Syllabus - "The Artist as Writer as Artist"

Course
The artist as writer as artist

Instructor
Laura Gonzalez

Description
This course examines the practice of writing as an artwork in itself. We will work on style and presentation and I will introduce you to methods of writing. We will explore how writers and artists write, and how they present their work in text, installation, book, performance or sound formats. We will explore genres, storytelling, tense, voice, instruments for writing, substrates, the relation between image and text, scores, who gets to speak and the act of performing text. I will show you examples of works by Sophie Calle, Sarah Tripp, Sharon Kivland, Guillermo Gomez Peña, Susan Brind, Liam Gillick, Tim Etchells, Jill Magid, Mike Nelson, Simon Fujiwara, Simon Morris, Alejandro Cesarco and many others.

Goals
– To equip you with creative skills to communicate your thoughts through writing
– To develop your skills in the display of writing so the encounter with the reader/viewer is effective
– To introduce you to techniques for planning and completing writing, editing, publishing, showing and/or performing

Schedule

Tuesday Day 1: The artist as writer

10-11.15:

  • Why am I teaching art writing? Why do I write?
  • What is art writing? A manifesto of sorts.
  • Reading and writing (who do you like reading and why?)
  • Discussion on the readings:
    • Julia Cameron, ‘Basic Tools’ (from The Artist’s Way’)
    • Tim Etchells, ‘In the Silences: A text with very many digressions and forty-three footnotes concerning the process of making performance’
    • Yve Lomax, ‘Dancing to the tune of the infinitive’ (from Sounding the Event Escapades in dialogue and matters of art, nature and time)
    • Jan Svenungsson, ‘The Writing Artist’
    • Sharon Kivland, ‘[Last year\’
    • Kenneth Goldsmiths’ ‘Infallible Processes’

11.45-1

  • Introducing the writing exercises
  • Practicing writing: Morning pages
  • Practicing writing: 2/3 writing exercises and sharing

1-2: Lunch

2-3.15

  • Artists who write (some examples)

3.45-5

  • Practicing writing: 2/3 writing exercises and sharing
  • Life writing: An autobiography in 2 pages OR Completing one of the exercise in class

Wednesday Day 2: The writer as artist

10-10.30:

  • Practicing writing: Morning pages

10.30-11.15:

  • What are the problems of the writer?
  • Techniques for writing (Pomodoro, Strunk and White, Stephen King, Henry Miller)

11.45-1:

  • Discussion on the readings:
    • Henry Miller, ‘Reflections on Writing’
    • Helène Cixous, Extracts from ‘Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing’
    • Natalie Goldberg, Extracts from Writing Down the Bones
    • Hayden Lorimer, ‘Memoirs for the Earth: Jacquetta Hawkes’s literary experiments in deep time’

1-2: Lunch

2-3.15

  • Artistic writing (some examples on how writers and artists write)

3.45-5

  • Practicing writing: 2/3 writing exercises and sharing
  • Site-writing

Thursday Day 3: The artist as writer as artist

10-10.30:

  • Practicing writing: Morning pages

10.30-11.15:

  • Sharing the Thursday task
  • Discussion on the readings
    • Vilem Flusser, ‘The Gesture of Writing’
    • Maria Fusco, Master Rock [radio play]

11.45-1:

  • Preparing to be read and seen
  • The editing process
  • Publishing our anthology on The Imperceptible Self (title to be confirmed)
  • Curating writing

1-2: Lunch

2-5

  • Writing exercises (Co-editing, curating, publishing)

Required Reading

  • Cameron, Julia, ‘Basic Tools’ (from The Artist’s Way’) [16 pages]  pdf
  • Cixous, Helène, Extracts from ‘Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing’ (from The Helène Cioxus Reader) [7 pages]  pdf
  • Etchells, Tim, ‘In the Silences: A text with very many digressions and forty-three footnotes concerning the process of making performance’ [5 pages]  pdf
  • Flusser, Vilem,‘The Gesture of Writing’ [18 pages]  pdf
  • Fusco, Maria, Master Rock [radio play]: https://soundcloud.com/artangel-2/master-rock [43 minutes]   pdf
  • Goldberg, Natalie, Extracts from Writing Down the Bones [24 pages]  pdf
  • Goldsmiths, Kenneth, ‘Infallible Processes’ (from Uncreative Writing) [16 pages]  pdf
  • Kivland, Sharon, ‘[Last year\’ [14 pages]  pdf
  • Lomax, Yve, ‘Dancing to the tune of the infinitive’ (from Sounding the Event Escapades in dialogue and matters of art, nature and time) [19 pages]  pdf
  • Lorimer, Hayden, ‘Memoirs for the Earth: Jacquetta Hawkes’s literary experiments in deep time’ [20 pages]  pdf
  • Miller, Henry, ‘Reflections on Writing’ [12 pages]  pdf
  • Svenungsson, Jan, ‘The Writing Artist’ [6 pages]  pdf

Suggested Reading
2HB, Art Writing magazine (Glasgow/London): http://www.cca-glasgow.com/shop/2hb
Borges, Jorge Luis, On Writing
Bradbury, Ray, Zen and the Art of Writing
Crux Desperationis, International Journal of Conceptual Writing (Montevideo): http://cruxdesperationis.weebly.com
Freud, Sigmund, ‘A Disturbance of memory on the Acropolis’, 1936
Fusco, Maria, Michael Newman, Adrian Rifkin and Yve Lomax, ‘11 Statements Around Art Writing’, Frieze blog, 10 October 2011, http://blog.frieze.com/11-statements-around-art-writing/
Goldberg, Natalie, Writing Down the Bones
Goldsmiths, Kenneth, Uncreative Writing
Ingold, Tim, ‘Ways of mind-walking: reading, writing, painting’, Visual Studies, 25: 1, 15–23
Kim-Cohen, Seth, ‘How To Write A Text About How To Write A Text Score (And Why)’, published in Word Events: Perspectives on Verbal Notation, James Saunders and John Lely, eds. Continuum, 2011
King, Stephen, On Writing
Kivland, Sharon, Freud on Holiday series (4 books and 4 appendices)
Kivland, Sharon, The Good Reader, The Editions
Lomax, Yve, Being Passionate: Language, Singularity and Perseverance
Lomax, Yve, Sounding the Event Escapades in dialogue and matters of art, nature and time
Millar, John Douglas, ‘Art/Writing’, in Art Monthly 349: September 2011, http://www.artmonthly.co.uk/magazine/site/article/art-writing-by-john-douglas-millar-september-2011
Miller, Henry, On Writing
Phillips, Larry W.  ed. and Ernest Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway on Writing
Punday, Daniel, Computing as Writing
Rendell, Jane, “Site-Writing”, in Sharon Kivland, Jaspar Joseph-Lester and Emma Cocker (eds), Transmission: Speaking and Listening, vol. 4, Sheffield: Site Gallery, 2005, 169–176
Rendell, Jane, Site-Writing: the Architecture of Art Criticism, London: IB Tauris, 2010
Schmandt-Besserat, Denise, How Writing Came About
Strunk, WIlliam and E. B. White, ‘The Elements of Style’
The Burning Sand, Art Writing and poetry magazine edited by Sarah Lowndes (Glasgow): http://www.theburningsand.com
The Great Diary Project: http://www.thegreatdiaryproject.co.uk
The Happy Hypocrite, Art Writing magazine edited by Maria Fusco (London): http://www.mariafusco.net/editing/
The Oxford Centre for Life Writing: https://www.wolfson.ox.ac.uk/oclw
Umbra(a), Journal of the Unconscious, Writing, http://www.umbrajournal.org/writing.html
Wood, Sarah, Derrida’s Writing and Difference

Materials students should bring to class
You should bring materials for writing, sensitively selected and with possibilities of choice (different papers, vinyl letters, books that you can destroy, computer, notebooks, coloured pencils …) The wider you think of the possibilities the better.

You should bring an object you want to write about.

Keywords
Art, writing, practice, words