Civic Studio: Weird Research2021
Civic Studio: Weird Research introduced participants to research-based artistic practices, editorial processes, and context-specific public distribution. Throughout winter term 2021, course participants investigated paranormal phenomena, urban legends, folklore mythologies, or other “weird” regional histories from Michigan—and beyond. Participants delivered regular research reports to their peers, soliciting critical feedback to enrich and hone their lines of inquiry. From their research findings, participants generated accessible digital content for diverse publics, which took the form of podcasts, videos, digital photography, sound art, and online portfolios.
Whereas a traditional studio art course might assign, for example, three discrete projects, Civic Studio required an ongoing deep dive—participants’ research and material production unfolded over the course of the full semester. This meant consistently reading, writing, editing, and iterating on a concept to give their topics due diligence. Through this work, participants developed deeper understandings of economic, environmental, colonial, social, and cultural histories. In addition to learning to conduct interdisciplinary research, participants also learned about contemporary artists and cultural producers whose research-based practices incorporate documentary, the archive, science fiction, people’s histories, collaborative publishing, and more.
Calvin V Garvey