3: Curations

Assignment #3: Curations: Intersectional Art Activisms and Identities [click the title link to download a copy of this assignment]
• Partner or team project, presented poster session-style to entire class [set up instructions here]; engagement with the projects of other teams. YOU MUST BE PRESENT TO GET CREDIT FOR THE ASSIGNMENT! This assignment is worth 1/3 of your grade for the class, and the study of intersectionality is the most important piece of it. Due with logbook 3 in hardcopy in class 17 April; electronic copy of logbook 3, write up of process of analysis, and digital photos documenting your curation presentation to TA dropbox

Click pic for additional resources!

In this assignment you and your team will develop your own project that explores how feminists grapple with intersectional identities personally and collectively, and together include research on art activisms that attend to the issues you identify. You share your analysis and art activist project in a poster session with others in a particular curation format. NOTICE that you are likely to need to do some additional reading and research. Always make a point of connecting projects to class readings and lectures.

Parts of this project are assigned to you by chance as part of a gamestorming practice (http://vimeo.com/15744645 ), other parts are designed by you in a creative coalition of possibilities. This assignment is inspired by the work of the Tiltfactor Laboratory for Values at Play, as well as by the exciting art activisms of many feminists. See: http://www.tiltfactor.org/ and http://www.tiltfactor.org/grow-a-game .

So notice that the three pieces you have to put together here are 1) your intersectional analysis, WHICH IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE! – creativity and innovation in this analysis and care with understanding this part is worth the most for your grade (even though we dislike putting it that way: after all the learning is what matters most, not the grade); 2) your modification of an art activist project to accommodate the intersectional identities you draw in class together with your team's own intersectional identities. This is the next most important piece of the assignment! 3) your presentation of the results of your analysis and modifications in the form of a curation project you display during our poster session-style day of sharing in class. This is a creative element and should be lots of fun, but do not put most of your time and energy into this part. This is not the point of the assignment, and doing a great job of curating, while fun for all of us, is not the most important element for the grade for this assignment. It does create the festive atmosphere in which we share our work and enjoy each other though! And all of this allows us all to do the kind of trial and error learning that is the most important way to really learn something new! 

The steps you should go through:

1) Immerse yourself in versions and understandings of intersectionality. This is what matters most! There are lots of links on the class website to explore. We will be doing exercises and talking about intersectionality in class and in discussion section. But you need to spend time yourself finding stuff to read about intersectionality: on the web, in our class books, and also elsewhere. See what citations you turn up from the materials in class, and make a point of researching some of these. Be sure to keep good records of this research, take notes, and add this information to your bibliography for this assignment. If you continue to take classes in Women’s Studies, knowing as much as possible about intersectionality will be invaluable. If you don’t ending up taking more Women’s Studies classes, you will find nevertheless that intersectionality is a lens that will “empower you to make sense of your reality.” (For an invaluable resource that will help a great deal see http://www.salto-youth.net/rc/inclusion/inclusionresources/inclusiongroups/inclusionethnicminorities/InclusionIntersectionality/ )

2) Find a partner or team to work with. Since a crucial aspect of this assignment is to experience and think carefully about feminist processes, theories, shared practices that “create, sustain, and protect our solidarity” (as hooks says, p. 17, in hooks 2000) you need to work with others whose intersectional experiences are both similar and different from your own. They must be in our class and also doing this assignment, but they need not be in your discussion section, although that might be easier. 

3) In discussion section you and others will create “identity” cards. These cards will come out of exercises in section about political identities, controlling images, communities of nurture, privilege, and simultaneous oppressions. On your card you will put down a list of identities that, after consideration, you decide are most salient to your experiences, and that begin to help you make sense of the paths you find yourself on, the obstacles you experience, and the empowerment you need. These cards will be anonymous. They will be collected in section and distributed to others in the large class on Tuesday, 3 April. Everyone in the class will need one of these cards that name someone else’s understanding of their identities. These need to be treated with great respect and care. You need to generate yours with seriousness of purpose and in good faith explorations, and you need to use the one you receive in a spirit of generosity, kindness, and a desire to learn about how we all experience our collective worlds.

4) In the large class you will get a list of possible art activisms to consider for modification. In the following discussion section you will “play the game” with others in section in which you practice modifying various art activisms to be sensitive to the intersectional concerns of those represented by several identity cards. This game-style analysis is based on the Tiltfactor Grow a Game, which gets groups to brainstorm and analyze how to address social justice issues in innovative ways.

5) In the large class you will get a list of possible curations to consider for displaying the results of your team’s intersectional analysis in our poster session-style collective class presentations on 17 April. Remember that although creative, innovative and fun, this is not the most important part of the assignment, but rather the festive element that makes sharing our new knowledges exciting! So be careful how you apportion your time and energy for the project, and be mindful of what elements of the project matter the most. In discussion section you will get a chance to imagine these curation possibilities in relation to both the identity cards and the art activisms.

6) You and your partner or team will again create new identity cards for each of you.
So your team will have a new identity card for each person present, as well as the cards already distributed in the large class from other students, produced anonymously. Using the game-style brainstorming experiences you are practicing in section, your team will create your own choices of curations and art activisms, maybe as cards too. Then your team “plays the game” in which for your project you modify an art activism to accommodate the needs and concerns of all the identity cards you now hold. You deal yourself a curation format in which to display the results of the analysis required to do this. 

7) Write up a partner or team analysis of the process of thinking through how to create an art activist understanding that works in solidarity with all the people represented by your team’s identity cards. This should be about 5 pages long. The length, whether double or single spaced, all that is less important than being able to talk in some detail about how process matters in thinking intersectionally, and in working in solidarity with others on activist projects. This ties the work you have done so far on intersectionality together carefully with your curation project. It explains it so that others can understand all the choices you made and how you thought them through. Partners may or may not want to write this out in sections, with each responsible for a section of discussion. If so, be sure to include that aspect of the process in your discussion too! When we read this document we should know who did what and how, what each person’s role and thinking was, how it all worked out together in the end. THIS IS YOUR FIRST DRAFT! TIME TO REWRITE, ASK FOR FEEDBACK FROM BUDDIES, DO AGAIN, AND THEN DO A FINAL EDIT! Rewrite all this as a single, crafted essay. Be sure you do not copy things off the web without attributions. So if you use anyone else’s words be sure to cite these with footnotes. Add a bibliography that includes all the websites you visited and any catalogs, brochures or wall labels you quote or use information from, and any other materials you used. What styles do you use? Any standard one is fine: APA, MLA, Chicago are all good. To find out more Google “citation styles” and use those sites coming up for help in doing this well.

8) Projects are shared in class poster session-style on Tuesday 17 April. That means for the first half of class time, 50% of class members will create small displays of their work all around our room, and the other half will walk around among these displays, talking to their presenters about their work individually and in little groups, interacting with them all at the same time. Katie and your TAs will also wander around, learning about your work and offering insights. Who displays and who walks around will switch in the second half of class time. You cannot get full credit for this assignment until after you present your work in this poster session-style event. In other words, just a project object does not in itself complete the assignment, displaying yours and interacting with others is similarly important. If an emergency or illness kept you from participation that week, to get full credit you will have to meet with three other students to share your work and their work outside class, and write up the experience and what you learned from it to complete the participation portion of that grade. SO DO NOT MAKE OTHER PLANS ON THIS DAY: BUILD IT CAREFULLY INTO YOUR SCHEDULE! [set up instructions here]

9) Turn in: logbook 3, written process analysis, and PICTURES OF CURATION PROJECT! You keep the project yourself. After displaying it in class you will take it home. But you will turn in digital photos of the project to document it for evaluations. Print out hard copies to turn in to your TA on the day of the poster session presentations, and also place digital copies in your dropbox.

Some resources to think with:

Reed's book The Art of Protest will be an invaluable resource as will the websites for social movements we looked at in class.   

Underpinning Principles: Intersectionality 

Quick Hit: Intersectionality Primer for Activists, Advocates, and Changemakers of All Kinds 

Content and Curation for Nonprofits     

Introducing The Curator’s Code: A Standard for Honoring Attribution of Discovery Across the Web  

Community Curation: The Everlasting Archive of Charles "Teenie" Harris 

Images from the exhibition: “Among You”  

Electronic Field Trip "Sharing Perspectives at the National Museum of the American Indian" 

"Healing Images" is a project for asylum seekers to select, frame and represent various aspects of their world  

Intersections of Queerness and Race in Queercore     

Trans-fats and Transphobia   

Circus Amok is a New York City based circus-theater company whose mission is to provide free public art addressing contemporary issues of social justice to the people of New York City.  


From YouTube: Uploaded by dkpaintedbird on Jan 4, 2011

From Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird's album "Lost Causes"
www.paintedbird.net available as Oriente Music's RIEN 77 at www.oriente.de

Original Yiddish song by Mordechai Gebirtig, written ca. 1930 in Krakow.
English by Daniel Kahn, 2009. Arrangement by Michael Winograd/Jake Shulman-Ment instrumental, "Nifty's Freylakh" by Naftule Brandwein


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