Course Descriptions: Art
* Please note, courses listed below may or may not be offered. Please refer to the Course Catalog link for classes offered for the current semester.
ART 101 Signifying Practices: Art and Visual Culture. 4 hours. Introduction to theoretical perspectives for analyzing experiences of visual and multi-modal phenomena. Strategies for researching and writing about topics related to contemporary aesthetic practices. Course Information: Fields trips required at a nominal fee. Class Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Lecture and one Laboratory.
212 Topics in Drawing I. 4 hours. This course addresses current practices and theories in drawing. The course is an investigation of drawing as a vehicle by which to explore a variety of media. Previously listed as AD 203. May be repeated for a maximum of 8 hours. Field trips required at a nominal fee. Prerequisite(s): Sophomore standing or above; or consent of the instructor; and completion of the art foundation program. Course Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Lecture and one Laboratory.
230 Topics in Painting I. 4 hours. The body. To claim it as a figure is to formalize it, stripping away its selfhood, and equating it with every other mundane “thing” in the world. To claim it as an I is to isolate and internalize it, ignoring it’s political and social obligations as one among many and many as one. The body thus is inherently a site of politics, a location within which we negotiate identities, intentions, and actions at every given moment, and always at the service, or mercy of, others. This course will explore these ideas among others through the medium of painting and its histories. In what ways can we understand painting the body with a body as a shared language that silences discourse and amplifies the voice?240 Topics in Sculpture I. 4 hours. Specific topics, designed by the instructor, address current practices and theories in sculpture and installation. The course is an investigation of sculptural practices as a vehicle by which to explore a variety of media. May be repeated to a maximum of 8 hours. Field trip required at a nominal fee. Prerequisite(s): Sophomore standing or above and completion of art foundation program. Course Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Lecture and one Laboratory.
240 Topics in Sculpture I. 4 hours. Specific topics, designed by the instructor, address current practices and theories in sculpture and installation. The course is an investigation of sculptural practice as a vehicle by which to explore a variety of media. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 8 hours. Field trip required at a nominal fee. Prerequisite(s): Sophomore standing or above and completion of art foundation program. Class Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Lecture and one Laboratory.
250 Topics in New Media Arts: Social Tech. 4 hours. This course will investigate how artists and designers can critically engage the ways new technologies are reconfiguring the nature of social relationships. Today, artists and designers who use and develope social technologies can't help operating in the shadow of Silicon Valley, which throughout the past decade has fundamentally transformed the ways in which we work, communicate with family and friends, interact with space, and participate in culture. Surveyed topics include strategies of resistance within established social media, surveillance and counter-surveillance, the agency of non- human actors, contestational infrastructure, utopias and dystopias, and Benjamine Bratton's "design as immunization."
260 Topics in Digital Photography. 4 hours. Intermediate Digital Photography: Specific topics designed by the instructor, conceptual/contextual image making, familiarity with cameral, photographic techniques, Photoshop, basic lights techniques and high end printing. Course Information: Previously listed as AD 267. May be repeated for a maximum of 8 hours. Extensive computer use required. Field trips required at a nominal fee. Prerequisite(s): Sophomore standing or above and completion of the first-year art foundation program. Class Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Lecture and one Laboratory.
261 Topics in Analog Photography. 4 hours. Introduction to analog black and white photography: advance familiarity with camera, photographic techniques, printing and basic lighting. The course is an investigation of analog photography.
272 Topics in Video I. 4 hours. This is a class for making videos. Students will learn and get refreshers on digital camera operation, sound recording, lighting, non-linear editing, basic compositing and green screen. Our focus is hands-on video production, but we’ll also discuss the history, ideologies and aesthetics of the moving image as they exist in relation to our technologically morphing, information-overloaded culture. Expect equipment workshops, screenings, readings, discussions and critiques to this end. This class considers video as a transformative process rather than just a recording device.
274 Topics in Motion Graphics I. 4 hours. This course focuses on the production of Digital Photo/Video and Motion Graphics Art. Throughout the course we will work with After Effects and related media.Projects made in class will be informed and inspired by present cultural positions and theoretical insights drawn from contemporary art as well from your own life experiences.Through project oriented methods and diverse software, we will experiment and focus on the creation of artworks that are conceptually, aesthetically, and technically provocative. By the end of the course you will be able to employ the various image-making strategies presented in this course and apply them to your own creative work.The course time will be divided among lab, readings, screenings, and open discussions of the assignments and material presented. Students will work on a free personal project for the mid-term and final.
280 Topics in Color. 4 hours.This course will use black as an eternal reference to explore and understand Color Theory. Beyond the conventions of ROY G. BIV we are often left with a highly amorphous, political, and affective goo that penetrates our psyche faster than we can understand its impact. This course will explore color theory against black and through the body. It will be comprised of a variety of philosophically based projects and critical readings with which to approach theories of color and the impacts of black in/on our daily lives.
350 Advanced Topics in New Media Arts. 4 hours. This course offers a comprehensive exploration of rapid prototyping as it applies to the creation of new media art works from concept development to execution. Students with a variety of interests and skill levels are introduced to art historical and contemporary artworks that incorporate technology. Students are also taught fundamental skills in computer programming, electronics and digital fabrication, including laser cutting, 3d printing and CNC milling/routing. Through self-directed research, class discussions and critiques, students will develop plans for a final project to be completed by the end of the semester using the concepts and skills learned to augment the student’s own practice. Students will be required to keep a wiki page, materials conduct research, and present material to the class or discussion. (Prereq: ART 150 - Introduction to New Media Arts, or Consent of Instructor)360 Topics in Photography. 4 hours. Direct experience and related readings investigate innovations and major directions in contemporary photography. The instructor directs in-depth focus regarding a specific topic or emphasis. Previously listed as AD 360. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 hours. Extensive computer use required. Field trips required at a nominal fee. Prerequisite(s): ART 260; and junior standing or above; and consent of instructor. Course Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Lecture and one Laboratory.
362 Topics in Photography: View Camera and Lighting Studio. 4 hours. This course introduces students to ideas and attitudes that are inherent and possible with the large-format camera. The course covers traditional uses of large-format equipment including portraiture, landscapes, still life, and architecture, while developing a more personal viewpoint. The coursework covers sheet film, printing skills, related equipment, and individual projects using the large-format image. Available for use are 4x5 view cameras.
381 Topics in Documentary Media. 4 hours. We've all heard the term documentary, but what is it exactly? Where are it's edges and who defines them? In fiction, there is an interior vision the artist wants to manifest, and directors aim to exert control over their work. In non-fiction, artists draw inspiration from the real world and, in the process, cede some control to fate. This simplistic dichotomy drives us to slot movies into “narrative” or “documentary” categories. In the process marginalizing some of the most vital, innovative cinema happening today, which finds itself located somewhere between the two authorial desires. This class examines the impulses behind wanting to express truth or reality, and the ways these two concepts often become confused, both productively and problematically. From its beginnings, documentary has been at the frontline of ideological struggles over representation, power, memory and truth. The range of works we’ll look at and discuss in this course share some essential qualities: the use of “indexical” media (photo, film, video, audio), an interest in social conditions and the impact that events have upon place. Special emphasis will be placed on “chimeric” films which utilize both the found and the constructed.
382 Topics in Art: Themes in Contemporary Art. 4 hours. In the book “Why is that Art” Terry Barret” presents some definitions of Art and Artist. 1- An artist is a person who participates with understanding in making a work of art. 2- A work of art is an artifact of a kind created to be presented to an artworld public. 3- A public is a set of persons whose members are prepared to some degree to understand an object that is presented to them. 4- The artworld is the totality of all artworld systems. 5- An artworld system is a framework for the presentation of a work by an artist to an artworld public. These definitions are guiding principles for the understanding of the production, consumption and distribution of art. In this course we will address multiple contemporary practices in the artworld. We will study particular artists and their work and we will address current themes such as the environment, power, memory, sexuality and others. There will be readings, screenings, field trips and review of exhibitions. This is also a production course. Each student will be required to create 3 artworks in the medium or mediums of your choice.
382 Topics in Art: The Field. 4 hours. This is an interdisciplinary production and discussion course that uses both Chicago and Art Practice as field sites. We begin with Chicago as our source, with its geographic, geologic, historic and cultural sites. Art is the means by which the field is explored and given form (whether it is drawing, text, painting, sculpture, video, etc.). IN this course, we will explore different field sites in the city and also reflect on how are our individual interests are influenced by our responses to them, as we produce work. This is not an in depth techniques course, but, rather, an invitation for students to work on their medium of choice to explore and analyze the transformation of their field research into artistic practice. This class requires ample reading including Georges Perec’s “Species of Spaces” and Sarah Thornton’s “Seven Days in the Art World.” Students are expected to produce works (at least three projects) that enhance their individual field interests and research beyond the course. Students enrolled in the course need to purchase a museum membership to the Art Institute of Chicago, since we will use it as a constant field site and visit with curators and behind the scene collections.
401/402 Senior Projects: Critique. 6 hours. Exhibition/thesis production and seminar culminating in an exhibition/final thesis show for graduating seniors. Course Information: Previously listed as AD 453. Prerequisite(s): ART 401; and senior standing or above; and consent of instructor. Class Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Laboratory-Discussion and one Conference.
454 3D Space I: Modeling. 4 hours. The focus of this course is to engage critical contemporary issues in the city of Chicago via both physical and mediated interactions with the city. Students will create research-driven and data based projects that are radical both in purpose and material. As citizen-creatives, we are all invited (maybe obliged) to confront the social-political-cultural issues that confront our moment in history. But how and where? Where is contemporary public space? Who is the Author? Who is the audience? What forms of media may be appropriate or not? Research. Context. Media. Point of view. Action. This course offers an introduction to information visualization in the context of the arts, design, and social engagement. Consent of instructor required.
457 Interactive 3D. 4 hours. This course provides students with the necessary skills to design and develop innovative, interactive 3D apps for mobile media (including the iPhone and iPad) and the web. Through lectures, tutorials, and in-class projects, students will continue to develop the multipurpose skill set required to conceptualize, create, and publish interactive 3D works both on the web and in app format for mobile media. Consent of instructor required.
520 Seminar in Contemporary Theory. 4 hours. The growing political will to end the era of mass incarceration has led to federal and state commitments to “decarcerate.” Yet there is no policy roadmap for smart decarceration, much less prison abolition. This class focuses on the fascinating case study unfolding in Illinois. The governor committed to reducing the prison population by 25% by 2025, and now anything is possible. Significant decarceration requires a nuts-and-bolts strategy: judges, prosecutors, law enforcement and corrections must reverse current drivers of the prison population and could potentially adopt new strategies for policing and punishment. Sustainable decarceration would also protect people in divested and disenfranchised communities from both crime and incarceration, and address the barriers to social integration faced by people returning from prison. This hands-on course will examine the theory, policy and politics of decarceration. In addition to reading about the US prison boom and alternative models of justice, we will take many field trips, analyze white papers, legislative actions, media responses, and the role of advocates and those directly affected in influencing outcomes. Students will help organize and participate in a decarceration strategy convening.
ART 520 Patrick Durgin - ARTISTS WHO WRITE OBJECTS
This seminar is about the permeable boundaries between looking and reading, and writing and image-making. We survey salient practices coinciding with the birth of the artist's book, performance art, conceptual art, institutional critique, the "pictures" generation, and the so-called "post-medium" and "relational" phases of recent art history. We will take cues from a modest set of readings in linguistics, ethnography, and post-structuralist philosophy, as well as art criticism. Artists surveyed include Edgar Heap of Birds, Adrian Piper, Marcel Broodthaers, Scott Burton, Ed Ruscha, Sherrie Levine, Jenny Holzer, and Tan Lin. Additional workshop sessions will consider how the activity of writing and the phenomenology of reading already affect or may enhance our own creative processes, respectively.
ART 520 Kelly Kaczynski - ON FAILURE
This course looks at the ins and outs of Failure, its woven fates. While common rhetoric places failure as a negative binary to success, this course concentrates on failure as a generative event. Failure is a means of bettering, a form of understanding possibilities, a confluence of unlikely or uncanny events leading to resolution (or at least dissolution engendering a labor toward resolution), a derivation leading to evolution, a dissonance that sparks dynamic systems, rupture and fissures that transform societies, access to and an imperative for intuition, eccentricity, utopian visions. Failure is trans, failure is an organ, failure is praxis, failure is revolution, failure is truth, and failure is imaginative.
As a graduate seminar, we will be examining the models, functions and propositions of failure in multiple contexts including but not limited to the object, the body, representation (and truths), utopian structures, and more.
The course will proceed with group discussions based on texts, screenings, presentations, field visits, and impromptu exercises. There will be presentations and/or studio visits by students discussing their work in relation to failure