ABOUT

Co-Lab: Curatorial Design and Media Practices: Guatemala Después

NMDS 5296 / CRN 7227, Spring 2015,  66 Fifth Ave, Room 716. Wednesdays 4:00 – 6:45 pm

Instructor: Prof. Nitin Sawhney, Ph.D. Email:sawhneyn@newschool.edu

Course Description

This exploratory co-lab seeks to bring together students with interests in artistic practices, exhibition design, digital media archives and civic engagement to work collectively on a new exhibition project currently being developed at The New School in partnership with artists and curators in Guatemala. Guatemala Después is a collaborative project that seeks to support site-specific artistic investigations that may reveal, activate, provoke or transform the ways in which we understand historic memory, repression, healing and forms of utopia or dystopia emerging in Guatemala in the past 30 years, and what is happening today. It also critically examines the political, economic and cultural influences (including foreign policy, migration and creative exchange) between the United States and Guatemala. The project uses an experimental, inclusive and participatory approach towards engaging creative practitioners and the general public using multi-disciplinary forms of investigation and expression (including visual, sound, film, performance, poetry and narrative). The course involves a process of co-investigation and design with artists, curators, filmmakers, students and community-based creative practitioners in Guatemala and New York City from 2014-2015. It will culminate into works represented in an online digital platform, exhibitions and public programming hosted at Ciudad de la Imaginación in Guatemala and The New School in April-June 2015.

The course follows from a seminar held in Fall 2014, “Art, Media and Conflict: Guatemala Post-Genocide“, however students are not required to take this seminar to participate in the co-lab.

Course Requirements and Grading

The course is designed to allow students to excel individually and collaboratively in ways that are most meaningful to their own learning goals. The course seeks to foster a participatory learning environment, through shared contributions, ongoing peer-review and collaboration.

  1. 1. General participation including class attendance and discussions: 15%
  2. 2. Reponses to readings and contributions on the course blog: 15%
  3. 3. Presentation of artistic investigations in class (30%) – at least 3 presentations
  4. 4. Midterm project concept paper (3-5 pages), presentation and participatory review: 15%
  5. 5. Digital-media project (blog/video) with presentation and written essay: 25%

The final submission maybe a critical paper or project in the form of a film, website or some other creative media/design artifact devised individually or in a small team (with accompanying write‐up).

While group projects are encouraged, individual contributions to them will also be examined. All grades are final and are not subject to change. Incomplete or “I” grades are strongly discouraged.

 FALL 2015

Art, Media and Conflict: Guatemala Post-Genocide

NMDS 5588 / CRN 7734, Fall 2014
Eugene Lang 65 W. 11th, Room 263
Thursdays 4:00 – 5:50 pm

Course Description

How do artistic practitioners, designers and media makers engage in moments of conflict and crisis? In what ways do creative and participatory modes of production using art, theater, film, performance and networked digital culture critically interrogate, invoke or transform the memory and traumas of violence, injustice, war, genocide and socio-political struggles? We examine these questions through the work of socially engaged artists and practitioners including Augusto Boal, Wafaa Bilal, Sherin Nishat, and Krzysztof Wodiczko. We will reflect on how such artistic practices, tactics of engagement or antagonistic aesthetics may critically resist, subvert or disrupt prevailing perceptions and social conditions.

In the seminar this year we will focus on emerging creative responses by contemporary artists, indigenous collectives, and civil society to the historic memory, repression and genocide perpetrated in Guatemala. We will examine the work of visual and performance artists, photographers and filmmakers such as Jorge de Leon, Aníbal López, Regina José Galindo, Daniel Hernández-Salazar, and Sergio Ramirez as well as art collectives such as Andén, Canal Cultural, Comunicarte, Kamin and Proyectos Ultravioleta. Students will investigate how such artistic work and practices engage struggles to reclaim historic memory, human rights and narratives of injustice. Critical visual essays and media-based inquiry conducted by students will contribute towards ongoing curatorial research for a new digital media archive and forthcoming exhibitions to be held in New York City and Guatemala in 2015. A follow-up Co-Lab on Curatorial Design and Media Practices offered in the spring will engage students in research, design and implementation of the proposed exhibition and media archive.

Course Requirements and Assessment

The course is designed to allow students to excel individually and collaboratively in ways that are most meaningful to their own learning goals. The course seeks to foster a participatory learning environment, through shared contributions, ongoing peer-review and collaboration.

  1. General participation including class attendance and discussions: 15%
  2. Reponses to readings and contributions on the course blog: 15%
  3. Presentation of artistic investigations in class (30%) – at least 3 presentations
  4. Midterm project concept paper (3-5 pages), presentation and participatory review: 15%
  5. Digital-media project (blog/video) with presentation and written essay: 25%

The final submission maybe a critical paper or project in the form of a film, website or some other creative media/design artifact devised individually or in a small team (with accompanying write-up). All grades are final and are not subject to change. Incomplete or “I” grades are strongly discouraged. Please note that failure to complete a major course assignment may result in the failure of the course as a whole.

Academic Honesty: By taking this course you agree that you will adhere to The New School’s Standards of Conduct, as well as the New School Academic Honesty policy. The work you do for any assignment should be your own and due credit should be given if developed in collaboration with others in or outside class.

Online Platforms: Class Blog: https://artmediaconflict.wordpress.com

Zotero will be used as an online course repository for sharing suggested articles and student papers: https://www.zotero.org/groups/art_media_conflict_guatemala_2014

Course Contacts:

Instructor: Prof. Nitin Sawhney, Ph.D.

Email: sawhneyn@newschool.edu

Phone: 212.229.5600 x4302

Office: 79 Fifth Ave, 16 Fl, Rm 1622

Hours: Wednesdays 3:00 – 6:00 pm

Course TA: Julian De Mayo Rodriguez

Email: demaj280@newschool.edu

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NMDS 5296 / CRN 7227, Spring 2015, School of Media Studies, The New School

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