What does artistic production look like during a time of cultural unrest? How did America’s poets help shape the political landscape of the American 60s and 70s, two decades that saw the rise of the Black Panthers, “Flower Power,” psychedelia, and Vietnam War protests? Through reading poetry, studying films like Easy Rider, and engaging with the music of the times (Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors) we will think about art’s ability to move the cultural needle and not merely reflect the times but pose important questions about race, gender, class, sexuality, and identity at large.
Visual Arts Courses
Documentary filmmakers engage with the world by representing it in a myriad of subjective ways. This course will focus on cross-cultural issues surrounding representation in documentary filmmaking, both in front of and behind the camera. Through film production, screenings, texts, and discussions, this course will explore the central question of “who has the right tell whose story, and why?” Each student will produce, direct, shoot, and edit two 3-5 minute documentary films.
Using an array of site-specific, creative research methods, students will explore their local environments (inside and out) searching for data and the patterns, stories, and observations that follow. They will catalog and document their findings into evolving multimedia archives, iterating on various modes of collection and communication. Some of the topics covered include: Personal and Local Data, Documentary & Observational Drawing, Sound & Sensory Visualization, Data Collection, Data-Driven Storytelling, and Archival Research and Design.
The great thing about drawing is you can do it anywhere! This course approaches drawing as a way of thinking and seeing. We'll introduce basic techniques while also encouraging experimentation, with a focus on both drawing from life and drawing as an expressive act. Students will be introduced to the basics of line, shading, proportion, composition, texture and gesture.
An introduction to the materials and methods of painting, addressing form and light, color and its interaction, composition, scale, texture and gesture. Students will experiment with subject matter including still life, landscape, architecture, self-portraiture and abstraction, while painting from a variety of sources.
How does scientific research produce and reinforce concepts of gender? How is sexism propagated through technological media? This course investigates how scientific and technological media shape culture and society, particularly through the lens of gender and sexuality. Through interdisciplinary art making, students will use various technological media to reflect on the social, political, and ethical aspects of technoscientific feminism. Students will develop skills in 3d modeling, rendering, augmented reality, Illustrator, and Photoshop, creating art works in critical social discourse and gender theory.
An introduction to the processes of photography through a series of problems directed toward lens projection, the handling of light-sensitive material, and camera operation. Students will receive a kit that will contain the equipment and materials for analog image making, beginning with cyanotype printing and culminating with large format film exposure and processing.
This course introduces students to set and costume design for performance, exploring theater as a visual medium. Students will develop their ability to think about the physical environment (including clothing) as key components of story-telling and our understanding of human experience. Students will expand their vocabulary for discussing the visual world and work on their collaborative skills.
This studio course engages students in the decoding of and formal experimentation with the image as a two-dimensional surface. Through projects, readings, and discussions, students take a hands-on approach to making with an array of technologies (the camera, video camera, computer, solar printing, web publishing) and forms (billboard, symbol, screensaver, book) to address the most basic principles of design, such as visual metaphor, composition, sequence, hierarchy, and scale.
This studio production class will engage in a variety of timed-based composition, visualization, and storytelling techniques. Students will learn foundational methods of 2D animation, acquire a working knowledge of digital animation software and technology, and explore the connective space between sound, image, and motion possible in animated film.
In this course, students will reconsider sound as material through projects exploring physical technologies of sound-making along with listening and viewings of related arts and artists, readings and writings in theories of sound, new media, and phenomenology. This class offers a hybrid experience-an engagement with art-making and seminar, reconsidering our relationship to the body, physical material, and sound embodied in the world.
This course takes an exciting approach to color photography using methods of cameraless and lens based analog photography. We will experiment with Anthotypes, Lumens, Chlorophyll printing, and Polaroids. Several of the materials needed for this course can be found in your backyard or kitchen cabinet!
Narrative Filmmaking 1 is a hands-on production class designed for students from all academic backgrounds to learn about the art of video production and develop their creative voices using cellphones! The course will cover technical aspects of making films, including shot language, sound recording, and editing, and will explore what it means to make images at this critical moment of time.
Students in VIS300/DAN301 will create sculptures that relate directly to the body and compel performance, interaction, and movement. Students will also create dances that are informed by garments, portable objects, and props. Works will be designed for unconventional spaces, challenge viewer/performer/object relationships, augment and constrain the body, and trace the body's actions and form. The class will consider how context informs perceptions of the borders between performance, bodies, and objects. A lecture series of prominent choreographers and artists will accompany the course. This studio course is open enrollment.
In an increasingly digital world, this course promotes the hand-made image, teaching students to cut blocks, fashion stencils, plan and execute color layers all in pursuit of the development of subject matter. Block and stencil printmaking can be done anywhere - non-toxically - while still producing strong expressive images.
This course, conducted in English, is a study of Fascism through selected films from World War II to the present. The approach is interdisciplinary and combines the analysis of historical themes with an in-depth cinematic reading of the films.
What we'll be writing together won't quite be art criticism and it won't quite be traditional historical writing either, what we'll be writing together is something more akin to poetry, fiction, art criticism and theory fused into a multivalent mass. Keeping in mind that language can hold many things inside of itself, we'll use somatic and idiosyncratic techniques as a lens, reading a range of poets, theorists, critics, writers and artists who are all thinking with art while writing about bodies, subjectivity, landscape, and the inimitable forms that emerge from the studio.
How can screenwriters prepare for the evolving challenges of our global media world? What types of content, as well as form, will emerging technologies make possible? Do fields like neuroscience help us understand the universal principals behind screenwriting and do tech advances that alter the distance between audience and creator, man and machine, also influence content of our stories?
This advanced screenwriting workshop will introduce students to the fundamental elements of developing and writing a TV series in the current “golden age of television.” Students will watch television pilots, read pilot episodes, and engage in in-depth discussion about story, series engine, character, structure, tone and season arcs. Each student will formulate and pitch an original series idea, and complete the first draft of the pilot episode and season arcs by end of semester.
Advanced Questions in Photography will examine ways in which lens-based media can interrogate representation, class, gender and race. The class will look artists of the 1960's through 1990's such as Eleanor Antin, Adrian Piper, Douglas Huebler, Martha Rosler, Barbara Kruger, Carrie Mae Weems, Felix Gonzales Torres, Lyle Ashton Harris and more recent artists Trevor Paglen, Hank Willis Thomas, Jason Lazarus, Walead Beshty and Hito Steyerl.
This studio course builds on the skills and concepts of the 200-level Graphic Design classes. VIS 415 is structured around three studio assignments that connect graphic design to other bodies of knowledge, aesthetic experience, and scholarship. The class always takes a local concept or event as the impetus for investigations. Studio work is supplemented by critiques, readings and lectures. Students will refine their approaches to information design and visual problem solving, and to decoding and producing graphic design in print and electronic media.
This sculpture class will engage contemporary approaches to the figure with an emphasis on the figure as body. Students will take a multivalent approach to the historical precedents from which current representations have emerged and explore the limits of what constitutes the body and figuration in contemporary sculpture through the process of class discussions and making sculpture.
Modern art is coeval with the modern market. This seminar examines key moments in this complicated relationship. Under what conditions does an artistic avant-garde emerge? In what ways does it advance the interests of capital? In what ways does it challenge them? How do artistic forms change vis-à-vis transformations in economic modes of production and consumption? These and other questions will be probed with test cases drawn from Impressionist painting, modern architecture, mass culture, Dada, Pop, Minimalism, and postmodernist art.
Inspired by the experience of Black Civil War soldiers, the visual aesthetics of 19th century posters, and contemporary hip-hop, the award-winning writer and historian Imani Perry and the visual artist Mario Moore will collaborate on a groundbreaking new project. Using hip-hop to reimagine the soundscape of battle in the mid-1800s, Moore and Perry will negotiate both the historical record and the idea of what might have been. Students will work alongside Moore and Perry in drawing on language, visual prints and audio to make connections between the 19th century and our own revolutionary moment.