Students conducting rhythmanalysis of Columbus St. in San Francisco 

Students conducting rhythmanalysis of Columbus St. in San Francisco 

Like a Corpse on a Bier (200-Level Undergrad) 
Visiting Faculty: Ryan Tacata
San Francisco Art Institute
Department of History and Theory of Contemporary Art
Spring 2015

Vernacular-landscape theorist J.B. Jackson defined Odology as: “The study of roads or journeys and, by extension, the study of streets and superhighways and trails and paths, how they are used, where they lead, and how they come into existence.” This course proffers an odological examination of the historic and neo-avant garde. From the ‘maternal ditch’ of F.T. Marinetti’s high-speed Futurist Manifesto (1909) to the mangled cars in Andy Warhol’s Death and Disaster Series (1962-64), we will examine how the road, and by extension the automobile, worked as both site and metaphor for the production of 20th century art. With our eyes on the road, we will examine works produced by: the Futurist painters, Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha, Wolf Vostell, Marina Abramovic, Chris Burden, Judy Chicago, and more.

Reading Art History in the Streets

For their final projects, students were asked to find aspects of their local streets in art works of the neo-avant garde while locating concerns of the neo-avant garde in the streets of San Francisco. After reviewing Henri Lefebvre's proposal for Rhythmanalysis and J.B. Jackson's vision for Odology, students conducted field research using their bodies as metronomes. The final product: a walking-art-historical sound map of San Francisco. 

Student Course Evaluations:

Honestly, one of the best teachers I’ve had. He made the class engaging and comfortable, and was really passionate about teaching these subjects.
I enjoyed the open ended writing style, which I have never done before in my three years at SFAI, and I felt that it improved my overall writing.
Amazing readings, amazing conversations - Ryan is amazing! This was the best class I’ve had at this school! I hope he comes back to teach again!