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Creative Writing for Art and Design Practice

HMS 496A-17 Spring 2016


Pratt Institute, School of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Professor: Amanda Davidson
Class Time: Every other Tuesday (with one exception) starting on January 26th
2-3:50pm, North Hall, Room 302
Contact Information: email: adavid19@pratt.edu: put name and course title in subject of email
Office Hours: Dekalb 306, 4:30-5:30 Wednesdays
Required Texts: PDFs on LMS must be printed out and in hand at every class. I highly recommend
your purchase the books I have selected from to read in class.
Course Description: In this course, you will participate in a series of exercises designed to develop
your writing practice and to learn how to use language as creative and artistic material. We will explore
content, subjectivity, abstraction, narrative, form and presentation. Contemporary artistic practice
demands fluency and integration with language. Artists are called upon to provide texts for their work
with a range of purpose and intention: captions for exhibition, artist statements, theoretical support,
application descriptions, interviews and personal narratives. We will consider the contemporary
moment, in terms of the history of image making in and around language. We will perform writing
assignments that respond to particular structures presented in a selection of readings and films. You
will read the texts to craft skills to articulate your ideas about your own process of making. You will also
become familiar with innovative poets, theorists, and prose writers such as, Gregg Bordowitz, Fred
Moten, Kathy Acker, Dodie Bellamy, Tisa Bryant who demonstrate forms of engagement with the visual
world.
Course Goals:
Become comfortable with the task of writing.
Begin to utilize language as part of the creative practice.
Read a variety of dynamic statements by artists about art.
Read prose and poetry in order to expand the notions and strategies for innovative & crafted
writing.
Approach writing through and about your artistic practice with guided exercises to offer a toolbox
of formal devices and techniques.
Revise written work based on feedback from Instructor & classmates to compile a writing
portfolio.
Participate in workshop and learn how to offer constructive criticism to classmates and fellow
artists.
Contextualize your practice within broader contemporary and art historical writing.
Develop the ability to reference the work of other artists, writers, and thinkers.
Expand descriptions of work in the context of related movements and ideas.
Develop the use of language as creative material to make new knowledge and critical thought.

Learning Objectives
Write artists statements in a variety of forms.
Write creative companion texts for visual and conceptual works.
Execute in-class writing as well as revisions of weekly assignments.
Write clear, communicative, and interesting sentences.
Ease in referencing the work of other artists and writers.
The ability to discuss your work in the context of related movements and ideas.
Use of language as a tool in making art.
Generously collaborate with other students work with supportive thoughtful feedback.
Compile work in to a portfolio that frames the courses assignments.
Course Requirements:
Strong attendance record & participation in class discussions and activities.
Complete weekly readings and be ready to summarize and interpret them in class.
Completion of weekly assignments (with copies for peer crit) as draft and revisions.
Go to a reading (see calendars online) & present in class on it.
Final Portfolio of all revised assignments & daily journal for 15 weeks.
Attendance & Class Participation
The course involves a significant amount of work in small groups and student-led discussion. This
creates a responsibility to yourself and your classmates to show up for class prepared and on time.
Being late twice by more than ten minutes equals an absence. Sleeping in class or using your cell
phone in class will also be counted as an absence. Pratt policy is: three absences equal a failing grade.
If you miss class, it is your responsibility to find out what you missed from another student.
Grades
The goal of the course is to develop a facility with language and integrate creative writing into your
artistic practice in a clear and engaging way. Concentrated, original thought and well-rounded
exploration, participation in workshops and readings discussions, completed and on-time assignments
this describes the work that would merit an A. Grades will be based on the portfolio of your writing
assignments and class participation. A= 92-100%
B=82-91%; C=72-81%; D=66-71%; F=65% or under
The Writing and Tutorial Center:
North Hall 1, (718) 636-3459, dcohen@pratt.edu
Monday to Thursday, 10:00am-8:00pm
Friday, 10:00am-5:00pm
The Writing Center is an excellent resource for help in learning to revise and edit your work, though you
should not expect the consultants to correct work for you. Writing Center consultants can work with
you on a one-time basis, or they can meet with you regularly throughout the term. Their services are
free, but you should check or call ahead to make an appointment.
Notes for Students With Disabilities: I aim to provide accessibility accommodations for students with
disabilities with every kind. However, you must let me know by the second week of class if you need
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to make arrangements. You should also refer to the Office for Students with Disabilities, 215 Willoughby
(WH-1), Suite 117. Tel: 718-802-3123.
Academic Integrity Pratt Institute considers Academic Integrity to be highly important. Instances of
cheating, plagiarism, and wrongful use of intellectual property will not be tolerated. Faculty members
will report each incident to the registrar for inclusion in student files. For more details about these
procedures, please see the Pratt Student Handbook, the Pratt Bulletins, and the pamphlet
entitled Judicial Procedures at Pratt.
1. More than one report to the registrar during a students program of study at Pratt will result in a
hearing before the Academic Integrity Board, at which time appropriate sanctions will be decided.
These may include dismissal from the Institute.
2. The nature and severity of the infraction will be determined by faculty members who can: ask
students to repeat an assignment, fail students on the assignment, fail students in the course and/or
refer the incident to the Academic Integrity Board.
Cheating: If students use dishonest methods to fulfill course requirements, they are
cheating. Examples of this include, but are not limited to:
Obtaining or offering copies of exams or information about the content of exams in
advance.
Bringing notes in any form to a closed book exam.
Looking at another students paper during an exam.
Receiving or communicating any information from or to another student during an exam.
Plagiarism: Plagiarism is a bit more complicated, but the rules of documentation and citation are very
specific and are tailored to different academic disciplines. Plagiarism is as follows:
Including any material from another source other than yourself in a paper or project without
proper attribution. This includes material from the Internet, books, papers or projects by other
students, and from any other source.
Using your own work to fulfill requirements for more than one course.
The extensive use of ideas of others in your work, without proper attribution.
Turning in work done by another person or a fellow student as ones own.
Please remember that all work must be your own. If it is not, the source should be cited and
documented appropriately. If there are aspects of this statement that are not understood, ask faculty
members for help.

Creative Writing for Art and Design Practice DAILY JOURNAL


Guidelines
For every day for 15 weeks you will keep a journal. Keeping your journal is a requirement for the course
and due (typed or scanned) on our last class.
Mark each day with the date and number of the day in the journal.
Example:
Day 1 / January 15, 2013
If you miss a day, make it up as soon as possible but mark it as missed.
Example:
Missed Day: February 1, 2013.
The content of your journals are for you to decide. You should write VERY little. One word or a sentence
is more than enough. Once every week you must have a few sentences/paragraph where you respond
to writers and artists we read and discuss in the class, consider this preparation to say something in
class! Once every week you must also include process notes on the assignments and projects you are
working on for this class or others.
Tips:
Dont worry too much about performing for the journal. It is a stream of consciousness, judgment free
zone. Correct grammar or spelling is not the goal. You can write in fragments and notes. First thoughts
are brilliant in their rough honesty.
This is an exciting experiment to challenge yourself with in its routine--not as an overwhelming time
commitment! A set five minutes, a subway ride, an exhausted scribble before falling asleep will reflect
something back to you about your artistic process and more.
Choose a regular time to write. I highly recommend morning because then you get the imagery and
absurdity of dreams to record. Journals are a great way to train yourself to remember dreams.
This assignment is harder than it looks. You dont want to be inventing missed days come the first week
of March. Make sure you remind yourself daily to keep up the journal!

PROPOSED COURSE OUTLINE: SUBJECT TO CHANGE

Week 1: 1/28 The sentence or Form


Readings:
Joe Brainard, I Remember, Granary Books, 1975
Gregg Bordowitz, Volition, 2013 (Kindle book)
Fred Moten, the feel trio, Lettermachine, 2014
Dawn Lundy Martin, Discipline, Nightboat Books, 2009
Bernadette Mayers Memory, 1971.
Assignment One: choose an interval of time and create sequential details to live inside it. The interval of
time is your choice but you must use it as your formal structure. For example: one sentence for every
year of your life. 20 yrs old=20 sentences. Or 20 minutes: abstract thought pattern within it.
Daily Journal
Week 2: 2/11: Image Claims
Due: Assignment One & Readings
Readings
Kathy Acker, Bodies of Work, Serpents Tail, 1977
Hollis Frampton: Nostalgia, 1971, Youtube.
Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Dictee, University of California Press, 1982
Hito Steyerl, In Defense of the Poor Image, Sternberg, 2012.
Assignment Two: Write as if you were a camera: choose 3 images to translate into writing, be aware if
you are writing from the subject, photographer, or viewers position.
Daily Journal
Week 3: 2/25: Place
Due: Assignment Two & Readings
Readings:
Robert Smithson, A Tour of the Monuments of Passiac, New Jersey (1967)
C.S. Giscombe, Giscombe Road, Dalkey Archive,1998
Andrea Fraser, Museum Highlights, MIT Press, 2007
Georges Perec, An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris, 2010
Assignment Three: Go to a specific place. Describe it in detail. Do not do anything except go and be in
this place (meaning dont combine it with an errand or work or school). Document and or fictionalize in
narrating a specific experience and purpose of this place, including possibly your arrival and travel
there.

Daily Journal
Week 4: 3/11: Voice
Due: Assignment Three & Readings
Readings
CAConrad, A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon: New (Soma)tic, Wave Books, 2012
Sam D Allesandro & Dodie Bellamy REAL: The Letters of Mina Harker
Tim Peterson (Trace), Since I Moved In, Chax Press, 2007
Assignment Four: Write a piece derived from the specific voice of a character. Or, write a performance
script and execute it, writing a reflection / documentation.
Daily Journal
Week 5: 3/25: Narrative
Due: Assignment Four & Readings
Readings:
Robert Glck, Denny Smith (stories), Clear Cut Press, 2003
Tisa Bryant, Unexplained Presence, Leon Works, 2007
Assignment Five: Write a narrative that employs a technique Glck uses in Miss American Pie or
choose a narrative that already exists to write a new point of view for, an unexplained presence of this
story (use a found film, story or booksee ubuweb for great online archive of avant-garde film).
Daily Journal
Week 6: 4/8: The Manifesto
Due: Assignment Five & Readings
Bring Daily Journal to class
Readings:
Eileen Myles, Everyday Barf, Sorry Tree, Wave Books, 2007
David Wojnarowicz, Close to the Knives, Vintage Books, 1991
Wayne Koestenbaum, My 1980s, Farrer Strauss & Giroux, 2013
Black Took Collective Manifesto A Call for Dissonance, The Best of Fence, 2002
Assignment Six: Reflect on your work to produce an impassioned statement. To do this you will compile
your drafts and make revisions of Assignments 1-5. Think about your assignments in relation to images
of your current artwork and/or your writing in this class. Treat your body of work like a field of
consciousness /unconsciousness. Move in to using an artist statement as a stand-alone poetic text.

Week 7: 4/22: Final Projects


Portfolio with REVISED assignments Due!

Daily Journal Due Poem Piece!

Due: Assignment Six & Readings

Week 8: 5/13: Individual Meetings to receive feedback on Final Portfolio