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

Who Are You?

I think understanding the concept of relationship as art is much more worthwhile than trying to make art out of relationships. Example: our relationship with Blaise Cendrars, writer, who had an impossible backstory; no one quite sure who he was or where he came from, or what he had done, or what his books were about. But both he, and his books, were so compelling you had to think about him, to grapple with the mystery. 50 years after his death, the mystery deepens to fulfillment; the void cannot be more “saturated” with nothingness. And people begin to worship... So the neighbor as stranger is more perfectly art, as long as he/she makes her/himself compellingly strange; or rather, unknown...

A dubious proposition to be sure. But instead of everybody telling everybody everything they know, and boring them to tears with tales of their supermarket trip and their mother calling and so on, they can meet their neighbor to exchange cryptic words with him; let them sum up their inner self with three 3 words - and leave; or say three cities they lived in. We are left to wonder. Make the neighbor more mysterious not less. Let us imagine...

What is compelling about you? Tell me, not what is “comforting” about you. I don't want to know. Keep me puzzled, not posted. Live within your spirit. Keep your eyes on the prize/the sidewalk/the self and speak only of conduct, ethics, and industrial parks.

Make of the world a mystery, profoundly fecund with your innermost thoughts and feel-ings, a mystery dazzling and inefficient, not remembered for its details but gasping for breath, we point upward, all the time.

Go to your local Hardware store and sing! And when the cops throw you out, throw a bunch of pamplets in the air that mean nothing!

Down with intellectual capitalism!

struck down, the radio towers of false reason

the world has ended; what are you doing now?

Author's note: It so happens that I found a detailed bio of Msr. Cendrars in Wikipedia (although it leaves out a lot; it is probably all made up.); it does not change anything.

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