How spaces talk - Site-specific installation

Spring 2013, Lecture: Mikala Hyldig Dal, Practical: Julien Schmid, Mona Diab

Course Name: Media Installation Course Code: MD 602 Number of Groups: 2 Dates: Group 1 and 2 together / Sun. 2-3-4 slot / 2nd slot lecture in H9, 3+4rd slot practical in the green screen room (unless otherwise announced)

If a shadow is a two-dimensional projection of the three-dimensional world, then the three-dimensional world as we know it is the projection of the four-dimensional Universe. [Marcel Duchamp]


Project description: This course will explore in theory and practice the spatial strategies of installation and media art. A lecture series will offer a historical overview on the topic, while the practical part of the course will result in a student exhibition of site-specific works to be presented at a gallery space beyond campus.

Objectives & Structure: The lecture gives an overview of how varying spatial concepts through time have framed and deeply influenced the mediated experience of an artwork. Taking as a point of departure the collaged “salon hanging” of 19th century Paris, we will discuss the concept of “pure space” present in the late-modern “white cube gallery” and conclude by discussing current tendencies towards a re-contextualisation of art into specific places. Students will present the works of individual media/installation artists that work site-specifically while reflecting on the spatial strategies asserted and how these relate to historical, geographical and spatial specifics. A part of our classes will take place as traditional lectures and student presentations on campus, while another part of our meetings will span over an entire day and will be used to research resources for media artists and designers in Cairo and to develop and install group works at a location beyond campus (GUC buses will be organized to transport students to the relevant locations departing from campus at 10:30). The course will conclude in a public exhibition of the developed student works on location.

Project aims: This course aims at enabling the students to develop refined strategies when dealing with the spatial dimension of conceptualizing and presenting their works. We will sensibilise the students to the philosophical, social and artistic category of space while giving a broad overview of modern and contemporary notable artists and their approaches to the matter. We wish to make the works developed by students accessible to a broader public.

Number of Assignments and dates: 1 theory and practice exercise: read provided text, extract 3 words from it and write these using temporary media. Record the vanishing process. 1 practical exercise: an installation on campus consisting of the re-arrangement of found/present objects (present before and after image), 1 practical exercise: an installation on campus using only thread, 1 research presentation of a selected artist or movement, 1 media installation (group work) and public presentation, 1 essay on developed works during the semester.

Exam type: Final project, general assessment Presentation brief: A public statement to the individual works at exhibition opening Final Documentation (Form and Content): Documentation of work process, research, theoretical perspectives and installation work in images and words

Keywords: Site-specific, Installation art, new media, art history, media philosophy, white cube, art in context / TOOLS: various

Course e-mail:
Assignments lists:\\ see below

Research: see below

Student presentations: Marcel Duchamp, Kurt Schwitters, Environment, Happening (1960ies), Fluxus, Arte Povera, Nam June Paik Bill Viola, Allan Kaprow, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Yayoi Kusama, Bruce Nauman, Lucas Samaras, Jenny Holzer, Collective Group Material, Thomas Hirschhorn, Transmediale, Ars Electronica


Week Description Homework
WEEK 01 / 4. February Course Introduction
WEEK 02 / 11. February (Lecture) Installation art, historical overview HOMEWORK READ: http://www.uwo.ca/visarts/research/2009-10/bat_2010/awish.html
WEEK 03 / 18. February (Lecture) EXCURSION TO "BEIRUT GALLERY" in Agouza, work presentation by artist Azin Feizabadi. NOTE: BUSES LEAVE AT 10 from campus, we meet at 11:30 on site: 11 Road 12, Mahmoud Sedky, Agouza, Cairo

Additional info: http://www.beirutbeirut.org/ - http://www.azinfeizabadi.com/

WEEK 04 / 25 February (Lecture) Minimalist approaches. Present "Disappearing words", discuss text. Practical exercise: create an installation on campus consisting of the re-arrangement of found/present objects. Read text, Disappearing words assignment.
WEEK 05 / 4 March (Lecture) Minimalist approaches. Present installation with found objects. Installation with found objects.
WEEK 06 / 11 March (Field trip) "The Magic of the State" Exhibition, we visit Beirut gallery. Media artist Anja Kirschner will discuss her work personally. kirschner-panos.info Read Le Stanze by Pistoletto. Use one of the strategies he describes to design a new room. Text: http://www.guc-md.com/uploads/Main/the_rooms
WEEK 07 / 18 March (Field trip - Departure GUC campus 10:30, bus gates) We visit Mosireen Media Collective, filmmakers and media artists working on documenting current political developments in Egypt. http://mosireen.org/

And the Cimatheque - a new initiative for young Cairo-based filmmakers http://www.facebook.com/cimathe

Read text "The Politics of Installation" by Boris Groys. Make a sketch that translates a political system, and ideology or a religion into an installation context. Think about how you can create a space that asserts a certain power-structure onto the body of its visitor. Text: http://www.e-flux.com/journal/politics-of-installation/
WEEK 08 / 25 March (Lecture)

Artist presentations: Marcel Duchamp, Kurt Schwitters

WEEK 09 / 1 April (Lecture)

Presentations: Environment, Happening (1960ies), Fluxus, Arte Povera

WEEK 10 / 8 April (Lecture)

Presentations: Environment, Happening (1960ies), Fluxus, Arte Povera

WEEK 11 / 15 April (Lecture) Present assignment "The Rooms"

Presentations: Nam June Paik, Bill Viola, Allan Kaprow, Christo and Jeanne-Claude

WEEK 12 / 22 April (Lecture) Present assignment to "The Politics of Installation"

Presentations: Yayoi Kusama, Bruce Nauman, Lucas Samaras, Jenny Holzer

WEEK 13 / 29 April (Lecture)

Present concept for final. Discuss and adjust the proposals and define our collective approach to the gallery.


Final presentation - Exhibition on Campus!! Take-off at 12 pm from the greenscreen room

Course Weights: Class Work 20%, Assignments: 30%, Final 50%