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URBANST 180Q: How to be Governed Otherwise: Art, Activism, and the City (ARTSINST 180Q, CEE 131Q)

This course will introduce you to contemporary art¿s engagement with political activism. This introduction will focus on the city as, at once, a field and target of activism¿a field of public appearance, artistic intervention, and political action, as well as a target of claims to residence, livelihood, recognition, justice, and collectivity. We will pose activist politics, artistic intervention, and urban space as mutually imbricated, each shaping the possibilities, programs, and histories of the other¿a perspective that offers insights into the spatiality, materiality, and visuality of political identity, agency, and action. Over the quarter, we will study some of the many artistic interventions that are encompassed by urban activism, from informal and everyday practices to protest, resistance, and occupation. Comparative case studies will be drawn from a global context. You will investigate these case studies through both research on urban activism and activist practice; the seminar will therefore invite you to explore the militant possibilities of research, the research possibilities of activism, and the implications of each for the production of art.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Herscher, A. (PI)

URBANST 182: Activating Urban Spaces (ARTSINST 182, CEE 131F)

This course will look at how public urban spaces are structured with a particular eye to the involvement of art and artists, whether formally or informally, in shaping the built and social environment of the city. Throughout the course particular focus will consider the possibilities for engaging social justice outcomes through spatial intervention drawing on examples from around the world. Interventions in urban spaces enact local change by making art the language of civic engagement; in this way a mural or performance or reconceptualized public space can become a method to address issues of locally prioritized inequality. We will use Stanford University and the Bay Area as our local research sites, making trips into the field to analyze methods, approaches, and experiences of urban spaces in action as well as bringing experts who work in related fields into the classroom. Sites of study include parks, public art, and street festivals by looking at arts organizations, city projects, community groups, and individual artists. The class will operate as a hybrid seminar and collaborative studio workspace which supports students in using ethnographic, visual, mapping, historical, and participatory methods in developing projects that respond to a particular site of their choosing.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI
Instructors: Taylor, J. (PI)
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