This is a course I am teaching at the Parallel University (see http://web.me.com/sandysampson/Parallel_University/HOME.html ). To be enrolled, simply go there and sign up; but feel free to comment here as an "auditor." The main thrust of this course is conversation; a dialectic on the uses of art, its experience as lived everyday (outside of the signed precincts of “art”), and the proposal of some specific projects for public domain use; as the basis for discussion (responses welcomed); and for revision and rethinking. Any and all are free to put a project into practice; no credit is needed for this author. A project may be changed for use, or overwritten completely. It is wished that the concepts themselves will act as art, at the very least provoking thought if not discussion. Here then are the first few projects.

Nick Thabit
Adjunct Professor
Parallel University


Monday, October 13, 2008

Recovered Spacecraft TBA

The piece: A sculpture in 4-7 parts, placed around the park or the city, that would take days to "see". Abstract black forms half organic-half geometric: pieces that of the internal combustion engine of a rocket ship , circa 1948, all painted dusty black, with signage to tell you what part, and the final piece found in the series (in an obscure place; located with direction from an earlier piece) with brief yet confusing explanation of a space voyage reputed to have taken place in that year; but no mention of the astronauts, sponsor, (private?) or any other useful information. stuff must look old, though. and also look like “art.” Like, cool.

There will be vague intimations of an unexpected outrageous success of this voyage but also a failure on re-entry; while in flight, something transcendent happened , although to this day scientists still can't figure out why (or what). I want to make people believe it actually happened, and also to imagine, decide what actually happened. All their fears, their hopes, their dreams will be tied up in this piece of confusing metal. Then the art is purposely (or not?) vandalized, messed up and dutifully removed by the city (not) that put it up (also not; we did). After which a local paper runs a story about it, ending with a call for info: anyone who knows anything more about the supposed flight is to write in their memories or knowledge, which will be printed up. I want to see what happens then! After those pieces are published you can admit the whole thing. Or not.

By this time , the sculpture is complete. Took a while, did it?

reponse: realself@hotmail.com


Alene said...

Wouldn't it be interesting to see who responds to such a call for information. And if they remember anything about the flight that we made up (or not), are they crazy, lying, remembering another occurance or are they remembering the actual failed space flight that we thought we made up, but was really covered up?

Now, the adjunct professor becomes a student of the parallel University

Or we could stop with the philosophy and just make the damn sculpture, which sounds like a good time even without tokens such as credits.

October 20, 2008 11:22 PM

Nick Thabit said...


Your rebellious nature is appreciated here at the Parallel University; we are looking for antiestablishment teachers. But we've already made the sculpture in our minds, we don't have to take hammer and pliers to metal necessarily...

What we know of history is pretty suspect, when you think of it. What is written/not written or read; who told the truth, didn't/didn't know?

Write a better history for a better future? Consider this course the spacecraft.