Theorie VMK: Art in times of crisis 

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Nummer und TypBMK-BMK-16F-ThMK-01.16F.001 / Moduldurchführung
ModulTheorie VMK: Close reading 
VeranstalterDepartement Fine Arts
LeitungFelix Stalder
Anzahl Teilnehmendemaximal 22
ECTS4 Credits
VoraussetzungenStudents need to be able to read english texts and follow an english discussion. We will provide help with questions of translation as they arise.
Lernziele / KompetenzenWe will focus in depth on a key position within the field of contemporary political art, through reading texts and directly engaging with the author and his research/activist program.
InhalteIn 1999, in the context of the war in Kosovo, the art critic Brian Holmes wrote:
"What are the powers of art in the face of organized violence? The answer can only lie in the public's encounter with the artworks, in the emotions they release, the reactions they provoke, the discussions they foster. The curator and the critic offer frames for that encounter. ... Today, if we want the artistic experience to contribute to any kind of political confrontation with the sources of violence, we have to radically change those frames. And that means measuring the depth and the historical nature of the current conflicts in the world."

Since then, Brian Holmes has embarked on an extensive research program, involving artistic collaborations, field trips and non-institutional forms of teaching, to examine the "depth and historical nature" of not just of on-going armed conflicts, but of the many interlocking social, economic and ecological crises that dominate our present. One of the recurring questions concerns the possibility of art to shape and transform the way we understand (and possibly act in) the world. How can individual and networked artistic practices be developed in relation to those forces that transform our world as we live in it.

The module consists of two parts. First we will read and discuss key texts of Brian Holmes that address these questions and discuss art works that that play an important role in this research program. Second, we will do a two-day intensive course with Brian Holmes where we look both at his previous works as well as contribute on ongoing research focus on mapping as an artistic strategy.

Texts will be mostly in English. The two-day intensive course will be in English only.
Bibliographie / LiteraturMain works by Brian Holmes:

Profanity and the Financial Markets. A User's Guide to Closing the Casino: 100 Notes, 100 Thoughts: Documenta Series 064. Hatje Cantz, 2012.

Escape the Overcode: Activist Art in the Control Society. Van Abbemuseum, WHW, 2009.

Holmes, Brian. Unleashing the Collective Phantoms: Essays in Reverse Imagineering. Autonomedia, 2008

Holmes, Brian. Hieroglyphs of the Future. 2003. ISBN: 9536542838 (Paris & Zagreb: Visual Culture NGO: What, How and for Whom, 2002).

Full list of references will be made available at the beginning of the course in the wiki at
Leistungsnachweis / TestatanforderungParticipation in the course, and small essay. Topic to be determined during the semster based on invidivual/group interests.
TermineTueday 10:00-13:00 Uhr

12.04 (with Brian Holmes, whole day)
13.04 (with Brian Holmes, whole day)
Bewertungsformbestanden / nicht bestanden
BemerkungIt's going to be a great course, of course!

Studierende aus anderen Departementen, die sich für diese Veranstaltung interessieren, melden sich per Mail bis 3. Februar 2016 bei

Students of other departements with an interest to participate please address until February 3rd to:

Termine (7)