It can be tricky to decide whether a particular program is right for you, and how to navigate a program with an application. Here are some frequently asked questions about this program and the application process.
Q. Who is this program for?
A. This program is for Juniors and Seniors who have taken at least 32 credits of broad interdisciplinary liberal arts studies, and at least 32 credits of focused studies in one more more creative practices such as dance, visual arts, media, photography, music, etc. The idea here is that we want students who have been exposed to wide variety of ideas and themes, AND who have the experience of working within a creative discipline.
Q. Can transfer students take this program?
A. Yes! As long as you have the academic background required, all students entering the program with Junior or Senior standing are welcome.
Q. How much work will there be in the program?
A. The types of work will vary over the course of each quarter, but you should expect to dedicate at least 20-30 hours per week outside of class time to reading, writing, creative assignments, research, etc. In class time will vary as well, but will typically be 8-12 hours per week.
Q. What kind of work will we be doing?
A. We will do academic work in art history, media theory and critical theory related to Video and Performance Art. This will include readings, discussions, research projects, writing assignments, lectures and guest speakers. We’ll do a variety of technique workshops in fall and winter quarter based (in part) on the needs and interests of the students. These might include Vocal Performance, Interactive Computing (Arduino/MaxMSP), Lighting for Film/Video, Costuming, Video Installation, etc. We will also do collaborative and independent creative projects, including a large scale final project to be exhibited for the Evergreen community in the Spring. We will also work together to organize and curate a screening and performance series during Spring Quarter. Fall and Winter quarters will be more structured in terms of class time than Spring Quarter, thus allowing students more time to focus on the completion of their independent work.
Q. Wait, isn’t this an Art class? Why so much reading and writing?
A. Because good artists are good critical thinkers and writers!
Q. I’m really interested in this program, but I’m intimidated by the amount of reading and writing involved. Should I still take this program?
A. Academic writing and research are a central part of this program, and we have an expectation that all students will be prepared to do advanced work in this area. If you have successfully written 5-10 page academic papers in the past, and you feel comfortable with theoretically complex readings, you will do fine. I am willing to work with students who have done this sort of work, but need to strengthen their skills. However, if you have never done this sort of work, you will have a hard time keeping up.
Q. I’m a media student so this Performance stuff isn’t my bag/I’m a theater student so this Video stuff isn’t my bag – Is this program right for me?
A. Yes! This program is open to any student with the appropriate background. So long as you are willing to try new things, you will do fine.
Q. I’ve never studied video or performance before, is this program right for me?
A. Yes! This program is open to students with a variety of creative backgrounds, including media, performance, visual arts, dance, music, creative writing, etc. Students who have a strong background in media theory or art history, but haven’t done much creative work are also welcome.
Q. Why have an application for a program? Why not just let people in on a first come/first serve basis?
A. Good question. The goal of this application is to make sure that you are prepared for the rigors of this program and to ensure that it is a good match. I want you to succeed and flourish. Sometimes when students sign up for something without fully considering how their backgrounds and interests match with the goals of the program, they end up disappointed and frustrated. I believe that by demonstrating your capacity to think about the links between your academic career and the goals of this program, you will be more likely to succeed. Applications aren’t the only way to ensure that type of self reflection, but it is one mechanism that has proven useful in past programs of this kind.
Q. What makes a good application?
A. Be sure to read the program description closely and follow all of the application instructions. You should show that you have an understanding of how your past academic and creative work demonstrate your preparation for the advanced studies. Think of this as an opportunity to think critically about your education to this point, and use that reflection to talk about how this program is an appropriate next step for you. Be as clear, organized and concise as possible, and don’t rush! Give yourself plenty of time, get feedback from peers or the Writing Center, and use the Advising Center for guidance. I am looking for students who have the appropriate skills and background, excitement about the program content, and a capacity to reflect on their academic and creative achievements.
Q. Should I send in a portfolio of my creative work with my application?
A. No. For the purposes of this application, I’m interested in finding out how you think and write about your academic and creative path to this point.
Q. What will we be reading? What artists will we be studying?
A. We’ll read work by theoretical and historical work by writers such as Michael Rush, Nicolas Bourriaud, Hal Foster, Jose Esteban Munoz, John Cage, Allan Kaprow and Martha Rosler. We’ll study the creative works of Video and Performance artists such as Nam Jun Paik, Adrian Piper, Mendi and Keith Obadike, Joan Jonas, Janine Antoni, Vito Acconci Vaginal Davis and Marga Gomez. Students will also have opportunities to research, write and present on artists and theorists of their choosing.
Q. If I have questions, can I talk to the Professor?
A. Yes, I’m willing to answer questions. However, please be sure that you read all of the materials I’ve provided on this web page and in the Program Description first. This should take care of many of your questions. I would also prefer that we find time to talk during the Academic Fair as my time and energy get eaten up very quickly with my current teaching responsibilities.