Course
Holding Patterns

Instructor
Jean Marie Casbarian

Description
To Hold:
Hold me close while I hold my breath—

What does it mean to hold, to be held, or to exist in a holding pattern? This workshop will set out to explore a broader definition of the word, holding, and the various ways in which we can apply a visual and/or auditory response to its many idiosyncratic meanings.

Throughout the week we will examine and discuss visual and performing artists, filmmakers, composers and writers who are exploring notions around love and interconnections, the concept of time, mapping and cartography. Daily field assignments that range from the physical (another body/an object) to the geographical (aircraft/transportation/cartography) will be explored and executed.

For potential inspiration, we will read and discuss short essays, prose and diary writings that speak to this theme including readings by Roland Barthes, Marguerite Duras, David Wojnarowicz, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, and Georges Perec, to name a few.

Goals
This process-based workshop will support projects in all disciplines, though emphasis will be placed on the development of aesthetic skills critical to time-based works (ie, moving and still image, private and/or public gestures, sound, etc). Lectures and readings will provide a deeper context for daily studio exercises.

 

Day 1

Introductions 

Readings: 
Definition of Hold from Oxford English Dictionary
Excerpts from A Lover’s Discourse, Roland Barthes
Other Self: An Interview with Angie Hobbs, Cabinet Magazine
Dans ton Coeur dort un clair de lune, by Henri Duparc
Excerpts from Blue Eyes Black Hair, Marguerite Duras
Mirrors, Lucy Grealy
Island (Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island, 1910-1940, Him Mark Lai, Genny Lim, and Judy Yung

Morning Lecture:  To hold / To be held  /  (with) Holding
Brainstorm and discuss the definition of holding as it relates to the physical body and beyond.  Notions around love and intimacy, touch, attachment, and the embrace will be explored.  Alternatively, we will brainstorm and discuss what it means to be held as it relates to psychological space. Notions around withholding, detention, power, etc., will be explored. Look at the works of Gordon, Taylor-Wood, Wilke, Ray, Wojnarowicz, Sehgal, Gordon, Höller, Golden, among others. 

Afternoon Studio Exercise:
Based on the morning’s discussion, create an action that addresses the idea of holding.  You must be a primary participant (giving and/or receiving).  Alternatively, create a scenario that investigates the notion of being held within a psychological space. You may choose to create this in a public or private space. You may choose to collaborate or work individually. This may take place in a private or public space. You may choose to collaborate with one another or you may want to work individually. You may also choose to work with or among strangers. All media is fair game. The action may be performed, but you should have a strategy in which to present it to the group in the afternoon. 

Last Hour:  Show us your results

DAY 2

Readings:
Excerpts from An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris, Georges Perec
A Wing and a Prayer, Tom Vanderbilt in Cabinet Magazine

Morning Lecture:  On Mapping a Holding Pattern
Discuss the idea of holding patterns as they relate to flight paths, way-stations, intervals, digital and analog signals, etc. and the relationship/intersection between physical mapping and cartographies.  We’ll look at the work of Von Trier, Horn, Rovner, Rinke, Falls, Alÿs, and the air traffic control, to name a few.

Afternoon Studio Exercise:
Based on the morning’s lecture, create an action and scenario that maintains a holding pattern for at least a 90-minute period of time. Translate this pattern into a mapping device. All media and mark-making strategies (body, video, sound, drawn, and/or photographed) are fair game. Collaborations are welcomed.

Last Hour:  Show us your results

DAY 3

Readings:
Think with Me about Your Extension of Now, Olafur Eliasson
Excerpts from Dictee, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha
Morning Lecture:  In limbo 

Discuss the concept of being in limbo as it relates to a state of nothingness, uncertainty and in-between. Look at the work of Wei-Wei, Hak Kyung Cha, Hsieh, Kentridge, Piper, Le Grice, etc.

Afternoon Studio Exercise:
Based on the morning’s lecture, create a physical space in which to place yourself in limbo for at least a 90-minute period of time.  Conceive of an action/activity that you will perform within this 90-minute period of time. You may exist in this space individually or you may invite participants to join you.  Come up with a strategy in which to document your space and action. All media is fair game.

Last Hour:  Show us your results
 

Required Readings
Definition of Hold from Oxford English Dictionary
Excerpts from A Lover’s Discourse, Roland Barthes
Other Self: An Interview with Angie Hobbs, Cabinet Magazine
Dans ton Coeur dort un clair de lune, by Henri Duparc
Excerpts from Blue Eyes Black Hair, Marguerite Duras
Mirrors, Lucy Grealy
Island (Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island, 1910-1940, Him Mark Lai, Genny Lim, and Judy Yung
A Wing and a Prayer, Tom Vanderbilt in Cabinet Magazine
Think with Me about Your Extension of Now, Olafur Eliasson
Excerpts from Dictee, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha
An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris, Georges Perec

Materials students should bring to class
cameras / sound recording device / drawing materials / sketchbooks / etc.

Keywords
liminality, purgatory, space, time, cartography, mapping, love, holding, holding patterns

 

*Copyright © 2016-2017.  Syllabi and course materials are not to be copied or reproduced without the instructors consent.