XCO SYLLABUS: 090113/Sec.1/Session#1/Description-What is Experimental Communities?

XCO SYLLABUS: 090113/Sec.1/Session#1/What is Experimental Communities?
The below understanding of 'Experimental Communities' only applies to the advanced interdisciplinary seminar of the same title taught and designed by Pedro Lasch at Duke University. Other meanings and narratives related to the topic appear all over this blog.

This advanced seminar will be open to advanced undergraduate students, as well as any graduate students at Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill who wish to experience what visual studies and visual art have to offer to various disciplines across the academic spectrum. Through its blog, public events, social experiments and other elements, the seminar will also be open to a much wider range of social groups and individuals locally and internationally.

An interdisciplinary seminar structure will be used to collectively and individually examine visual culture in relation to experimental social structures. Readings across the academic spectrum will focus on alternative corporate models, secret societies, workers’ unions, social networks, cults, neighborhood associations, anarchist communes, relational art practices, minority alliances, reality TV, fan clubs, art collectives, and fundamentalist organizations. Students will be encouraged to balance theories of social change with actual historical and contemporary practices. Experiential research may be used to produce formal experiments of a social nature. Class productions may include interdisciplinary productions, research papers, performances, theater works, social actions, videos and new media works, as well as conventional visual or non-visual art forms. Projects may be executed at the university, in neighboring communties, or far beyond. Work will be judged by its formal sophistication or aesthetic merits, its social or political relevance, and its engagement with methods of ethical inquiry studied throughout the semester.

Class projects will require significant research, but this research will be executed in the service of the students’ own visual or social productions, internet projects, exhibitions, actions, and events. Students will be required to have a basic to intermediate visual literacy, or an advanced background in at least one field of study directly related to this course. Students will be asked to write a two page proposal explaining why they would like to take this class, how it relates to previous studies, and what they anticipate doing for it. For those with previous visual studies, visual production, or visual art experience, a portfolio of past works may be added to this written proposal. Permission will be provided by the instructor after these materials have been reviewed.

To see the official Duke bulletin description go to:

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