PERFORMANCE SYLLABUS, 1997
As you know, performance is not theatre, is not life and yet often it is real time based and addresseS real issues in a non-theatrical way that is often confusing to the newcomer and to a body of students who have had no experience of this genre.
THEREFORE,performance class: it is imperative that you address real issues in as strong a way as possible but METAPHORICALLY.This policy is the result of some misunderstandings that have occurred in the past.
You see the genre can be so life-like that it is sometimes not possible for some people in the class to differentiate from an action that is hinted at, performed actually or alluded to. Of course there has to be a way of preserving the integrity of the work, the intensity of the expression, the healings from having shared a thought, idea, taboo, feeling, concept, but all must be done without endangering self or others.(Remember this is academia.)Because there are so many threshholds of tolerance and experience represented in the class, it is imperative that a more generic approach be taken to the actions performed in this public classroom.
The classroom will be a lab, a place where ideas are constructed, but it will not be an areana where physical, mental, emotional and psychological danger is compromised.
SYLLABUS:Ideas concerning memory, space, time,light, movement,and everyday issues will be explored safely, appropriately and with full committment to artistic expression although tailored for a mixed community experience. Nothing physically or emotionally dangerous will be allowed in the class although discussion of the history of performance does include talk of these life-like and realtime often disturbing actions.
The student will be encouraged to talk to the instructor, TA, advisors, chair or dean if a problem of boundaries is an issue and the student is advised to be forthright in their feedback and communication concerning their progress in the class and the content of the class. No dangerous objects or actions or inappropriate to the syllabus events will be allowed and will be stopped if begun. No fire, glass, human blood, urine etc will be allowed.
Please try to follow these guidelines. Performance in the institution is not performance in a public venue where a different expectation of freedom of expression is present.
Please talk to me if you have any questions.
PURPOSE OF THE PERFORMANCE ART CLASS:
The purpose of the class is to design and experience an atmosphere of personal and group discovery that allows each student to address the challenges of autobiography and self-portrait in a safe and productive way and use the ability to receive attention to help make daily life a more appreciated journey. This class is designed for those who are willing to creatively and maturely explore issues common to painting and sculpture but use realtime.In a sense, you must be willing to be seen because you are "visible"to the rest of the students. As a result, nerves and emotions are more present and it takes great care to be both present to your work in a risk-taking yet emotionally safe way and still grow by the experience and not be stunted by the trauma of disclosing trauma, or joy, or questions or confusion or pain! You are NOT obliged to do work that pushes emotional or physical buttons too far or to stay in the room for work that is too demanding for you to witness.
Artistic growth is encouraged,danger is not.You must present a verbal or written disclaimer before each piece.To extend the effectiveness of the class and get feedback, please use your own resources to talk about your work and your self after class. Also read, talk to class partners, talk to TA and instructor when you have a need.
There is a suggestion box provided for those students who want to remain anonymous.
There are also eight free therapy sessions that I highly recommend on campus and a 24 hour hotline.
Call day or night.
Numbers for free counselling:---------------24hour hotline:--------------
METHOD OF THE CLASS:
To free the body and mind and create an atmosphere of trust, each class is devoted to a physical, sonic and imaginative warm up. During this time tai-chi, yoga, improvised and deliberate movements are used to slow down and focus ordinary mind.This lasts one half hour.Then we experience one half hour of sound making. Students lie on the floor in a circle and make sounds using suggestions from the work of Pauline Oliveros's Sonic Meditations.
These exercises are intersperced with other sound exercises to free the voice and deepen its quality and abiity to express thought and feelings. The third aspect of the warm-up is designed to extend the imagination by traveling into images that open possibilities for deeper inner vision.
These suggestiong come from audiotapes or are vocalized by the instructor.NB If any of these exercises are not appropriate for you, please speak to me.
Each semester a different approach is taken given the configuration of the class but in general at least 4-5 individual performances are required. Also group pieces are given to create community. Sometimes at the end of a semester,a group show is required, often a paper from reading done from the reserve list under my name at the FAL.
1.A three minute self portrait using ONLY gesture and movement.You can add sound from tape or pre-made sound.See Cage,Hay,Goldberg in FAL.
2.A three minute portrait of your life issue.Use spoken word and sound.See Finley,Galas, Acconci,Montano in FAL.
3.A three minute performance creating atmosphere.See Monk,Anderson, Prince, Constructivists in FAL.
4. A ten minute performance addressing issues of social boundaries/gender See Pena, Guerilla Girls, Miller,Sprinkle in FAL.
LIVING ART EVENT:
Choose one aspect of your life that you want to make art about/with/from. This is done for the four months of this class and will be reported on at the end of this semester.See Kaprow at FAL.
No blood,feces, glass, fire, violence to self or others in the class is allowed. No knives, guns, dangerous objects or weapons are allowed. No hitting self ,others or objects.Check with the TA or instructor if you have questions about the content of your work or objects to be used.
You will be given an 8mm tape at the end of the semester to keep.
Keep the room clean, assist to sweep and arrange chars at the end of class.
Please bring food to share when you can.
No smoking two hours before class or during class.
You take turns assisting TA each class.
Please be responsible.
1.Three free absenses no matter the reason.
2.After three down one grade.
3.One half hour late is late.Four lates equal one absence.
4.Participation, artistic and personal growth and attendance are all considered in your final grade. Being on time is importanct to the atmosphere.
5.The TA and I give the grade together after discussing your progress.
6.No late projects will be looked at.
7.If your absense is medical I need a document from your doctor so I can give you a make up.
8.Get a buddy.Your buddy's grade is lowered if they are not communicating with you well.