Last year, I posted about a summer workshop held in upstate New York run by architect David Gersten of the Cooper Union. Well, it’s back and this summer’s 8-week program is even more ambitious. However, note that the deadline for applications fast approaches (due March 25).
As Gersten himself describes it, this summer’s workshop will be “structured through six disciplines: construction, drawing, film/photography, writing, theater and music/sound,” forming a kind of “disciplinary exquisite corpse.” Participants in each of these fields “will work in parallel and in close proximity, directly interacting though a framework of shared questions and actions.”
During the eight-week intensive workshop, together, we will build a bridge; a bridge that is a stage, a drawing board, a film screen, a story, a place to act—a bridge between many disciplines. This bridge will be co-constructed, as each step in its construction will be developed as a series of shared questions across all of the disciplines. As we excavate the site, we will ask: What is excavation in drawing? in film, in writing, in theater, in music. As we pour the foundations we will ask what are foundations in drawing, in film, in writing, in theater, in music. As we raise the structure, we will ask what is structure in drawing, in film, in writing, in theater, in music. As raise a new horizon, we will ask; what is horizon in drawing, in film, in writing, in theater, in music? Week by week as we move thought the shared questions we will co-construct a work, an emergent space between all of the disciplines.
The grand finale of the eight weeks will be “a live performance built between all of the works,” an interdisciplinary opera of construction, poetry, drawing, light, and words.
As is probably obvious, this is a much more embodied and physically engaged form of architectural exploration, in many ways at the opposite end of the world from sitting inside, designing little triangle-shaped tiles in Rhino all day, and, as such, it offers a great way to experience the humid and heavy vegetation of a New York forest outside the nighttime lights of the city for a few weeks, exploring the rigors of other disciplines (and possibly even driving heavy excavation equipment).
Application information and a short film about the summer program are available on the project website.