This blog belongs to the Art In The Everyday course at Eastern Connecticut State University which explores everyday life experience through various frames of reference, including: sound, ephemeral sculpture, movement and community building.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

What's the deal with Willimantic

CLICK BELOW to see the class's psychogeographical maps

For Tuesday March 2 do some research on Willimantic.  Talk to at least two Willimantic citizens about the town.  Ask them how they like living here and whether they might know any stories about the town.  You can meet people in the library, at a coffee house or right on the street.  For the purposes of this assignment: on-campus conversations are not considered conversations with members of the Willimantic community. An interesting place to check out might be The Wrench In the Works on Main Street. 

Also do some Internet research that goes slightly deeper than Wikipedia.  Spend about half an hour online learning about the town.  Take some notes based on your conversations and internet research and bring whatever information you find of interest to class. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


The Dérive – the French word for an aimless stroll or drift – casts the city as a network of narratives, of experiences and events. “To dérive is to notice the way in which certain areas, streets, or buildings resonate with states of mind, inclinations, and desires, and to seek out reasons for movement other than those for which an environment was designed. It is very much a matter of using an environment for one’s own ends...bringing an inverted perspective to bear on the entirety of the spectacular world...”
- Guy Debord

Friday, February 19, 2010

Living the Adjective

So we talked a little about Joseph Beuys and Social Sculpture in class. Now let's try a Social Sculpture experiment.
Chose an adjective that will represent you for 12 hours on any given day this weekend. Act this adjective out while living your everyday life. For instance if your adjective is helpful be helpful for 12 hours to the best of your ability. If the adjective is annoying be annoying. If you find yourself slipping out of the adjective role, bring yourself back to acting out what the adjective represents.
Make careful observations on how this makes you feel and how people react to your behavior.
After this 12 hour period write one paragraph on how you felt acting out the adjective and one paragraph on how people responded to your behavior. Post the two paragraphs here as a comment by monday night and bring them to class in written form on Tuesday to be read and discussed.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

On Stupidity

What Think You? Please share some of the thoughts that occurred to you about or during the film today. Feel free to comment on the comments of others.

One thing that struck me was the the viewpoint that a minority of people (eg. corporations/ politicians) profit handsomely from the effective "stupidity" of others (eg. consumers). In the film, Noam Chomsky suggests that one reason for this is to establish peoples' brand loyalties early on in life, so they will focus their money and energy toward amassing commodities. For the unconvinced, consider the following statistic: consumer spending accounts for roughly two-thirds of the U.S. economy.

Here are links to books written by two of the authors interviewed in the film: Giancarlo Livraghi and James F. Welles, Ph. D.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

art of the DECLAMATION___________________


1) Write a short and sweet declamation.

2) Practice it a couple of times. (Explore variations in tonality and gesture.)

3) Write it here as a comment AND bring it with you to the next class.

In ancient Greece, the declamation was believed to play an essential role in "Rhetorical Pedagogy." It formed part of a set of exercises intended to prepare students of rhetoric for the creation and performance of complete practice orations.

One famous declamation begins with the words:

-Paul, the book of Romans, New Testament Bible.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, when performance artists adopted the declamation for their own purposes, it wasn't in order to demonstrate verbal mastery. Quite the opposite. That said, communicating absurdity, humor and satire through such a form often depends on context as much as on content. (Imagine a frustrated plumber uttering Paul's phrase as a question while he uses a plunger.)

Instead, performance artists have often adopted the use of declamations to satirize, lampoon and expose things like the power and greed represented by mainstream bourgeois culture. We will talk more about its history next class. For now, each of you should come up with a brief declamation of your own, post it here and bring a version of it with you to next class.
_______Have fun.
______________Be irreverent.
_____________________Feel free to vent.
____________________________Embrace the obvious.

Here is a clip of some extemporaneous declamations made by Reverend Billy Talen and his gospel choir: