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Art is the product of the imagination, but imagination is often the product of a place. We will examine the process by which art can spring from and return to a place, whether geographically or abstractly located. In coordination with this year’s Copeland Colloquium of the same title, the course will survey the interaction of place and art from several perspectives: site-specific art, art in the community, borders and frontiers, art in the academy, and art and ecology. Each perspective will be framed by examples of established work in music, dance, theater, and film that arise from or respond to place, both locally and globally. We will also consider art being created on our own campus by Copeland fellows and Five College faculty and students. Finally, students will be given tools to work on a final creative project of their own, individual or collaborative, following the models and approaches to interaction with place that they have studied.
The course will include weekly attendance at a schedule of outside performances and visits to museums and other sites with weekly writing assignments based on these experiences. At the conclusion of the term students will create and perform their own place-based artistic project. A central goal of the writing assignments will be to develop a vocabulary for describing and evaluating art forms not primarily made of words. Participation in class discussion will be a key to success in learning to describe and make art. There are no prerequisites, though a creative interest will be helpful.
Fall semester. Professors Sawyer and Woodson.