Getting a jump on 2017

Spurse, "Deep Time, Rapid Time" 2009

There’s all this good time that you could be wasting in many different ways, but I know you won’t.

So let’s get organized.

Over the winter break and into January:

Reading assignments*:

  • Barthes, “From Work to Text”
  • Williams, How to Write About Contemporary Art (the whole thing, really, if you haven’t already)

Look through’s Writing Surveys: ‘What writing has most influenced the way you think about art?’ Writers, artists and curators reveal the often surprising literary influences – from Theodor W. Adorno to Lester Bangs, Gertrude Stein and P.G. Wodehouse – that have shaped their thinking.’

*begin to draft your AS bibliography

Written Assignments: 

1. 20 Haikus about your work 

Haikus, as you know, are short meditative poems of a specified structure that often express an image, sense or feeling:

    5 syllables for the first line
    7 syllables for the second line
    5 syllables for the third line
Japanese haikus are more complicated than English. For our purpose, keep it simple. Use the restrictive quality to quickly set down some things you think and feel about your work. Keep it focused on your work but don’t overthink. Let the haikus write themselves. If nothing that you like comes out, do more until you have 20 you feel ok about.

2. Artist-writer Mentors

Find 2 examples of artist’s writing you admire (upload pdfs to this the GP Writing site) and DECONSTRUCT one. Mark up a hard copy of that text (use colored highlighters or any other method) to identify the central point and method of organization.

  • What is the central question or focus?
  • What is the relationship between content and tone?
  • What kinds of transitions are used to move from one idea to the next?
  • What kind of material is used to support assertions or arguments (backup)? How is this done in the text?
  • What is the manner of conclusion?
  • What do you know of the artists’ visual work and how does this piece reinforce or change what you think?
  • What is it that attracts you? What, if any, elements would you like to bring into your own writing?

3. Interviews

Find a partner and interview each other (or round robin).

  • Prepare 10 good questions aimed at the heart of what you think your partner’s work is about.
  • Prepare 10 good questions aimed at the heart of what you think your own work is about.
  • Prepare 10 good questions aimed at the heart of what you think your partner’s work is about.
  • Discuss the two combined sets and agree on the 10  most piercing questions for each of you.
  • Answer your own interview questions fully. You may do this in writing or in conversation with each other and transcribe.
  • Exchange and edit until you both have a well-written, articulate document.

see Bomb Artists-in Conversation; The Brooklyn Rail “In Conversation”