Alteration of Life

Contributor:

Arts and Humanities, Muskegon Community College

PROJECT INFORMATION FOR EDUCATORS

Where?

Course level 

Art Appreciation

Why?

Conversation points for instructors

Objectives:

  • To expand one’s definition of what art is and what it can be.

  • To develop an understand of how art and life relate.

  • To use photo documentation and journaling as a method for creating artwork.


It's really difficult for Art Appreciation students to get past the idea that making art requires some kind of specialized skill and that the best art comes only in the demonstration of some technical ability. I like to do this project early in the semester. It pushes their definition of what art can be and allows them to feel included in the conversation. Also, performance art is by far the weirdest thing I can usually show them, so anything after that isn't much of a shock.
 

Online delivery bonus: It uses no materials or demos.

PROJECT INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS

What?

Project Prompt / Challenge

Art Appreciation students need to alter something about their life, journal, and create photo documentation about it. (This time everyone's big alteration was the pandemic, but students used to do all kinds of things, not clean or pick up anything for a week, only eat one kind of food, etc.)

How?

Strategy

Project Overview:
 

In the end, you will have seven (7) days worth of journal entries making observations about how this life transformation has affected you. Write at least a paragraph each day (4 sentences or so about what happened, what you noticed, what was different). I want you to take several photos each day, and at the end, edit them down to the 14 that best represent what happened each day and your feelings about the current state of affairs. (You will end up with at least two photos for each day.)

Materials:

  • A camera, cell phone or other means of recording a digital image.

  • Word processing program or other means of recording a journal entry

Timeline:

One week's worth of journaling and photographing

FURTHER SUPPORT INFORMATION

Student Examples:

Online / Video Resources:

Supplemental Materials:

Watch the 9 minute video:

The Case for Performance Art (by Beth Harris and Steven Zucker, The Khan Academy)

Then, read: Marina Abramović, The Artist is Present


Then, watch the 3 short videos relating to Marina Abramović.

Inspirational

Artists:

Joseph Beuys, Linda Montano and Tehching Tsieh, Marina Abramović, John Cage, Allan Kaprow

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