Research and Survival in the Arts
#NG1001 | Materials List
Survive life as an artist with this eclectic, skill-based crash course. You will learn some: installation building, carpentry, home-brewing, guerrilla gardening, electric wiring, robotics, fire-making, fixing things, plumbing, pneumatics, pumps, water purification, high-voltage electricity, video surveillance, electronic interfaces, scavenging for materials, cooking alternatives, solar power, skinning a rabbit, lighting, remote control systems, survivalist contemporary art history, and promoting and exhibiting your art. This class will have local visiting artists. We will incorporate elements of time, process, interactivity, performance, light, space, installation, and video, and we will consider how to realize these practices in a contemporary, conceptual way.
Possible Class Assignments:
- Build a linkage for a robot from cardboard, and then build it from more stable materials with a motor.
- Wire a light fixture, and then turn it into an art piece.
Kal Spelletich, the seventh of nine children, was born in an elevator and raised in Davenport, Iowa, recently named "America’s Worst Place to Live." Shortly after being given a chemistry set at the age of seven, he started constructing tree houses, boats, experimenting with electricity, taking apart everything he could get his hands on, building fire, and making fireworks. He now lives in San Francisco and works on the waterfront. He scours junkyards and dumpsters for industrial items that have technology that can be reappropriated. Spelletich sometimes teaches at universities, lectures, exhibits and presents workshops around the world. His latest work involves experimenting with bio-morphic inputs that trigger machines and robots to provide viewers with a direct, real-life experience—trying to answer the question: Can technology perform spiritual work and still be conceptual?
Communal Project, Community Collaborations
#NG1008 | Materials List
Want to make art while simultaneously inspiring others at the same time? Take a chance and be part of an artist-lead collaborative project with the Mission Neighborhood Centers (MNC)—which provides a wide range of social services, educational programs, and recreational activities that target low-income seniors. This class takes its starting point with a research visit to the MNC, where students will meet the seniors and observe what kind of activities take place there. From this visit, students will develop individual or group projects that consider the environment, activity, and individuals who utilize the space. This project could mean a documentary that involves painting portraits, photographing the interior space or objects at the center, video interviews with the seniors, among other ideas. The projects may also incorporate the environment more directly in the form of an interactive project that engages the seniors through performance, dance, or other art forms.
Toward the end of the class, we will invite the public to see the work we produced, as well as to reflect on our experience, drawing parallels to other artists who are informed by a certain locations, as well as social interactions.
The class invites artists with all levels of experiences and welcomes any painters, sculptors, printmakers, photographers, and new media artists (video and performance).
Mads Lynnerup was born in Copenhagen and is visiting faculty at SFAI, teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses. In 2008, he graduated with an MFA from Columbia University, and has shown his work at SFMOMA; The Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; MoMA PS1, New York; Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw; and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He is the recipient of a Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship, a Eureka Fellowship, and an Artadia Award. His work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Flash Art, Artforum, Contemporary, and Sculpture Magazine, among others. His work is produced by using various media from silkscreening and drawing, to video, sculpture, and performance. Lynnerup’s work often responds to topics of the current political climate and everyday life, which remain the main influence in his artwork.
The Drifter’s Guide to Urban Field Recording
#NG1009 | Materials List
Part public practice, social experiment, and technical exercise, The Drifter's Guide encourages a critical exploration of the urban environment in an embodied way, through “deep listening” (based on Pauline Oliveros's method) and “sound walks” (based on those of the World Soundscape Project). Augmenting and subsuming ofﬁcial mapping, this process documents the ambience of the moment, capturing the incidental nature of urban life as a real-time composition. We will discuss art historical precedents for our journeys, such as musique concrète, the Situationist’s dérive, and acoustic ecology, as well as contemporary takes on these practices. We will then conduct group listening exercises and sound walks using portable recorders and custom microphones. Lastly, we will learn basic audio-editing techniques using Audacity software that will enable us to create compositions using the media that we have collected.
Blake McConnell is a media artist, musician, and performer, currently living in San Francisco, but originally from Atlanta. His work manifests in many ways, but sits at the intersection of media, technology, and society. He holds an MFA with a concentration in arts, media, and engineering from Arizona State University. His collaborative work has been shown at the Young@Art Gallery at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and at 516 ARTS, Albuquerque, as part of the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) 2012. McConnell is also a recipient of the 2012 Good n' Plenty Grant funded by Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and Scottsdale Public Art.
Get Lost: Wandering as Art, Mapping through Media
#NG1012 | Materials List available in March
With maps and smart phones, is it ever possible to get truly lost in the city? What serendipity do we miss by keeping our heads down between Point A and Point B? We will find new ways to experience and record a San Francisco we may otherwise pass through unconsciously. Starting by exploring a diverse set of wanderers and mappers, including the Situationist International, author Rebecca Solnit, map collector David Rumsey, and Google Maps, we will then leave the classroom to develop alternative maps and guided walks that examine the intersection of the planned and unplanned. These projects are open to any range of media, including drawing, photography, video, installation, performance, and software. This course will take place predominantly outdoors and around San Francisco. For the last session, we will lead each other through our own projects, walks, and urban interventions, inviting guests of our choosing to come join us in the city.
Ilyse Iris Magy is a renegade researcher and practicing apocaloptimist. Her work uses subversive play to expose and explore the impacts of human systems, incorporating performance, design, video, and textiles into interventions and installations. She received an MFA in Social Practice from California College of the Arts, and holds a BFA in Sculpture from Washington University in St. Louis. An incurable lover of people, Magy co-founded Revel Art Collective, a group of makers crafting participatory events and group shows that foster spontaneous communal expression in the urban environment. Revel’s Muni Media Map weaves individual artists’ explorations of specific transit lines into a hybrid narrative of San Francisco.