September 2009 Archives

MIA Thursday Oct. 1

Minneapolis Institute of Art.
 MIA: "Missing in Action." "Make Interesting Actions" "Many Ideas Interconnect" "My Itchy Armature"
Remember you will have one hour to locate a work that's Gesture will be received and continue in an individual presentation the following week.(Oct. 8th)  Be brave, let the gesture you create transport/push/inform itself to a place/action/thinking that will surprise you. You will also bring in your "Document" on Oct 8th to share with your collaborators.

Candlelit Performances

| 1 Comment
I especially enjoyed watching all of the performances and seeing how each group tackled the project.  It was a good way to start off the collaborative thinking in my opinion since the limitations were so simple, it allowed each group to focus on the flow and learning how to best work together to create a performance.  My group had amazing flow, we were having to shut down ideas by the end of it to keep it simplistic enough.  After the discussion about gesture and flow I'm also looking forward to how people interpret art through physical gestures.


I think the MIA will be a very broad and full of great art work.
i'm glad to have gotten into this class and explore all the creative things in this world.

The Tea Candle Shadow Collaboaration

Please take a moment and share some thoughts about your experience in regards to this project.

The Art of Collaboration

| 1 Comment
What is the art of collaboration? I know I have trouble coming up with ideas to explain the actual art of collaboraation itself. Collaboration is easily defined as two things coming together to form and create something different. The art of it is the actual way its put togther, the reason behind a project, and so on. As this class goes on I do believe that I will fully understand what the art of collaboration really is. It is still early in the year, and I will need a little time to help my ideas evolve and to start and understand the concept of art in collaboration.

The Minneapolis Institute of Art: Space-Gesture-Flow

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Next Thursday, October 1st, our class will meet in the lobby of the Minneapolis Art Institute (MIA).
  • You will use the first 1/2 of class time to travel from the West Bank to the MIA.
  •   You may only use the Transit System (#2)  or a bike. Please go on line for schedule and bus stop.
  • After we have met in the lobby you will have one hour to explore the collection. With the goal of locating a work that you respond to in an immediate way. You will then create a brief, simple gestural response to the work. After one hour we will regroup and share your gestural response with the work you have selected.
  • You will use the remaining class time to return to the West Bank.
  • This gestural response will culminate in an individual project the following week

The author role for you

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Author. Can create entries and pages, can edit their own entries and pages, upload files and publish. Can comment.

the art of collaboration


please, do make general comments!

We deeply appreciate your input written in a collaborative spirit. Please, try to write comments that help improve our mutual understanding and our motivation to unfold collaboration. Best, Guerino

Syllabus ARTS 1905/COLA 1001, Fall 2009


University of Minnesota

The Program for the Collaborative Arts


The Art of Collaboration

ARTS 1905, COLA 1001

Thursday 1:25-4:25 pm.

Regis Center W 217

3 Credits


Instructor Information

Guerino Mazzola

Office 164 Ferguson

Office: 612 624 4487

Home: 651 222 3601


Office hours: by appointment


Michael Sommers

Office 572 Rarig

612.625.7013 (University office)

612.823.5162 (Studio, Open Eye Figure Theatre)


Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday 11:3o-12: 30 or by appointment. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me.





Course Description

This introductory course presents the characteristics and the challenges of collaboration through representative approaches from the visual arts, music, literature, media and theater. The course content is designed upon three pillars: the collaborative space, flow and gesture. Through concrete problematic situations, in class discussion, readings and proposed themes students will work collaboratively to create a series of events/works to be presented in class. The Art of Collaboration  is a laboratory, a place to play, inspire, question and fail. It is a platform to unlock personal images,  and to cross boundaries. The class includes lectures by guest artists as well as exploration of the cultural landscape of the Twin Cities. 


Goals and Objectives

The course objective is to make the students acquainted with the characteristics and challenge of collaboration, to teach them the intellectual and behavioral instruments of performing this art, specifically the installation and handling of a collaborative space, the flow performance of a distributed identity, and the communicative tools set forth by interdisciplinary exchange of ideas.



1: Active Participation: A willingness and readiness to participate, ask questions, respond to idea, take a critical stance, to take risks, work collaboratively and respect and support the thinking of others.

2: Attendance: is mandatory for full participation. You must notify the instructor if you are going to miss a class or expect to be late. For each unexcused absence (after the allotted 2, please do not use them) your grade will be lowered ½ letter grade.

3: Reading assignments will be given periodically. It is expected you will read and be prepared to discuss the reading at the next class.

4: There will be three in-class performance projects exploring the forms and techniques as discussed in the the lab. You will be given time inside class for project development and creation but outside time may be expected.

-The work should demonstrate: preparation, application of techniques and vocabulary explored in the class, with strong specific choices, artistic focus and commitment.

-A short written self-evaluation will be due after each performance; criteria for this will be discussed after each assignment.

5: Each student will be required to keep a written record THE DOCUMENT; the criteria fort his will be discussed in class.

6: The Final Project:

A team will work to create and develop a final project that will be presented the last day of class. Through the course of the semester the students will develop and propose their idea.



30% Participation and Attendance

30% In Class Projects

20% Growth

15% Final Project

5% The Document

Grading A-F

0-100 steps: 95-100 = A, 90-94 = A-, 85-89 = B+, 76-84 = B, 70-75 = B-, 65-69 = C; 60-64 = C-, 50-59 = D, 0-49 = F.

Plagiarism will not be tolerated and will lead to failure.



Weeks 1-5:Survey of Creative Collaboration

            The Gesture: Playing and Making

Weeks 5-13: Practice and Critique of Collaboration

            The Collaborative Space and Flow      

Weeks 14-15:             Final Project



Pillar of Guerino Mazzola

The embodied pulsation between the gesture of making, the processs, and the resulting facts.

Collaboration is spanned between the agents, which jointly make the labor, the processes they instanciate in so doing, and the resulting objects, facts, and works. We focus on the conceptual and technical devices needed in order to control these three layers of embodiment of knowledge production and their interplay. Collaboration must therefore transcend the merely interdisciplinary objectives, it has to deal with a different behavior in the making, in the communication between the agents, and in the critique of the resulting works, which bounce back to their creators. We shall typically exemplify this philosphy by examples from the world of jazz.



Pillar of Michael Sommers

The Body in Performance.

Students will explore the boundaries and intersections where multiple art forms and practices converge. Students will collaborate to co-author and co-create a series of works for in-class and public performance. Emphasis will be on exploring the collaborative process and the possibilities of integrating visual art, music, theatre and dance to create interdisciplinary and collaborative thinking, art, and performance.



Selected Original References

(1)   Anne Bogart: A Director Prepares 2001

(2)   Guerino Mazzola and Paul B. Cherlin: Flow, Gesture and Spaces in Free Jazz--Towards a Theory of Collaboration. Springer, Heidelberg 2009

(3)   Keith Sawyer: Group Creativity: Music, Theatre, Collaboration 2003






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