The Practical Joke

Humor has been employed as a social critique and disruptive political tactic. It is also an access point to ideas behind many works of conceptual art. In this class, we will consider the practical effects of humor in social and artistic realms. We will identify forms (i.e. the one-liner), use theories of laughter (such as those from Bergson and Freud) to analyze contemporary examples and experiment with comic technique. Students will then utilize the ideas developed in class to design an ephemeral  exhibition which will take place during Portland State University’s international art and social practice conference, Open Engagement.