This course will examine the relationship between an artwork and a viewer's agency (i.e., the viewer's decision making and action in response to the work). The objective will be to make charged encounters for the viewer, which require his or her participation with meaningful consequences. Part research laboratory, part think tank, this course will explore the use of agency in contemporary art and theoretical texts on the subject, while brainstorming ways of creating new encounters for viewers through photography and video. Students will be encouraged to develop strategies for engaging viewer agency within their particular area(s) of interest. Results can be anything from subtle self-reflection to a punch in the gut, so to speak. Some artists and thinkers we will look at include Marina Abramovic, Vito Acconci, Alain Badiou, Claire Bishop, Félix González-Torres, Leigh Ledare, Jacques Rancière.
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