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Performance or the live event has been a continuous element of art practice throughout most of the 20th century. The changing technologies of sound and digital recording devices and their increasing availability have enhanced the possibilities of documentation and allowed artists to consider the mediation and documentation of a live event as an integral part of the work itself. In this course, students will examine the interaction between performance and its documentation through practical, historical and theoretical interrogation. The class proposes to address documentation, not as an inadequate representation nor as a nostalgic marker but as something that operates within a distinct system that can become a vital site of art production. This class takes an interdisciplinary approach to making performance work. The medium of performance and its utilization of photography, video and sound will be explored. Students will read and discuss texts, looking at the work of other artists and making their own work.

3 credits. One semester course. Cohen/Fusco

Course Code: FA 395

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.