MFA and Certificate Summer Program 2009 Berlin
July 26 – August 15, 2009
Public events, program overview and application form

Course choices (click titles for details)

Week 1
1. “Sensory Perception” Mary Ting
2. “Language/Image” Klaus Knoll
3. “Taken Aback” Leon Johnson
4. “Con/Fusing Art and Life” Gaye Chan and Nandita Sharma

Weekend 1
A. “Hoops and Loops: Grants, Residencies, Fellowships” Mary Ting
B. “Circuit Bending” Kruno Jost
C. “Voodoo Pricks: Rapture, Fissure + Urban Space” Myron Beasley

Week 2
5. “Making Public: Manifestos (of Art, Technology and Politics)” Geoff Cox
6. “Newness” Wolfgang Sützl
7. “Time Frames: Time, Film, Technology” Carolyn Guertin
8. “Dichotomy, Diversity, Discourse: Art on the Pacific Rim” – Ming Turner

Weekend 2
D. “Guerilla Tactics: Basics of Academic Job Hunting” Jean Marie Casbarian
E. “Simply Screen – Inbetweeners of Asia” Discussion and Screening, Ming Turner

Week 3
9. “The Expanded Network” Michael Bowdidge and Sophia Lycouris
10. “The Waiting Game” Jean Marie Casbarian
11. “Nowhere to Go” Nicolás Dumit Estévez
12. “Identity: A Discourse of the Body, Personality, and Cloth” Nancy Price

Wednesday Evening talks and presentations
July 29: Open House (6pm), Guest lecture: Steven Kovats, Transmediale Berlin (7pm),
August 5 (new date!): Thesis Exhibition Opening (8pm)
August 7 (new date!): Faculty presentations and panel discussion (3:30 pm)
August 12: Guest lecture (7pm)

Thesis exhibition:
Opening: Wednesday, July 29, 20:00
Gallery Hours: 17:00 – 20:00 M-F
A PDF of the catalog is alvailable here.

Graduation
Saturday, August 15, 17:00

Workshops week 1

“Sensory Perception” Mary Ting
The senses are the physiological methods of perception. The five senses are the transmitters, the media through which we navigate and understand gender, culture, pain, pleasure and the world at large. Our most visceral memories, longings, nightmares and taboos are experienced through our senses. Yet as artists our notion of perception is largely based on the visual and the verbal. In the production of contemporary artwork, the five senses are under-utilized.
In this workshop methods and concepts from the fields of science, literature, theatre, cultural anthropology and dance will be used to investigate the complexities of the senses. The workshop will combine daily exercises with presentations and discussion and is suitable for all types of media. Presentations will include cultural and social anthropological sources as well as contemporary art works. We will generate ways of integrating the senses into your studio practice.
The goal of the workshop is to give the participants new strategies, approaches and attitudes for creating work with greater sensory attributes. Students can build upon these exercises in class to later develop complex projects and enter a realm of new considerations in their practice. Each day will have a set of different exercises for the students to respond to and develop further.

“Language/Image” Klaus Knoll
The workshop looks at relations between the textual and the visual, how one illuminates, reflects, confirms and confines the other, how one can be/come the object of the other, how elements combine and what conceptual spaces these combinations open.
Following introductory lectures and presentations, participants will be given assignments around combinations and oppositions of language/text/narration/image to combine different forms of visual art and language as starting points for making new work. Teaching will be through group discussion, lectures, presentations and critiques; it will focus on the philosophical and epistemological aspects of each student’s artistic practice and the aesthetic and technical possibilities to embrace and exploit the unexpected.
The class aims to foster new ways of thinking about visual art and language through making, looking and debating. It will encourage the development of new work by individuals or by collaborative groups. The work generated during the workshop will offer a collective opportunity to discuss and develop each artists personal epistemology as well as invite group critiques.?

“Taken Aback” Leon Johnson
In Taken Aback we will study our host city from afar: through an engagement with a, or several, cinematic depiction[s] of that city. The creative task will then involve constructing a spatial, sonic, performative, or virtual interpretation of the narrative of space found in this film compared to the actual site. We will look for fractures, niches and recesses in the continuity of cinematic space versus the actual city we are temporary inhabitants of; the network of links between cinematic characters and their doppelgangers on the street, the pattern of clues relating to the actual site[s], and the unexpected evidence of histories amber-trapped within a split frame of a film. We will identify intervals, as portals. We will lay claim to memories on which we have no moral purchase and then fight for their legitimacy
Déjà vu is referred to as paramnesia, this from the Greek para, parallel and mneme, memory, and has been described as ‘remembering the future’. Inspired by the destabilizing psychological experience of déjà vu through film, we will seek to define the traits of an ambiguous cinematic geography, fluctuating between familiarity and the uncanny. We will study these illusory spaces, where a “reality” hides in the physical dimensions of a film; revealing an unexpected Ur-space; where a distinctive contrasting cinematic atmosphere parallels our physical experience of a place.
Taken Aback will be a laboratory for interpreting our host city’s hidden dimensions. Although inspired by the cinematic “site”, your interventions will anchor to a real site in your host city. The relation to the use, dynamic and function of the home site will dialectically challenge or confirm the “evidence of place” of the cinematic narrative[s].
Via rigorous analysis of the relationship between the medium of film and psycho-geographic sites this workshop will support forensic detective work, translational skills in media, performance, convergent media design and event production.

“Con/Fusing Art and Life” Gaye Chan and Nandita Sharma
The artist, by utilizing symbols, metaphors and allegories, has become understood primarily as a maker of representations. This workshop will, instead, explore ways that artists/activists can remake the ‘real’ by changing the everyday material reality of our lives.
Specific sites will be chosen as laboratories to ground our attention in the spatial politics of power. Through creative “data collection” we will first examine and analyze how existing power relations are naturalized through specific representational and spatial imaginations. Secondly we will devise forms of art-actions that not only disrupt but also create and encourage alternative systems of engagements and belongings.
This practice-driven workshop will support projects in all media. Emphasis will be placed on the development of art-actions that allow the participant to act in the world rather than represent it. Slides, lectures and readings will provide a deeper context for daily, hands-on studio work as we consider theoretical and practical problems inherent to the spaces in which we are situated. We will work towards re-spatializations that better sustain life.
We will look at a variety of artists whose work operates as various forms of activism, including: the documenting of power or resistance to it; the identification of the exploited and oppressed; the creation of politicized art-commodities for consumption and; those directly changing how the world is presently organized. on.

Weekend 1

“Hoops and Loops: Grants, Residencies, Fellowships” Mary Ting
The goal of this workshop is to provide participants with the understanding and knowledge of what makes a good application and how to work towards that. The basic tools of making a solid grant or residency application can be applied to numerous related art career scenarios. One of the must crucial aspects is being able to step back from your work and make assessments and choices. Expected audience: students and interested faculty.

“Circuit Bending” Kruno Jost
The radio has a history as a musical instrument ever since John Cage discovered its unpredictable noises. This workshop will look at the inside of the portable transistor radio in an intuitive search to recycle it into a musical instrument. We will use simple techniques to change the electronic circuits into instruments. Various techniques of conducting will be introduced and workshop participants will use their own altered radio instruments to learn about listening and playing through collective improvisation. A musical performance of workshop participants using modified radios as instruments will take place on the weekend.

“Voodoo Pricks: Rapture, Fissure and Urban Space” Myron Beasley
What happens when first world art rubs up against third world art? Does it bleed?
Presentation by Dr. Myron Beasley, Curator and Ethnographer
Saturday August 01 17.00

Seminars week 2

“Making Public: Manifestos (of Art, Technology and Politics)” Geoff Cox
A manifesto is a public declaration of principles and intentions, often political in nature. Various art movements, particularly those associated with the avant garde, have used this form to announce their aims in polemical style – eg. from Dada to the Hacker manifesto. Manifestos continue to assert the revolutionary potential of technology to manipulate, generate and transform realities. But is the form hopelessly utopian? The seminar will chart some of the key examples associated with art, technology and politics to uncover what appears old or new, visible or hidden, possible or impossible.
Goals: To explore the different approaches to time and technology as revealed in European and American films.

“Newness” Wolfgang Sützl
This seminar focuses on the seemingly simple question of what we mean when we refer to something as “new”. Newness has long been equated with originality, although the spread of technologies of reproduction in art has posed a fundamental challenge to this assumption. Is newness an illusion – is there only an eternal recurrence of the same, as Nietzsche suggested? Is newness an entirely subjective experience, as eastern philosophies maintain? Is it an economic model, as cultural theorist Boris Groys argues? Is newness a precondition for radical political change, as Jean Paul Sartre’s revolutionary theory implies?

“Time Frames: Time, Film, Technology” Carolyn Guertin
Comparing European to American films, we will explore how ‘time image’ has been rendered from the 1920s to the present (with a particular focus on the 1990s to now). In an attempt to articulate the aesthetics of a post-filmic cinema, we will explore how digital technologies have resulted in hybrid forms, new temporal frameworks, narrative incoherence and public art. In particular, we will try to discover how film speaks its own transformation and locate where the cinema resides after the demise of the movie house. Readings will be drawn from Garrett Stewart’s *Framed Time*. Films will include Paris Qui Dort, Citizen Kane, Run Lola Run, The Thirteenth Floor, Being John Malkovich, La Double Vie de Véronique, City of Lost Children, Abre Los Ojos, Jacob’s Ladder, Caché and Minority Report among others.

“Dichotomy, Diversity, Discourse: Art on the Pacific Rim”  Ming Turner
Having been dominant in the global economy in the twenty-first century, the Asia Pacific region has attracted the world’s attention on its contemporary artistic presentation. In the past twenty years, many cities in the Asia Pacific region have been at the centre of both economic growth and cultural re-examination. Globalisation has brought the Asian metropolis to deconstruct its own cultural heritage and urbanisation has created an urgent question to its people to re-consider development, competition, modernised cultures and values.
In recent years, there have been several biennales and triennials held in the Asia Pacific region, including the Busan Biennale, Fukuoka Triennial, Guangzhou Triennial, Gwangju Biennale, Shanghai Biennale, Singapore Biennale, Taipei Biennale, Triennial of Chinese Contemporary Art etc, which have created kinds of phenomena which specifically appeared in this region. During these exhibitions, the artists have often combined their own cultural languages with high technology, re-interpreted their traditional aesthetics and re-defined their traditional materials, by which they have declared their national identity and represented their post-colonial discourse.
This seminar focuses on the following questions: How have the curators’ strategies helped contemporary Asia Pacific art to be understood and which concepts have been revealed and discussed? How do the artists hybridise their artistic language within a modern ideology? How have the appearances of new contemporary Asian art been created? How do the artists and curators find the balance between nationalism and globalisation?
Within the theoretical frameworks of globalisation, westernisation, modernism, nationalism and postcoloniality, the seminar will explore contemporary art in the Asia Pacific rim, including China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam and Singapore.

Weekend 2

“Guerilla Tactics: Basics of Academic Job Hunting” Jean Marie Casbarian
This workshop will consider the politics behind the academic job search up to and including, Curriculum Vitae vs. Resume, Teaching Philosophy, Professional and Student Work, Letters of Recommendation, Representation and Packaging. We will also discuss the variables in the interview process and how to survive the on-campus interview. Be prepared for Q&A and to examine examples of the extremes: The good, the bad, and the ugly.

“Simply Screen – Inbetweeners of Asia” Discussion and Screening, Ming Turner
The screening will present ten new video works from international artists that will cover a wide range of ideas including issues of immigration, industrialisation, globalisation and identity. The event will question how people in Asia and the Asian diasporas see themselves within the complex presence of contemporary global culture; how artists respond to ideas of contemporary multiculturalism and trans-nationalism related to the context of Asia; how artists visualise the issues of war, memory, conflict, displacement, identity and the sense of belonging. For full program click here.

Workshops week 3

“The Expanded Network” Michael Bowdidge and Sophia Lycouris
The metaphor of the network tends to be used primarily in relation to digital technology, and, to a lesser extent, to describe social structures, although these two categories often overlap with regard to phenomena such as Facebook and Bebo. However the writing of Deleuze suggests that the rhizomatic nature of the network is, by definition, in a constant state of flux in which new connections are constantly being made and broken.
This workshop is an extended facilitation of this process, in which students will be encouraged to re-formulate, re-configure and re-purpose existing networks, both digital and analogue, in order to establish a critical understanding of the creative possibilities inherent in the subversion of these intrinsically instrumental structures.
It should be understood that, whilst this workshop will deal with the theory and practice of networks, both digital and analogue, it is not intended that participation will either provide or require advanced coding or IT skills. Our intention is to provide a space in which a critical understanding of the use of networks as both creative tool and theoretical construct can be undertaken, with an emphasis on developing an awareness of context and strategy rather than teaching medium specific skills.
The workshop aims to gain a critical understanding of theoretical positions and creative practices which make use of the concept of the network as a (dis)organising principle and the ways in which such positions can be used to facilitate an expanded conception of the network, to explore the use of non-medium specific creative strategies in relation to a reflexive awareness of instrumentality with regard to existing and prototypical analogue and digital networks and to explore the notion of the network in relation to the production, presentation and discussion of interdisciplinary artwork (i.e. work which draws from a variety of sources, techniques and methods and is manifested in multiple media).

“The Waiting Game” Jean Marie Casbarian
What comes from this place of pause as we wait for an assumed resolution that may, or may not, ever happen? What happens when we are seduced by the build-up only to be left without a crescendo? This workshop will probe the notion of suspense, anticipation, and expectation as we turn to the narrative (both linear and non-linear) to examine the cessation of time. As image makers, we will set out to create works that react to the convoluted space of “waiting” – a space that drops us somewhere between panic and pleasure; desire and unease; arousal and anxiety. We will also challenge these ideas as we look towards the pause as a respite – a period of (non)time in which to understand nothing.
Required Goals: This process-based workshop will support projects in all disciplines, though emphasis will be placed on the development of aesthetic skills critical to the creation of time-based works involving image, sound, and performance. Slide/Film lectures and readings will provide a deeper context for daily, hands-on studio work as we consider theoretical and practical problems inherent to interdisciplinary forms.
We will look at a variety of artists, musicians, and writers that employ these strategies such as Gordon, Fischli and Weiss, Sala, Pfeiffer, Marclay, Beckett, Woolf, Reich, etc. etc.

“Nowhere to Go” Nicolás Dumit Estévez
The subject of art = life, and the subsequent argument on the point at which the two of them meet is a topic heavily debated by artists and scholars. The discussion continues to be as relevant today as it was decades ago when, Linda M. Montano, Martha Wilson and Fluxus, for example, developed works that existed within the everyday. It is even more so now, when a considerable number of art practitioners are invested in projects that make obsolete, at least for their implementation, the traditional white cube of the gallery. Instead they find space within the day-to-day; be it a public or an intimate environment.
Nowhere to Go is structured as a one-week workshop composed of a series of brief audio visual presentations on the works of historical figures, with emphasis artists and collectives from the US and the Américas such as: Melquiades Herrera, Geoffrey Hendricks, Hanna Wilke, Pedro Pietri, Nao Bustamante and Asco, among others. These presentations serve as the starting point for in-depth discussions on topics including, but not limited to: living in art, straying into unknown territories and non-traditional ways of dealing with ephemerality in art. Post-presentation exercises and assignments lead students to tap into everyday life to use their experiences as material for art. Participants then undertake a careful observation, and critique of overtly mundane activities such as walking, talking, sleeping, shopping, and eating. The information collected is finally used to develop work in the various art disciplines represented by those attending the seminar.
The title of this workshop departs from the utopian premise that if there was in fact a possibility to efface all foreseeable boundaries separating art and life for good, the space inhabited by the artists and their audiences would obliterate the need for a way out of this dissolution.

“Identity: A Discourse of the Body, Personality, and Cloth” Nancy Price
“Aisthitikos is the ancient Greek word for that which is “perceptive by feeling”. Aisthisis is the sensory experience of perception. The original field of aesthetics in not art but reality– corporeal, material, nature. As Terry Eagleton writes: Aesthetics is born as a discourse of the body.”
The premise for this course relates body dressing and home décor as parallel modes of materiality, constituting our socialized spatial environments that establish our fit and aspirations to, or our comments on, diverse dimensions of behavior and civility. This course expressively delineates the intimate fit of dress with bodily anatomy and movement, as well as social identity.
The studio practice incorporates soft materials, cloth, clothing, body as site, extension of body (land, architecture) as site, and personality. Through studio practice we will explore identity, appearances, relationships, and the physical, transitory nature of soft materials. One intention is to affirm the importance of subjective experience through our body and studio practice.

Wednesday evening talks and presentations
July 29: Open House (6pm), Guest lecture: Steven Kovats, Transmediale Berlin (7pm), Reception and Thesis Exhibition Opening (8pm)
August 5: Faculty presentations and panel discussion (7pm)
August 12: Guest lecture (7pm), Reception and Thesis Exhibition Closing (8pm)

Thesis exhibition
Opening: Wednesday, July 29, 20:00
Gallery Hours: 17:00 – 20:00 M-F
A PDF of the catalog will be alvailable for download here July 15th.

Graduation
Saturday, August 15, 17:00

Daily Program

Mondays
09:00 Faculty meeting
10:00 Workshop or seminar
11:00 Workshop studio or Seminar research
15:00 Workshop or seminar
16:00
16:30 Meeting TBA
17:00 Critiques (Graduate lead session 2)
20:00
Tuesdays
10:00 Workshop or seminar
11:00 Workshop studio or seminar research
15:00 Workshop or seminar
16:00
16:30 Graduate talks and Candidacy Reviews
17:30
18:00 Project planning sessions (second session only)
18:00 Career planning sessions (graduates only)
20:00
Wednesdays
10:00 Workshop or seminar
11:00 Workshop studio or seminar research
15:00 Workshop or seminar
16:00
16:30 Meeting TBA
17:00 Critiques (Graduate lead session 2)
18:30
19:00 Presentations TBA
20:00 Faculty exhibition openings
Thursdays
10:00 Workshop or seminar
11:00 Workshop studio or seminar research
15:00 Workshop or seminar
16:00
16:30 Graduate talks and Candidacy Reviews
18:00 Project planning sessions (second session only)
18:00 Career planning sessions (graduates only)
20:00
Fridays
10:00 Workshop or seminar
11:00 Workshop studio or Seminar research
15:00 Workshop or seminar
16:00
16:30 Meeting TBA
17:00 Critiques (Graduate lead session 2)
20:00
Saturdays
10:00 Faculty and MFA student individual meetings by sign up
12:00
14:00 Optional workshops and events

Sundays
14:00 Optional workshops and events