ART 3807/3842 Performance & Installation

Anthony Castronovo, Professor
The University of Florida
Spring Semester 2010
Meeting Times: M W 8-10 (3:00-6:00 PM)
Classroom: FAC B-001
Office Location: FAD 337
Office Hours: M W 2:00-2:45 or by appointment


"The line between art and life should be kept as fluid, and perhaps indistinct, as possible."
Allan Kaprow

"What is relevant for me in Art isn't objects, but what hovers in a metaphysical space somewhere between the artist and the object he is grappling with. I find art where I least expect it."
Geoffrey Hendricks

“To experiment is at first more valuable than to produce; free play in the beginning develops courage.”
Josef Albers

Performance and Installation is an introduction to the rich and corporeal practice of visual artists using their bodies, time, and space as a medium for their work. We will study the history of performance and installation to gain an understanding of these contemporary practices and their context in the world today. Special areas of focus will be Futurism, Fluxus, Neo-DaDa, the 60's and 70's in America, and the Interventionists of today.


There is no set list of materials for the course. Different materials will be needed as per each individual project requires.

Participation (Documents of Contemporary Art) edited by Claire Bishop. Published: London : Whitechapel ; Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, c2006.



PARTICIPATION This semester will be a challenging one in many ways. Performance and Installation are two areas of visual art that each have a very rich history and extensive contemporary presence. We will be heavily involved in readings and discussions as the core of this exploration together. In addition, you will be required to perform physically in front of the class, and we will have daily exercises and games to help loosen us up and to break down anxieties about performance.

ATTENDANCE is required at all classes, critiques, campus lectures, and field trips. More than three absences over the semester will result in a grade reduction of one letter grade from the semester average. Your letter grade will continue to drop with each accumulation of more than three absences. Three significantly late arrivals (15 minutes or more) or early departures (ditto) will constitute one absence. You are expected to work on projects during class time, which includes having materials needed. Working at home is not considered attendance. Attendance at all critiques is mandatory. If you are not present for critiques your work will not be critiqued by either the professor or the class as a group.

If you are absent for a valid reason (illness with documentation, military obligations, observations of religious holy days of your faith, participation in official university activities, or court imposed obligations) you must call or email the professor prior to your absence and you must contact the professor on the day you return to make-up missed assignments. Please be in class on time because all announcements, lectures, demonstrations and presentations will take place at the beginning of class.

PROJECTS must be completed by the due dates. Due dates will only be delayed for the class as a whole, not for individuals. Projects completed late will receive a grade reduction commensurate with the reason for the lateness and with the extent of the lateness. A schedule of due dates will be given out with each project.

CRITIQUES are an essential part of the practice of art and require a strong commitment on the part of all students and the professor. Critiques are exhausting but very beneficial. Critique is the educational equivalent of exhibition. Therefore, work must be ready for critique and you must be in attendance at critique. (See attendance above) ACTIVE AND THOUGHTFUL participation is required. Physical attendance alone does not constitute participation in critique. You will be graded on the quality of your participation in critique.

READINGS, slides and videos are required with each project and responses are due in writing or in presentation format on the date assigned. Since readings are selected because of their relationship to the concepts underlying each project, they are meant to be completed at the beginning of each project and, for that reason, written responses will not be accepted any later than one week after the deadline. Late responses will receive a reduced grade. In no case will late responses to readings be accepted after the project itself is due. Reading materials will be linked as pdfs to be downloaded. You can either print these out or read the articles on your computer. In either case, take thoughtful, detailed notes and cite relative page numbers for speficic points of interest.

Bourriaud, Nicolas. Relational aesthetics. Collection Documents sur l'art. [Dijon]: Les Presses du reel. 2002.

The Futurist Manifesto, wiki
Allan Kaprow,  "Art Which Can't Be Art" Happenings



Your work will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria of requirements and expectations:

  1. Fulfillment of the project objectives as established with each Project
  2. Attention to craftsmanship
  3. A spirit of investigation and experimentation
  4. Conceptual rigor
  5. Material inventiveness
  6. Physical investment: The sweat factor
  7. Overall aesthetic and conceptual quality of the work


Official Breakdown:

FINAL SEMESTER EVALUATIONS will be averaged as follows:

CRITICAL DATES are provided with each project description. All projects are due on the due dates given in the project descriptions. Final critique will be held on the last day of class of the Fall semester.


The Department of Art and its faculty assume no responsibility for any materials or projects left in the classrooms. It is each student’s responsibility to remove all materials and projects from the classrooms after the course has concluded. If the student needs to make individual arrangements with the instructor to keep any materials after the class has ended, it is the student’s responsibility to make these arrangements, with the instructor’s approval. Student grades may be withheld for failure to do so. Any artwork, supplies, or other materials left in the classroom after the semester has concluded, without prior specific arrangements with the responsible faculty, will be disposed of.

Students requesting classroom accommodation must first register with the Dean of Students Office. The Dean of Students Office will provide documentation to the student who must then provide this documentation to the Instructor when requesting accommodation.

Turn off your cell phones upon entering the classroom. Absolutely no cell phone use in the classroom or sculpture shops. Please retreat to the hallways or outside for emergency calls. Student acknowledges the cell phone termination policy and accepts destruction by smashing of their cell phone in instances of repeat offenses.

University of Florida honesty policy regarding cheating and use of copyrighted materials applies. See student handbook.


Jan 6• Introduction to the course and each other, first reading assigned for next class meeting, performance exercises, videos.

ASSIGNMENT FOR MONDAY: we will have a potluck style lunch/dinner, each student will bring one dish/item to share and must have a story to accompany the food. Ideally this story will give us some bit of history or insight about you, your experience as a person...... bring a plate/bowl and a utensil.

READINGS FOR MONDAY: Chapter 1 of Performance: Live Art Since the '60s, Roselee Goldberg and intro by Laurie Anderson, Also Allan Kaprow  "Art Which Can't Be Art" Read thoroughly, take notes, and find one artist to do additional research on, write a one page response based on this research.

UBUWEB is a great archive of media from various artists, obscure examples, contemporary and historical!

Jan 11• Stories exchanged for food dishes, Discussion of first readings, Discussion of individual artists researched by students, one page response due.

Jan 13• Discussion of Chapter 6 from Performance Art From Futurism to the Present, Roselee Goldberg video: The Yes Men Fix the World

READING FOR WEDNESDAY: the intro and first essay by Umberto Eco, from PARTICIPATION

Jan 18• No Class MLK Holiday

Jan 20• Discussion of intro and first essay from PARTICIPATION, Guest Reggie Wilson from Theater and Dance will lead us through some improv exercises.

READINGS FOR MONDAY: three essays from PARTICIPATION pgs.41-70 Barthes, Burger, Nancy

Jan 25• Discussion of Barthes, Burger, Nancy; Group Brainstorm for first project

Jan 27• Discussion of Glissant, Guattari, Ranciere pgs.71-93. Exercises with Reggie.

Feb 1• Discussion of Debord, Kaprow, Oiticica, Clark pgs. 96-116

Feb 3• Proposals Due, Group brainstorm/discussion. Discussion of Carnevale, Beuys/Schwarze, Beuys pgs 117-126

Feb 8• Discussion of readings: Collective Actions, Piper, Group Material pgs 127-137. Remainder is Work Day in preparation for critique

Feb 10• Work Day- Class Cancelled

Feb 15• Critique•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Feb 17• Critique•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Feb 22• Intro to Installation, Discussion of Bishop reading, Assignments for student research presentations, Presentations must be 30 minutes long and should be multi-media, Each student can chose an artist either from the reading, this list, or personal must email me asap to commit and secure the artist of your choice...

Field trip to WARPhaus....?

Cai Guo-Qiang
Olafur Eliasson
anish kapoor
wolfgang laib
ann hamilton
yayoi kusama
sarah sze
tim hawkinson
Christian Boltanski
Robert Smithson
Ilya Kabakov
Christian Jankowski

Feb 23• REQUIRED Film Screening and Artist Lecture 7 p.m. at the Harn Johan Grimonprez, Double Take. For more info about the Project Europa Exhibition at the Harn click here and here

Feb 24• Student reasearch presentations:
Tim Hawkinson- James
Graffitti Research Lab- Allyse
Ethan Ham- Natalie
gregory green- Evan
Anish Kapoor- Paul
Sara sze- Christen Corgen
Ann Hamilton- Angela
Kristof Woodizco- Char
Jason Rhodes- Lauren
Olafur Eliasson- Adrianna
Simparch- Alia
Felix Gonzalez-Torres- Anika
Stefan Sagmeister- Yesenia
Christian Boltanski- Daniella

Mar 1• Work Day; No Class Meeting- prepare proposals, at least one full typed page of description and info, and two significant drawings scanned, two other images of influence/relevance (artist, etc.) Email to me please.

Mar 3• Group Discussion Proposals Due.

Mar 8• No Class Spring Break

Mar 10• No Class Spring Break

Mar 15• Installation at WARPhaus. Open hours posted here.

Mar 17• Installation at WARPhaus. Open hours posted here.

Mar 22• Critique•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Mar 24• Critique •••••••••••••••OPENING AT WARPhaus !!! 7-9:00PM All work must be removed by Saturday evening.

Mar 29• Visit University Gallery for MFA show; watch part 2 of PBS documentary on Andy Warhol.

Mar 31• Discussion of readings: Eda Cufer, Carsten Holler, Jeremy Deller, Rikrit Tiravanija, Thomas Hirschorn. Work with Reggie

Apr 5• Discussion of proposals; can be either performance or installation, or both!

Apr 7• Discussion

Apr 12• Work Day

Apr 14• Visit HARN Project Europa

Apr 19• Work Day

Apr 21• Work Day

Apr 24• Install FInal WARPhaus Show!! 9am Install, Open 7-10, De-Install by morning

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