among friends

Organized by John Muse, among friends, the 2009 Mellon Symposium, presented a sprawling series of four simultaneous, collaborative week-long workshops teaming social practice and performance artists with Haverford students.

All four of the visiting artists take as their medium the relation between artist and audience. Performance artist Nao Bustamante’s project riffed on the Red Cross Comfort Station, offering personal healing, counseling, and creature comforts with a team coordinated by student assistants Jane Holloway and Robin Riskin. The head of Portland State’s MFA program in Social Practice, Harrell Fletcher worked with student coordinators Sam Kaplan and Duncan Cooper to initiate a suite of student-run, student-documented field trips: laser tag, a smithy, a 3 a.m. Walmart scavenger hunt, a bowling alley, a swim, and more, inculcating a be-where-you-are-but-differently-and-on-purpose ethos. Also teaching in PSU’s Social Practice program, Jennifer Delos Reyes creates work concerning relational aesthetics, group collaboration, interactive media, and artists’ social roles; working with students Charles Watanasutisas and Julia Ryan, she organized over fifty student, staff, and faculty musicians to recreate, track for track, Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 Rumours LP. William Pope.L is a visual and performance-theater artist and educator who makes culture out of contraries. Drawing together elements of two E.T.’s: Emmett Till and Steven Spielberg’s Extra-Terrestrial, he directed an ensemble of Haverford students in ET: a Performance Shoot, a roving theater piece overseen by student stage managers Ali King and Eli Blood-Patterson, two student videographers, a lighting crew, and eleven actors.

Visit the among friends website.

Read the artblog review of the panel discussion.