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Instructional Intimacies: Rules and Parameters for Actions that Would Constitute a Piece

Maryam Monalisa Gharavi, Adina Glickstein
June 9, 2024 to August 11, 2024 (10 classes)
Sundays, 1:30-4:30pm ET
Online (Zoom)
$1200 Scholarships available learn more...
Applications closed on April 15, 2024

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Instructional Intimacies: Rules and Parameters for Actions that Would Constitute a Piece, is an invitation to encounter, consider, and create artistic works that enliven questions of authorship and instruction through artistic uses of language and technology. We will study conceptual art and the “author” in the age of networked, decentralized, and augmented interventions. Classes include discussions and lectures about readings and conceptual artists from the 1970s onwards to explore transformations offered by artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. We move beyond traditional narrative forms to consider how we can wield linguistic instruction and technology to reimagine the world around us. We invite willful accidents in archives, experimental encounters in formal settings, and vexed mutations between private and public address. Participants will be guided to create a prospectus for a speculative project which may take the form of objects, publications, actions, performances, new media, or uncategorizable forms.

Course of Study

  • Week 0: SFPC orientation
  • Week 1: Authorship
  • Week 2: Conceptual art, 1970s-
  • Week 3: Conceptual art, cont.
  • Week 4: Collectives, embedded artists, industry
  • Week 5: Midpoint prospectus
  • Week 6: Guest instructor
  • Week 7: Computational authorship
  • Week 8: Generative AI writing session
  • Week 9: Feedback session
  • Week 10: Final crit and celebration


Time & Workload

How much time should I expect to spend on assignments outside of class?

  • 50 pages of reading every week (~2 hours)
  • ~500-700 words in response to weekly prompt to share with class (~1 hour)

Each participant should be prepared to have the following:

  • Pen, paper
  • Mobile or desktop device with strong wi-fi connection
  • Notion account
  • Readings will be provided
  • OpenAI Playground access will be provided
Learning Outcomes

By taking this class, you can expect to leave with the following:

  • A prospectus for a speculative project
  • A deep understanding of the role of rules and actions in shaping an artistic work
  • Larger connections between language, instruction, authorship, and artificial intelligence
  • The ability to communicate complex ideas through writing and discussion with peers

Is this class for me?

This class may be for you if:

  • You grapple with how to represent yourself online
  • You change your bio on social media often, or deliberately have no social media
  • You have none, little, some, or a ton of experience reading theory
  • You are interested in the analytical and material possibilities of language
  • You care about computational or computerized creativity
  • You have a project that you want support and feedback on
  • You want to develop a research-based practice
  • You are interested in generative AI
  • You are a thinking artist


  • “Professor Gharavi’s encouragement and intentionality played a huge role in my success. This course was a great outlet for both my creative and technical goals, and I will carry the lessons that I learned with me for the rest of my career.” (Liam Knowles, Northeastern University, Khoury College of Computer Science ‘22)
  • “Our class discussion on whether ‘data was the new oil’ helped us reckon with the implications of Big Data on privacy. Her conceptualization of oil and data being slippery and elusive, but also an invisible part of our daily life, resonated with me and ultimately helped me focus on the impact of data. The constructive feedback and guidance that she provided encouraged me to focus my Senior thesis around the issues of power and data.” (Oluwatona Campbell, NYU Gallatin School ‘21)
  • “Monalisa has done an excellent job teaching seemingly intangible writings by philosophers, architects, and artists in such a way that she doesn’t sacrifice the integrity of the original works by watering them down. Her own passion for the subject is evident in every interaction, as well as her prowess in the topics of discussion, and that makes the course such a pleasure to take.” (Marina Felix, Harvard College ‘19)

Meet the Teachers


Maryam Monalisa Gharavi

Maryam Monalisa Gharavi is an artist, poet, and cultural technologist whose work explores the limits of knowledge. She is the founder of Oil Research Group (ORG), a one-woman collective investigating oil, data, and extractive economies, awarded an Anonymous Was a Woman Environmental Art Grant by New York Foundation for the Arts in 2023. She completed a PhD at Harvard University; an MFA at Bard College; a postdoctoral Fulbright Fellowship; and has served as a visiting artist, guest studio critic, and professor at a dozen international institutions. Her books include The Distancing Effect; Alphabet of an Unknown City; Secret Catalan Poem; and two co-authored books, Dictionary of Night (with Mirene Arsanios) and Oil News 1989-2020 (with Sam Lavigne). Her book Bio is the first of its kind to be written on a social media platform while bypassing “big tech” data storage sites. She has served as artist-in-residence at nearly a dozen international institutions including Recess, Delfina Foundation, Industry Lab, and Sonic Acts. She is a prompt engineer in the field of generative artificial intelligence at an AI-first tech startup. She lives and works in New York City.

she/her · website · instagram


Adina Glickstein

Adina Glickstein is a writer and editor interested in the social implications of emerging technology. Her work focuses on labor and language in view of new media. She has edited books and magazines for the international art press centered on subjects like Web3, AI, and digital intersubjectivity, and previously wrote a monthly column about "internet culture" for Spike Art Magazine.

she/they · website · instagram

How do I apply?

Apply Now

Applications open until Applications closed on April 15, 2024.

You can expect to hear back from us about the status of your application on . Please email us at with any questions you have.

How much does it cost to attend?

For 10 classes, it costs $1200 + processing fees, for a one-time payment. We also offer payment plans. Participants can schedule weekly or monthly payments of the same amount. First and last payments must be made before the start and end of class. *Processing fees apply for each payment.

SFPC processes all payments via Withfriends and Stripe. Please email if these payment options don't work for you.

Applicant FAQ

For more information about what we look for in applicants, scholarships, and other frequently asked questions, please visit our applicant FAQ.

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