Words as Objects

This course will explore ways that language can take on material properties and how objects can have syntax and be “read.” Through studio assignments, readings, and discussions, students will investigate the idea of language as a tangible material that can be sliced, bent, inserted, reproduced, embedded, and scattered, as in the work of such modern artists as Guillaume Apollinaire, Susan Howe, Marcel Broodthaers, or Jenny Holzer. In each instance, our perception of meaning through language, and our perception of lived experience through material form, are both altered by their engagement with the other.

Sample reading list:
Claudia Rankine, Citizen
Matthea Harvey, If the Tabloids are True, What are You?
William Morris, The Kelmscott Press
Saul Steinberg, The Passport
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
This class involves workshop/critique elements punctuated by assigned readings and discussion. Techniques beyond writing, cut-and-paste, photography, and digital files will be addressed on a need-to-know basis. As a class we will work toward a public presentation of work before the semester’s end. The form(s) and location(s) of the public presentation will be an ongoing discussion topic in the class.

Other information:
This course is open enrollment; no application required.




Tuesdays, 1:30 - 4:20 pm
185 Nassau St., Room 219