Course Descriptions, Fall 2003 Carnegie Mellon School of Art

Course#: 60389
Special Topic in Art History: Collaborative Art Movements
Course Title: The “Hairy Who” Meets “Instant Coffee”:

Contemporary Collaborative Art Movements in Historical and Theoretical Perspective
Why collaborate now – In the last decade, there has been a charged interest in collective artmaking, in collectivizing the art experience, making individual input and signature anonymous, making art free, public, and shared. Most recently, groups like Forcefield, Paper Rad, Dearraindrop, Milhaus, Beige, Royal Art Lodge, Bank, Flux Factory, Temporary Services, Instant Coffee, Radical Software Group are forging new forms of distribution and exhibition through, against, outside of, onto and over the purview of the gallery and museum. This course is interested in looking at the relationships between collaborative impulse and its ability (or inability) to deliver a critique of the systems of art star, market, and gallery. What kinds of alternative distribution, exhibition, and practice have been generated by these groups? How have they inspired intermedia and cross-disciplinary projects? Of particular interest will be how this collaborative vision has been written and documented through the form of the manifesto, historically an important vehicle for artists, writers and other intellectuals to express their collective ideas about the direction of aesthetics, politics, and society. We will read manifestos (and view works) written in the name of well-known movements: surrealism, dadaism, futurism, vorticism, projectivism, actionism–and less well-known ones–lettrism, acmeism, situationism, concretism, rayonism.

We Basic Art History (this is not an introduction to these movements, but an advanced discussion of their debates and complex histories) Prerequisite: Basic Art History (this is not an introduction to these movements, but an advanced discussion of their debates and complex histories)