Students of this course may try their hand at their own public art interventions, or simply focus on learning from the theory of public practice and its recent history. Designed by artist and Duke professor, Pedro Lasch, and co-taught by Creative Time artistic director, Nato Thompson, this course presents public culture and art in their radically reinenvented contemporary forms. The lectures link major developments of recent decades to wider topics like spatial politics, everyday social structures, and experimental education.
Also included are guest presentations from key thinkers and practitioners, like: Tania Bruguera, Claire Doherty, Tom Finkelpearl, Hans Haacke, Shannon Jackson, Suzanne Lacy, Rick Lowe, and many more. As the ‘ART of the MOOC’ title implies, learners and participants are encouraged to treat the MOOC itself as a public art medium. This happens mostly through the course’s practical components, local project productions, global exchanges, and critical feedback.
While no prior art making experience is required, projects also offer challenging options for advanced learners.
For other course offerings or language versions in this series, just search ‘ART of the MOOC’ in the Coursera catalog.
Introduction to Public Art and Pedagogy
This short module provides an overview of the course's structure, working process, global community, and overall guidelines. Make sure to read it right away and refer back to it when needed.
Public Art and Spatial Politics: Lectures, Guest Presentations, and Quiz
This lesson will lay out some basic definitions and examples of public practice and socially engaged art, especially as they relate to spatial politics. We will examine the critical role that such practices have had in relation to various forms of urbanism and social planning and consider the physical and symbolic mechanisms that separate the global and the local, the urban and the rural, the visible and the invisible, citizens and immigrants, settlers and refugees. The lecture and guest presentations will provide foundation and inspiration for students’ own experiments with spatial politics.
Public Art and Spatial Politics: Projects and Peer Reviews
The prompt, lecture and guest presentations will provide the foundation and inspiration for students’ own experiments with spatial politics. Students will need to choose one lesson to complete: The social method project or the worldwide flashmob project.
Fictions, Alternative Structures, and Mock-Institutions: Lectures, Guest Presentations, and Quiz
By definition, social art is a collective endeavor. It might seek to transform larger social structures and economies. Perhaps more modestly, it might offer some alternatives or simply confront immediate challenges. The production of an unusual, creative, or engaged collective body can be its final goal. In this lesson we will learn how socially engaged artists have used the guise or actual form of organizations and institutions such as churches, corporations, banks, government offices, and other social units as the very media of their work. This lesson’s practical components will ask students to invent their own alternative social structures or fictional interventions.
Fictions, Alternative Structures, and Mock-Institutions: Projects and Peer Reviews
The prompt, lecture and guest presentations will provide foundation and inspiration for students’ own experiments with spatial politics.
Experimental Pedagogy: Lectures, Guest Presentations, and Quiz
Many socially engaged artists are invested in the communication of ideas through education or educational projects. From Freire and Boal to Judy Chicago and Miriam Shapiro’s Womanhouse and the CalArts Feminist Art Program a brief review of experimental or radical pedagogy and its influence on art is hence the focus of this lesson. Using various technologies and social forms, some of these works set out to transform education from within. Others intentionally position themselves as self-organized platforms outside of institutions. Our focus will be on how the production of alternative communities of learning can challenge the hierarchies, professionalization, homogenization, and economy of current education systems. This week’s practical components will invite students to rethink their relationship to education as they chose between small-scale socialization and massive collaboration.
Experimental Pedagogy: Projects and Peer Reviews
The prompt, lecture and guest presentations will provide a foundation and inspiration for students’ own experiments with spatial politics.