The Virality of Gesture

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: The Arts

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students
The Virality of Gesture
Spring 2024
Taught By: Fields Harrington
Section: A

CRN: 13527

Credits: 4

This course examines performative trajectories of text, lyrics, and language in contemporary art, performance, and choreography. How can a gestural act hold historical, cultural, and political productions of value? How can we situate a diverse economy of gestures and dance that may orient us toward more complex theories and practices of embodied knowledge systems? How do the choreographies of TikTok and Instagram produce both instrumental and communicative gestures that encode, express, and perpetuate the values of specific historical and cultural formations? What are “embodied dialogues” and “conversational choreographies”? We will begin our study by looking at Walter Benjamin’s reading of Brechtian theatre and the “quotable gesture” alongside Giorgio Agamben’s “Notes on Gesture”, and proceed to move through works such as NIC Kay’s “keep at it,” Martine Syms’ “Notes on Gesture”, Adrian Piper’s “Funk Lessons”, Shikeith’s “notes towards becoming a spill”, Judith Butler’s and Monique Jenkinson’s “Ordinary Practices of the Radical Body,” and Butch Morris’ sonic instructions that consisted of signs and gestures to transmit information to his ensembles. This course will engage with theoretical texts that cover the cultural and social politics of gesture, Black Studies, Performance Studies, and Aesthetics. In addition, we will study the work and writings of NIC Kay, Adrian Piper, Giorgio Agamben, Kandis Williams, Martine Syms, Shikeith, Ralph Lemon, Erin Manning, Bertolt Brecht, Butch Morris, Malik Gaines, Kemi Adeyemi, Dhanveer Singh Brar, and Storyboard P. Coursework for the class will be a series of research projects and studies in performance.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: The Arts (ART)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: February 4, 2024 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 16, 2024 (Tuesday)

Seats Available: Yes

* Seats available but reserved for a specific population.

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 5:32am EDT 7/24/2024

Meeting Info:
Days: Monday, Wednesday
Times: 10:00am - 11:40am
Building: Johnson/Kaplan 66 West 12th
Room: 602
Date Range: 1/22/2024 - 5/13/2024