Systems for Play

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This is a course in experimental and game-based approaches to art-making, focusing on the space between installation and performance. Drawing on a broad range of methods, from event scores to algorithms to open-ended games, we learn about current and past playful practices and then create our own scores, scripts, rules, and systems for structuring play (broadly defined). Short projects serve both as playful prompts for art-making and opportunities to think critically and generatively about the systems with/in which we live. This is an intermedia production course, there are no prerequisites, and all students are welcome.


Class time is split between discussing materials and working on student-projects. Materials include readings and examples that introduce methods and examples. Considerable time will be dedicated to then playing, rehearsing, and exploring student projects. When necessary, the class becomes an improvising ensemble or a measurement team or an indeterminate farming collective. Students are expected to be on time, prepared, and ready to work / play.

Course Objectives

  • Develop technical and conceptual proficiency in working with open-ended, unpredictable, and game-based creative approaches.
  • Become familiar with historical practices that questioned the boundaries between established media—music, sculpture, performance…
  • Create a set of experiments and document them effectively.
  • Develop a critical but generative lens for examining the systems with/in which we live.