Courses

Infrastructure, Archetype and Planetary Art

Avi Varma

Does your art feel pinned to the wall? Do you dream of an efficacy beyond marketability? Are the walls of the anthropocene closing around you? In this course we will investigate the potent instrumentality of existing infrastructure systems and the ways they can be detourned to access art that can operate on a planetary scale. Readings will include Keller Easterling, Saskia Sassen, Nick Srnicek, Riley Hooker, Kimmie Drew, Starhawk, AA Bronson, Hazrat Inayat Khan, Timothy Morton, Robert Smithson and Peter Fend. We will explore the potential latent in “earthworks,” incorporated artists’ groups such as Ocean Earth Development Corporation, and the radical narrative strategies of the Isenheim altarpiece to begin to design work that takes as its material elements of planetary-truth and infrastructure such as lunar cycles, tides, monsoon, tectonics, flora, fauna, electricity, trans-Atlantic cables, airports, highways, power plants, and ports among others. All ages and skill levels welcome.

Avi Varma is a former student of La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela and the designer of the CO-WORK SPACE

What is a Think Tank?

Gean Moreno

Think tanks are structures that we often hold in deep suspicion, perhaps because they have been so effective, in what seem like opaque ways, in helping generate conditions for deep social and economic changes. In this seminar, we will look at a number of existing think tanks in order to understand their architecture, draw a list of instruments that they have generated to disseminate ideas, and rehearse some of the scenario-building methods that they have developed. Once we have diagrammed the way existing think tanks are structured and generally function, we will collectively address the possibility of redesigning the think tank so that it can address ends not usually associated with it.

READINGS

Think Tanks in America (Thomas Medvetz)

What Should Think Tanks Do?: A Strategic Guide to Policy Impact (Andrew Selee)

The Fifth Estate: Think Tanks, Public Policy, and Governance (James G. McGann)

A Re-Enchantment of the World (Bernard Stiegler)

Gean Moreno is Curator of Programs at ICA Miami, where he runs the Art + Research Center.

School for Young Shamans

AA Bronson

This master class revisits the sixties notion of the “free school” to construct an experiment in education and collaboration. Inspired by faerie circles, tea parties, queer rituals, group therapy, ceremonial magic, quilting bees, circle jerks, and other spiritual, psychological and social forms, the participants will work with each other and with AA Bronson to construct a context in which to develop their individual projects. Readings and group discussion will include diverse topics related to art, healing, ritual, sexuality, and spirit.

READINGS

Roland Barthes, Mythologies

Djuna Barnes, Nightwood

Djuna Barnes, Book of Repulsive Women

William S Burroughs, Electronic Revolution

William S Burroughs, Junkie

Jean Cocteau, Opium

Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle

Samuel R Delany, Times Square Red Times Square Blue

Samuel R Delany, Madman

Waclaw Dlugoborski and Franciszek Piper, eds. Auschwitz 1940-1945 Vols I-V

Mircea Eliade, Shamanism

Arthur Evans, Witchcraft and the Gay Counterculture

Walter Gropius, Katsura: Tradition and Creation in Japanese Architecture

Robert H Hopcke, Jung, Jungians & Homosexuality

Jeffery Hopkins, Emptiness Yoga

Kieran Kavanaugh ed. John of the Cross: Selected Writings

Claude Levi-Strauss, The Savage Mind

Piero Mazoni, Piero Manzoni: Life and Work

Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man

Glenn H Mullin, The Six Yogas of Naropa

Erwin Panofsky, Edited by HW Jansen, Tomb Scultpure

Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian

Vincent Scully, The Earth the Temple and the Gods

Gertrude Stein, How to Write

Ludwig Wittgenstein, The Blue and Brown Books

C. C. Zain, The Brotherhood of Light: The Sacred Tarot

AA Bronson is is an artist who co-founded the artists’ group General Idea, was President of Printed Matter, Inc., and started the NY Art Book Fair.

Ecologies of Excess: A pavilion for the “Great Exhibition of the Works of Excess of All Nations"

Eva Franch i Gilabert

During the 21st century, the 20th century architectural principle of “machines for living” was substituted by “organism for living.” Self-Sufficient, sustainable prototypes that interacted and interchanged resources with the built environment were produced. However, the struggle among the control of the new resources perpetuated the same social, political and environmental problems of the century before.

During the 22nd century, a new architectural movement, the “Ecologies of Excess,” introduced a radical epistemological change in relation to the 21st century “sustainability movement” or the 20th century “modern movement”: there were no more principles to follow, nor ideals to fulfill. While in the past, architecture had been built according to certain ideals, models of efficiency or control systems, “ecologies of excess” provided us with a guide to thinking, designing and building based on what we, human beings, produce without measure: endless amounts of energy in social [crowds], political [wars] and environmental terms [pollution]. In sum: Excess.

Previous models of thought were obsessed in quantifying, organizing and validating data. Rigor always acted against madness. If the birth of the clinic, in Foucauldian terms, was the domestication, institutionalization or architecturalization of what at one time was considered excessive, incommensurable, and unbuildable in medical terms, with the “ecologies of excess” what was proclaimed was the birth of the excessive as a foundational ground.

In this course, students are tasked with investigating what is in “excess” in the multiple levels of their own existence, from their lived environments to their familial dynamics.

Welcome to the Ecologies of Excess. Welcome to your future.

Eva Franch is a New York based architect, curator, educator and lecturer of experimental forms of art and architectural practice. Since 2010, Franch is the Chief Curator and Executive Director of Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York.

Conflict Shorelines

Eduardo L. Cadava, Eyal Weizman, Paulo Tavares

This multidisciplinary course will study the entanglement between political conflicts and climate change. Our point of departure is the growing number of conflicts that today unfold in complex relation to climatic and environmental transformations. On a global scale, some of these conflicts take place along environmental threshold conditions —“conflict shorelines” — in which climate transformations aggravate existing political tensions, while ecological distress exacerbates political transformations and socio-economic strife.  

Conflicts over land and resources now take place along the threshold of the tropical forests of Central and South America, and of Central Africa and East Asia. Other conflicts are located along the ebbing threshold of deserts, in relation to the drying out of the Sahel and other places across the Middle East. Others are situated across the shorelines of melting glaciers, rising seas, and coastal cities, urban and natural environments increasingly vulnerable to climate instabilities.

We begin with the understanding that conflict shorelines are not simply determined by climatic factors, but are instead deeply complex historical and natural processes that bring together political developments, urban transformations, colonial histories, and patterns of city growth and migration in relation to changing climatic conditions. Such forms of conflict and violence need to be thought across larger temporal and territorial scales at different speeds. They pose a set of epistemological challenges that demand thinking simultaneously along historical, political, geological and climatic lines.

Eduardo L. Cadava is a Professor of Philosophy at The European Graduate School / EGS and a Professor at Princeton University teaching in the Department of English, the Department of Comparative Literature, the School of Architecture, The Center for African American Studies, and the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies.

Eyal Weizman is an architect, Professor of Visual Cultures and director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Paulo Tavares is a Brazilian architect and urbanist based in Quito/London. Tavares is currently developing a project on the violence of planning and the politics of ecology in Amazonia at the PhD Programme of the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, UK.

Amazonia: in the frontiers of climate change

Eduardo L. Cadava, Eyal Weizman, Paulo Tavares

This course will study the way in which these questions appear in Amazonia. Along the southern and eastern margins of the continental Amazon watershed, what used to be a rainforest ecosystem is now a territory characterized by “scorched fields” of mono-crop plantations, large cattle farms, and depleted biodiversity. In Brazil, the State that holds sovereignty over most of Amazonia, this frontier zone is known as the “arc-of-fire”—a vast and lawless belt of deforestation that stretches from the borders between Bolivia and Brazil up to the Amazon River delta, progressively engulfing the evergreen forests of the central-western portions of the basin. This region historically has defined a natural border between the tropical forest and the arid lands of the South American central plateaus and the desert-like environment of North-eastern Brazil, thus acting as an “ecological buffer” protecting the more humid areas of Amazonia.

Due to a series of interacting global and local anthropogenic interventions—on the one hand, the massive expansion of logging, agriculture, and cattle frontiers; on the other hand, a warming planet—this ecological threshold is being radically transformed by a process that has been described as the “savannization” of Amazonia. This in turn demarcates an ecological threshold on the scale of the Earth System—a so-called “tipping point” in the Earth’s climate—insofar as disruptions in the dynamics of the world’s largest mass of tropical forest (and a key reserve of carbon and biodiversity) would unleash devastating impacts on a global scale.

Forest Archaeology

Eduardo L. Cadava, Eyal Weizman, Paulo Tavares

This course proposes to design an “archaeology” of the contested territories of the arc-of-fire zone. The aim of this archaeology would be to map the various ways in which political and environmental violence are deeply entangled with one another, whether this entanglement is manifest in the form of rapid shifting patterns of inhabitation, displacements and growing urbanization, land enclosures, or ecological depletion.

Environmental modes of detection, imaging, and the modeling of eco-systems reveal tropical forests, for example, to be archaeological resources in which the spatial dispersal of plant types and their age register patterns of human inhabitation and movement when no other material traces remain. These new optics is also helping to bring new legal and political subjects into being: in Ecuador and Bolivia, legal rights have been extended into the sphere of “nonhuman rights,” the rights of nature itself as a political subject. Furthermore the we need to see all changing environments as anthropogenic, that is, as equally constructed by human inhabitation, human-induced climate change, and natural processes.

The epistemological models developed to study urbanism are a good starting point for interrogating such complex environments. Indeed, we might ask if the shifting line of the forest, or that of the desert edge, can be viewed as urban phenomena since they are man-made.

Following a methodology developed by the Forensic Architecture Project in the case of Guatemala, the studio will map cases compiled by the Brazilian Truth Commission. Using a combination of archival resources, colonial era literature, field research, and remote sensing mapping technologies, we will seek to devise novel “testimonial strategies” to corroborate and expand the investigations of the Brazilian Truth Commission.

Eduardo L. Cadava is a Professor of Philosophy at The European Graduate School / EGS and a Professor at Princeton University teaching in the Department of English, the Department of Comparative Literature, the School of Architecture, The Center for African American Studies, and the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies. 

Eyal Weizman is an architect, Professor of Visual Cultures and director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. 

Paulo Tavares is a Brazilian architect and urbanist based in Quito/London. Tavares is currently developing a project on the violence of planning and the politics of ecology in Amazonia at the PhD Programme of the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, UK.

Predictive Creative Writing

Pietro Pezzani

As is well known, “autonomous” writing became pretty much extinct around 2017, when written communication turned into the act of selecting word after word among the choices offered by predictive writing algorithms.

Our Predictive Creative Writing course will allow you to explore this relatively new writing technique, embracing the condition of intimacy that bonds you to your elected predictive algorithm: in a process of mutual discovery, you will start learning about it while it learns about you.

You will be trained to exploit the creative potential of word bifurcation; you will learn how to identify and avoid synctactic loops and dead ends; you will be taught how to investigate the origins of verbal déjà vues − or déjà dits − and you will be provided with the necessary methodological tools to pinpoint and negotiate your positioning in the space of Semantic Targeted Advertising (formerly known as language).

READINGS

Luciana Parisi, Contagious Architecture Computation, Aesthetics, and Space 

Pietro Pezzani is an architect and researcher from Milan, currently based in London. In 2012 he co-founded the office ForestieriPacePezzani.

Intuitive Living

Gabriela Serra, Monica Uszerowicz

The future is the past is the future. In Intuitive Living, students will consciously reconnect to the planet in order to foster the earth’s healing, as well as their own.

Students are encouraged to engage with the physical environment and develop agricultural skills by listening to the soil, communicating with it through clairsentience, and becoming acquainted with flora through the ingestion of/verbal communication with botanical specimens. They will also experience emotional catharsis via sound (both noise-making and intentional listening), learn to orient themselves in a given space without the use of smartphones, and examine their bodily cycles—digestive processes, hair growth—without the intervention of cosmetic materials or mirrors. By the course’s termination, students will live more harmoniously with the natural rhythms of the seasons, and be able to do so even in an urban setting.

Additional Information: This is an intergenerational class including participants of all ages, in or out of the university system. There are no reading materials or literature, but students will document their experiences themselves. This course may require disconnection from all social media platforms and most material belongings.

Gabriela Serra and Monica Uszerowicz are two empaths getting to know the earth.

Monica Uszerowicz is a writer, photographer, editor in Miami. / Gabriela Serra is a photographer and herbalist in Miami.

Drone Warfare

Darren Jones

There are few things more likely to churn the stomach with dread than the artist’s talk. In fact naming these often interminable indulgences-cum-instruments of fidgeting torture, talks at all, is to perpetrate an act of grievous fraud and merciless trickery upon the hapless audience member.

Armed with an unflinching sense of their own importance thinly disguised as groveling humility, a carousel stuffed with slides which, as if by Faustian wiles, clicks grimly on without ever seeming to complete a full cycle, and detached utterly from any sympathy for the audiences excruciating boredom, the artist will yammer, mewl and postulate in unhumorous selfishness until they have exhausted the very laws of physics, bending space-time itself into a blurred self-aggrandizing eternity, while the listeners ignite, one by one, in self-immolation as a means of escape.

No, artists should never be permitted unsupervised access to a microphone and an audience.

The Lesson – Select a favorite artist, and set up a slide/powerpoint presentation, no more than 10 minutes long, on that artist’s life and oeuvre, without using a single image of the artist’s work.

How can you succinctly, describe the artist’s output in an engaging way, with mirth, with innovation, with infectious fascination in the subject, while not relying on images of the art itself? Be objective, abstract, serious, ingenious in conveying the matter, with the audience’s entertainment and patience utmost in your approach.

Darren Jones is an art-critic, curator and artist from Scotland, based in the US.

Expanding Radical Public Libraries

Daniel Schwarz

In this course we will be discussing different forms of public libraries and implement our own decentralized library on mesh networks in local communities.

Special emphasis will be put on how we can learn from past and existing models, and improve on issues of precarity and accessibility. How can we further commons, the sharing of knowledge and sustainable alternatives to copyright? What are surveillance threats, strategies to counter them and strengthen privacy?

We will look at historic precedents such as the rise and demise of the Library of Alexandria, and crucial contemporary projects such as Aaaarg, Ubu, Libgen, the Gutenberg Project, the Library Freedom Project, the Telekommunisten, and Dead Drops.

Final projects will create ad-hoc mesh networks to connect neighborhoods to WiFi Library platforms and piggyback public infrastructures from transportation to parks, schools, hospitals, etc.

Additionally, participants will host their own workshops in community spaces, schools, non-profits, and/or involve other forms of community-engagement.

Daniel Schwarz is an artist based in Los Angeles. His works engage with aspects of control and power structures, state authority and cartography under the connective tissue of surveillance and loss of privacy.

Learning to Arrange the Intangible

George Scheer

This class explores classification in the imaginary of a post-tangible universe. Virtual technologies will enable humans to break the screen-body-perception barrier. In this more digitally fluid state there is a proliferation of intangibles. Where do we place ourselves with our data? What scaffolds are in place to prop up our perceptual fields?

The class will consider the formation of tangible orders of things–material histories, subjectivities, and consciousness–and the ways future technologies will develop hapticity in user interface at a close proximity to their linguistic and social analogs. What materially tangible worlds will we carry forward in our understanding of virtual space and its intangible objects? What heterotopic (re)arrangements of virtual things fill this possible? Together, let’s imagine intangible interactions with virtual objects immersed in the yet existent, digitally-fluid universe.

Of course this course will be broken into four fluid features: Orders, Imaginations, Virtual, and Intangible. We will address critical and literary perspectives on imagination and order through the writings of Surrealists Breton and Aragon, Claude Levi Strauss, Lefebvre, Sartre, Borges, Benjamin, and Oulipians Calvino and Perec. We will examine the state of things in the virtual via Mossumi and Deleuze, Gramsci and Futurism, Octavio Butler and Afro-futurists. Sourcing the Intangibles will be left to our imagination.

George Scheer is the co-founder and Director of Elsewhere, a living museum and artist residency set in a former thrift store in Greensboro, NC. George is a writer, scholar, and artist who fosters creative communities at the intersection of aesthetics and social change.

Utopia: A Post Fact World

Alden Pinnell

You are at a stifling disadvantage in life if you are burdened by the attachment to or belief in facts. This course will examine the nature and history of facts and explore the limitless future that will present itself when you break free of your reliance on facts to define your world.  We will discuss and examine the benefits to creating your own reality, free from the need for “experts” or  “scientists”, and their self serving belief systems.  As an added bonus, you will learn how to make money on social media by creating fake news stories.  Readings will include: Hippo eats dwarf and other great hoaxes, Believing in Magic, Willfull Blindness: why we ignore the obvious at our peril.

READINGS

Boese, Alex. Hippo Eats Dwarf: A Field Guide to Hoaxes and Other B.S.

Alex, Er Smith, and Vladimir Banic. “How Macedonian Teens Earn – and Spend – Thousands from Fake News.” NBCNews.com.

Johnson, Cookie, and Denene Millner, Believing in Magic.

Broad, William J., and Nicholas Wade, Betrayers of the Truth.

Heffernan, Margaret, Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril

Hubbard, L. Ron, To the Stars

Judson, Horace Freeland, The Great Betrayal: Fraud in Science

Alden Pinnell is co-founder of Cellex-C Distribution Company and SkinCeuticals Inc. He is an inventor on seven patents including the Wearable Towel. He is director of the Pinnell Foundation and founder of The Power Station, a not for profit contemporary art space in Dallas, TX.

Citizenship: Remodeling & Mapping Speculative Scenarios

Victoria Ivanova

What is the future of citizenship? How can its fundamental values and technical infrastructures be remodeled to respond to large-scale displacement of populations as a result of geopolitical warfare, climate change and financial crises? How can the present-day commodification of citizenship for global elites and simultaneous reactionary turn to blood right in mainstream politics be hacked to offer progressive alternative scenarios? This class offers a forum where these fundamental questions are to be researched, debated and potential scenarios mapped by producing digital or analog interfaces. By inviting specialists from the relevant fields, the course will traverse a wide array of disciplines — from history, social anthropology, political theory and critical legal studies, to contemporary debates on theory of technology, speculative design and references from current debates on geopolitics, globalism and climate change.

Victoria Ivanova is a curator, researcher and writer living in London. Having previously worked in the human rights field, in 2010, she co-founded a multidisciplinary cultural platform in Donetsk, Ukraine, which critically explored the intersection between activism, education and artistic research. Ivanova is founding member of Real Flow—a research and development platform for socialising finance.

The Official Language: Pop

Amanda Kim

This course will investigate the implications of digital media on pop culture today and the significant role that pop plays in both the psyche of the individual and collective. With the rise of the internet, pop culture has no borders or singular author. Remixing, mashing, sharing, liking – all these actions have created a game of unmonitored translation, where fact and fiction are one and the same, and pop culture is shifting its shape at an incredible rate. What does this mean for our society today? What are the implications in the long run? The overarching goal of the class is two-fold: to create an alternative narrative to the dominant idea that pop culture is trivial and for the uneducated and to deepen our understanding of both sides of pop – its use as a tool for change and destruction. With a broad understanding of culture as a general process of artistic and intellectual development or demise, as a social practice of ordinary life, and as a prophetic artifact, we will focus on studying culture in relation to digital media and new technologies.

Amanda Kim is an independent New York based director and producer. She is also an Associate Creative Director at Vice Media, leading creative development and branded content on i-D magazine, The Creators Project, and Garage magazine.

TELEVISIONICS

Stephanie Sherman

Is your TV still talking to you? In the 20th Century, television went from technological dream to popular ubiquity. This class will reimagine the role of television past to future, engaging TV as a simultaneously outmoded and emerging medium to be exploited, subverted, and reappropriated.

The course will analyze television from sociological, cultural, artistic, and psychoanalytic perspectives. We’ll revisit the first music video on MTV, speculate on how Sesame Street built an urban imaginary from a suburban generation, track the ways that 24-hour news mutilated truth in journalism, investigate the commercial as art and science, and debate whether the revolution should actually be televised. We’ll talk the switch from analog to digital TV, online channels from YouTube to Netflix and Amazon, Artists’ Television Access, and the new resurgence in the episode as a long form.  

Assignments will be to produce, reorganize, reappropriate or re-curate TV content. Collaborations highly encouraged.  

READINGS

Raymond Williams, Television: Technology and Cultural Form

Supplemental readings from Marshall McLuhan, Jacques Lacan, and Sarah Kozloff, George Gerbner.

Stephanie Sherman is a director, writer, organizer, and curator specializing in the art and design of collaborative systems.

Interpreting the Inherent: An Investigation of the Ur-Material in Experience

Danny Skinner

As scientific understanding and Quantum theory seem to increasingly lead us towards the immaterial views of philosophical idealism, one can’t help but wonder: If there is no material world, what is primary to experience?

Stripping away all objects, all qualities of objects and all qualia, artifacts of experience, what are we left with? What is medium for perceptual/phenomenal stimulus, the underlying force from which experience and idea are derived? Sign up to develop and apply methods of inquiry into the natural world that go beyond the already established scientific.

Coursework includes the exploration of texts by Clarence Irving Lewis, Peter Sloterdijk, Francisco Varela, Julian Jaynes, George Berkeley and natural methods of mind expansion.

Daniel Skinner reads and thinks and pursues creative practice. He generally assumes he is wrong.

Structural Nothingness on the Astral Plane

Gregory Ruppe

the sage is occupied with the unspoken

and acts without effort.

teaching without verbosity,

producing without possessing,

creating without regard to result,

claiming nothing,

the sage has nothing to lose

What if doing nothing was actually something? What if listening and watching were considered acts of making? What if your behavioral patterns felt as natural as the planets circling the sun? Returning to impulses in tune with empirical realities long misaligned by the false pretenses of capital and success, this course harnesses concentrations on Wu Wei (non-action), and Ma (intensified focus on intervals of space and time) to reregister mind and body with natural action. Readings from Jiddu Krishnamurti, Rahul Sankrityayan, Debiprosad Chattopadhyaya, Y. Balaramamoorty, Ram Bilas Sharma, Mulk Raj Anand, Chris Kraus, Fredrick Jameson, John Zerzan, and Tim O’Neill, will suppress incessant compulsions to ‘hustle’, ‘get ahead’ or ‘go the extra mile’. Course will also include listening intensives spanning Alan Watts’s Nothing you can do to Eddie & the Hot Rods’ Do Anything You Wanna Do, and field experiments like sourcing random coordinates, traveling to those coordinates, and contemplating questions such as where am I, how did I get here and do I even care? A course with a real do nothing attitude.

READINGS

Jiddu Krishnamurti, Think on These Things, and The First and Last Freedom

Rahul Sankrityayan, Debiprosad Chattopadhyaya, Y. Balaramamoorty, Ram Bilas Sharma, & Mulk Raj Anand – Buddhism: The Marxist Approach

Chris Kraus, Where Art Belongs

Fredrick Jameson, Postmodernism and Consumer Society

John Zerzan, Demon Engine of Civilization?

Tim O’Neill, Who Rules Over Earth?

Ted Kardash, The Wu-Wei Principle

Gregory Ruppe is an artist and musician currently living and working in Dallas, TX.

Ideal Architecture/Ideal Leader

Lizzie MacWillie

This class proposes reverse engineering an ideal leader through ideal architecture. In the first part of the course students will complete an analysis of physical manifestations of power. The Casa Rosada, the Palazzo Venezia, the White House, Malacañang Palace, etc., are among the subjects to be analyzed. A resulting catalog of architectural elements (alone and in different combinations), material palettes, and urban design formulas and templates will be used during the 2nd half of the class, during which students will design hypothetical seats of power for an ideal leader. Designs may be based on our current geopolitical situation, or may predict scenarios and sites – such as the home of the executive branch of a post-atomic New America, the headquarters of the Independent State of California, or an as-yet-to-be-named micronation – to be the context of their ideal manifestations of power.

Lizzie MacWillie is a Dallas based urban designer and Associate Director of buildingcommunityWORKSHOP.

Real Estate Alternative Fundamentals

Lizzie MacWillie

As an alternative to a traditional course on real estate fundamentals, we will explore the possibilities of alternative forms of land and/or property ownership, with a particular focus on feasibility within the city of Dallas. We will conduct a survey of historical land development methods to understand how we’ve arrived at our current model of development, and to understand the detrimental social, environmental, and economic impacts these methods have had. We’ll also look at historical and contemporary examples of “alternative” forms of land development, ownership, and investment, including community land trusts, limited equity cooperatives (and other forms of cooperatives), shared-equity deed-restricted homes, squatting, and community bonds. Students will be asked to propose a sustainable and equitable development/stewardship plan for a property, or properties, in Dallas.

Lizzie MacWillie is a Dallas based urban designer and Associate Director of buildingcommunityWORKSHOP.

Space Law

Lizzie MacWillie

This course presupposes significant terrestrial advancement in the science of warp speed space travel, a commonly held prerequisite of extraterrestrial interaction and collaboration. Advancement of this kind would exponentially expand the limits of our potential for growth – something our planet is woefully underprepared for. Taking the book “Envoys of Mankind: A Declaration of First Principles for the Governance of Space Societies” and seminal works of science fiction as starting points, this course will begin to prepare students for the shift from being a resident of Texas to a resident of Earth, through the collective exploration and development of new laws, economics, urban design, and architecture of interplanetary life. Topics to be explored include: the legal parameters for the claiming of space territories, property rights in space and policing of outer space; new paradigms of world making, including fabricated megastructures as well as planetary colonization; and intergalactic economics, exploring opportunities like space mining and trade. The final product will be a collective treatise on new Earth societies, as well as the design and visualization of our expanded world(s).

Lizzie MacWillie is a Dallas based urban designer and Associate Director of buildingcommunityWORKSHOP.

Career Development for Studio Art Monastics

Brookhart Jonquil

This advanced course is held alone in nature. Preliminary readings include Goethe’s Faust and Vivekananda’s Karma Yoga. After a period of contemplation during which students learn to detach their ego identities from their artwork and professional activities, students will be visited by a guest lecturer to determine an appropriate career trajectory and to draft and sign a contract for continuing support. Artists will be provided with ongoing funding and publicity, but must surrender everything resulting from the creation, exhibition and sales of their artwork to the benefit of the world. This course is intended for studio artists but is open to upper level students in any discipline.

Brookhart Jonquil is an artist working in Miami.

this could be us but you playin

Domingo Castillo

Could memes be tooled to develop an image of a collective future? to which extent can we use this language (memes) in order to build an image collectively, an image that speaks collectively. this could be us but you playin is an exercise in two parts where we’ll explore the body within the immediate environment that reveals itself upon decision to drop out of social media, telecommunications and all forms of rapid transportation (cars, bikes, public transit, uber, et al.) in order to explore an ontology of memes that function with and through our bodies. Selected readings will include Octavia Butler, Walter Benjamin, Avital Ronell, Anne Carson and J.G. Ballard among others.

Domingo Castillo is a human being. In 2010 he co-founded the end / SPRING BREAK, a nomadic artist-run project space in Miami, FL. In 2013 he co-founded the gallery Noguchi Breton, in 2015 they were joined by Jonathan Gonzalez co-founded the design agency, Giovanni Beltran. In 2016 he co-founded PDP | PLP, think tank with Alan Gutierrez, Patricia Margarita Hernandez, and Natalia Zuluaga.

Surveillance, Privacy and Democracy

Gertjan Boulet

Are you outraged at rapid developments in digital surveillance mechanisms, with complementary discussions on fundamental rights protection lagging behind? Are you sensitive for manipulation in abusive power relationships? Do you believe that current regulatory frameworks are outdated? Do you agree that the representation of the ‘people’ in surveillance discourses has, once again in history, faded into oblivion? Do you want to master the power of the power-critical ‘people’ to reconstruct democracy? This course addresses the needs of dropouts with ambitions to reflect on the meaning of human dignity, fundamental rights and sovereignty in cyberspace. The co-work space will be arranged as a studio to compose and record a transcendental etude about digital surveillance by intelligence and law enforcement communities. The structure of the composition will reflect the three elements “deconstruction, universality and collaboration”. A combined reading of transatlantic and Asian doctrine on privacy, data protection and surveillance studies will provide the necessary comparative insights for the deconstruction of uprooted state power. This deconstructive move will allow the composers to reconstruct a contemporary representation of the people, or a translation of the social contract to new surveillance practices and discourses. We will pay particular attention to exploring the latent potential in rules with universal or cross-generational validity. We will also follow a transdisciplinary approach in view of transcending unilateral interests.

The course requires no prior knowledge of privacy, data protection and surveillance studies. Students will have ample opportunity to get familiarised with basic concepts in these fields, via readings, discussions and in the very progress of composing the transcendental etude.

Gertjan Boulet is a Ph.D. Candidate in Law and Information Security, at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium) and Korea University (Republic of Korea). His research focusses on Internet governance, digital evidence, cybercrime, jurisdiction and privacy.

CON-WORK

Juan Sebastián Peláez

So you’ve dropped out of school, but you’ve still got some debt, if not from your education then from life as it is. Now find a job. Done. Congratulations, now you’ve got your studio. The aim of this course is to produce a series of accidents, situation, circumstances, incidents or just plain things in your studio. Your studio might be in a kitchen flipping burgers, in a bar serving drinks, assisting an older artist that makes “art” or working in your fathers inherited business, each one is free to choose the studio they want. All of what is produced will be uploaded to instagram, twitter or a snapchat account for your classmates to see and comment. Readings will include books that should be read whilst you’re in your studio, the author or subject doesn’t matter, but these should be read while watching out that the fries don’t burn or that the martini has the right amount of vermouth.

#conwork #glitch #yourefired #sorrynotsorry #quitartschool #oopsididitagain #bug #contrive #epicfail

Juan Sebastián Peláez is an artist and co-director of MIAMI, artist-run space in Bogota, Colombia and Carne Gallery. Currently unemployed.

Ontological Ouroboros

Maneesh Raj Madahar

How do we develop? What constitutes development? Can one engineer an experience to increase sensitivity towards each other and discover something new about self? Hold one Neodymium magnet in each hand. Move them closer together and feel the magnetism. Explore the contours of the magnetic field and think: “There are no things in my hands, I am holding nothing”. If we sit together in a dark room and harmonize with our voices, can we begin to share a voice?  Can we conjure a shared body of sound? What if our behaviors began to be dictated by this shared body? Maybe we can discover new emotions and places outside of the political. Let us try together!

Suggestive mediations:

Read Magic and Mystery in Tibet by Alexandra David-Neel.

Read whatever strikes your fancy that Ursula K. Le Guin has written.

Watch some Donna Haraway videos on the Cyberweb.

Take a train ride long enough to read Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino.

Watch Holy Mountain by Alejandro Jodorowsky.

Take an Epsom Salt bath while listening to William Basinski’s Disintegration Loops.

Read In Sorcery’s Shadow by Paul Stoller.

Have a slumber party and drink Mugwort tea. While everyone falls asleep, Andrei Tarkovsky’s Mirror should be playing. The next morning, get together and talk about your dreams.

Have a slumber party and drink Mugwort tea. Listen to whichever of The Sheldrake – McKenna-Abraham Trialogues that seem relevant. The next morning, get together and talk about you dreams.

Maneesh Raj Madahar is a filmmaker, improvisational musician, and poet based out of Los Angeles, CA. As The Listener, he inhabited Piero Golia’s and Edwin Chan’s Chalet. Mama Natural has taught him no thing or two.

Sovereignty in the Age of Digital Capital

Natalie Smolenski

Sovereignty refers to the authority to govern. In political theory, it has been illustrated as a function of the relationships between individual human beings and the collectives within which they move. In the early 21st century it is increasingly difficult to sustain such a unitary metaphysics. Benjamin Bratton has drawn attention to the new social landscapes engendered by the evolution of global software providers, sovereign actors whose terrain lies orthogonally to that of nation-states. None of these transformations, however, do away with sovereignty. If anything, they make more urgent the question of how these emerging actors will govern themselves—and on what basis. This seminar asks, in the absence of “nature” and its analogues as an ultimate metaphysical referent, how can sovereignty as a seemingly necessary relational telos be accounted for? Our investigation turns to Husserl’s phenomenology of the subject and the integrities of individual personalities and personalities of a higher order to provide an account for what sovereignty is and how it might evolve. This will help us understand seemingly paradoxical developments, like the statist thrust within capitalism—whether that state is an apparatus for managing pre-productive human collectivity (the government of citizens by birth) or an instrument of targeted production (a corporation). The ultimate aim is to understand the teleologies of sovereignty in order to recover leverage with regards to directing their productions.

READINGS

Benjamin Bratton, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty

Edmund Husserl, “Phenomenology and Anthropology.”

Tanya Luhrmann, “God as the Ground of Empathy.” Anthropology Today 16 (1): 19-20.

Karl Marx, The German Ideology: Part I

Michael A. Rosenthal, “Spinoza on Why the Sovereign Can Command Men’s

Tongues but Not Their Minds” in Toleration and Its Limits. Ed. Melissa S. Williams & Jeremy Waldron.

Carl Schmitt, Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty. Translated by George Schwab.

Benedict de Spinoza, “Chapter 16: On the foundations of the state, on the natural and civil right of each person, and on the authority of sovereign  powers.” Theological-Political Treatise. Edited by Jonathan Israel. Translated by Michael Silverthorne and Jonathan Israel.

Natalie Smolenski, “Identity and Digital Self-Sovereignty: A New Paradigm for Sovereignty on the High Seas.” Medium. Sep. 19. 

Peter Thiel. (2014) “The Ideology of Competition.” Zero to One

McKenzie Wark, “The Stack to Come: On Benjamin Bratton’s The Stack.” Public Seminar, Dec. 28, 2016.

The Derive

Karen Weiner

Loosely based on Guy Debord’s theory, this course will entail guided and unguided walks in the city or perhaps just on the internet. To begin, one must forget everything and start anew with no planned intention. Inspiration and epiphany may derive from observed nature, weather, the music of the birds, urban detritus or simply tripping over a rock. This seemingly aimless wandering can lead to direction, definition and discovery or perhaps just a good cup of coffee.

Karen Weiner Founder/director of The Reading Room, a project space dedicated to investigating the relationships between text and image; independent curator and visual artist engaging in media and language.

A Universalism: Corruption

Sofia Bastidas

What if corruption is vital and renders an informal way of navigating the systems that are in place? How can we redirect corruption to overturn the depression it brings to our pseudo moral and ethic society?

This course will study corruption as the surpassing imaginary in which we create new narratives around corruption as a fact ever present in the systems we participate in. We will study major corruption cases around the globe such as Petroecuador Oil Company, Odebrecht, ICP’s Fair Housing Case, and many others. We will look at these cases from different perspectives with the intention to understand the infrastructural system that allowed these corruption cases to permeate reality.

READINGS

Wietske Maas, “The Corruption of the Eye: Onphotogenesis and Self-Growing Images”

McKenzie Wark “The Vectorialist Class”

Ning Ken, “Modern China Is So Crazy Its Needs a New Literary Genre”

Sofia Bastidas is the 2017-18 Pollock Curatorial Fellow, Founder of Port to Port, TVGOV Stakeholder and member of the society of something #sos.

Transplanetary Capital and Martian Real-Estate

Guillermo León Gómez

As populations of earthlings rise along the recently melted ice deposits of Mars’ Utopia Planitia region, we witness massive corporate investments upon its coastline. With the advancement of telecommunication satellites for the financial sector, transplanetary capital flows manifest as large luxury real-estate projects, financial institutions, and corporations, accommodating the exodus of the transcapitalist and elitist classes from debilitating environments on Earth. In this class we will examine the extensive privatization of Martian territories, owned by a limited group of conglomerates, including SpaceX, Big Blue, Mars Development Group, and banks like Merryl Lynch & Morgan, that have acquired extensive amounts of real estate property and resources. We will study the methods that have facilitated in Mars’ colonization by Earth’s private sector, along with its practical uses of ‘off-planetting’ due to the absence of economic regulation. We will also study the techniques and relationships of financial capital and speculative real estate that originated on planet Earth at the end and beginning of the Y2K, some 40-50 years ago, that have facilitated the rise of Utopia Planitia’s skyline. Readings will include, but not limited to, Aihwa Ong, David Harvey, Keller Easterling, Erik Swyngedouw, and Neil Brenner.

Guillermo León Gómez is graduate student at Parsons School of Design’s Theories of Urban Practice program in New York City. Stakeholder of TVGOV, a company revisioning territory and its ecological sustainability. Co-Founder of Port to Port, a curatorial endeavor on global port cities.

Malls are for Lovers: Cruising in the Age of Product Polyamory

Avi Varma

Find your brand and own it! The logic of the mall is the logic of America and it has been unsurpassed. 1) Tastefully and suggestively organize phenomena such as light, color, sound, sensual materials so that they satisfy such basic needs as stimulation, excitement, arousal, entertainment and suggest deeper needs like sexual expression, communication and shared reality. 2) Draw in a demographic that would likely develop meaningful social relationships based on shared interests and values, and direct their energy instead towards products. 3) Provide an ersatz satisfaction of needs through the purchase of commodities, though underneath the buyer’s remorse will linger a feeling of longing and desire that perpetuates itself again and again as you buy and buy.

In this course, we will take an anthropological approach to one of the deepest sites of buried desire–the mall–in order to mine it like bitcoin. The logic of the storefront extends from the Art Gallery to the University. Go to a shopping mall armed with a moleskine journal and a pen of your choice to find out for yourself what kind of pollen makes your honeymaker go Boom Boom. No censorship. No one will see your secret thoughts. Do you like stores with walls that are beige, sapphire, or lilac? Do you like your vinyl lettering serif or sans serif? Do high or low frequencies make you want to swipe right? Maybe the sepia waves of that Abercrombie & Fitch beach will awaken your darkest most hidden non-binary witch! Maybe the boy with a nose ring at Hot Topic will show you the pathway to Valhalla. Readings include the Kama Sutra, Lao Tzu, Alain Danielou, How to Meditate, Dodie Bellamy, Sheri Winston, Deleuze and Guattari, Dossie Easton, Janet Hardy, Wilhelm Reich, Tristan Taormino, Henry Miller, Anais Nin, Wolfgang Tillmans, Sophia Al-Maria, among others.

Avi Varma is a former student of La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela and the designer of the CO-WORK SPACE.

Proto-Human Software 101

Agustina Woodgate

This course will introduce students to the unified multilanguage communication technology sin translation, an initiation into Proto-Human software technology.

Proto-Human is a high-tech comprehension software that allows multilingual communication  between people. Uploaded into the brain, Proto-Human technology enables fluid expression in all languages, dialects, and slangs existent in the world today.

Previous technologies, such as Google Translate helped pave the way for global communication. In its time, the search giant made ubiquitous the delivery of instantaneous conversions between language pairs. Google reported that the service was used more than a billion times a day worldwide by more than 500 million people a month. However, these tools didn’t allow for the fundamental re-assembly of language structure, comprehension, and meaning. Translation promised unity, but Proto-Human promises transcendance.

This course prepares you to interface as a seamless global citizen. Drop out of your language class, upload to Proto-Human.

Readings include newspapers, science journals, cultural publications and theory from all over the world.

Agustina Woodgate is an artist and co-founder of radioee.net, an online,  nomadic, multilingual event base radio transmission.

Feoclassicism

Darién Montañez

A spectre is haunting Panama—the spectre of Feoclassicism. Whence springs this glorification of bad taste, bad both as in flawed and as in evil, yet so bad it approaches greatness? In this course we will give a historical and theoretical context to the Feoclassical Architecture of Panama, which good snobs find so repulsive, and to sing its praises as a clear expression of our culture and national spirit. “Feoclassical” is a portmanteau—a composite word combining Feo (ugly) with classical— that names this degeneration of classic Greco-Roman Architecture that suddenly ails us, thus culminating the triad original–revival–decadence: Classical–Neoclassical–Feoclassical. We have all seen it: skyscrapers decked in corinthian capitals, pediments and balustrades; in this course we will learn that there is nothing wrong in sincerely appreciating it, and we will aim to lose ourselves in its glory. A fluency in the writings of Alberti, Loos and Venturi is recommended but not required. Preferential treatment will be offered to students with Studio credits from the Notre Dame School of Architecture.

Darién Montañez is a photic sneezer of the sign of Scorpio. A non-smoker and a social drinker with a limited social life, he enjoys monotonous music, long movies and difficult books. In his free time, he teaches Architectural Design and History of Panamanian Architecture in prestigious universities in Panama City, Panama.