During the spring of 2018, three graduate students in Glenn Wharton’s Museum Studies course “The Museum Life of Contemporary Art” at New York University worked with NYU Institute of Fine Arts PhD student Brandon Eng to conduct the Organic Honey floor plan project. The aim was to post the project deliverables on the Joan Jonas Knowledge Base as a model to stimulate future projects by students and researchers. The three students were Alice Bertherat, Yiyang Wu, and Lingyun Zheng.
The students began by researching the work of Joan Jonas, with a focus on the performance Organic Honey’s Vertical Roll (1972). Jonas performed Organic Honey’s Vertical Roll multiple times between 1972 and 1980, and for this project, the students focused on documentation of a 1973 performance of the piece at Leo Castelli Gallery in New York. The students watched video documentation of the 1973 Leo Castelli Gallery performance in the video Organic Honey’s Vertical Roll (1973–99), housed in the archives of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI). Next, they reviewed photographs of the performance taken by James Patrick from the Leo Castelli Gallery records at the Archives of American Art. Finally, they read Jonas’s script of the work published in the monograph In the Shadow a Shadow: The Work of Joan Jonas, edited by Joan Simon and Joan Jonas.
After researching the work, the students assessed where different components were located in the gallery at different moments in the performance, including monitors, props, and performers. They sketched floor plans to identify where the components were located. Next, they used the Apple Keynote presentation application to render each floor plan. The floor plans were then exported as PDF documents.
- Alice Bertherat, Yiyang Wu, and Lingyun Zheng, Organic Honey’s Vertical Roll floor plan description, 2018. Organic Honey Floor Plan Project, Joan Jonas Knowledge Base.
- Alice Bertherat, Yiyang Wu, and Lingyun Zheng, Organic Honey’s Vertical Roll detailed floor plans, 2018. Organic Honey Floor Plan Project, Joan Jonas Knowledge Base.