NYU Steinhardt

Graduate Projects in Studio Art (MFA): Anarchy and The Imagination

  • Course Number: ART-GE 2915
  • Hours: 40
  • Units: 4
  • Description: Organized from the artist's perspective , this class takes a speculative & critical look at the interrelation between anarchy & the imagination. Imagination is assumed to be the primary resource for artists, one that is best used by rejecting constraints through an attitude of limitlessness & radical personal freedom. It is celebrated for its ability to enable people to ‘think outside the box,’ to innovate & to surprise. Anarchy, as a social & political idea, receives a far more ambivalent welcome. From it’s linguistic roots meaning ’without a rule,’ it would seem to be a fellow traveler to the imagination, seeking to scale up the trans-formative potential of the imagination to a social & political scale. But if it is a change in scale, it is one that then challenges use to examine closely the implications of the imagination & to engage with the full complexity of anarchy. The course will explore these ideas through a range of texts by authors such as Andre Breton, Leo Tolstoy, Jean-Paul Sartre, Emma Goldman. Murray Rothbard, Murray Bookchin, David Graeber, & Hakim Bey. Finally, we will consider the questions of lawlessness, violence & insurrection by looking at the writings of Valerie Solanas, the Unibomber, Tiqqun & the Anonomous Collective.
  • Old Course Number: E90.2915