Art and political change
In light of our politically charged and challenging moment this class will examine the relationship between art and political change. We will ask ourselves questions about when, how and why art can have political impact. We will look to the history of artists who have directly and poetically engaged with political movements, paying specific attention to how the precedents for contemporary social practice often arose either out of fiercely political approaches to art making or out of aesthetic ingenuity within political activism.
Week 1: Introductions
Week 2: Discuss Ben Davis - Lesson of Trump
Week 3: Discuss George Lakoff -Framing 101 & Don’t think of a rampaging elephant
Week 4: Discuss Stephen Duncombe -Ethical Spectacle
Week 5: Discuss T.V. Reed -Scenarios for Revolution
Week 6: Discuss M. Rasmussen - Politics of Interventionist Art + Situationist International
Week 7: Discuss Chantal Mouffe -Strategies of radical politics + Brian Holmes -Paradoxical Citizen
Week 8: Discuss Nicholas Lambert -Protesting the Museum Industrial Complex
Week 9: Discuss Josh MacPhee -Towards anarchist art theories & Diggers + Sue Bell Yank
Week 10: Discuss Gregory Sholette -Merciless Aesthetic
-Share Artists/Projects: 2+ artists per week (2 people presenting)
-Group Activities (grad student pairs)
-Show & Tell (whole group)
-Artists, projects, relevant events, supplemental reading excerpts, videos, questions
- Read weekly readings and come prepared for group discussion with 3 questions and 3 quotes
- Organize and participate in an artistic political action and write a reflection on how it responds to the topics and questions from our class.
If you prefer, write a 10 page paper that explores a theme from our class through a selection of historical and contemporary artistic political interventions.
- Attend political or activist events and share about it.
- Research artist/projects and share about them. (7-10 min presentations)
- Organize a group activity that helps us reflect upon an aspect of art & politics in our own lives. Select 1 or more question from our list of collectively generated questions, or come up with your own and develop a group activity that helps us explore that question more deeply.
(20 minute activities)