Spring 2018 X-Studio: CROSSED BORDERS – Douglas Paulson


Douglas Paulson

Mondays 12:10 PM

PSAM 3704A

credit: D. Paulson

In this studio class, we will realize a series of projects that explore and respond to both local and global conversations around immigration, refugees, and borders.  We will explore social practice and community engagement strategies as we will work towards meaningful collaboration with people directly affected by these issues.  We will connect with groups who are the front line in advocating on behalf of undocumented New Yorkers, as well as Syrian and Iraqi refugees living abroad. We will make work informed by these conversations and experiences, with special focus how we document and reveal our process.  We will explore innovative methods of storytelling; and strategies for presenting multiple narratives that make our work meaningful to people both inside and outside art-world contexts. Over the course of the semester, we will examine successes and failures of other artists’ participatory works, consider the ethics of participation, and explore practical methods for working with others.  We will be looking at the work of Tania Bruguera and Immigrant Movement International, Superflex, Jon Rubins and Conflict Kitchen, Ghana Think Tank, and Tomas Rafa, among others. Assignments might include: – Interview a refugee. Produce an artwork informed by the encounter. – Interview two people with direct experience and divergent views about immigration, produce an artwork that acknowledges their perspectives. – Make a site specific artwork at a site that has significance to ideas of: borders and/or immigration.

Douglas Paulson is an artist and educator who maintains collaborative practices with many of his favorite people.  He loves drawing, making books, and creating sprawling cultural and educational projects that bring together people with disparate backgrounds.  In 2012, he partnered kids withs artists and urban planners to design and build Kitty City, a city for kittens (Flux Factory, 2012). He and Heidi Neilson recently inflated the Menu For Mars Kitchen (The Boiler, 2015) to prototype food for the Red Planet.  In 2016, Doug collaborated with refugees from the Middle East and Africa who have relocated to Germany and Norway; producing parallel projects designed to bring people face to face with their new neighbors.