Advanced Practice:
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Level: Undergraduate, Graduate
Division: Parsons The New School for Design
School: School of Art, Media and Technology
Department: Fine Arts
Course Number: PGFA 5300
Course Format: Studio
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Visual Arts
  • Cultural Studies
  • Visual Culture
These electives will enable students not only to comprehend the complexity of their respective media but also to develop appropriate forms to actualize their ideas in the form of work in an exhibition or installation. Studio options for spring 2015 include the following:

Performance: This will explore private and public performance art practice, experimenting with notions of silent mindful presence while engaging New York City as its laboratory. Students will work individually and collectively, bonding into an ephemeral company through sensitive solos and generous collaborations. They will perform and then discuss a series of daily and weekly perceptual exercises, culminating in their own independent performance proposals, workshopped in class. Performance remains an alternative practice that offered few collectibles until very recently. The practice feeds from many old and new traditions and thus remains influenced by tribal and religious ritual, healing practices, cabaret, theater, dance, psychodrama, feminist, queer and civil rights, and political and environmental activism.

Search Histories and Identity Palimpsests: Traditionally, historical, digital, personal, and social archives have preserved records for cultural and/or evidentiary value. Artistic research has taken those archives to collate knowledge toward new and unexpected applications. This course will explore how contemporary artists, as active agents, use archives to create and represent the complexity of their shifting subjectivities and contexts. Recognizing art as a joyous and unruly mode of inquiry, we will explore methods and forms of creative research and archiving, which can inform, enrich, and even constitute artistic practice. While mindful of the factual, the historical, and the “official,” the class will also attempt to bring systematic precision and rigor to the interpretive, the fragmentary, the idiosyncratic, the personal, the inter-subjective, the hidden, the lost, and the imaginary. Students will be encouraged to meet the challenge of transforming information into meaning.

Art & Politics: This will address the question of how to represent political content in art. In this class we want to reinforce the idea of art as a form of representation; one that has a powerful set of rhetorical strategies at hand, such as metaphor, allegory, analogy, irony, displacement, and re-framing. The class starts from the belief that we are past the postmodern “crisis of representation” and that it is possible to redefine the parameters in which representation is possible nowadays. This is not a theory class but a hands-on laboratory for the exploration of creative ideas in all media. Among artists whose work will be studied and discussed in the class are Alfredo Jaar, Walid Raad, Omer Fast, Francis Alys, Jenny Holzer, Mika Rothenberg, Biljana Djurdevic, Kadder Attia, William Kentridge, Nari Ward, and others.

Course Open to: Degree Students with Restrictions
Course Pre/Co-requisites:
Open to: Masters degree in Fine Arts Majors; others by permission of the MFA Fine Arts program.


Open to Graduate students.