WEEK 1: May 11-May 17

Khonsu Ra : The Dreamtime Paradox Solution Incubator
We often hear the phrase “Life is but a dream” but do not regularly access the reality of how serious that is. How can we? We live in a world where the collective picture we share is filled with injustices, corruptions of power, economic inequalities, fake news, degradation of ecological resources-- How could this life be a dream when the world is falling a part on a collective level? What if you, yes, little bitty you had a part to play in the collective picture as an observer? What if you, as you are reading this, are dreaming up this world with everyone on the planet and have agency as to what can be achieved on a collective-level through constant engagement with the ‘field’ of dreams you are projecting out into the world. In the Dreamtime Paradox Solution we will return back to our ancient human space, as the sovereign dreamer of the planet and we will learn how to exist in a reality where dreaming is a normal social phenomena and we, as a class, will travel and consciously dream together solutions, ideas, inspirations that we may carry with us to beyond the time/space/vacuum we experience together. Back by popular demand! The Dreamtime Paradox returns to welcome in new travelers and to deepen the vortex of last year! May the force be with You!

Daniel Meredith: Full Body Freestyles: Opening up to Embodied Presence through Freestyle Rap
We will meet up and have a discussion about our head, heart and gut brains. The ideas about mBraining will serve as a backdrop to us jumping into a freestyle cypher as we watch ourselves say all the dumb and profound shit that we can't always tap into when we're locked in one brain. The time will flip flop between rapping and discussion as we try to understand the craft together.

Alexandra Velasco: The Plastics of Film (also week 2) 
In this class we will explore what it means to make a short film, by actually making one, collaboratively, We will define and then re-define the standard of filmmaking roles of Director, Actor, Director of Photography, Gaffer, Producer, Hair and Makeup, Wardrobe, Production Designer, etc. by changing who takes on each specific role ever class. We will collectively define what genre of film we are making that same day, what our individual roles are, what our location is, etc. We will write a loose script that will keep changing and growing each time we meet. There will be a character development, the typical climax, and ending, but in an experimental manner. 

Sidney Stretz: Insert _____ Here
Who can we find, what can we learn, how can we help? These questions will guide this class that emphasizes collective inquiry and the results of learning from experience and experimentation. Class sessions will be dedicated to investigating the Black Mountain community and discovering ways to create and facilitate experiences within it. We will connect with the community and through participatory action research, use our skills to support what they do. Classes will consist of compiling information, interviews, photographs, and documentation of people, places, and things. Our findings will then be used to as prompts for work created for, about,and with the community. Outcomes could be extravagant or simple. We can go to them or they can come to us. There is no minimum or maximum. Just seeing and searching.

Mary Clark: From the Library Of...
Many paths lead from the foot of the mountain, but at the peak we all gaze at the single bright moon" -Ikkyu

In this class we’ll do whatever we can to write things down. We will walk, film, record, talk, read out loud, meditate, dance and sit quietly, all in the eventual service of writing something on paper. We’ll draw on our own past work for inspiration with an emphasis on reading out loud, sharing, borrowing and giving our words away to each other. We will write poetry, lyrics, diaries, stories, or anything you want. The emphasis is on action, preparation and dedication to writing, at least something, every day. Bring something to write on.

Bailey Knight: Manipulating Materials: Natural Indigo Dyeing
Natural indigo is a special dye with special properties. Learn the basics of the natural indigo vat and test it's properies using shibori, a dye technique similar to tie-dye, and a dye techniwue similar to batik but with clay. By applying paste on fabrid and by binding fabric to create tetures and patterns, we will learn the importance of understanding our material when creating designs. 

Jacki Huntington: Developing Documentary Narratives as Collaboration and Service
This solid class breaks down, step by step, how to develop a documentary story idea in collaboration with a subject (i.e. another class member or student) – starting with a conversation with that subject, research, writing, pitching, scripting for visuals, production, and ending with a short documentary video. Students will engage with documentary storytelling as a community service tool that has the power to give voice to marginalized people, broaden perspectives, and give depth and context to the world around us.

Sair Goetz: Texting: Language, In & Out of Focus (also week 2)
This course focuses on artwork and reality as it moves into and out of language. Course sessions will be discussion and practice-based dives into art histories and techniques centered around an topic connected to text and texting.

Sessions include:

Let’s not and say we did — exposure to and development of conceptual and performance works, focusing on written description as the “object” or point of contact with the viewer. Meme, memes missed, and meme again — pool knowledge to create a collective history of meme strategies, then on-the-spot recreation of memes not seen. Hands on storyboarding, description of imagery, exercises in remembering, quick and dirty smartphone filming/captioning, meme-ing, gif-ing

Questions & Actions — debate a hot topic with one handicap, the only spoken words can be questions, all else must be said with written text, body language, expression, or music played. textathon — class will attempt to focus while the texts fly. Possible goals include an orchestration of text sounds, writing with one hand, texting with the other, and fixing the world.

*<3:)<3* (aka hearts, stars, and horseshoes) — considering emoji, hieroglyph, ASCII, and concrete poetry, the class will develop mythologies, origin stories, manifestos, or acts of resistance concentrating on the relationship between imagery and text.

Erin Anderson-Ruddon: SotA Quilt Project/Textile Workshop
Learn about and discuss how we communicate information through textiles and apparel: historically, at present, and in our own personal lives. Then we'll design and create our own textile art in the form of printed/painted/and dyed patches, quilt panels, clothing items, etc. Each student will also be invited to contribute an element to and help with the assembly of a collaborative SOTA quilt project. 

 


Week 2: May 17-23

Patrick Sandefur : Zazen 2.0
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.
 

Luan Joy Sherman: How to Not Know
This class will be structured like a living-document-workshop with an emphasis on curiosity and compassion, in order to cultivate challenging and generative conversation about identity, advocacy, and difference. 

Today’s social and political climate is rich with nuance, complexity, and rapidly evolving discourse. It can be challenging to navigate discursive divisions within socially engaged communities and find your place within a movement. 

What emotional and intellectual resources are necessary to function and participate in a community? Within conflict, how can we confront situations with compassion, learn from mistakes, and move forward from a more informed standpoint to reduce the possibility of perpetuating harmful behavior? How are trust, care, and intimacy related to social justice? How can we recognize and learn from intersectional differences without creating divisions and communication barriers? How can we make something accessible and why does that matter? How can you advocate for a cause without being the loudest voice in the room? Where can we apply these skills in daily life to make conversations on difference accessible and generative? How do you talk to your grandma, dentist, cousin, or coworker about systemic oppression?

This class makes space for group exercises that focus on how to learn and teach through compassion for self and others. We’ll take inventory of our individual characteristics and learn to recognize our capacities, insecurities, and limits. This discussion-lab environment will allow for uncertainty and vulnerability. We will brainstorm methods for effective communication, how to accept not-knowing, how to acknowledge problematic behavior, and how to “call-in”. We’ll look deeply into the heart of “shame identities” and our natural fear of being wrong, and work to transform those feelings into productive curiosity and compassion for ourselves and others.

Michael Casseli: Inflatocookbook - The Ant Farm and Alternative Architectural Practice
We will examine the media collective Ant Farm’s work and their shift into creating inflatable architecture as an extension of their practice. We will also produce an inflatable structure of our own through collective design and build exchange.

Yujin Lee: Art That Does Not Belong
This class will explore the idea of art as a “way”, and not as an object. The entirety of the class will be centered around what I will call a “Common Ground” (CG). Ideally this would be the largest empty wall in the classroom. The CG will function as a discussion board, a mural, a safe space, a map and a visual background for the class. On the last day of the class, the students will together cover up whatever mark made on the CG with white paint. Every class will be documented in stop motion footage. This “collaborative art” created during the program will exist in a time-based medium. It will be distributed to anyone who took part in this “art making” process. They will each have the full creative rights to use this video in any way they want in the future (project it, edit it, distribute it, destroy it, etc).

Sair Goetz: Texting: Language, In & Out of Focus (also week 1)
This course focuses on artwork and reality as it moves into and out of language. Course sessions will be discussion and practice-based dives into art histories and techniques centered around an topic connected to text and texting.

Sessions include:

Let’s not and say we did — exposure to and development of conceptual and performance works, focusing on written description as the “object” or point of contact with the viewer. Meme, memes missed, and meme again — pool knowledge to create a collective history of meme strategies, then on-the-spot recreation of memes not seen. Hands on storyboarding, description of imagery, exercises in remembering, quick and dirty smartphone filming/captioning, meme-ing, gif-ing

Questions & Actions — debate a hot topic with one handicap, the only spoken words can be questions, all else must be said with written text, body language, expression, or music played. textathon — class will attempt to focus while the texts fly. Possible goals include an orchestration of text sounds, writing with one hand, texting with the other, and fixing the world.

*<3:)<3* (aka hearts, stars, and horseshoes) — considering emoji, hieroglyph, ASCII, and concrete poetry, the class will develop mythologies, origin stories, manifestos, or acts of resistance concentrating on the relationship between imagery and text.

Alexandra Velasco: The Plastics of Film (also week 1)
In this class we will explore what it means to make a short film, by actually making one, collaboratively. We will define and then re-define the standard filmmaking roles of Director, Actor, Director of Photography, Gaffer, Producer, Hair and Makeup, Wardrobe, Production Designer, etc. by changing who takes on each specific role every class. We will collectively define what genre of film we are making that same day, what our individual roles are, what our location is, etc. All minimally informed by what we did last class. Think of it as an exquisite corpse, but in film. We will write a loose script that will keep changing and growing each time we meet. There will be a character development, the typical climax and ending, but in an experimental manner.

Kat Demaray: Creative Well-being
The class is a crash-course of basic therapeutic techniques; including visualization, habit intervention, and basic cognitive behavioral therapy. It’s a brief glimpse into expressive art therapy, in a group context. The nature of this class is that we identify and explore our emotional selves, while discussion and exploring coping mechanisms and means by which to overcome obstacles. The exercises themselves do not last long, but the insight gained from the groups is meant to inform one’s cognitive functioning and emotional well-being well into the future.

John Englebrecht and David Dunlap: You Don’t Need Permission, You Just Show Up (aka The ROLLING Syllabus)
Join us for an expansive exploration of the art object, as it is formed by TIME, SOUND, and CONVERSATION. Consider this as an opportunity to listen to others and the objects around you in several forms:

(a) In the Sweetness of Time, This is always Finished: we will develop the Object Made in TIME. In other words, we will look at and manifest examples out of our daily lives as a rich territory for drawing and discourse. Calendars as drawings, notebooks as prayers. We will encourage students to find a daily “thing” in their work and build on that. (See Exhibit A: David has his notebook drawings, John has his snapshot)

(b) The Object Made in SOUND. This section of the Rolling Syllabus is dedicated to listening. We imagine a 24 hour concert (but one done in a two hour session(?)), because it only happens with the acknowledgement of a duration which overwhelms us. It limits our ability or likelihood to perform and what happens then? Are we just the chirping birds? We will make instruments from what we bring, what we build, and what’s around us. (See Exhibit B: HUGGOON Manifest)

(c) Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve. We began working together after stripping away Everything Else We Were Supposed to be Doing. This lead us and we hope to lead others to The Object Made in CONVERSATION. We’ll explore how dialogue becomes a drawing and those drawings tell our story, and sometimes that story involves covering yourself in mud and straw (or other costumes). (See Exhibit C: hee Strawman & Ana Mendieta Foster Child of Iow).

Adam Void: Deskilling, Unlearning, and Proto-tools; or, how to keep it fresh, raw, and unspoiled
Unlike other classes that teach people how to use high-tech or specialized machinery or processes, this class will help students tap into their inner simplicity, use what is ready at hand and available. Another key element / take-away is knowing when something is done (not overworking). Restraints: drawing, painting, writing, building, etc, with limitations. How it relates to the poetic art historical (mainstream and underground) references. Studio-based exercises, drawing upside-down, up high, down low, etc. Alternative histories: an outsider survey of real and non-commercial art histories. Studio experiments in the style and technique of what we saw. Studies in text-based vs. images and combinations therin. Prototools - a selection of thrift-store video, music, and art devices that we will re-tool and modify for deskilled art making.

Tina Carlisi: Making Mountains Move: Poetic Actions / Action Poetry (also week 3)
Intended for group work, this liquid class explores the potential power in poetic actions and words. Through writing, performing and making, each session will have a theme ranging from the senses, landscapes to rituals as a way of working on our collective as well as individual experimentations.

We will begin each class by discussing examples of happenings and instruction works, using Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit (1964) as a germinal starting point for our artistic explorations. Most of our time together will take place outside, actively writing, performing and making / assembling light objects for our conceptualized art actions. We will photo-document our poetic actions and gather our action poetry into a bookwork as a trace of our experimentations.


Week 3: May 23-30

Shivani Lakshmi: How to Decolonize Your Vacation
This class aims to elucidate and eradicate colonial modes of modern-day travel. By understanding history, we are able to recognize, react, and adapt in choosing which countries to travel to and how we conduct ourselves once there. Participants will leave with the tools to be honest and progressive ambassadors for their home country while honoring the spirit and culture of their destination. We will discuss how to put people before places, how to travel off the beaten path, and how any vacation can be more than getting from point A to point B. These conversations will result in a physical handbook - a collaboration amongst participants that will be digitally dispersed at the end of the week. 

Henry Brannan: Art, The Artist, and Gentrification : The co-opting and exploitation of 'radical movements' (and how to fight back)
As artists and people from various different privileged positionalities that play active roles in gentrification (white, affluent or financially comfortable/middle class, cisgendered, abled, ‘straight’ etc), despite our best-intentioned wishes to the contrary, we are used as tools in gentrification. Artists and their work are used to destroy communities and make neighborhoods more accessible to people who will gentrify them--the same is true for people from the aforementioned positionalities, just our presence helps gentrify neighborhoods. To fight this we must be aware of what’s happening, why it’s happening, and how to fight it. This class will lay the foundation of the first two, then proceed to discuss anti-gentrification strategies ranging from enacting policy to direct action. Everyone’s experiences, insights, and thoughts will be needed as there is no single right way to combat gentrification and any strategy that works, works and must be used!

Kim Varnadoe: Printmaking Mash-Up
This class will explore the dynamics of combined printmaking methods that encourage innovative and progressive imagery utilizing a diversity of art forms. Focusing on collaboration and series of works, rather than the traditional approach of creating multiples (editions), students will experiment with a variety of techniques such as linocut, gelli prints, screen printing and the combination of these and other creative avenues only limited by our imagination. During this fun and exploratory time, students will be able to print several layered images from the available plates to create beautiful, unique, and unexpected images. Various plates and screens will be available from which to choose from. No press required; no printmaking experience required.

Ellen Graves Deconstructing Community, Work & Spirituality
Sure, we all know about community, work, and spirituality. We've all wrestled with them or been burned by them at some point in our lives. This class will work together to deconstruct our understandings of these three concepts, exploring multiple and often conflicting perspectives and definitions.  Then we will focus on reconstructing by finding examples of intentional communities within and surrounding SotA and beyond. Class will culminate with a reflection on SotA as community, work, and expression of spirituality.

Bud Ries: Cut. Stick. Print : Using adhesive vinyl for at home printing
This class will be based around the medium of adhesive vinyl as means for a number of different DIY projects. We will start with cutting vinyl to make our own stickers and build to using these vinyl cut outs as positives for silk screens we will construct ourselves. Apart from learning these different processes, the goal is that by the last class each student will have created an image they can screen print on to things like t-shirts, posters, zine covers, sticker sheets, and banners.

Tim and Beth Kerr: Visualizing Black Mountain College's History : Time IS Time Was Now
A visual exploration of the history of Black Mountain College through discussion, visiting the Western Regional Archives, and recreating iconic Black Mountain College imagery. 

Kevin Bouton-Scott: Without Permission : Appropriation Strategies
This class will be centered around aesthetic appropriation, usage and ways to think about pre-existing imagery. The class will jump between slide show presentations of lesser known subcultural art histories, and studio time using items found or purchased to create work.
 

Tina Carlisi: Making Mountains Move: Poetic Actions / Action Poetry (also week 2)
Intended for group work, this liquid class explores the potential power in poetic actions and words. Through writing, performing and making, each session will have a theme ranging from the senses, landscapes to rituals as a way of working on our collective as well as individual experimentations.

We will begin each class by discussing examples of happenings and instruction works, using Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit (1964) as a germinal starting point for our artistic explorations. Most of our time together will take place outside, actively writing, performing and making / assembling light objects for our conceptualized art actions. We will photo-document our poetic actions and gather our action poetry into a bookwork as a trace of our experimentations.