of his series of essays on "the invention of art," published in ArtForum 2013-14.
  Thierry de Duve, part 6 of his series of essays on "the invention of art," published in ArtForum 2013-14.
  Excerpts from Lucy Lippard's Six years: The dematerialization of the art object from 1966 to 1972: a cross-reference book . . . [etc.], including the chapters, "Escape Attempts" and "1968" (for some reason, if I open these online, they look screwy, but if I download them, they look fine; let me know if you have any problem with them).
  F.y.i., I also found very helpful Lippard's 2009 article on the Tate's website here, summarizing certain aspects of her history as a curator.
   
Vierkants Greenwald Fries GIF

For class #8, at 3pm, Sun., July 13 at The Reading Room:

  Kenneth Goldsmith, "My Career in Poetry or: How I Learned to stop Worrying and Love the Institution," lecture originally given at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2013-03-20.
  Artie Vierkant, "The Image Object Post-Internet," found 2014-03-24 at http://jstchillin.org/artie/pdf/The_Image_Object_Post-Internet_a4.pdf.
   
  Optional (to be discussed in a future class):
  Writings or Lectures by Joseph Beuys, from sources listed in the foregoing PDF. You may also find it helpful to read the Wikipedia entry on Beuys, for context.
  Walter Benjamin, "Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," found 2013-01-19 at http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/ge/benjamin.htm, evidently transcribed from elsewhere, first published in 1936.
   
For class #9, at 3pm, Sun., Aug. 3 at Liliana Bloch Gallery:
  Nicolas Bourriaud, The Radicant (Intro - Ch. 2), Lukas and Sternberg, New York, 2009.
   
  Optional (augmenting our readings for the previous class):
  Kenneth Goldsmith, "Displacement" (2014), found 2014-06-10 on Rhizome.
  Seth Price, "Dispersion" (2008), found 2014-07-14 on Distributed History.
   
For class #10, at 3pm, Sun., Sept. 7 at the Slavs and Tatars exhibition in the Dallas Museum of Art (don't worry if you can't get through it all; just get as far as you can):
  Nicolas Bourriaud, The Radicant (from wherever you left off through P. 103), Lukas and Sternberg, New York, 2009.
   
  Optional:
  Clement Greenberg, "The Bennington College Seminars, April 6 - 22, 1971, Night Seven," from Homemade Esthetics (Oxford U. Press 1999).
  Walter Benjamin, "Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," found 2013-01-19 at http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/ge/benjamin.htm, evidently transcribed from elsewhere, first published in 1936.
  Seth Price, "Dispersion" (2008), found 2014-07-14 on Distributed History.
   
For class #11, at 3pm, Sun., Oct. 5, at the Mario Testino Alta Moda exhibition at the Dallas Contemporary: The reading is the same as for class #10 above.
   
For class #12, at 3pm, Sun., Oct. 19, again at the Mario Testino Alta Moda exhibition at the Dallas Contemporary: The reading is the same as for class #10 above – picking up at P. 79; still trying to get through to P. 103.
   

For class #13, at 7:30 - 9:45pm on Wed., Nov. 12, at Greg Metz's class in the Visual Arts Studio at U.T.D. (map here):

  Nicolas Bourriaud, The Radicant (intro through Ch. 2), Lukas and Sternberg, New York, 2009. For this class, we'll focus on Pp. 104 - 140.
   
  Optional: See class #10 optionals above, or continue with The Radicant:
  Nicolas Bourriaud, The Radicant (Chs. 3 & 4), Lukas and Sternberg, New York, 2009.
   

For our second ANCILLARY meeting, at 1:45pm on Sun., Nov. 16, at the Dallas Museum of Art atrium cafe:

  Nicolas Bourriaud, The Radicant (intro through Ch. 2), Lukas and Sternberg, New York, 2009. Continuing our discussion of Pp. 104 - 140.
   
  Optional: See class #10 optionals above, or continue with The Radicant:
  Nicolas Bourriaud, The Radicant (Chs. 3 & 4), Lukas and Sternberg, New York, 2009.
   

Jon Satrom, tiwuesht

(Gif at left: Jon Satrom, tiwuesht (2014); via GIFbites.)

 

For regular class #14, at 3pm on Sun., Dec.14, at Teresa Gomez-Martorell's home/studio, 1202 King's Highway, Apt. #1, Oak Cliff:


HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Nicolas Bourriaud, The Radicant (Chs. 3 & 4), Lukas and Sternberg, New York, 2009. We'll discuss Pp. 143 through the end of the book.
 
Optional: See the Benjamin and Price essays under the class #10 optionals above, and/or the following texts recommended by Greg Metz:
Grant H. Kester, "Aesthetics After the End of Art: An Interview with Susan Buck-Morss," Art Journal, Vol. 56, No. 1 Aesthetics and the Body Politic (Spring 1997), Pp. 38-45.
Michael Brenson, "Conversation" [no further citation found].
James Gleick, "What Defines a Meme?", Smithsonian Magazine, May 2011, at http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/what-defines-a-meme-1904778/?no-ist=&page=4, and
Shannon Jackson, "Valuing Labor in the Arts," Art Practical, April 4, 2014, at http://www.artpractical.com/issue/valuing-labor-in-the-arts/.

For class #15, at 3pm on Sun., Jan. 25, at The Reading Room:

  Walter Benjamin, "Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," found 2013-01-19 at http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/ge/benjamin.htm, evidently transcribed from elsewhere, first published in 1936.
  Seth Price, "Dispersion" (2008), found 2014-07-14 on Distributed History.
   
  Optional:
  Hito Steyerl, “Too Much World: Is the Internet Dead?,” e-flux journal #49, 2013-11.
   

FOR MORE RECENTCLASSES, see here.

art as social wormhole is an incarnation of the OccuLibrary project and was initiated as part of the MAP 2013 exhibition.

The OccuLibrary was instigated in response to the destruction of the Occupy camp libraries when the camps were evicted nationwide in 2011. The project is a rolling collaboration in which the libraries are reincarnated in various forms, "using aesthetically-informed strategies to lure awareness toward info that can empower the 99%." The forms taken by the project are determined by those creating them, and the project has involved many artists, including Carolyn Sortor, Lizzy Wetzel, Karen Weiner, Celia Eberle, Danette Dufilho, Anne Lawrence, Oil and Cotton, Michael A. Morris, Greg Metz, Kristin Cochran, Cassandra Emswiler, Jeremy Massey, and more. More info here.

MAP 2013 is a project of Make Art with Purpose, an innovative organization founded by Janeil Engelstad that produces international projects and partners with artists and organizations who are making work that leads to or creates positive environmental and social change. For more on MAP 2013, see the MAP website or facebook page.

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