Stills from Jonathan VanDyke's video 'Saints'.

Performance for Video: Manners & Techniques for Work on Camera

How can we take agency over the way our identities and our bodies are captured on camera? How do we manage ownership of our stories and ourselves as we negotiate social distancing and social media? How do the dominant forms of media, including film and television, reinforce ideas around who should be seen and heard? Inspired by the radical histories of performance art and experimental video art, we will perform for the camera in complex, compelling, playful, and weird ways. 

Led by Pig Iron School faculty member Jonathan VanDyke, Performance for Video offers manners and techniques to use our smartphones and basic editing software to create short video works. We will study the history of performance in relation to visual art and film, looking at key examples of performance art from the 1960’s to the present day. Participants will enact their own research into art performance, create performance scores for domestic spaces, and enact and share their performance and video art.

Along the way, we will discuss the role of documentation in capturing performance, and how editing can be used to change and affect what a viewer does and doesn’t experience of a “live” work. A portion of the class will be devoted to unpacking how narrative film is structured, and how the body is pictured in relation to sets, to props, and to other bodies. We will think through key works that pose questions about race, gender, and sexuality, while reflecting upon how power dynamics and political structures frame and mediate the performance of everyday life. 

Theater makers pivoting to digital performance; visual artmakers moving into time-based media; hybrid artists seeking a grounding in video/performance history.

Thursday, October 1:  10:00am-12:15pm
Thursday, October 8:  10:00am-1:15pm
Thursday, October 15:  10:00am-12:15pm
Thursday, October 22:  10:00am-1:15pm
Thursday, October 29:  10:00am-12:15pm

All times are listed in US Eastern Daylight Time.

Students will need a device to shoot and edit short videos: a smart phone will work. Participants will need access to and rudimentary fluency with basic editing software (such as iMovie) and the ability to format and upload their completed videos in order to share them with their peers. Please note that this class will focus on the history of performance, experimentations with content, and the structure and construction of your work, and is not a technical class demonstrating how to use editing software. Participants will be expected to learn this software and upload their work on their own.