IMA Number: 78309

Course Type: Production

Professor: Jeff Stark

This class meets Saturday, November 21 and Saturday, December 5 - 10am-5pm in HN 544.

Full Course Description:

This workshop invites students to experiment with narrative environments in public space. What does it mean to build a story around a site? How can we use sites to tell better stories? Can site be used as a strategy against globalization and the increasing demands for scalable media and experiences? What do we even mean when we say site-specific? Site-conditioned? Site-responsive?

We will begin by examining artists, designers, and performers experimenting with narrative environments in public space, including work by site-responsive artists like Janet Cardiff (sound), Gordon Matta-Clark (anarchitecture), and Andrea Fraser (performance), as well as contemporary projects like Five Short Blasts from Melbourne, Australia (documentary), and Kara Walker’s A Subtlety (sculpture). Instructor Jeff Stark will follow by presenting some of his own projects, including an original play written for the New York Subways system, and Empire Drive-In, a massive parking lot installation and performance space made with wrecked cars.

We will continue our investigations by visiting and devising a project based around a public site in New York. Field trip! Techniques for discussion and application will include but not be limited to scouting, research, data, interviews, and documentation strategy. Day 1 will finish with a group exercise and immediate critique session.

Readings for the workshop will include essays by Henri Lefebvre, Rosalind Kraus, Andrea Fraser, and R. Murray Schafer. Week 2 will begin with a discussion of these texts, and follow with student presentations, performances, and interventions on our selected site, followed by a structured critique of each work and strategies for revision and documentation. The workshop will conclude with a presentation on how to construct proposals, write grants, and reach out to curators and programmers with siteworks.

This workshop is media agnostic: artists, designers, and performers working in sound, video, intervention, scenography, dance, street game, installation, or food are all welcome. Our focus will be the design and execution of these works, which will put emphasis on the experience of the audience/users/participants. You do not need any experience making media or site-specific work to join this workshop, but it couldn’t hurt. Stark will provide basic tutorials for sound, video, sketch-up, and augmented reality. Our objective is not to make media “about” a site, but *for* a site.