Art as Social Practice
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Level: Graduate
Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: School of Media Studies
Department: Media Studies
Course Number: NMDS 5186
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Civic Engagement
  • Social Media
  • Media Studies
What is the society that a work of art makes possible? What sort of community does it help us to realize? This seminar and discussion series seeks to explore the social dimensions of performance through the work of contemporary composers who are less interested in aesthetics than in designing tools and systems that both articulate and facilitate social change. This course builds on the work of artists, composers, Bruno Latour's actor network theory and Barbara Stafford's notions of art as neurological research. Invited guests include Maryanne Amacher, Ornette Coleman, Tony Conrad, David Dunn, Alvin Lucier, Lee Ranaldo, Christian Wolff, John Zorn, et al. The course begins with two weeks of introductory orientation (Artist Placement Group, Pask and Emery on purposeful systems, Plato, the politics of tuning systems and the politics of instruments, AMM), followed by two five week sessions with composers discussing their work. The final weeks will be dedicated to student presentations. Apart from informed discussion with the invited guests, students will be expected to compose their own projects (in any medium of their choice). "A composer is that without which something would not have happened," Herbert Brun.
Course Open to: Degree Students


Open to Graduate students.