Artists who work with archives negotiate a tension between fact and fiction. Archives tell us not just what people did but also what they wanted to do, what they believed they were doing and what others thought they did.
This class will explore the moment when a conversation becomes an archival record and what it means to use oral history to shape the artifacts we leave behind. Students will look at different methodologies of approaching oral history, draft interview questions, and look at various tools to address issues of consent for all participants. The class will introduce students to field recording devices as well as audio and transcription softwares such as Audacity and Temi. In Addition to these practical exercises, the class will discuss theory by oral historians, such as Alessandro Portelli and Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, the autobiography of Malcolm X written by Alex Haley, and the work of Yusef Omowale, Archivist as the Southern California Library. The class will consider how artists experiment with orality found in dance music, leaked audio, and gossip.
(The item is a spiral-bound syllabus and course reader for a Winter intensive class at the California Intitute of the Arts.)