Portrait of Jonathan VanDyke

Summer 2020: Performance for Video

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 see 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 as devices for creative performance on camera. We will study the history of performance in its relation to visual art and film, with a specific emphasis upon 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 own 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 effect 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 it has been used to reinforce fictions and cultural stereotypes. We will review how the body is pictured in relation to sets, to props, and to other bodies. The class will conclude with each student re-imagining a historic soap opera scene in which they take on multiple personalities as they play the role of every character.

Prerequisite: 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.


This workshop will take place on Zoom at the following times.

Thursday, June 18 |  1:00-4:15PM EDT
Tuesday, June 23 | 2:00-4:15PM EDT
Friday, June 26 |  2:00-4:15PM EDT
Tuesday, June 30 | 1:00-4:15PM EDT
Thursday, July 2 | 2:00-4:15PM EDT



To Apply

To apply, email workshops@pigiron.org. Please include a paragraph explaining your interest in the workshop and the questions you are posing in your own artistic practice.