The School for Making Thinking (SMT) is embarking on its Spring 2017 Semester with three classes that seek to make you re-think the way you think. Classes at SMT use art to provoke questioning and deepen thought, and the classes this semester will help you learn how to merge art and activism, how to make good dialogue great, and to let you engage in the ancient practice of acting the fool.
SMT Spring 2017 Courses are commencing February 15th. Courses will be held at the Abrons Arts Center at 466 Grand St. in the Lower East Side.
HOLY FOOLS: PERFORMING THE IRRATIONAL IMAGINARY
Thursdays 7-PM | March 2nd – April 20th
A performance workshop interwoven with performances! Hysterical laughter politics to reenergize you in these dismal times! Surreal psycho babble songs and conversations! Together we will make and share performances and writings from the perspective of the clown, the holy fool, the outsider, the bumbling truth-seeker. Through readings and embodied experiments, we will take inspiration from myriad traditions and practices that engage gibberish and ecstatic movement including Russian Futurist zaum poetry, Kabbalistic vision text, primitive voice work, automatic writing, and Nuyorican lingulisualism. Each class will include discussion, physical warm-ups, and generative writing assignments that consider performance to be a form of research.
EAVESDROPPING FOR DIALOGUE:
EMBRACING TRANSGRESSION TO LISTEN FOR WHAT GOES UNSAID
Wednesdays 7-9PM | February 15th - April 5th
George Saunders has said, “Bad dialogue is when A asks a question and B answers it.” Dialogue should be two people “firing missiles past each other.” And well-written dialogue is “like poetry—it’s not functional, but it looks good on the page and has a zinginess." In this course, we'll analyze the power dynamics, performance, communication, confession, (dis)functionality, and "zinginess" of organic and constructed dialogue from vastly different sources—from Beckett to GChat to the subway. We'll eavesdrop on ourselves, our friends, and strangers, and read between the lines in our own conversations. We'll comb through the archives at StoryCorps, and take a trip to see some improv comedy. And we'll practice the craft of writing great dialogue, from "said-bookisms" to dialogue tags, direct address, and beyond.
PROPHETIC ACTIVIST ART: STRATEGIES FOR A SPIRITUAL REVOLUTION
Tuesdays 7-9PM | February 28th – May 2nd
This seminar explores how to build individual art-activist projects. Classes will include an introduction to the specific aspects of the Prophetic Activist Art model, and then an exploration about how these ideas can be applied to each artist and their endeavor. It will then introduce artists to the specific ideas of the model, including co-opting political, business and social energy; partnering with non-profit groups; making liaisons with other artists; utilizing unusual exhibition and outreach methods; “Machiavellian” activism; how to build a project from inception through completion; how to imagine and successfully attain quantifiable activist goals and other specific aspects of a Prophetic Activist Art intervention.
If you would like to learn more about SMT or register for their Spring 2017 courses, check out their website at http://www.theschoolofmakingthinking.com/nyc-classes.