In “On the Use and Abuse of History for Life,” Friedrich Nietzche asked, “What is the use to the modern man of this ‘monumental’ contemplation of the past, this preoccupation with the rare and classic?” That was 1874. Today, monuments to racism, white supremacy, colonialism, war, patriarchy, and oppressions across the world are toppled, disgraced, vandalized, and defaced. The alternative monuments, the counter monuments and the new monuments need to be crated to honor the victims and the emancipatory heroes of such oppressive past while the monumental new narratives are inscribed onto the historic edifices erected by the disgraced funders. There is also a continuing need to envisage the monuments to personal, family, and community events and lived experience, often pivotal and overwhelming, to honor such past by respectful, sensitive, commemorative forms and projects. To heal, to empower and to acknowledge what was then personal as today historical.

Friedrich Nietzsche question pulses with renewed urgency. Monument departs from Nietzsche’s dilemma. Together we will touch upon some of the works of philosophers, theorists and artists similarly puzzled. And, through the development of new commemorative proposals and projects over the course of the seven weeks, we will pose new questions and offer answers of our own.

The course will provide space for an informed and open discussion and for development and sharing of the artistic concepts, and proposals for monuments.
The proposed monuments may be conceived as private or public, personal, or social, temporary, or permanent.
They may take a form of the sculptural, spatial or media installations, performance, events, social and cultural process, and other.
They may be portable, mobile, wearable, interconnected with the social media, and make use of new media technologies.
The monument proposals may involve an adaptation, appropriation of a specific site, a place, or a transformation of an existing monument.
They may also facilitate conditions for the ‘agonistic’ ways of commemoration: discursive, conversational and dialogical.

Weekly sessions take forms of break-up rooms (to share freely the ideas and to get to know each other) as well as all-participant discussion about the readings and the proposed concepts.

The projects may be finalized in form of presentations of the concept proposals, the documentation of project studies, their experimentations or realization.

Krzysztof Wodiczko born 1943 in Warsaw, Poland, lives and works in New York City, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in Warsaw, Poland
Krzysztof Wodiczko is a former director of Interrogative Design Group at MIT, and presently a professor of Art, Design and the Public Domain at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. He received his Ph.D 2022 in Visual Arts from Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland.
He is renowned for his large-scale projections on architectural facades, and monuments. He has realized over ninety of such projections in twenty countries.
Since the 1980s, through his projections and communicative instruments, he works with marginalized city residents on enforcing their public voice and expression.
Krzysztof Wodiczko’s work was presented at Documenta, Venice Biennale, Whitney Biennial, Liverpool Biennial, Montreal Biennale, Yokohama Triennial and many other international art exhibitions and festivals.
He is a recipient of 4th Hiroshima Art Prize “for his contribution as an artist to the world peace”.
He has held retrospective exhibitions at Walker Art Center, Fundacio Antoni Tapies, Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, and other museums and art centers.
Krzysztof Wodiczko is an author of Critical Vehicles, MIT Press, City of Refuge: Sept. 11, The Abolition of War, The Transformative Avant-Garde, and other books including a large monograph Krzysztof Wodiczko, published by Black Dog Press, London.
His work is presented in PBS television series Art in the Twenty-First Century.
A documentary film Krzysztof Wodiczko: The Art of Un-War directed by Maria Niro has been released this year.

Meaningful Marks

Meaningful Marks is a contemporary painting workshop, wherein you will learn contemporary painting techniques, theory, and principles while exploring the power of marks to convey meaning and emotion in your artwork. In this course, you will create three paintings that build on the skills and concepts covered in class. We will discuss how color theory, composition, and mark-making techniques affect the concepts, emotions and meaning in your paintings. You will experiment with different materials and tools, such as brushes, palette knives, and mixed media, to further develop your unique style and visual language. In addition, we will discuss conceptual approaches to painting and workshop how we communicate ideas and express emotions through our visual languages. By the end of this course, you will have a solid understanding of contemporary painting techniques and concepts, as well as the confidence and skills to continue exploring and creating meaningful artwork.

Office Hours: TBA
***ALL Classes include FREE & Continuous Membership Access to our virtual Campus Programming

Erlin Geffrard is a painter based in Philadelphia, PA. Most of his work is mixed media painting with a variety of styles.Ranging from family portraits, to images derived from imagination. Using new, and repurposed materials in rhythmic combinations. His Current series explores the connections between family memory, ritual and popular culture. 

Erlin has had solo shows at Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, The Armory Show Booth F19 in New York, Allentown Museum, SWIM Gallery in San Francisco, CA, ICA in Philadelphia, PA, and at the Philadelphia Contemporary Museum, among others. In 2021 Erlin was artist in residence at Bedstuy Residency in New York ,NY. He graduated with his MFA from University of Pennsylvania and has his BFA from San Francisco Art Institute.


The Agripocene* course will look at different forms of art and activism that address issues of land use, climate change and environmental justice with a focus on strategies of collaboration, durational approaches and methods for developing unconventional partnerships to realize the unthinkable. Lectures and invited guests will demonstrate how to move, be moved and to move mass(es) – from the small gesture to large-scale productions that overturn policy, food systems and practices of everyday life to form new paths of resistance, mutual aid and reciprocal engagement.

Theories of Felix Guattari, Isabelle Stengers, Bruno Latour and Maria Puig de la Bellacasa (among others) will be contextualized through the practice of invited guests and a series of short assignments will form the basis for discussion around student work.

*Agripocence questions how humans have transformed the planet through the act of growing food , i.e.agri-culture. Agriculture has transformed how we use and relate to land, it has domesticated plants and animals and shaped our cities and ultimately how we live together. A new field of practices are emerging with fertile dreams, landscape-wide aspirations and determination to become autonomous from large-scale food systems and wishes to shape stable networks of producers and consumers that can support life. Let us be among them!

Amy Franceschini’s Futurefarmers work in contexts where intricate social structures are intertwined with city infrastructure and the complexities of collective memories embedded in (and around) a site. Through processes of participatory research, critical reflection, and sustained public programming, hidden potentials held within these scenographies can emerge. Members of Futurefarmers collective will join to share their perspectives from the frameworks of architecture, philosophy and anthropology.

Office hours: Thursdays 2:30 -3:30 pm ET (for 1-1 meetings with Amy)

***ALL Classes include FREE & Continuous Membership Access to our virtual campus Programming called Student Life
** Payment Plans Available

Amy Franceschini is an artist and designer whose work facilitates encounter, exchange and tactile forms of inquiry by calling into question the “certainties” of a given time or place where a work is situated. An overarching theme in her work is a perceived conflict between “humans” and “nature”. Her projects reveal the history and currents of contradictions related to this divide by challenging systems of exchange and the tools we use to “hunt” and “gather”. Using this as a starting point, she creates relational objects that invoke action and inquiry; not only to imagine, but also to participate in and initiate change in the places we live.

In 1995, Amy founded Futurefarmers, an international group of artists, anthropologists, farmers and architects who work together to propose alternatives to the social, political and environmental organization of space. Their design studio serves as a platform to support art projects, an artist in residence program and their research interests. Futurefarmers use various media to deconstruct systems to visualize and understand their intrinsic logics; food systems, public transportation, education. Through this disassembly they find new narratives and reconfigurations that form alternatives to the principles that once dominated these systems. They have created temporary schools, books, bus tours, and large-scale exhibitions internationally.

Amy received her BFA from San Francisco State University in Photography and her MFA from Stanford University. She has taught in the visual arts graduate programs at California College of the Arts in San Francisco and Stanford University and is currently faculty in the Eco-Social masters program at the Free University in Bolzano, Italy. Amy is a 2009 Guggenheim fellow, a 2019 Rome Prize Fellow and has received grants from the Cultural Innovation Fund, Creative Work Fund and the Graham Foundation.

Maximum Magic

In this seven week course, artists will get feedback on their art through various exchanges and explore their art practice’s connection with magic. From smoke & mirrors to spirits & mysticism, this course will be engaging all kinds of magical arts in relation to diverse creative practices, historical developments, and current cultural expressions. To provide a foundation and context for our studio-based endeavors, we will be actively experimenting with, and blurring the lines between, various interpretations of magic vis-à-vis science & sorcery, metaphysics & aesthetics, social engagement & ritual, and plenty of other enchanting topics. In this workshop, artists will get feedback on their art through various exchanges and explore their art practice’s connection with magic.

Office Hours: TBA
***ALL Classes include FREE & Continuous Membership Access to our virtual Campus Programming

Aaron Gach’s diverse artistic practice consistently addresses public concerns, social politics, and power dynamics. Inspired by studies with a private investigator, a magician, and a ninja, he established the Center for Tactical Magic in 2000. This collaborative authoring framework is dedicated to the coalescence of art, magic, and creative tactics for encouraging positive social change. Although the collaborations take many different forms, the work is largely the result of creative partnerships with a wide array of individuals and organizations, including hypnotists, biologists, engineers, activists, nurses, military intelligence officers, journalists, radical ecologists, former bank robbers, security experts, street vendors, community organizers, and many others. His work has been presented by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art; Hayward Gallery, London; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Vigo, Spain; Deutsches Theater, Berlin; and a major public commission for the City of Toronto. In addition to teaching at TAAS, Aaron Gach has taught courses in Community Art, Street Media, Art & Magic, Collaborative Practices, and 4D Art at the University of California Santa Cruz, Stanford University, the San Francisco Art Institute, and currently at California College of the Arts. This is the third time Aaron is teaching Maximum Magic Intensive at TAAS.

Professional Practice for Artists

In this 7 week class, we will move intently toward building our professional practices as artists. We will cover the many ways to be in the Art World(s), and how to get there: Goal Setting, Grants, Budgets, Pricing, Residencies, Open Calls, Artist and Project Statements, Elevator Pitches, CVs, Documentation, Websites, Networking and Promotion, and the importance of Community. We will share tips and strategies to help define and finesse each of these, by identifying our audiences, contexts, processes, research and challenges.

Lexa Walsh is an artist, cultural worker and experience maker. Walsh makes projects, exhibitions, publications and objects, employing social engagement, institutional critique, and radical hospitality. She creates platforms for interaction across hierarchies, representing multiple voices and inventing new ways of belonging, not only for people, but also for collections and archives.

She is a graduate of Portland State University’s Art & Social Practice MFA program and holds a BFA in Ceramics from California College of Arts and Crafts. She was Social Practice Artist in Residence in Portland Art Museum’s Education department, received the Southern Exposure’s Alternative Exposure Award, the CEC Artslink Award, the Gunk Grant, the de Young Artist Fellowship, and Kala’s Print Public Residency Award. Walsh has participated in projects, exhibitions and performances at Apexart, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Cité de la Musique, Exploratorium, de Young Museum, di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, Exploratorium, Federal Hall, Kala Art Institute, Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Mills College Art Museum, Oakland Museum of California, NIAD, Portland Art Museum, SFMOMA, Smack Mellon, Taipei Artist Village, Walker Art Center, Williams College Museum of Art, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. She has done several international artist residencies, tours and projects. She is currently Artist in Residence at Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, CA. This is the second time Professional Practice Intensive for Artists is offered by Lexa Walsh at the Alternative Art School.

This is the third time Lexa is teaching Professional Practice for Artists at the Alternative Art School.