Skip to main content

Reconceiving Space: Installation and Performance Art

Learn to deepen your dramaturgical practice in the experimental world of installation and performance art, as well as continue to develop professionally transferable writing skills and communication expertise. This course will broaden your understanding of how to engage in creating innovative art work with a performative basis.

Reconceiving Space: Installation and Performance Art

There is one session available:

After a course session ends, it will be archived.
Estimated 4 weeks
8–10 hours per week
Instructor-paced
Instructor-led on a course schedule
Free
Optional upgrade available

About this course

Skip About this course

This course is part of the University of Cambridge’s MicroMasters programme in Writing for Performance and Entertainment Industries.

How can we use story within the practice of art installation? What function does narrative ‘perform’ in the world of performance art? Do you want to create an interdisciplinary text as a basis for a three-dimensional site-specific piece of work? We will be looking in depth at how to find your own distinctive voice as you develop as a performance or installation artist.

Come and consider the spatial narratives of Ai Weiwei, Joseph Beuys and Kara walker. Or you may be drawn to performance artists as diverse as Maria Abramovich and Joan Jonas. Perhaps these practices are tools for you to extend your conceptual processes within another performative medium? We will be experimenting with space, language, ‘liveness’ and sound - an inspiring and freeing component of the MicroMasters!

We will be thinking comparatively about the histories of performance art and art installation, as well as considering how audience reception contributes to the creative process within these art forms. This is a comprehensive introduction to performative art forms that will give beginners a strong understanding of the essential concepts.

Flexible thinking and creativity are now essential in a diversifying global job market - come and learn essential new skills, and have fun doing it!

You will be set writing exercises over the course of the module, and you will asked to keep a brief creativity journal to note how your ideas progress and how your intuition leads you into productivity. By the end of this module, you will have completed several new texts for use in a piece of installation or performance art. You will have been asked to reflect on the cultural significance of the work of the artists we analyse.

At a glance

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • Specialised knowledge of histories, forms, and traditions of writing for installation and performance art, as well as the cultural contexts of innovative practitioners and practices within installation/performance art; of contemporary critical, analytical, and narrative theories of installation/performance art;
  • detailed understanding of key performance components within the discipline, to include: ideational sources, body, space, image, sound, text, movement, environment.
  • dramaturgical and script-editing skills within storytelling practices for performance art/installation
  • developed advanced self-management skills to include working in planned and improvisatory ways, as well as the ability to anticipate and accommodate change, ambiguity, creative risk-taking, uncertainty and unfamiliarity;

About the instructors

Frequently Asked Questions

Skip Frequently Asked Questions

Does this course give me a Masters degree from the University of Cambridge?

No. If on completing this course you choose to apply to the Master of Studies (MSt) in Writing for Performance – based in Cambridge UK – and are accepted as a suitable candidate, then this MicroMasters® will be considered as 30 credits of the 180 credit award.

Do I need a Creative Writing degree to take this course?

No. This course is open to all, although we believe that you will get more from it if you are already involved, or hoping to be involved in writing and associated literary professions. The entry requirements for the full Master of Studies in Writing for Performance at the Institute of Continuing Education, University of Cambridge are available on our website.

Will I be a successful YouTuber if I take this course?

This course teaches the skills involved in becoming a successful writer for different performance mediums. Honing these skills is ultimately up to you, but the guidance offered will enlighten you and provide you with a solid grounding to enter the entertainment industries as a writer.

Will I receive feedback on my writing?

We are not able to give feedback to any students auditing this course on their individual pieces of writing. For those on the verified track, the final assignment will be assessed and feedback sent. In addition, throughout the course, advice and training will be given on how to give and receive feedback to others. Ideas will be explored through discussion forums.

How long do I have to complete the course?

This instructor-led course runs for 4 weeks adn is part of the MicroMasters in Writing for Performance and Entertainment Industries which runs over 7-8 months. There will be further iterations of the course, and therefore opportunities to work at a slightly slower or faster pace as preferred.

I want to write for YouTube, why do I need to know about the live performance art?

As writers we would always encourage you to broaden your horizons as it can only assist the creative process. If you are not interested in other genres there is also the option of studying modules on an individual basis.

What has resilience got to do with writing?

As a writer you should be prepared to have work rejected as well as accepted. The editing process alone may involve removing treasured words and phrases. In addition, world events can have an impact on the entertainment industries. This course will give you an understanding of how to cope and respond creatively to setbacks.

Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners from one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. edX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.

Interested in this course for your business or team?

Train your employees in the most in-demand topics, with edX for Business.