Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

Ok, folks, for our last day of class, please be sure to turn in your final review, if you haven’t already given it to me.

Also, the following students will be doing their oral reviews:

Chad McGavock; Diana Nuzzo; Angela Rentmeester; Anita Simmons; Amy Spicuzza; Matt Vasiliauskas; Michael Lovely


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Tuesday, November 27th:

Jess Greske; Clark “Mike” Gonsiorek

Tuesday, December 4th:

Brice Habeger; Jeff Bucina; Natalie Escobedo; Wes Giglio; Ric Hess; Annie Hobbs

Tuesday, December 11th:

Chad McGavock; Diana Nuzzo; Angela Rentmeester; Anita Simmons; Amy Spicuzza; Matt Vasiliauskas; Michael Lovely

You will each do a 10 -15 minute oral review of a Columbia College Chicago art or media piece that you have chosen, focusing on its aesthetics, form/style, and how it reflects, informs, or contradicts what we have read and/or discussed up to that point (up to the date of your presentation). You may choose to review the work of any student, student group, or gallery exhibition, dance performance, and so forth, but you must choose the work of another student from the Columbia College Chicago community (outside of those in our class).

You will essentially be doing a review – but orally rather than in writing. You must present visual or audio examples of the work you are reviewing and discuss its aesthetic qualities, form or style, and its relevance to one of the topics we have studied thus far (i.e. identity, culture, power, aesthetics, representation, authority, socially-conscious, activist, or transgressive art). If the work you are reviewing is at a gallery on campus, then I am open to discussing the possibility of bringing the class to that location for you to present your review. You must clear this with me ahead of time, however. For those of you who can acquire images (digital camera works well for taking photos of exhibition work), video, or audio materials, will have use of the computer, DVD player, screen – whatever you need to do your oral review.

The oral review will count as 15% of your total grade.

Just as with written reviews, you must be critical, thoughtful, engaging, and creative. What I am most concerned with, however, is quality, not quantity of time you spend on your oral review. I would much rather be effectively engaged with the material for most of your review than watch a variety of slide shows, music, or video that have little effective commentary for the majority of it. In other words, DO NOT RELY heavily on visuals to make your point. Visuals should be provided only as SHORT examples.

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Hi folks, first of all, your assignment for this week is below this post — be sure to check it.

Also — Trixie Minx, who wrote one of the articles you read (Minx, Trixie. (2007) Burlesque: The Art of Tease, The Perspective from a Dancer, Roottrixieminx.jpg Magazine ) submitted a response to all of your blog responses. She invites you all to respond to both her comments and two YouTube videos she posted for you to watch. I will give extra credit worth TWO blog responses for those who respond with thoughtful commentary to Trixie Minx’s post by Nov. 5th – one week from today. Her comments follow below:

A friend sent me this link and I was thrilled to see so much thought and interest go into both the article I wrote and the one Emlinger did as well. I would like to expand on my article with a personal opinion on victim art.

Everytime I’m on stage I feel as though I am taking each audience member through a ride to excite their senses. I hope they leave a show feeling entertained and delighted. There are other groups where the focus is on nudity. A nude body is beautiful but a body that moves and interacts with the audience on an emotional level is even better. I’ve recieved criticisms that we aren’t raunch enough from a few but more often the demure attitude behind Fleur de Tease has our fans going crazy for more. Through burlesque (the way I run my company) every female cast member feels empowered. I believe the problem lies not within the art but those behind it, the directors who push for more skin and less dance. I’m not sure how you are defining a victim for this topic specifically but I believe people do not choose to become victims, some second party is the catalyst.

With that in mind it is sad that the opinions of certain people can color the reputation of a whole art form. Directors who want to make more money push for more skin and the dancers agree under that outside pressure. Within Fleur de Tease we refocus the energy of burlesque to its original intent comedy, teasing, and fun. I do not deny the power of the sex industry or the appeal of nudity and its relationship to burlesque. Burlesque houses became strip clubs because of popular demand. But though one evolved from the other they independently are not the same thing. Some things are difficult to describe but become perfectly clear when observed. So I invite you to see the show and let me know your opinion on what we do. Here are links to both group numbers and my favorite solo. ENJOY!”

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Review Assignment #1 (4-5 pages) DUE on October 23rd by email (please send to me as an attachment – preferably Microsoft Word document & include any images you want to include within the document)

Choose any “issue-oriented” performance, set of images, film, cartoon strips, etc. to review. While writing the review, keep in mind the thoughts/ideas brought up in the readings we’ve done thus far in class. Write the review in first person and approach your writing with a personal tone that reflects your feelings and thoughts about both the “issue” and the ways in which the art piece you’ve chosen addresses this issue. Your review should certainly address the thematic elements, aesthetics, and ideology of the art piece in an intelligent, thoughtful way, but let your “person” come through in the writing – let the reader know that you, as an author, are present.

* Keep in mind the basic elements and components of a review: summary, analysis, argument (your opinion and why), erudition or ‘outside’ knowledge, (your) tone and voice.

The following are just a few suggestions that will help you bring your personal tone to the review (you can use some, all, or none of them – choosing your own):

  • Tell a brief personal story that connects your feelings, thoughts, and/or reactions to the art (e.g. what did this remind you of? Why? In what way/s did this particular piece speak to you?).

  • Be creative! Use metaphors, analogies, adjectives, adverbs, and feel free to experiment with your style of writing. Feel free to use either past or present tense (as if you are sitting in the audience at the moment watching the performance, for example) – just be consistent with whatever tense you choose.

  • Address the audience in a way that creates a sort of dialogue and makes the reader feel as if you are talking with him/her (e.g. use of “you” when addressing your reader, posing questions to your reader, or use of conversational language).

While writing the review, keep in mind some of the following (these are just some thoughts and questions to get you started and to help you approach the review, you are encouraged to also come up with your own questions):

  • What exactly is the “issue” brought up by the art?

  • What is the art saying about this issue and how? (How does the art aesthetically and ideologically speak to this issue?)

  • What, if any, was your emotional reaction to this art? Why? And how does your emotional reaction potentially speak to the effectiveness of the art (or lack thereof)?

  • What did you think about the art? Did it accurately reflect the issue? How did the art use aesthetics (colors, voice, props, costumes, lighting, lines, music, etc.) to further enhance or give power to the issue it addresses? (or in what ways did it not do those things?)

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In Review . . .

Ok folks, I’ve created a new blog website on which you will post all of your reviews, including the short one you are to write about the Vodou Riche exhibit. If you were not in class and did not attend the exhibit with the class, you must either a) go see it and review it or b) write about the readings in the blog post below (whatever most took your attention).

You can post your reviews in the comments section on the IN REVIEW blog, and I will convert them into major posts, putting up a new one each day with an accompanying image, when possible (if you have an image you’d like to accompany your review, send me the url or the jpeg). In Review is only for reviews, so do not post any thing else on that blog. I’m going to send the blog to the other RTA classes and see if any of the other teachers would like to get their students in on it, too.

In the meantime, please make sure that what you write is well-edited and well-written. Also, for the first review (Vodou Riche), please also include (after your review) a short (two sentence) bio (so I can put your name and who you are at the bottom of the review).

I’m also soliciting you all (especially the photography students) for a nice new image to put at the top of the online publication. If you have something that you think will look good up there, please send it along to me. Photographic images must be at least 700 x 200 pixels. Anyone who has their photo posted as the header will be credited (I’ll adobe shop the name in).

Questions? Suggestions? Email me.

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Review #1 Proposal

Hi folks — the weekly blog response assignment is beneath this post. For your first review, you must choose an “issue-oriented” performance, set of images, film, cartoon strips, or other art piece to review. Details about your first review can be found here. Please let me know what you plan to review (in a paragraph or so), and how you plan to approach it. Please post your proposals here on this blog post, not the one below.

I will only respond to review proposals posted HERE; after you have posted your proposal, please check back in comments to see my response to your proposal, as well as any other suggestions I might have for you.
Keep in mind that whatever you review, you must see/hear it for yourself. In other words, you cannot review something that you physically are not seeing or listening to now (so old tapes of a live performance will not do, etc.). Email me with any questions.

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Attention Students:

Students: Welcome to the Reviewing the Arts Class Blog.

Every week, you will be expected to blog here. Respond to each assignment by clicking on the “comments” link (until someone posts the first comment, it’ll read600s_michigan.jpg “no comments”). The assignments will vary – between responses to your readings, writing short reviews, thoughts about class discussions, assignments to locate images and/or other articles/blogs that refer to the topic, etc. So be sure that you check this blog before each and every class!

I expect you to also engage your fellow classmates in discussions. Be sure to read the comments that precede yours so that you are not merely reiterating a point that has already been made, but are rather adding to, enriching, and expanding the discussion that is taking place.

I am more concerned about quality of writing than quantity. In other words, I will not ask that you write a certain length or amount, but am rather more interested that your responses are critical, thoughtful, and creative.

In order to receive credit, you must put your first name on all posts and enter the email address to which you want to receive your grades for each post. I respond to all posts via email to whatever email address you enter, with grades, so be sure to enter the email address you use most often.

Adding additional resources and comments will be looked upon favorably, when the time comes to turn in final grades, and could be particularly useful for those who may need an extra boost at the end of the semester (hint, hint). HOWEVER, adding websites and resources WILL NOT replace your required weekly journal responses. If you are experiencing problems with this online discussion board, please inform me immediately.

* If, after your first or second posting, you do not see your blog post right away, it’s because it has probably gone into moderation (for me to approve), so don’t panic. After a few postings, the blog will then begin to automatically accept your posts without the need for moderator approval.

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