Credits: 4
Time: Tuesday, 2:10 p.m. - 6:00p.m.

Course Description:

Social practices in art incorporates many diverse strategies from interactive media, online networks, manifestos, street interventions, social sculpture, design, performance, activism, open systems, public discourse and more. In this course we examine the history of social practice and focus in on how media and technology are impacting and shifting current practice. Students are encouraged to work collaboratively on projects that critically engage topics pertinent to this moment in history and are situated in the public sphere -- local or global, online or offline. There are lectures, reading assignments, studio projects and critiques during the course.


Active student participation throughout all aspects of this course will make your experience much more meaningful and is necessary for the successful completion of the assigned work. There are reading/research assignments, weekly discussions, student presentations, critiques and the production of work during this course. Students are expected to be present for all class meetings. Please email me if you must miss a class. Chronic lateness and/or more than 2 absences will seriously jeopardize your standing in this course.

Students will be evaluated based on the following: Participation/attitude, creative/conceptual work, documentation of work/wikipages and progress over the term.

Collaborative Projects:

In this class all work will be collaborative in nature. Small scale exercises and projects at the start of the term will lead towards a final project that will be conceived and realized in collaboration by the class.

>> Late work is not accepted!<<


All students are required to maintain a personal wiki site for this class. This space should act as an electonic journal and contain your research, project ideas and progress, summaries of all the class readings (must be posted by Monday at noon) and documentation of creative work. Individual and group pages are to be updated regularly (weekly). Each student is responsible for viewing and commenting on all student pages.

Over the course of the term you should create an annotated list of links to artists and artworks that you find compelling or are influencing your ideas (this should be updated each week).

Student Presentations/critiques:

Each student will present on a particular artist or collective over the course of the term. This is a research project and should include citations (multiple sources), images, video or other resources where applicable. All presentation materials -- text, image, links etc. -- are to located on your wikipage. You do not need to write out every portion of your presentation, but you should include an annotated bibliography for all the sources you find.

Each student will present ideas and work regularly over the course of the term. All materials are to located on the wiki.

Office hours/help:

I am available for technical help or to discuss projects via office hours and email. If you would like to schedule a time to meet with me, please check my calendar (link above) and email me an appropriate time that works with both our schedules. Please do not leave voice mail! I am also readily available via email and will regularly respond within a few hours.

Preston Noon is the Digital Arts Technician and has regular help hours each week. For more information, please visit the POD website.


There are no required books that need to be purchased for this class. All readings will be handed out or can be found online.


Art and Social Change, A Critical Reader, Edited by Will Bradley and Charles Esche, Tate Publishing 2007

Collectivism After Modernism, The Art of Social Imagination After 1945, Edited by Blake Stimson and Gregory Sholette, 2007

Conversation Pieces: Community and Communication in Modern Art, Grant H. Kester, University of California Press, 2004

Participation, Edited by Clarie Bishop, Whitechapel, 2006

Places of Learning, Media, Architecture, Pedagogy, by Elizabeth Ellsworth, RoutledgeFalmer, 2005.

Relational Aesthetics, by Nicolas Bourriaud, Presses du Réel, 1998

Relations in Public: Microstudies of the Public Order, Erving Goffman, Basic Books, 1971

The Art of Participation, 1950-Now, Rudolph Frieling, SF MOMA/Thames and Hudson, 2008.

The Everyday, Edited by Stephen Johnstone, Whitechapel, 2008

What We Want is Free, Generosity and Exchange in Recent Art, Edited by Ted Purves, SUNY Press 2005.

This schedule is a guide and will change over the course of the term, check back often.

Session 1: September 8

Introduction to the course.
What is social practice?

Session 2: September 15

Discuss reading.
Review Dérive work.

Student presentation(s):

Emily Tareila: Suzanne Lacy
Emily Guez: WochenKlausur


Grant Kester, Introduction, pages 1-13 from Conversation Pieces.

Ted Purves, pages 27-44, Blows Against the Empire from What We Want is Free.

Trebor Scholz, A History of the Social Web.

Session 3: September 22

Discuss readings.

Student presentation(s):

Emma Harden: Group Material
Eyla Cuenca: Allan Kaprow


Lucy Lippard, pages 408-421, Time Capsule, from Art and Social Change, A Critical Reader.

Allan Kaprow, pages 102-104, The Elimination of the Audience from Participation.

Jay Rosen, The People Formerly Known as the Audience

WochenKlausur text on art.

Session 4: September 29

NOTE: Steve Lambert VA lecture tonight at 7:30

Discuss reading.

Student presentation(s):

Ian Dolton-Thornton: Joseph Beuys
Simon Jolly: Vito Acconci


Vito Acconci, pages 900-918 Public Space in a Private Time from Critical Inquiry Vol. 16, No. 4. (Summer, 1990).

Joseph Beuys, pages 125-126, I am Searching for Field Character, from Participation.

Session 5: October 6

Discuss readings.

Student presentation(s):

Dana Wolfson: REPOhistory
Katari Sporrong: Carnival Knowledge


Alan W. Moore, pages 193-221,RArtists' Collectives" Focus on New York, 1975-2000 from Collectivism After Modernism.

Shane Asian Selzer, pages 75-83, How Do You Pin A Wave Upon The Sand? from Generosity and Exchange in Recent Art.

Session 6: October 13

Discuss reading.

Student presentation(s):

Liz King: Fritz Haeg
Henry Lyon: Temporary Services


Miwon Kwon, pages 85-110, One Place after Another: Notes on Site Specificity from October \Vol. 80. (Spring, 1997).

Session 7: October 20

Discuss reading.

Student presentation(s):

Claire Murphy Mayberry: InCUBATE
Tim Kretchner: Lee Walton


Nicolas Bourriaud, pages 161-171,Relational Aesthetics from Participation.

Irving Goffman, pages 3-27, The Individual as a Unit from Relations in Public.

Session 8: October 27

Class will meet from 4-6:00pm Discuss Creative Time Summit.

Session 9: November 3

Discuss reading.


Elizabeth Ellsworth, pages 15-36, The Materiality of Pedagogy from Places of Learning

Christopher Lee Kennedy, Latent Learning Curriculums, Institute for Applied Aesthetics

Session 10: November 10


Elizabeth Ellsworth, pages 37-56, Pedagogy's HInge from Places of Learning

Session 11: November 17

Prepare for first event.

Session 12: November 24

Final preparation for first event.

Session 13: December 1

Event recap and assesment.

Session 14: December 8

Final projects discussion and critique.

Last class. (All work from the term must be complete and located on student wiki pages by the start of class.)
Background image: Arthur (Weegee) Fellig
"Coney Island"