Cross Talk is a regular feature, highlighting three to seven items on some discipline taught at the college. We should all know more about what our colleagues know, teach, and love. Lifelong learning, blah, blah, blah, and all that jazz.
#1) Be happy you don’t teach art. Apparently, it’s way more complicated than I ever gave it credit for being.
Check out this horrifying list of “Seemingly Innocuous Assignments That Will Lead to Improbable Calamities: Cautionary Notes for Teachers, Unfortunately Based on Personal Experiences.”
Make something ugly
Some twisted genius will stumble upon the ultimate solution to this art school chestnut: when it’s their turn to be critiqued they’ll just stand up and destroy the work of one of their classmates. An administrative shitstorm will ensue.
They get funnier (and more appalling) from there.
#2) You should know about Kehinde Wiley.
#3) The teaching of art is changing, or so says this author, as the making of art has become radically democratized. From the Chronicle:
Art making has changed radically in recent years. Artists have become increasingly interested in crossing disciplinary boundaries—choreographers use video, sculpture, and text; photographers create “paintings” with repurposed textiles. New technologies enable new kinds of work, like interactive performances with both live and Web-based components. International collaboration has become de rigueur. Art and design pervade the culture—witness popular television programs like Top Design, Ink Master, and—the granddaddy of them all—Project Runway. And policy makers and businesspeople have embraced at least the idea of the so-called creative economy, with cities rushing to establish arts districts, and business schools collaborating with design schools.
Those developments are already affecting how the arts are taught: Curricula are becoming more flexible, with students encouraged to reach outside their departments to master whatever tools they need to make the art they want to make.
But there is another shift occurring that is more subtle and more destabilizing to art colleges: Suddenly, everyone is—or can be—an artist.
#4) No Flowers In the Psych Ward: If you can resist reading this piece after scrolling through the pictures, I’ll give you a dollar.
#5) Dave Hickey is an interesting dude and art critic, as you’ll see in this profile published last January in the Chronicle. A snippet:
Academics don’t understand how a serious intellectual could have spent so many years not doing academic work, instead snorting cocaine and jamming with the Nashville-based singer-songwriter Marshall Chapman. (They were “romantically involved,” Hickey says, and wrote songs together in the 70s; he also was her tour manager and, when needed, played rhythm guitar.) And academics certainly don’t like it that a man who spent so much time on different college faculties would have the gall to bash his academic colleagues and higher education in general.
Educated in what he refers to as “the liberating discourse of French Structuralism,” Hickey dismisses its American disciples as “misshapen offspring.” With his take-no-prisoners attitude, he writes in openly derisive terms about the watered-down, enfeebled American version of French thought: “Somehow, the delicate instrumentalities of continental thought had been transmuted by the American professoriate into a highfalutin, pseudo-progressive billy club with which to beat dissenters about the head and shoulders.”