Students enrolled in our classes gain technical, conceptual, and professional development from working directly with professional artists toward the realization of the many dimensions of a Whoop Dee Doo production. These include community outreach, site-specific installation, materials, processes, performance and documentation.
As instructors we first aim to verse our students in the history, mission, and aesthetic of Whoop Dee Doo. Students are made actively aware of varied limitations, opportunities and collaborations that have occurred within our project history. In general, we feel it is difficult to “teach” resourcefulness. We strive for our projects to be reflective of the specific social, financial, and cultural environments within which we are working.
As artists, our approach is to understand the constraints, limitations, and opportunities within our project environment and allow theses constraints to serve in the conception and development of the final installation and performance. As we candidly detail our project history in the classroom we find that by example our students excitedly aim to approach problem solving throughout the semester with as an opportunity for innovation and creative growth.
Our students play a principal role in every aspect of the project. Individual and group assignments are created that make the students actively responsible for many of the major components of the project from community research, materials and processes, to fabrication. Each WDD project varies in scope and scale, and new course documents and assignments are created specifically for each semester and project. We strategically write each course to fit the project calendar and create a course arc that allocates time for a variety of teaching methods. Being a traveling project, WDD also has experience utilizing virtual classrooms to maintain consistent correspondence with our students remotely throughout the semester.
Upon the completion of a WDD project, our students have worked to facilitate creative collaboration with varied artists and performers within their community, conceptualized and fabricated site-specific installation, and participated in the exhibition and public promotion of a final performance. The learning opportunities available with a project of this scale are varied. Students commit to several aspects of the project individually, but as show time nears, we find that the individual pursuits give way to cooperative group work dissolves and everyone works together, and for each other, to ensure the success of the project. Upon semester’s end, our students leave with a profound sense of ownership and camaraderie.
Ironically, the summation of the Whoop Dee Doo experience cannot genuinely be documented. Our installation and stage set are typically de-installed moments after the show is over. New experience, new relationships and skills acquired are the only tangible evidence that the project took place. We feel it is of value to see art objects in a very short period of time progress through the phases of research, material, invention, function, fabrication, exhibition, and then to the obsolete. Our students are young artists working passionately toward the ephemeral.