intro | schedule & assignments | resources |

note: the schedule and assignments will most certainly change as I get to know your specific focuses and needs better, and come up with more aptly suited approaches.

GUERILLA PUBLIC ART or SOCIALLY-MEDIATED INTERVENTIONS
GRAD 020G Thursdays 1:10 - 4:10pm
Room 413. CIT Building, 169 Weybosset St.
Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Spring 2010.
Instructor: Christopher Robbins
COURSE WEBSITE: http://www.christopher-robbins.com/guerilla

This course explores the potential of socially-mediated art works that intervene into the daily lives of strangers. Walking an uncomfortable line that falters between community development and public art, prank and protest, these works focus on eliciting change in habit and perspective through personal action. The course will include a survey of related work from the Situationists to Joseph Beuys to the Yes Men to Service Aesthetics, as well as Community Development and Post Colonial considerations. However, the focus of the course ultimately rests on the actual work students create, in the communities in which they operate. In other words, you will get out on the street (or mall, river, office, beach, roof, tree, capitol building, etc) and do something.

A NOTE ON READINGS
The readings are mostly excerpts, out of context and sometimes misrepresented. The focus is on what you can get out of the reading, not what it's supposed to be about. Pick relevant excerpts - one that you disagree with, one that drives you - and show up prepared to argue!

THIS COURSE IS FOR YOU
I have created an outline of tactics I believe are important for socially-mediated artists to explore. In the end, this class is for you, so as I get to know your goals, I will adjust the course accordingly. So, if you have ideas, or concerns, or suggestions, let me know. This course is for you.

EVALUATION:
Students' final grades will be based on the following:
30% class participation
25-30% papers and miscellaneous assignments
40-45% final project work

1 page papers: Most weeks, you will be asked to hand in a rough, casual 1-page paper exploring your goals/project/idea through the lens of that week's theme. These do not have to be researched or referenced; they are sketch sheets for your own development through different tactics.
Final Project: The major focus of this class is the production of a final public work. It must involve some strangers and take place outside RISD/ Brown. It can be collaborative!
You: The assignment where you talk about you.
Adventure: Have an adventure. Bring someone along.
Social Engineering Exercise
Alter Ego: Live it and believe it. It could be your art-star alter-ego coping mechanism, a role you need to get into to pull off a project, This is not a costume show, it is a state of mind.
Observation assignment

Attendance and Participation: Come prepared and active for every class. If you are absent for a presentation assignment you will get a zero unless you have made prior arrangements with me. If you have more than one unexcused absence you risk failing the class.

POLICIES:
Laptops: No Laptops during class discussions and critiques
Talk to me: This course is, in the end, for you, so if you think of an approach for an assignment or session better suited to your needs, let me know. If you're serious, I can be flexible.


SCHEDULE
Class 1: Feb 25: INTRO
·Guerilla-Intro.pdf (10mb) (the slideshow)
·Guerilla-intro-notes.pdf (76k)(notes for the slideshow)

Class 2: Mar 4: YOU
due: What you want (28k PDF).
Present your current work, and discuss how you can extend your art interests into your life, and vice-versa.

Class 3: Mar 11: ADVENTURE / CRAFTING REALITY
due: Have an adventure (28k PDF).
Bring someone along. Prove it.
do: Field trip

Class 4: Mar 18: APPROPRIATION and INTERVENTION
due: Social Engineering Exercise (50k PDF)
+ Social Engineering Reading (100k PDF or Link)

due: 1 page paper looking at your goals/ project/ ideas through the lens of appropriation and intervention
do: Last of the YOU presentations

Class 5: Mar 25: PRA / ACTION RESEARCH
due: Proposal for Final Project (on paper, handed in)
due: Observation Exercise

April 1 - Spring Break

Class 6: April 8 - MID SEMESTER
due: read pages 17-26 in the Guerilla Reader
due:review APPROPRIATION and INTERVENTION sections of the Guerilla Intro
due: be prepared to discuss your Appropriation/ Intervention or Social Engineering exercise in light of these readings and slides, as well as Observation assignment and Final Proposals

Class 7: April 15 - PROVIDING TOOLS / CREATING COMMUNITY
due: work on final project
due: read pages 37,40 (TOOLS) of the Guerilla Reader
due: review COMMUNITY and TOOLS section of the Guerilla Intro
- be ready to discuss your own work in light of the readings and slides
- answer the question: what kinds of tools does your work provide for the viewer or participant?

Class 8: April 22 - INDIVIDUAL MEETINGS
Meet Individually ½ hour slots all day
due: work on final project

Class 9: April 29 - PRANK VS POLITICS
due: work on final project
due: where does your work fall in the spectrum of illustration/symbol and direct-action?

Class 10: May 6 - $$$ - fund-raising, fiscal sponsorship, 501(c)3, process, service, etc.
due: work on final project
due: 1 page paper of ideas for making money

Class 11: May 13 - Show Final Work

Class 12: May 20 - Show Final Work
due: FINAL PROJECT SUBMISSION!
Submit a brief write-up, images, and video if appropriate on a CD-rom, including your post-RISD contact info. I have to submit grades, so do not miss this deadline, as it is over %40 of your grade!

due: PREVIOUS PROJECTS!
If you are missing any of the previous assignments, this is the last chance to hand them in (they make up over %25 of your grade):
·You: The assignment where you talk about you.
·Adventure: Have an adventure. Bring someone along.
·Social Engineering Exercise OR Intervention/ Appropriation
·Observation assignment
·Alter Ego: discussion of some useful Alter Egos.


RESOURCES


Class Materials
·Guerilla-Intro.pdf (10mb)
·Guerilla-intro-notes.pdf (76k)
·Guerilla-reader.pdf (340k)
·PRA-pamphlet.pdf (7mb)


THANKS
This course was put together with inspiration and help from Gretchen Skogerson, Rich Pell, Mark Tribe's Radical Media Syllabus, John Pena, Andrew Boyd, and numerous helpful people from the Skowhegan Community who suggested Guerilla Public Art works that they hated or loved.


NOTE TO SELF
·Assign collabs for final projects, 3 or 4 projects total, mix and match people
·Spread student presentations between several classes (2 or 3 per session), rather than trying to cram them all into one
·Make assignments more specific, precise