To Be Continued (at the Point of Abandon)

6-10pm, every other Thursday beginning February 11, 2010

This course will, in part, examine a particular point in the creative process that we have all likely encountered—the frustration or apathy induced breaking point, the point of abandon that leaves behind what we then regard as an incomplete or possibly even failed work.

The abandoned project, in a variety of its potential manifestations, will serve as the point of departure for each class as well as a point of contention. The course structure will remain fairly consistent, but will also consistently be open to internal (and external) critique, collaborative experimentation, and re-organization. Each class period will begin with a guest who will briefly present to the students one of their own abandoned creative endeavors. Discussed will be the initial ambitions and hopes for the project, what they did achieve so far with the work and how they achieved it, and finally, why they eventually (or suddenly) gave up on their project.

After this presentation, the guest will leave the class and, in doing so, willingly hand over their incomplete project in whatever forms it is tangibly or intangibly available. If the project never made it past it past the idea, sketch, or notes phase, then this is what will be left with the students. The unfinished, abandoned projects considered could range limitlessly from a painting or sculpture, a piece of furniture, a musical composition, a short story/poem, a knitted scarf, or even a culinary recipe. It is then in the hands of the students to collaboratively carry on this project however they see fit over the remainder of the class. Will it be decided to carry on the initial plan of the project’s instigator, or will an entirely new direction be taken? Will the table be finished as intended by its original “author”, or will it be chopped to pieces to make an entirely new object?

Participants in this course, possibly more appropriately described as a collaborative workshop, will thoroughly consider not only this fascinating and complex point of creative abandon, but also conceptual ownership concerning the transfer of ideas, particularly within a collaborative structure. To whom does the work belong? What is its story and who are its authors? Is anything ever really finished?

For updated information on class schedule and location, continued projects, related writings, observations, research, and documentation please visit:

Organized by Sally O’Hara Szwed for the Bruce High Quality Foundation University

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