I’ve organized two colloquia about if, when, and how education becomes art practice. New nontraditional learning scenarios are emerging in many academic disciplines, especially in the arts, but somehow the proposition that education could be a medium for art-making provokes strong reactions. This colloquium invites several artists who are protagonists in educational experiments to explore and question the implications of education as an art practice.
I was invited to lead an artist run class at MoMA on Saturday, November 22nd. I will be walking through an artists’ perspective on appropriation art. We’ll visit a couple of favorites from the permanent collection, stop in on the Sturtevant: Double Trouble exhibition. I’ll give a talk about digital appropriation, including some of my work like the Tiananmen Square Paintings and AfterSherrieLevine.com and then I will challenge the group to make their own works with a series of propositions and provocations. By the end of the session, participants will have made their own digital readymades and appropriations. I hope they have fun, but I also hope they learn just how hard it is to make a meaningfully good copy. If you want to join me, you can register online through MoMA’s website. Check out my post on MoMA’s blog for more on my thoughts on appropriation in the context of my own work.
Early September in New York is full of more art openings any one person can keep track of, let alone attend. I spent last night popping between a handful of carefully chosen ones, pedaling along, courtesy of my finally working CitiBike card. As I was walking from the last opening to grab a slice I walked by a show and noticed a name I recognized out of its usual context. The opening was clearly about to end, but I popped in.
Mark Strand studied painting at Yale with Josef Albers, but I was unaware that he was still making visual work. I checked the press release: yep, the same Mark Strand. I wandered through, wondering which of the many white haired men he was.
I found him, but not because I recognized him. A woman recognized me from a show I was at earlier in the evening. She chatted me up, and in the process pointed him out to me. He was a tall thin white haired white man, wearing a rumpled white linen coat. I approached him while he held hands with his wife. I told him the story:
I asked him if he remembered visiting a small high school in Portland, Oregon in the mid 90’s. He said yes he did, and asked if I was there at the time? Yes, I told him, after his reading he came to my English class. I was a junior. We had just finished 25 page research papers on American poets. He asked us to go around the room and tell him who we had written on.
When it was my turn I told him I had written on Walt Whitman. “Whitman’s not much of a poet!” he retorted, pausing, looking at me, inviting me in to spar. I defended Whitman to the best of my abilities. I don’t really remember exactly what I said, as my memory has encoded and re-encoded the exchange. What matters is that in the version I am left with, I held my own against the former poet laureate. Last night I told him I argued for the importance of plain verse, and that Whitman’s catalogs were as great and various as America itself.
He was smiling. A kind of taught mouthed smile. I couldn’t tell if he remembered or not, and frankly why should he, but he clearly recognized himself in the story.
After I finished, he leaned in a little bit and said: “You know, you were right about Whitman. I’ve come around on him.” He smiled, showing his teeth. And his wife sweetly lead him away to the post-opening reception for which they were late.
What are the radical possibilities of open access publishing? This panel will bring together a number of scholars who have published online recently to consider how university presses are either facilitating or impeding efforts by academics to explore new forms of cultural production and media activism unleashed by movements such as Occupy Wall Street. Join us to explore these questions and to develop new strategies and models for contemporary academic publication.
Mon Nov 26, 6:30pm | The Skylight Room (9100) at CUNY Graduate Center
Co-sponsored by The Digital Studies/Digital Humanities Seminar
Collaborative Futures is a book collaboratively authored about free collaboration.