Experiential Education

Hallie Ford Fellows in the Visual Arts 2017–19Jordan Schnitzer Museum of ArtUniversity of OregonEugene, OregonOctober 3, 2020 to January 10, 2021 Building Community: PSU Art + Design Faculty, Past + PresentJordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at Portland State UniversityPortland State UniversityPortland, OregonMarch 9, 2021 to May 9, 2021 This project might be a little hard to understand conceptually. I… Continue reading Experiential Education

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Some Thoughts Collected

Since 2014 I’ve been (very periodically) writing small texts mostly related to the topic of Art and Social Practice and posting them on my website under the heading “Some Thoughts.” This PDF version puts them all together in chronological order for anyone who might want to read them that way printed out or on a… Continue reading Some Thoughts Collected

7.9.19

Imagine finding some writings or drawings that you had done ten years earlier. At the time that you made them you had no thoughts about publishing or exhibiting the work, but now much later you see value in considering them differently, so you go about formalizing the work for the public to be able to… Continue reading 7.9.19

1.26.19

As soon as I finished writing short descriptions for the first set of terms and topics related to social practice (see the previous post) I immediately started compiling a new list. So here are an additional twenty-two terms and topics with subjective definitions, I’m sure there will be more to come. Duration The amount of… Continue reading 1.26.19

12.24.18

Each week in the PSU Art and Social Practice MFA program we have an hour of what we call “topical discussion.” During that hour we explore a topic related to art and social practice. Some of the topics are very basic like collaboration, or site-specificity, but there are also terms like “A Touch of Evil”… Continue reading 12.24.18

It’s Time To Read Orwell Again

Nashville, TN James Robertson PKWY N/S @ Nissan Stadium, Facing East October – November 2018 I was invited to design a billboard for the For Freedoms project: www.forfreedoms.org After hearing about Rudi Giulani’s comment that “truth isn’t truth” I couldn’t help but think about the book 1984 and the Orwellian concept of “Newspeak” where words can… Continue reading It’s Time To Read Orwell Again

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A New Path to the Waterfall

Contemporary Art Gallery Lord Strathcona Elementary School Vancouver, BC 2017 -2018 Over the course of the 2017-18 school year A New Path to the Waterfall was a collaborative art project that situated a CAG satellite gallery space within MaryAnn Persoon’s grade 6/7 class at Lord Strathcona Elementary School. In 2015 the Contemporary Art Gallery invited me for… Continue reading A New Path to the Waterfall

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12.22.18

12.22.18 I want to digress a bit from Social Practice and go into a more general topic, or topics—letters of recommendation, and open calls. I’m often asked to write letters of recommendation for students or past students for everything from small awards to PhD programs and I have grown to question their value. In fact… Continue reading 12.22.18

12.19.18

12.19.18 I’ve been talking with my students lately about the radical potential of conceptual art. Part of what I’m suggesting is that conceptual art or “conceptualism” (the art historical term for that category of work) was radical in the sense that it challenged existing formalism, and attempted to offer alternatives to the status quo commercial… Continue reading 12.19.18

9.5.18

I brought this topic up with my grad students last Spring. It seems obvious, but I think people can loose track of this for a variety of reasons—the idea of actually enjoying the work you do as an artist. Being an artist is an unorthodox thing to do in society in general with various struggles… Continue reading 9.5.18

4.7.18

I’ve been negligent about writing for a year or two, these things happen. I’m going to try to get back into writing regularly again. Ok, so here is a topic—the potential positive relationship between studio art and artists and projects by artists doing social practice type work. There has always been some level of antagonism… Continue reading 4.7.18

Warren Hatch: An Appreciation

In 1995 I came across a seed catalog (The 1995 Ethnobotanical Catalog of Seeds, by J.L Hudson, Seedsman). It had some amazing seed listings and articles (one in particular that I was really interested in challenged the concept of “native plants”) and also included a section of recommended books by various authors as well as,… Continue reading Warren Hatch: An Appreciation

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KSMoCA

Martin Luther King Jr. School 4906 NE 6th Ave.  Portland, OR 2014-ongoing KSMoCA (King School Museum of Contemporary Art) is a contemporary art museum within the walls of a functioning preK-8 public school in NE Portland, OR. It is a collaborative project with PSU faculty Lisa Jarrett, students from King elementary school and Portland State… Continue reading KSMoCA

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The Music That Makes Us

DisjectaPortland, OR March 13 – April 24, 2016 Exhibition organized with Emma Colburn, Roz Crews, Amanda Leigh Evans, Emily Fitzgerald, Lauren Moran, Anke Schüttler, Renee Sills, and Kimberly Sutherland With Zahra Ahmed, De La Salle North Catholic High School Choir, Dorian Neira and Daniel “D.J. Max” Lasuncet, Austin Green, Robin Gordon and the Celebration Tabernacle… Continue reading The Music That Makes Us

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9.2.16

I wrote the following for this year’s group of PSU Art and Social Practice MFA students to consider in an attempt to understand their own intentions for their practice and work. It might be of use to other folks as well:   How would you like to see your practice as a whole function? By… Continue reading 9.2.16

Collective Museum

Public Doors and Windows   UCSC Institute of the Arts & Sciences  Santa Cruz, California 2015 I worked with Molly Sherman and Nolan Calisch as part of our collaboration Public Doors and Windows on a project for The Institute of the Arts and Sciences (IAS) at UCSC. We spent two years researching to produce a vast campus-wide… Continue reading Collective Museum

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NEA Interview

National Endowment for the Arts Artworks Podcast 2016 I was interviewed by Josephine Reed at the NEA Read the transcript here.  

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Neighborhood Food Systems

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Open Studio 2015 I was asked to created an assignment for Mark Bradford’s Open Studio project at SFMoMA: https://www.sfmoma.org/read/open-studio-harrell-fletcher/  

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4.26.16

Gabo Camnitizer asked me to write a text for the show that he curated in Sweden called Meaning Making Meaning, below is what I came up with.  In 2007 I was given an opportunity to start a new MFA program at Portland State University where I had been teaching for three years. I used a… Continue reading 4.26.16

People’s Biennial 2014

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit 2014-2015 I co-curated the second version of the People’s Biennial with Jens Hoffmann in Detroit. We came up with a system of asking established artists from around the country to each select someone that they thought was doing really interesting work but wasn’t well known in the art world, and… Continue reading People’s Biennial 2014

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3.12.15

I took a little break from this weekly writing project (like a nine month break or something like that, not sure what happened) but I want to start doing it again, maybe every other week or once a month is more realistic, we will see what happens. Writing is eventually what I really want to… Continue reading 3.12.15

Highlander Spring

Public Doors and Windows  FLEX IT! My Body My Temple Parthenon Museum Nashville, TN 2014   Highlander Folk School was an adult education center founded in 1932 that brought together many labor and civil rights activists including Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr, and Pete Seeger. The original site of Highlander was located near Monteagle,… Continue reading Highlander Spring

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One Mile Loop

Public Doors and Windows Flex It! My Body My Temple Parthenon Museum Nashville, TN 2014 One Mile Loop was a series of public signs and musical performances that I created with Molly Sherman and Nolan Calisch which responded to the routine exercise habits of runners and walkers who regularly use the park’s walking trail. Six… Continue reading One Mile Loop

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Book Fair at the Museum

Public Doors and Windows  Shine A Light  Portland Art Museum Portland, OR 2014 Molly Sherman, Nolan Calisch and I (as part of our collaboration Public Doors and Windows) organized a distributed “book fair” that took place in various locations inside of the Portland Are Museum. There were twelve participating book organizations (one of them wasn’t… Continue reading Book Fair at the Museum

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Mt. Hood Walk

On Foot: An Educational Art and Social Practice Journey from Portland to Mt. Hood Portland State University Portland, Oregon 2014 This project was constructed as a summer course with Eric Steen to examine various aspects of Oregon’s regional natural history, contemporary urban and rural issues, and the art of walking. Five days were spent with… Continue reading Mt. Hood Walk

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6.21.14

The question of whether social practice work belongs in museums has been brought up many times recently, partly as a result of several different museums attempting to include social practice in their programming. There are a variety of approaches to include social practice work going on or in the works at the moment with various… Continue reading 6.21.14

6.3.14

When I was a kid, sometimes at night when I was trying to fall asleep lying in bed I would imagine that my legs stretched out away from my body so that my feet were miles away from my head, it was an interesting sensation. I know that doesn’t have anything to do with social… Continue reading 6.3.14

5.26.14

I’ve often been asked about how to get the ball rolling towards making a living producing art. It’s a tough question. For every artist who somehow figures that question out there are probably a thousand or more who don’t. Imagine if people going to medical school only had a one in a thousand chance of… Continue reading 5.26.14

5.19.14

An approach to creating projects that I’ve employed many times (other artists have as well) and that I think is an interesting option generally, but is not often used by emerging artists (I’ve rarely run across MFA projects of this sort), is what I’ll call the delegated model. My sense is that because there is… Continue reading 5.19.14

5.10.14

Something that I think is often thought of as insignificant or annoying, but which I think actually holds great power and possibility is the artist resume. It is standard that artists follow existing examples of what goes into a resume, often that approach is also taught in professional practice classes in art departments and schools… Continue reading 5.10.14

5.10.14

Something that I think is often thought of as insignificant or annoying, but which I think actually holds great power and possibility is the artist resume. It is standard that artists follow existing examples of what goes into a resume, often that approach is also taught in professional practice classes in art departments and schools… Continue reading 5.10.14

5.4.14

The topic of reproducible project models in social practice has come up a few times recently. Of course the primary characteristic (in my opinion) that is particular to social practice work (as opposed to most studio based work) is that it happens in site and context specific ways, but that doesn’t mean that each project… Continue reading 5.4.14

4.28.14

I just returned from a trip to Vancouver, Canada where I presented my work and took part in some discussions at the Purple Thistle and the Contemporary Art Gallery’s Field House with Broken City Lab. Carmen Papalia and Kristin Lantz organized and took part in the events. One of the participants who came and contributed… Continue reading 4.28.14

4.20.14

This is just a thought, not fully formed at all. I was talking to a professor of psychology the other day; he specifically works with PhD students who do research about the impacts of meditation and “mindfulness activities” on people who experience stress and trauma including police officers. It sounds really interesting in general, but… Continue reading 4.20.14

4.13.14

I’ve been asked many times for a short description for the term Art and Social Practice. There are various reasons why this is hard to produce, but maybe I’ll give it a try. It could be that it’s best to actually come up with a few different options. An aspect of Art and Social Practice,… Continue reading 4.13.14

4.6.14

When I was in graduate school developing my practice I was very interested in the possibilities of social engagement, but had few examples to model my work on. Back then, before the popularization of the internet, it was much harder to locate really current information, especially if it was about subjects outside of the mainstream.… Continue reading 4.6.14

3.30.14

There are a few different types of artist residencies that exist out there. One is the classic where artists go out to a natural type area so that they can “get away from it all” and concentrate on their work. Those places are nice, I’ve been to a few of them, but personally I spend… Continue reading 3.30.14

3.22.14

I recently had an idea for a way to attempt to level the playing field a bit between conventional, commercial, studio/gallery art and more socially engaged project based work. The commercial system dominates in so many ways that it makes alternative approaches hard to sometimes seem possible much less sustainable. Most art and artists are… Continue reading 3.22.14

3.15.14

I have very early collaborative impulse memories. I loved drawing on the same piece of paper with someone else and would often do that with my dad. I shared an improvised darkroom with a high school friend and we worked on each other’s prints. In my early years of college, at Humboldt State University, my… Continue reading 3.15.14

3.8.14

I have a long list of social practice related topics that I have discussed in class and informal situations for many years. I’ve been wanting to get my ideas about those topics down in writing, so I’m going to try to address them here. For some people these concepts will be very familiar, but for… Continue reading 3.8.14

2.14.14

Creating a new website took a long time. There were a number of factors (possibly excuses) at play. Since the last major posting on the old website I’ve become a parent, gone through several family deaths, started a MFA program, etc. etc. I also went through many different ambivalent feelings about my relationship to the… Continue reading 2.14.14

Sex and Education

Amherst College Amherst, MA 2013 Wendy Ewald asked me to work with her and a freshman seminar class she was teaching with Martha Saxton. The class was intended to address issues related to sexual assault on the Amherst campus. It was a daunting challenge. The more I learned the more difficult it became to think… Continue reading Sex and Education

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Hello There Friend

“Moment to Moment” Artist Project Series The Thing Quarterly x Levi’s Made & Crafted Los Angeles, CA and Tokyo, Japan 2013 “Hello There Friend” is an ongoing series of works in which I go for a walk in an unfamiliar place with someone. On this walk, my companions collect details of their surroundings and present… Continue reading Hello There Friend

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Carmen’s Parking Lot

I was asked by Cue  to write a text for a catalog on the work of Carmen Papalia.   The Catalog can be viewed online and below is my text.   Essay for Carmen Papalia: Long Time No See Catalog Cue Foundation, NYC 2013 A year or so ago I was having a conversation with Carmen about… Continue reading Carmen’s Parking Lot

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Information

Harrell Fletcher received his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and his MFA from California College of the Arts. He studied organic farming at UCSC and went on to work on a variety of small Community Supported Agriculture farms, which impacted his work as an artist. Fletcher has produced a variety of socially engaged… Continue reading Information

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The Other America

Project for The Past is Present Curated by Jens Hoffmann Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit Collaboration with Katherine Ball 2013 Katherine Ball and I collaborated on a project in Detroit, this is what she wrote about it: One of the reasons that Harrell and I chose the MLK speech as a topic for our project is because we both… Continue reading The Other America

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What We Talk About

 How Do You Mean?: Culture in Translation Symposium Portland Institute for Contemporary Art 2013 In this special matinee performance of Niicugni, I intermittently “pressed pause” on performer Emily Johnson, adding thoughts and questions about the artist and her work into the staged show.

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What Do We Do On Monday?

Learning for Life  Henie Onstad Art Centre, Oslo, Norway Collaboration with Ella Aandal 2012 For this project which was commissioned by the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in Oslo for a show called Learning for Life, I asked that a local child or adolescent lead me on an experiential education tour of the city for several days.… Continue reading What Do We Do On Monday?

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An Unknown Number

Project for the 2012 Shanghai Biennial Shanghai, China 2012 Jens Hoffmann invited me to be a part of the 9th Annual Shanghai Biennial. During a site visit to Shanghai this summer I was given a tour of the building that was being remodeled into the museum for the exhibition. The tour happened during lunch break… Continue reading An Unknown Number

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Before and After 1565: A Participatory Exploration of St. Augustin’s Native American History

Exhibition for Crisp-Ellert Art Museum St. Augustin, FL. 2012 St. Augustine, Florida is the oldest continuously occupied european settlement in the US. A great deal of focus has been placed on its Spanish colonial development and its more recent resort hotel history, but little is available to the immediate public and visiting tourist population about the… Continue reading Before and After 1565: A Participatory Exploration of St. Augustin’s Native American History

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Where I’m Calling From

Project for the Tate Live Series Tate Modern, London, UK 2012 Okay, so a couple of curators, Catherine Wood and Kathy Noble, from the Tate Modern in London sent me an email asking if I’d like to take part in a new online performance series that they are organizing. I said sure. The idea is… Continue reading Where I’m Calling From

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Hayward Class

Project for Wide Open School Hayward Gallery, London 2012 The class/project focused on Art and Social Practice, a term used to describe site-specific, participatory, interdisciplinary, and publicly accessible art projects and practices. I explained and addressed a variety of topics related to Art and Social Practice, from the perspective of my own and others’ related work.… Continue reading Hayward Class

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A Walk to Pike’s Peak

Project for UCCS Galleries of Contemporary Art Colorado Springs, CO Collaboration with Eric Steen 2012 Three day walk from the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs to the top of Pikes Peak organized with Eric Steen that included students, faculty, and community members. Along the way each participant gave a lecture about an aspect the environment… Continue reading A Walk to Pike’s Peak

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Assignment for the Tacoma Art Museum

Project for the The 10th Northwest Biennial Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma WA 2012 I gave the Tacoma Art Museum the following assignment to work with local organizations and environmental groups to create a collaborative project: Locate a local environmental organization and a local realist landscape painting organization that are willing to participate in the project. Have… Continue reading Assignment for the Tacoma Art Museum

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Hammer Yearbook

Project for The Hammer Museum Los Angeles, CA Collaboration with Adam Moser 2012 The Hammer Yearbook investigates the inner workings of a museum including the visitors that come through it, the artists that provide the motivation to come in the first place, and the staff that make it possible, through the formate of a school… Continue reading Hammer Yearbook

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Interviews with Children

Project for Dumbo Feather  2011 A magazine in Australia called Dumbo Feather asked me to do the back covers for their magazine. They are a quarterly, so I did four of them. At the time and still now I go to a park near my house with my daughter and our dogs on a regular… Continue reading Interviews with Children

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Pippi and Theonious

Film Presented by Gareth Moore as part of his Children’s Films project November 19, 2011 – January 29, 2012 For his project “Children’s Films” Gareth Moore asked five international artists to produce short films for children. The artists invited, Ulla von Brandenburg (*1974), Keren Cytter (*1977), Geoffrey Farmer (*1967), Julia Feyrer (*1982) and Harrell Fletcher (*1967) were… Continue reading Pippi and Theonious

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The Knowledge

A Project for Portland State University  Portland, OR 2010 Funded in part by the Regional Arts and Cultural Council This was a percent for art public art project located on a large blank wall at the corner of SW 5th and Hall on the Portland State University campus. I worked with Avalon Kalin on the project… Continue reading The Knowledge

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Selections from the Life and Work of Michael Bravo

Curated as part of The Magnificent Seven  CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art San Francisco, CA. 2010 Curated by Harrell Fletcher as part of The Magnificent Seven, this unique, biographical exhibition featured artworks by the artist’s mentor, family member and friend Michael Bravo. Selections From the Life and Work of Michael Bravo presents paintings, drawings,… Continue reading Selections from the Life and Work of Michael Bravo

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The People’s Biennial

Curated with Jens Hoffmann Supported by Independent Curators International 2010 People’s Biennial is an exhibition that examines the work of artists who operate outside the sanctioned mainstream art world. As such it recognizes a wide array of artistic expression present in many communities across the United States. Working in cities that are not considered the primary… Continue reading The People’s Biennial

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Songs From The Treetops

Curated for PDX Contemporary Art  Portland, OR 2009 In these times of economic desperation, (or even just during the desperation of everyday life in general) it is understandable that people would find escape routes into alternate realities. For some people that is as easy to do as turning on the TV or slipping into a… Continue reading Songs From The Treetops

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Made in India

Project for Art Gallery of Mississauga Mississauga, Canada, 2009 and IDEA Space at Colorado College Colorado Springs, CO, 2010 Collaboration with Wendy Red Star In 2007 a living room rug was purchased as a gift from a US home wares company for my house. It was ordered from the Internet. The rug took a while… Continue reading Made in India

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The Responsibility Is Shared With All The People Here

Play written and performed for Assume Nothing: New Social Practice The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria Victoria, British Columbia 2009 Script by J.D. Nasaw From interviews conducted by Harrell Fletcher and J.D. Nasaw     PDF of The Responsibility Is Shared With All The People Here

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Born Out of Pleasure

Exhibition at The Power Plant Toronto, Ontario, Canada Curated by Senior Curator of Programs, Helena Reckitt 20 September–2 November, 2008 A ten day project (and six week show) with an event series, involving an out of town artist, and various local people, translated into cake form, with photographs, text descriptions.  Another title could have been: It Will Just… Continue reading Born Out of Pleasure

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Veda’s Bibles

Sala Diaz San Antonio, TX  Made in collaboration with Veda Epling 2006 In 2005 I was in San Antonio doing an Art Pace residency. I spent a lot of time just walking around, often times with Katrina Moorhead who was also doing a residency. At some point while on one of these walks Katrina pointed out… Continue reading Veda’s Bibles

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Where I Lived and What I Lived For

Video for Domaine De Kerguehennec Brittany, France 2006 I was asked to do a residency at an art center in Brittany, France called Domaine De Kerguehennec that is located on an old estate in the country. I spent about a month every Summer there for about three years. The whole thing concluded with an exhibition in 2006 made up of… Continue reading Where I Lived and What I Lived For

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