I consider teaching an important part of my practice. My aim as an educator is to be an instigator, challenger and supporter. Knowledge production in this field (of art) is not only based on institutional experience but also on a querying, consistent and experimental research through practice.
Please email for extended information on workshop and other teaching experience. I am always excited to think along with an idea/site/situation/desire/need to see how a teaching/learning experience can be created in dialogue.
"Gestures of Defiance: Queer, Feminist and Activist Performance Practices"
Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Oslo, Norway
Drawing upon non-traditional forms and practices of resistance this workshop explores the social, artistic and political potentialof queer performance. The workshop will be structured around two main elements of thematic discussions and physical movement that investigate the relationship between queer performance, art and activism.
Founded in Mary Coble’s artistic research projects, which over a number of years have resulted in multiple live performances, the workshop will analyze the dramaturgy of various modes of protests. How do bodies assemble, what language is used and whose voices are activated? This investigation includes humorous and performative acts labeled as “tactical frivolity” - such as glitter bombing, radical cheerleading and clowning.
During the workshop we think along with and draw inspiration from artists, activist groups, theorists and works such as: ACT-UP, Church Ladies for Choice, Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army, Black Lives Matter, The Water Warriors of Standing Rock, Shaun Leonardo, Sara Ahmed’s Living a Feminist Life, Judith Butler’s Notes Towards a Performative Theory of Assembly and Jack Halberstam’s The Queer Art of Failure.
With both historical and contemporary perspectives the workshop will also weave in and out of connections between the Trump administration’s rhetoric in relationship to the Scandinavian and European political climate including the rise of fascism, nationalism and pinkwashing – and how artists are responding to and calling for resistance.
The workshop will have a practical component where we experiment with our bodies, voices and movement in connection to contemporary urgencies of borders, barriers and assemblies. We will also explore the lines between play, violence and social control.
"Performance as Political Assembly"
Jutland Art Academy, Aarhus, Denmark; Bergen Academy of Art and Design
Coble’s artistic research project for a number of years has resulted in multiple performances that explore the relationship between queer performance art and activism; looking at gestures of defiance such as the raised fist or protests where groups of people link arms and assemble together or times where single bodies defy structures of power; and humorous and performative acts of glitter bombing or radical cheerleading and clowning -labeled as “tactical frivolity” that bring a focus to more non-traditional forms of resistance as part of this research.
Drawing upon resistance as a foundation the workshop will also weave in and out of connections between the Trump administration’s rhetoric in relationship to the Scandinavian and European political climate including the rise of fascism, nationalism and pinkwashing.
The workshop will think along with and draw inspiration from other artists, activist groups and theorist such as: ACT-UP, Church Ladies for Choice, Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army, Black Lives Matter, The Water Warriors of Standing Rock, Shaun Leonardo, Sara Ahmed’s Living a Feminist Life, Judith Butler’s Notes Towards a Performative Theory of Assemblyand Jack Halberstam’s Queer Art of Failure.
This will all be channeled through the political concepts that could be distilled specifically through the children’s schoolyard game Red Rover (which the live performance will be based on) such as contemporary urgencies of boundaries, barriers, fences and border control as well as the lines between play and violence and social control.
"Dancing to the News"
In collaboration with Ulla Hvejsel, 13 Festivalden 2016/Festival of Performance Art, Konstepidemin, Gothenburg, Sweden
In this workshop we will take on that stupidity, and try to dance our way through current events –and elaborate on the challenges or importance of dancing in a time like this.
(When I (Ulla) was a kid, we would jokingly say about someone who we considered to be less smart than us, that they were “so stupid that they could dance to the news”.)
During the 2 days of the workshop, we will discuss the claims that this joke makes about the news, stupidity, frivolity, seriousness and the potential undanceability of current events. How do we as art practioners respond to urgent times? Is there something decadent about making art now? Or do we need to both dance and make art as the most appropriate response to these desperate times?
To inspire and activate we will look at examples from the classical political or dadaist cabaret. Together we will make a series of short performances that will investigate the troubled relationship between activities like the arts, dancing and current events.
Please come dance with us!
-Mary and Ulla
"RAISE YOUR FIST"
At THE CENTER OF ARTS AND EDUCATION in collaboration with The Museum of Women´s History as part of Umeå PRIDE, Umeå, Sweden, September 2015
Join us for an evening of talking, thinking and making centered around the image and power of the raised, clenched fist!
Artist Mary Coble will lead this workshop with considerations of how the raised fist is an iconic marker and gesture of defiance within minorities’ fights against oppression. The workshop will begin with an introduction to the history of the raised fist and contemporary examples of how the fist continues to be a relevant symbol.
The discussion will lead to shared reflections on the personal relevance of the raised fist for each of us with the undertaking of then creating our own fist flags. The idea is that we’ll march with them at the day after the workshop at the parade on Saturday 19th. (More info from where, will come soon).
What are nowadays most often referred to as “Pride Parades” originally grew from social activist movements with the urgent need to march for space, visibility and solidarity. While it is important to celebrate queer pride and progress for lgbtq rights, this workshop insists on making room for resistance to the normative mainstreaming and the dominating political and social culture, when it produces discrimination, exclusion and repression. The heteronormativity and homonationalism that can be experienced through much of the commercialization of Pride events today conceals that there is much work to be done.
Lets raise our fists in solidarity with those who do not yet have the rights that the privileged majority of our community has.
As a part of the project "The White House", "The Centre for Arts and Education" will collect donated flags from the participants in the workshop to "The Popular movement archive in Västerbotten". It is a county archive with the assignment to collect and store documents from associations and social movements in the county of Västerbotten. One of "The White House" aims is to add on visibility of lgbtq-activities to broaden the archives and state the existences of lgbtq-people in the history and the culture heritage.
“Animating a Performing Archive”
In collaboration with Judith Schwarzbart (Performance Design, Roskilde University), Funen Art Academy, Museum for Contemporary Art, Roskilde, DK
The workshop was held as part of re.act.feminism – a performing archive, which is an archive presenting feminist, gender-critical and queer performance art by 120 artists and artist collectives.
“The aim of the workshop is to find ways of animating the archive through interventions in and presentations of material from the archive. We will experiment with actualization, re-enactment, embodiment, and other forms of engagement in, interpretation and presentation of selected material from the archive. We can consider an archive like this as a more or less dormant memory of artistic performative acts. Bringing works to life is not only an act of repetition and remembrance, it also means examining their (potential) meanings in our particular time and place. The workshop will hence research and bring to life works that the participants find relevant for our contemporary life and their own practices. The workshop will take place within a theoretical horizon inspired by queer and performance theory where existing and conventional acts are seen as scripts to be performed but also critically examined, as every new performance is a chance for rethinking and change.”
“Another Kind of Public Education”
In collaboration with artist Jeuno Kim, Funen Art Academy, Odense, DK
This workshop was a pilot project held throughout the Fall semester of 2014 at Funen Art Academy.
“These are informal pedagogical occasions to provide an opportunity for the examination of diverse visual theories/image politics produced in different disciplines and across disciplines. The meetings will ground a small segment of developments in the study of contemporary art to specific histories of class, race, ethnicity, nation, and sexuality. Participants will be urged to draw upon their own disciplinary and interdisciplinary backgrounds and interests to produce multifaceted analyses of how as artists, visual/sonic language can be used to critically and imaginatively open up the field of knowledge and understanding in complex and dynamic ways.”
“Dark Matter: The Politics and Practice of Art in Urban Spaces”
Funen Art Academy, Odense, DK
5 day workshop
“Dark matter” is a term used by Gregory Sholette, in his book titled the same, as a way of describing marginalized, ignored or dismissed artists whose works necessarily subvert and intervene in the political economy of the art world. His reference to the astronomical dark matter that makes up almost 96% of the universe yet is mostly invisible is a useful metaphor when looking at works that have a forceful resistance to or are pushed outside of mainstream inclusion. This workshop will expand on this thought by discussing practices that map the evolution, political and commercial significance of and the variety of expressions and techniques that could be considered non-mainstream works that hack urban spaces. Elements to the workshop will also include theoretical readings and discussions, visiting artists, a tour and conversation with the curator of the exhibition “Street Art: The New Generation” at the Kunsthallen Brandts and practical elements where participants will explore various interventionist practices.”
“Shame and Performitvity”
In collaboration with The Bergen Academy of Art and Design (Frans Jacobi) Valand Art Academy (Jason Bowman) and Funen Art Academy
This workshop was developed as part of a KUNO: An Art Academy Without Walls pilot-project for a potential series of performance seminars/workshops
There is a paradoxical connection between performance and shame. Many artist using performance know this from personal experience; the very act of performing in front of an audience can be connected with mixed feelings of shame. In a wider societal context , characterized by an increasingly normalization - economical and social - shame can again be seen as an instrument of marginalisation and social control. In this sense Shame has a wide range of connotations, from the personal, the sexual, the economical to the political.
“Site Specific Installation as Radical Transformation”
Funen Art Academy, Odense, DK
Working site-specifically/responsively through installation is one way to radically impact or alter the space where the piece is situated both physically and symbolically. This workshop will consider sites and concepts in relation to work that can be described as “site-specific, site-determined, site oriented, site referenced, site-conscious, site responsive, site-related, site resonate or site agnostic”. We will also discuss and practically explore material sensitivity; the term ‘radical’; practical aspects of working with transformative installations.
Creating a common platform of questioning and understanding:
We’ll discuss how the following ideas can be encompass through a historical, contemporary and critical lens; site: how it can be considered physically, spatially, metaphorically, the cultural or political framework involved; installation; radical/transformative ; space: literal, functionally, metaphorically. We’ll look at artists whose works has been labeled as such, read relevant text and with group discussions.
Practical experimentation and encounters through:
A session with a professional art space technician who can discuss experiences with certain materials and ‘tricks of the trade’ for getting objects to hang, stand, move etc. that we can interpret for use in our own practices; Creation of an installation within the parameters of your own studio space; Collaborating on an installation in the parameters of the academy ; Working on an ideal site-specific installation scenario, which can be either actualized or conceptualized but that will be presented to the group
Focal points will be:
Bodily navigation of a space for the viewer, Material relevance to content & decisions surrounding physical materials to the site, Aesthetic and conceptual choices based on intuition, experience and desire for the piece, Considerations of what it can mean to ‘radically’ transform a space on various scales of size, time and impact
"Body as Metaphor and Medium in Performance Art"
Movement Research Spring Festival 2010: HARDCORPS, June 2010
Courses taught at various art educational institutions in the US and Scandanavia atBFA and MFA levels.
Advanced Digital Printing
Another Kind of Public Education (co-taught with Jeuno Kim)
Art in Context
Fine Art Base Course (Valand Academy, pre-academy foundational course)
Introduction to Black and White Photograph
Introduction to Color Photography
Performance in Practice
Perspectives on Performativity and Feminist Artistic Practice (co-taught with Carina Borgström-Källén)
Time, Space and Technology (co-taught with Siobhan Rigg)
Taught sections in courses including:
Feminist and Queer Art
Other teaching experience includes:
“Practice Groups”/“Studio Critique Groups”
Bi-monthly/monthly meetings with the same group of participants over an extended period of time. This group is centered around the participants practice and is a time where ideas, work in progress or finished work can be presented and discussed. I encourage an open dialogue in the ‘safe space’ of the group where fears and practical problems are open to be addressed in a co-participatory learning environment
“Individual studio visits”
One on one meetings guided by the needs of the artist.
Various seminars on theory and practice