WEEK 1: May 9-May 15

Kate O' Connor | One-Minute Grapefruit Strategies
In this class we investigate the portrait. Through a series of interventions, and prompts, what begins as a portrait evolves into something that has a mind of its own. The end result of which may or may not look anything like the traditional trappings of WHAT a portrait is, and yield surprising results.

Drawing from my experience as an artist, illustrator, graphic designer and art director we will use different tools to explore character/figuration, the self portrait and finds ways of unblocking oneself creatively using strategies that are generative. Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit and Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategy cards, tools of editorial illustration, found materials around us and cell phones, will provide the inspiration and constraints that will result in a different outcome with each class.

Each lesson will build on the last, but yield an entirely new result. This class will benefit both artists and non-artists alike.


Emilia Turner | The Tarot in Practice
In The Tarot in Practice we will use the tarot as an intuitive guide and divinatory tool for the creation of a process-based, collaborative project. Students will learn the structure and significance of the cards, as well as methods for intuitive development, as they create an art piece that is guided by their psychological, spiritual, or surrealist experiences with the Tarot.


Sky Dai + Eliah Eason | Taking the Fall
A(n) e-motional, metaphysical, and multidimensional approach to memoir. In this class, we will cultivate a collaborative playground where we can permit our bodies to access and express our unique memories through the poetics of space. We will work together to find what it means to be fully present in our bodies by building awareness beyond the hemispheric boundaries of the brain through movement, dance, deep release work, vocalization, creative writing, art making, meditative practices, memorization, repetition and performance. While we will cover several approaches to physical falls, we will also explore the poetics of falling such as falling into old habits, falling in and out of love, or falling off our high horses by riding on the vehicles of accountability and change. We invite collaborators of all experiences and identities to join us to question the “limitations” of our bodies, minds, and memories as we move together towards healing on a subconscious level.


Parch Es
| (slimemachine) (slimemachine)
This is a class focused around the material of slime - the goopy, alien substance some of us knew as kids, and others may be aware of as an internet trend. Slime is a rarely explored material for art-making, though not unheard of, and I intend to explode it conceptually and materially in many different directions.

At heart, slime is both a metaphor and an embodiment of fluid identity. Literally challenging the laws of physics by having non-Newtonian properties, slime is a primeval substance onto which images are meanings are projected on contingently and momentarily, before disappearing again into this amorphous and alien substance full of potential signification. Aside from being an internet phenomenon, slime is also a concept that has come up in cutting-edge theoretical discourse, including the futuristic cyberpunk trans community of ‘slimegirls’ on Twitter, and the book Slime Dynamics published by zer0 Books. All of these references and more will be explored in class, to function partly as a survey of slime practices.

(slimemachine) (slimemachine) will essentially be a material and conceptual workshop, in which we will learn how to create and play with this substance, while also considering it as an alchemical process in which we can project and transform our own fluid realities.

Carolyn A'Hearn | Adornment As

As a class we will discuss different functions of adornment and ways to adorn ourselves and each other, using these thoughts as generative prompts to explore adornment as a means of artistic investigation.

What if we all switched clothes? What if we covered our bodies in poems? In each other’s voices? What if we used only what was available to us and what we could find on the ground or in trees? What if our adornments physically connected us somehow? How would we move through the world then?

If we did any of these things, would it change the way we think about adornment? Would it change something about us?

What is it about being human that compels us to communicate through adornment? What if there was a way to explore being more human through adornment?

Alexander Chaparro | Class Class

There is a deep rooted tradition of social elites decorating their homes with the works of talented artists and the lifeless bodies of wild animals.

Culture has always needed material support, and the relationships established between art practitioners and dominant forces in society has determined the range and extension of what art can do. As Martha Rosler points out, “Stepping outside the ambit of patronage or received opinion without losing one's livelihood or, in extreme situations, one's life, became possible for painters and sculptors only a couple of hundred years ago”. In western art history, the independence from an exclusive model of church and aristocratic commission opened a wider range of artistic expression, and made it possible for artists to have direct intervention in social struggles; but now that the discussion of what can support artistic production seems trapped in the stale debate between State, charity or market compliance; what new forms of independence become dire and necessary? Can we envision networks of support which allow us to self-determine and self-sustain ourselves and our creative forces?

This class is an invitation to discuss the correlations between money, social stratification, and art. Hopefully we can address the complicity of artistic “fine taste” as a wedge for the advance of gentrification and the displacement of marginalized communities (what roles does the “gentry” play in gentrification?), and also explore the revolutionary potential of art as a perpetual place of resistance and critique.

Alexandra Velasco | Re-imagining Film (also week 2)

Re-Imagining Film is a class that allows for people who are curious about filmmaking to experiment in creation by re-imagining scenes from a diverse filmic pool in a pressure-free environment. In each class we will initially scan through the aspects and roles of filmmaking. We will then randomly pick a filmic genre to focus on for the day, followed by reading a scene from a film from said genre. We will then pick our film roles for the day (director, actors, cinematographer, wardrobe, makeup, props, etc) and progress to shooting said scene in our own experimental way. We are re-imagining filmWe are re-imagining film as we know it. The final product will be 5 different experimental genre-specific shorts.

Tina Carlisi | Radical Softness (also week 2)
We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are. —Anaïs Nin

Artist-poet Lora Mathis termed the phrase ‘radical softness as a weapon’ (2015) to describe how presenting your emotional self is a political act—one which works against our patriarchal society’s expectations. They related ‘radical softness’ to an Audre Lorde quote “caring for myself is not self- indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” In this class, we will consider how embracing the primacy of emotions can be empowering and the basis for meaningful creative written, visual and performative work that starts from individual experience and how it may be collectively meaningful.

We will draw references from poetry and theory, particularly by women, queer, bipoc, and engage in conversational and non-verbal forms of play inspired by experimental and social theatre, games and happenings. The format of the class will allow students to decide how much or how little they feel comfortable sharing their personal thoughts and feelings. Each session we will explore different themes such as redefining relationships outside of prescribed labels, reveal and challenge accepted notions to radical acceptance and platonic intimacy. We will engage in creative work that will take on various forms such as casting spells, writing letters, making mini zines to creating playlists, blind contour drawing, story-telling to playback theatre—the sky is the limit as we creatively and critically engage in ways to express how softness can be radical.

Alottadentata | Walls, What Walls? Interactive and Immersive Art and Theater
This class will teach the history of “breaking the fourth wall” with discussions of burlesque, street theater, installations, performance art, and more. We will set aside time to create an interactive and/or immersive piece to share with the community.



Week 2: May 16-22

Luan Sherman | Physical Education: The Joy of Having a Body
This class will focus on communicating and understanding the universal human experience of having a body. All of our bodies function in their own unique ways but many of us don’t actually know our bodies very well. We tend to move around the world like we’re traveling in a vehicle, but our vehicles are not just for transportation, they require attention and regular maintenance. Our bodies are intelligent. They hold memories of movement, injury, emotional trauma, athletic prowess, strength, and reflex. If we take time to think about our breath, we may begin to notice how subtle and frequent this unconscious activity is. Our hearts work endlessly for our entire lives but how often do we stop to thank them for coming to work everyday?

My intention with this class is to create a healthy environment for physical play and exploration that enhances our understanding of our physical selves, provides insight into the bodily experiences of others , and inspires us to spend more time expressing gratitude for our bodies and all the work they do. My hope is that this practice will generate a sense of healing for participants, but I am also aware that this kind of work can be delicate and incredibly emotionally loaded and will plan to have resources available for folks who are overwhelmed and need to take a break or leave to take care of themselves.


Aimee Lin | Interconnected Earth
“Interconnected Earth”explores the interconnectedness of everything in the world using weaving, natural dyeing, and deep ecology as metaphors.Students will learn how to naturally dye yarn with foraged plant matter and food waste, and create their own loom and tapestry weaving with the yarn. We will discuss our relationship to land, the intrinsic value of nature, and what it means to embed one material within another.


Chelsea Ragan | There's Nothing Plain About It, Plein Air Painting
While “plein air” is a french term for painting outside, we will take the process and flip it upside down and put an appalachian DIY spin on it. These beautiful mountains have been captured in many ways (photography, instagram stories, drawing, poetry, etc) but now we will get the chance to paint together in the wild. Together we will create our RIG, pick our SPOT, and face the SUBLIME.


Max Spitzer | How to Critique Towards Love
In this discussion based class, we will examine how the typical group critique format succeeds and fails as a tool for understanding ourselves, the things we put into the world and the world itself. In addition to better understanding the object of group critique, we will focus on how the collaborative format can be used to its greatest potential, what the objective of critique should be, and how, when you boil it all down, its is all about love.


Megan Gnanasihamany | Expanding the Future: Scripting as Time Travel
Capitalism flattens the future. National governments, corporations, and academic institutions are invested in supporting the oppressive norms that grant them power and wealth, and it is hard to imagine a future for ourselves and our communities when those structures favour white, cis, male, and able bodies above all others. Imagining the future as queer, trans, and gender non-conforming folks and imagining as POC or Black and/or Indigenous people is an act of ownership, reclaiming speculative space that corporations and technocracies would claim for themselves. This class is an expansion of the concept of the “future”, extending it beyond science fiction and data extrapolation into an imaginative space for our bodies and environments to thrive that can be humorous, hopeful and abstract.


Lila Lee | Experimental Cyanotype
Exploring experimental photography printing with &/or on different materials (leaves, trash, film negs, recyclables, drawings, etc) & collaging images together with the sun.


Lo Bil | The Poetics of Possibility: embodied idea proposals (also week 3)
An introduction to practices for self-sourcing images and desires for artists in all media. We are listening to lived realities through physical proposals, finding humour and pathos, and using what comes to open up possibilities in your work.

Using physical prompts to confuse the colonized mind and enter into another dimension of the thinking body, we experiment with how to access and performatively activate the possibilities inherent in the poetics of your perspective. How can following your own impulses become generative? How can you be subversive by making funny things? You slip past the barriers of acceptance by surfacing internal imagery that is too mysterious to be disallowed and anchored in your lived reality.


Tim Kerr | Don't You Know Who I Am?
A discussion on how ridiculous that title is, based on reality and observations. It's more of a reality check ,talk /discussion on the myths of the perks of fame. The question of " Why do you do what you do!?" , and the never ending hustle that goes along with trying to have a public life of self expression. Group discussion, sharing stories and personal solutions that could give the participant a better knowledge of what they might be up against.


Tina Carlisi | Radical Softness (also week 1)
We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are. —Anaïs Nin

Artist-poet Lora Mathis termed the phrase ‘radical softness as a weapon’ (2015) to describe how presenting your emotional self is a political act—one which works against our patriarchal society’s expectations. They related ‘radical softness’ to an Audre Lorde quote “caring for myself is not self- indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” In this class, we will consider how embracing the primacy of emotions can be empowering and the basis for meaningful creative written, visual and performative work that starts from individual experience and how it may be collectively meaningful.

We will draw references from poetry and theory, particularly by women, queer, bipoc, and engage in conversational and non-verbal forms of play inspired by experimental and social theatre, games and happenings. The format of the class will allow students to decide how much or how little they feel comfortable sharing their personal thoughts and feelings. Each session we will explore different themes such as redefining relationships outside of prescribed labels, reveal and challenge accepted notions to radical acceptance and platonic intimacy. We will engage in creative work that will take on various forms such as casting spells, writing letters, making mini zines to creating playlists, blind contour drawing, story-telling to playback theatre—the sky is the limit as we creatively and critically engage in ways to express how softness can be radical.

Alexandra Velasco | Re-imagining Film (also week 1)

Re-Imagining Film is a class that allows for people who are curious about filmmaking to experiment in creation by re-imagining scenes from a diverse filmic pool in a pressure-free environment. In each class we will initially scan through the aspects and roles of filmmaking. We will then randomly pick a filmic genre to focus on for the day, followed by reading a scene from a film from said genre. We will then pick our film roles for the day (director, actors, cinematographer, wardrobe, makeup, props, etc) and progress to shooting said scene in our own experimental way. We are re-imagining filmWe are re-imagining film as we know it. The final product will be 5 different experimental genre-specific shorts.


Week 3: May 23-29

Benni MacDonald | Collective Memory: Trash artists for anti-monument
This is a class to think through community art practices and look at anti-monuments, memorials, and interventions as collectively built art objects/public sculpture. We will be discussing histories of monument in ongoing legacy of colonialism, feminist counter monument, memorial, and collaboration. We will collect materials, then work these into collective memorial and sculptural interventions. Students will respond to monuments, issues, needs, and desires of the places they visit -- or around other topics that arise. This class will cultivate criticality about folx relationship to place as settlers and/or visitors in a community, paying attention to community, neighbourhoods, their intricacies of history place, and what stories, objects, and debris carry.


Alessandro Maione | Construct/take home your own contact mic and create a sound collage poem
What is a contact microphone? A contact microphone senses audio vibrations through contact with an object as opposed to standard microphones, which senses audio vibrations through the air. Through this class you will be asked to take your musical skills beyond the conventional and transcend them into the playful. Alessandro will provide a brief history of the contact microphone and demonstrate the multifaceted ways in which you can make sounds without the use of a conventional instrument. Attendees will learn how to make and use their very own contact microphone! And also be asked to create a sound collage using different objects found and built to create their own musical pieces together and/or individually.


Shawn Lukitsch | Take the Long Way Home, the history and practical application of riding freight trains in American & abroad
A week-long, in-depth look at riding freight trains. The class will:

  • Learn the history of the cultures from its early civil war roots, through the depression, all the way to the current era and climate that we live in now

  • Be provided with a reading list of books and internet resources for independent study

  • Be exposed to musicians, writers, filmmakers, and other creatives that have participated in the lifestyle through listening to and watching specific lecture material

  • Participate in technical study specific to the physical act of riding freight trains (including terminology, personal limitations, safety issues, car selection, environmental hazard, and equipment)

  • Be provided a summary history on railroading, its operations and equipment

  • Taught and instructed on how to pack/outfit yourself for the experience, as well as how to build an actual hobo jungle/camp


Maria Judice | Screenwriting Rooted in Decolonization and Abstract Thinking
A class on storytelling, character, and writing rooted in decolonization frameworks. Writing stories for screens that develop a new/authentic film grammar based on ancestral mythologies, languages, and understandings of struggles of liberation. We will explore non-linear storytelling, abstract thinking techniques, oral traditions, complex organism development, radical writers, diasporic writers, and still mind practices.


Jonathan Curtin | Queer Automotive Theory and Practice
This is an introductory course into the basic fundamentals of automotive maintenance and theory, as presented from a queer perspective. The expressed purpose of this course isn’t to make anyone into a professional mechanic, nor is that the expectation anyone should need going into the class. It is more a course to empower those who feel over their head regarding car care. Students will leave the class with an enhanced knowledge of how their car/truck works, and have a better idea of the ways to care for and maintain it themselves, without feeling completely at the mercy of their local mechanics.


Beth Bridgeman | Decolonizing Herbalism
Herbal and plant medicines have been documented back to 5000 years. Until the mid 20th century, natural cures and herbs were common. Many doctors utilized these older remedies, and today, a number of modern prescription drugs in the Global North are still directly plant-based. In this workshop, together we will make herbal salves, teas, tinctures and syrups and learn about ethical wildcrafting and anthropogenic “invasives” to make “resilient” medicine. With uncertainty over health insurance coverage and out-of-control medical costs, including pharmaceuticals, there is a renewed interest today in taking control of one’s own health care and in relearning about herbal medicines and folk remedies.


Lydia See | BMC Playbook: Tactics, Techniques, and Instigation from Black Mountain College Artists
Using precedents set by material study workshops at Black Mountain College and the Bauhaus, this workshop is based on "The Matière" - examining and manipulating materials based on juxtaposition in perception. Looking at Ruth Asawa, Anni Albers, Merce Cunningham, Josef Albers, and others, participants will test the fungibility of material/object/performance through studies intended to push material identity, and learn tactics + tools to bring back to their own practice and studio.


Lo Bil | The Poetics of Possibility: embodied idea proposals (also week 2)
An introduction to practices for self-sourcing images and desires for artists in all media. We are listening to lived realities through physical proposals, finding humour and pathos, and using what comes to open up possibilities in your work.

Using physical prompts to confuse the colonized mind and enter into another dimension of the thinking body, we experiment with how to access and performatively activate the possibilities inherent in the poetics of your perspective. How can following your own impulses become generative? How can you be subversive by making funny things? You slip past the barriers of acceptance by surfacing internal imagery that is too mysterious to be disallowed and anchored in your lived reality.

Jacki Huntington | Views of Reality
Views of Reality will guide students through experiments in documentary storytelling formats and media. As a Liquid class, each class session is designed to standalone: students will learn documentary storytelling and technical skills necessary to complete hands­ on exercises and produce creative projects by the end of each two hour class session that will be shared with the community. Students will be encouraged to engage in a documentary storytelling practice individually and in small teams – interviewing, writing, photographing, audio recording, and filmmaking – that integrates their individual perspectives as artists. As a reference, the class includes a zine-­style textbook created from the Developing Documentary Narratives as Collaboration and Service course that Jacki taught in 2018.