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Department of Physical Art
We are adding a new Department for Mars College Spring Semester 2024, called the Department of Physical Art (DPA).
Mars College is situated in a unique desert environment adjacent to Bombay Beach. We invite participants to imagine what is possible to build, create, paint and activate in this amazing landscape.
DPA will help run MarsShop — a small shop, somewhat mobile where will have light-scale fabrication possibilities. We’ll teach basic shop safety, tool maintenance and emphasize an effective communal shop. Adhering to the principles of non-hierarchical learning, we will emphasize project ideation and support activating projects in physical space, emphasizing materials over pixels.
DPA will embellish Mars with murals, internal decoration and art installations. Several workshops and classes will be part of DPA.
What is the Department of Physical Art (DPA)?
Vanessa will be leading murals, ceramics and 3D printing and Seamus will be co-managing the MarsShop with wood and metal fabrication as well as laser-cutting. Both of these two Martians have extensive digital practices as well and will bring this knowledge into the Department.
We will begin with brainstorming ideas, having field trips to spots such as East Jesus and looking at the Land Art legacy from earthworks artists such as Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt. Asking conceptual questions about permanence, access and activating the senses, we will invite ideas and fresh approaches to art-making.
During the 3 month Mars Experience, we will have field trips to the desert to gather raw materials and to Home Depot to source parts, share in collaborative making, do skill-sharing and emphasize shop safety and communal values.
The DPA will also support project management: how to design work under a deadline for successful completion. We will invite anyone to exhibit their artworks as informal events, during Mars midterms and finals and optionally, on beach parcels during the Bombay Beach Biennale.
How will it work?
We will plan to have weekly meetings and dedicated shop hours as well as a channel on Discord. They will include project check-ins, sharing ideas and asking for assistance. We plan to support one another both with physical help, learning and struggles through project work.
The MarsShop will have dedicated shop hours during the week. While you can certainly work during other times, this will be a dedicated time to get used to the tools and how to use them safely and effectively, while building amongst friends.
The Mars embellishment plan will consist of workshops, collective layout creation, murals and art installations in the camp’s main structure. Some of the workshops will be: basic spray painting techniques, working with local clay, 3d scanning and 3d printing, mold making and more. Many of the physical workshops will have a digital counterpart, like projection mapping on murals or 3d scanned animated ceramics.
Are there Prerequisites?
None at all!
If you have experience with painting, building, crafting or making, this will be helpful, but we also want to invite anyone who is used to sitting in front of the computer to get away from the screen and into building.
We plan to teach the basics at Mars and help folks start from scratch, emphasizing fun, laughter and learning
If you’re interested in applying to Mars College, the deadline to apply is November 12, 2023. We hope to see you there!