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ESSAY #3: Due Sunday, Dec 2, by midnight

Essay Prompt:

Using the information from my lectures, the weekly readings, and the myriad of films and documentaries (Harvey, Klein, Alys), write 1-2 pages on the historic context of neoliberalism. What are the basic points of its political platform? How did the platform arise? Can you tell me about two historic test cases (eg Chile in 1n the 1970s; US under Reagan in the 80s; Clinton in the 1990s, etc)? What are the benefits and consequences it brings to a community or country? Finally, what is the relationship between neoliberalism and commodities?

For the second half of this essay you have a choice. Either:

a) Pick an artist that works with commodities (Michael Blum; Minerva Cuevas; Pedro Reyes, Frances Alys, or find your own). Spend a paragraph or two writing about their work. The analyze two of their compositions, interpreting for yourself (do not use art criticism found online) the narrative, composition, the medium, the experience, and the lesson about the given commodity. Make sure this ties in with your writing on neoliberalism as close as possible. Include the two pictures at the end of your essay. They do not count as part of the 4 page requirement.

b) create your own commodity-art installation (it can be as small as a soupcan with a new label, or as large as you want). Pick a commodity, and do a brief internet search about its production, its management, the salaries of the corporations CEO vs salaries of its wageworkers. If it is hard (or impossible) to find this information, tell me that what information is and not available and how hard it is to access. Then explain your artwork to me, (its narrative, composition, medium, and experience) and what message you are trying to communicate to viewers about the given commodity. Include a picture of your artwork at the end of the essay. This does not count as part of the 4 page requirement.

The advantage of option B is that you can then snap a picture of your installation art and use it as your final histogram with hashtags such as #neoliberalism #commoditychains and #installationart.You are allowed to keep the project for yourself or donate it to me by bringing it to class on the day of the final.

DO NOT use outside sources for this assignment. This is an exercise in close reading of course materials. It is not an exercise in research.

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Essay Rubric: (Total of 150 points possible)

Evidence of Scholarly Writing (Meet these requirements for the first 50 points

  • No slang and no contractions
  • Footnotes after short quotations, paraphrases, and casual references to a text.
  • Use of relevant quotations that are short (less than a sentence). no block quotes
  • Clarity of thought and short sentences
  • Thesis at the end of the introductory paragraph and topic sentences at the beginning of each paragraph.

Evidence of Higher-Level Thinking (Bloom’s Taxonomy categories of analysis, evaluation, and creation of an original argument).
50 points.

Evidence of Scholarly Reading of the Sources (Do you have references to sufficient names, dates, and historic events to convince me that you have read the weekly sources? Have written about the installation pieces in a way that demonstrates you have followed our strategies for understanding installation art? Are you paying attention to detail while still understanding the broader argument?) 50 points.

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