Session 1: May 6-May 18th
Khonsu Ra : The Dreamtime Paradox Solution Incubator
Life is but a dream can almost seem like a cliche today. We live in a world full of financial burdens, social oppressions and mental illness. If life is a dream, are we existing in a collective nightmare? Where are responsible for the world? Where is the world responsible for us? In the backdrop of modern civilization, where does the Reality of the Dreamtime exist? In the rhythm of a capitalistic society, what does it mean to Dream? In this class, we will explore the indigenous worldview of the dreamtime from the lens of being a village of students. We will revisit the practices and discourses to resurrect its repressed foundation in our bodies and collaboratively generate theater that we will present to our community that will act as a medicine for our disconnection to the realm of magic & union with the natural cosmic phenomena that is often time a struggle to believe in our day to day lives. Through readings, discussion and a series of creative shamanic exercises we will reclaim ourselves as citizens of the sovereign dreamtime of planet earth!
Adam Rush : Film
Class will deconstruct sound and performance into a visual language. Present ideas and develop concepts into visuals to be viewed during final session.
Sophie Cymone Bolla : Parallax
Description: With in this class students will have two projects to choose from to work on, then will share these projects with one another for individual projects. One project will be to design and build a tent that becomes a large camera obscura projecting the outside view in. The second project will consist of building a personal small projection box that can be used as a trace drawing tool onto a small mounted paper. Then Students will present their projects to one another and brain storm how to use them to create either collaborative or personal works. In the beginning and throughout the class students will participate in discussions on parallax, perspective, perception, etc.
Tim Kerr : Lets Paint a Mural
We will talk about how to approach a mural and then paint a mural that will depict known figures who were involved in the original Black Mountain College.
Alexandra Velasco : Art and Direct Action
The class will be about exploring and utilizing art in protests and direct action. We will be going over political performance art, visual art used in protests, folk songs used in protests, as well as non-political art that turned political, etc. I would like to end the course with the students imagining their own form of direct action artwork that could be used in their community, making a plan to get people in each community together and give a voice to an issue that usually remains unheard.
Patrick Sandefur : Introduction to Zazen
Will first and foremost give students the tools to take zen meditation away from Black Mountain to use in their daily lives. It will dispel with common misunderstanding of Zen, and through optional reading give insight to Eastern thought and practices impact on the original BMC in the years after WWII, as well as intellectuals of 60’s Paris.
Alexander Chaparro : Reflections on Radical Pedagogy
This class is an invitation to reflect on the potential role of “the radical” in the purpose of pedagogy and community. We will explore why we are constantly seeking alternatives to traditions, why we place hope in difference, and how experimentation is a fundamental aesthetic drive. We will collectively think of the possible correlations between alterity, change, art, and social justice.
We will look into the historic legacy of Black Mountain College, Joseph Beuy’s proposal for the “Free International School”, and many contemporary pedagogical initiatives that focus on art as a “practice of the possible".
Zach Cooper : Arriving at (experimental) music
Defining “experimental music” as a music “the outcome of which is not foreseen”, this Liquid Class will explore and practice various methods of arriving at experimental music. Students and Faculty will have the opportunity to create and participate in the realization of new compositions at weekly performances. Topics covered include but not limited to; graphic and event scores, preparing instruments, turntablism, and various DIY cassette tape manipulations. No musical experience required!
Amir Hariri : Architecture + Engineering Principles for Visual Artists
Description: Apply Architecture & Engineering principals to study and analyze the visual structure, rhythms and language of painting/drawing/sculpture. Will cover : Balance, mass, weight, notional weight of colors, structural loading, also cover ideas introduced by analytical cubist constructions, futurist and Bauhaus.
Lindsey Freeman: Sociological Poetry
Sociological Poetry is both a method and the result of a method. It relies on imperfect data, the kind that W.E.B. Du Bois called “woefully imperfect.” In his essay “Sociology Hesitant” Du Bois derided data that “depends on hearsay, rumor and tradition, vague speculations, traveller’s tales, legends and imperfect documents, the memory of memories and historic error.” In Sociological Poetry we will trace spaces, objects, affects, dreams, and memories of the everyday, the ordinary, and the fantastic.
Andrew Haas: Solvitur Ambulando: Walking and Circumscribing
By ritually setting out in silence we shift the way we expect to encounter the World. Our encounters become mirrors, intuition takes command, and the World is imbued with meaning. This class offers a new perspective and appreciation for the everyday.
Anna Blair: Radical Landscapes
This class will look at naturally occurring environments – islands, forests, mountains – and how they have been and are represented in art and metaphor. Historically, these environments have been depicted as isolated and isolating, hostile and unfriendly; they have been simultaneously prized and feared, protected and exploited, and register as something definitively apart and outside. The natural world, however, also provides us with many examples of peaceful coexistence and is a place where communities, human and otherwise, can sustainably thrive and resist the pressures of capitalism. We will examine different human relationships to nature, looking at writing, painting outdoors, hiking, hugging trees, gathering plants, map-making, and other rituals, and think about the past and future of our representations of the natural world, and how these feed into politics more broadly. We will focus particularly on ideas and practices with which we can experiment in the area surrounding Black Mountain.
Benjamin Andrew: Exploring the Microverse
Introductory kitchen science and bio art designed to reveal the hidden world of microorganisms and harness their power for wild fermentation. Ferment your own food and drinks, discuss the history and cultures of food and use microscopes to picture the world anew.
Liz Ainslie : Anti-Product Drawing and Painting
This class employs a series of drawing and painting exercises designed to take the focus away from an end product. Activities include perceptual experimentation, color study, drawing from memory, chance operations, group drawing and creative movement. Discussions will reflect on these experiences investigating our respective relationships to drawing, painting and process. Readings explore expanded concepts of drawing and painting in contemporary art and theory. The class should extend our creative vocabularies, pushing us to develop methodologies for intuitive work in our individual creative pursuits.
Session 2: May 20th-June 1st
Suzy Gonzalez: Vegan Feminist Art Theory
This class is a reading, discussion, and studio-oriented course based on ideas pulled from contemporary art theory and (eco)feminist literature. The course will consider an intersectionality based on race, gender, sexuality, ability, and species. Together, we will produce work for a critical yet compassionate art movement based on human and animal rights. Topics of discussion may include objectification/consumption, reproductive justice, environmental racism, DIY actions, decolonizing diet and art, and more. Students will create a work of art that coincides with each topic of conversation.
Stephanie Sutton: Spectacle and the Spectator
Negotiating the relationships between performer, documenter and viewer, students will embody each of these roles while exploring the craft of lens-based performance.
Madeleine Cutrona: Collecting History/ Reimagining Presence
In Collecting History/Re-imagining Present students and the instructor will create a print publication about the studio practice, side careers and day jobs of female visual artists with student loan debt. Class discussions will focus on the implications of student loan debt, strategies for maintaining a practice, and how life outside the studio impacts the work in it. The instructor will present lessons on oral history and provide examples of artist biographies. Throughout the week students will interview, write, revise and design. The course culminates with the completion of a prototype publication.
Lo Bil: What do you want to do? An Embodied Project Development Strategy Think-Tank
Performance art from the point of view of developing research proposals into personal agency and volition. Developing ways to do the things individuals want to do. To be together as a group noticing what each individual has a desire to do in the moment and over the week, collectively listening, questioning, researching, presenting and feeding back to each person new points of view on their area of interest.
I bring various performance related exercises to open the mind and body to possibility. I give a specific prompt to present or perform something. We use this generated material to develop group knowledge of what each persons’ area of interest is. This collection of interests and knowledge base becomes the material we collectively work with over the week.
Each day we take the desire of a few individuals’ to focus on. As individuals and as a group we develop ways for that individual to develop their proposal. We use group discussion, solo gestation time, visual creation, research into models from scientific and structural methodologies, and the presentation of ideas, results and remaining questions.
Each proposal can be performative or be purely about trying to develop a foundation to develop a visual project, but there will be an element of performativity within each session. The class will be designed for people who are not performers, who can access subtle ways of being that allow them to embody their project in a newly connected or deeper way. This process-based research is about gathering tools to recognize one’s own way of working and finding ways to enunciate their way of working for their own development and for wider audiences.
At the end of the class, there will be an exhibition of the ideas, methods, and project proposals.
Elizabeth Ashe: Plastered Mold-Making
If you’ve ever wanted to make a copy of an object but didn’t know how or weren’t’ quite good at it, this one is for you. This class will start with the basics of mold-making from one and two piece molds on day one. We’ll primarily use clay and plaster to make our molds. The class will progress into multi-piece molds and casting multiples to develop collaged reliefs. Daily finds and walks included.
Kyle Downs: SunRise SunRa
This liquid class pulls from the landscapes sonic and visual emissions and listens to the improvisational strategies found in experimental music. the first part of the class will use local maps and satellite images to scout locations in which the sun is creating ample clarity. The second part of the class includes listening to and reflecting on an entire recording of a Sun Ra record. Sun Ra believed that he was a bypasser of this earth. One from a cosmic ‘angel race’ who plays and practices music to absorb energy to communicate with his birth planet Jupiter. His band’s music can be hard to recognize and even harder to listen to, it requires active listening and can teach us how imagination and the gift of time creates the free space that daily life lacks.
Hilary Meehan: System of Surprise: Chance based making
Each class will complete one project per student per meeting with new parameters and materials. One project will span all classes and potential for group projects each class, collaboratively- chance based systems will be pre-planned for each class but not announced beforehand. A new surprise element to thwart expectations of outcome and challenge the student out of their typical method of creation: mixed media material will be scavenged or brought.
Sidney Stretz: Reassessing Failure
This class is designed as an updated approach to artmaking and process based decision making. Concept and art-making are rooted in failure. Instead of dismissing these failures and mishaps, we should embrace their challenges and manipulate these lessons to our benefit. Students will reflect on their own practice, pose solutions, provide peer feedback and ultimately end with a sense of creative resolution and a springboard for new ideas.
Luan Joy Sherman: Queering Masculinity
For too long the language we have had available to express ourselves, our personal truth; our self-bodily-physical awareness, has been inadequate, false, or arbitrary. It limits and contains complex beings within a narrow binary system; male, female, boy, girl, he/she, etc., designed to produce self-conscious behavior and an unhealthy desire to police the behavior of others. I suffer, you suffer, we all suffer. This pedagogy of rigid gender expression and misogyny is virtually invisible until you violate its borders and the whole system begins to reveal itself.
The purpose of this course is to examine the various ways that masculinity and misogyny are preset in our daily lives, consider their effect on our behavior, and develop strategies for cultivating gentleness, compassion, and emotional vulnerability within ourselves and with the world. I aim to provide a “safe-space” for male-bodied, male-identifying, masculine-of-center, and gender non-conforming folks to explore their relationship with toxic masculinity. We will practice radical honesty, vulnerability, body awareness, and deep listening strategies for divesting from patriarchy. i hope to help participants develop accountability skills to hold themselves and others responsible for altering the conditions of white-cis-het-normative culture. Additionally, we will call upon queer theory, contemporary feminism, transgender discourse, and zen practice to establish a deeper understanding of transgender history and the evolution of queerness. We will utilize intersectional discourse to reflect on our individual experiences with privilege and marginalization in order to better understand our unique places in the world. My hope is to cultivate authentic allyship across intersectional differences in order to combat the anti-trans, anti-queer, anti-fem, and pro-masc politics gaining momentum in this country.
James Williams and Chelsea Ragan: Black & White
Discussion of understanding of black and white America both historically and the present day. A series of group discussions, drawing exercises and readings. We will foster a supportive environment for all ‘common’ understandings and voices that allow the class to discuss sensitive and passionate topics of race. The criteria of the class is on discussion topics pertaining to and not limited to the struggles between black and white people in the United States of America. The purpose of the class exercises are to help student to learn self discovery, personal analysis, visual problem solving, and experimentation with basic drawing tools. It is the objective of the class that together we will find ways to express difficult personal-related and culturally found topics that are over-indulged in the media and under represented in our textbooks.
Joel Nelson & Jess Marie Walker: Transitory Composition and Chance Procedures: Musical Improvisation Ensemble
This class will examine through practice collaborative improvised music and performance, transitory in nature, driven by chance. Using traditional and nontraditional instrumentation large and small ensembles will explore approaches, methods, and strategies for communicating thru musical improvisation, ultimately expanding creative capacity and personal confidence of individual participants.
Sarah Mendelsohn: Removing the Demon or Getting Your Rocks Off
The title and inspiration for this class come from a score developed by the visionary Pauline Oliveros (1932 - 2016). Removing the Demon or Getting Your Rocks Off (see below) is one of Oliveros’s Sonic Meditations: a set of performance scores developed to deepen listening among groups of collaborating musicians or others. Adapting and elaborating Oliveros’s score in different configurations and conditions, we will explore dynamics of collaboration and non-verbal communication. Each class meeting we will perform new iterations of the score, introducing multiple conceptual, process-based lenses through which to approach the act of listening. In parallel, we will examine several contemporary visual and audio media documents, and will practice approaches to conducting interviews borrowed from contemporary ethnography, documentary, and journalism—analyzing and discussing how participants in various interview scenarios do or do not hear each other. What kind of listening is socially useful? Throughout, we will address themes including the politics of solidarity, escalation and de-escalation, and relationships between verbal and non-verbal communication in contexts that are more or less explicitly politicized: for example, a presidential address, a legal testimony, a classroom, and a rehearsal for a performance. Participants will be invited to explore topics of special personal interest and curiosity through the in-class interview exercises, and to collaborate to introduce new versions of Removing the Demon...
Max Spitzer: All Together Now
Here we will collaboratively construct a sculpture from materials we find throughout our surroundings. We will allow our construction to inform our discussion and guide our course in new directions as it evolves.
Johnny Cosmo: Lock Up, Break down, Build Up
This class will cover lessons personally learned while in prison and the SPICE program regarding the text "Resurgence” (a self help book for those interested in changing their lives), as well as a skype-in discussion from a very charismatic instructor/mentor, and finally a DIY/making-do with what is available culinary lesson about real "kits" (complex meals) that are made from items that can be purchased from the commissary.
This class will consist of lessons learned from personal experience while in prison and a changed perspective after experiencing the SPICE program.