This course will address the inescapable and mysterious tie between art and politics or the presence of one in the other. What exactly is art in our contemporary context? Art is often defined as an act of resistance, either formally (changing the rules of the medium) or socially (intervening into daily injustices). The former might be represented by the diverse figures such as Paul Klee, Marina Abramovic and Tomás Saraceno; the latter by the interventions of Doris Salcedo, Teresa Margolles and Thomas Hirschhorn. Furthermore, formal and social aspects sometimes collide together (as in projects by the Chapman Brothers). Is this "resistance" by its very nature already political? The nucleus of politics contains a gesture of relation; that is to say, constructing and negotiating relationships with others, human and nonhuman. Through examples coming from visual arts, we will question this gesture and consider how art produces alternative openings for the political. Your weekly assignments will point toward these openings as you imagine them to be. Each class session is built around one core concept that serves as a strategy for redesigning the relationship between the artistic and the political. All theoretical considerations accompany examples coming primarily from visual arts, but also from literature, digital media, psychology, architecture and design, among other areas. You will learn through these examples and then apply weekly concepts to your own projects. The goal is to overcome the division between theory and practice, as one nourishes the other. You will, therefore, use selected artists as an inspiration for your unique creative gesture. NOTE: This course is fully online. Students will enjoy learning with a combination of media-based lectures and live video conferences with the instructor and classmates. The (optional) online synchronous meetings are scheduled and are recorded for students to review at their convenience. Additionally, there are opportunities for asynchronous discussion with the instructor throughout the semester.
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