Course Descriptions: Art

Art Foundation

Click here for a printable flyer of the Spring 2020 Art courses!

* Please note, courses listed below may or may not be offered. Please refer to the flyer above 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.

 
ART 112 Introduction to Drawing. 4 hours. Introduction to Drawing: Orientation to the description and expressive potential of drawing through exposure to a variety of subjects, media, and formal concepts. Course Information: Previously listed as AD 102. Field trips required at a nominal fee. Open to non-majors by approval, obtained in Jefferson Hall, Room 208. Course Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Lecture and one Laboratory. 
 
ART 130 Introduction to Painting + Color. 4 hours. Beginning Painting: Introduction to major directions of contemporary painting; underlying historical precedents; orientation to subjects and formal concepts using relevant materials and process. Course Information: Field trip required at a nominal fee. Open to non-majors by approval, obtained in Room 208 Jefferson Hall. Course Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Lecture and one Laboratory.
 
ART 140 Introduction to Sculpture. 4 hours. The study of major directions and underlying historical precedents in contemporary sculpture. Orientation to concepts of 3-dimentionality through use of relevant processes and heuristic approaches to making. Course Information: Previously listed as AD 140. Field trips required at a nominal fee. Open to non-majors by approval, obtained in Room 208 Jefferson Hall. Course Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Lecture and one Laboratory.
 
ART 150 New Media Arts. 4 hours. This studio course introduces fundamental skills used to create interactive art, sound, light, and responsive environments, including circuit making and bending. Hands on exercises enable all students to explore and master the use of basic electronic components, sensors, and programming for interactive installation projects. Class lectures introduce students to the most innovative and provocative new media artists. (No prior experience required. Students will need to have a laptop computer.)
 
ART 160 Introduction to Digital Photography. 4 hours. Introduction to Digital Photography: Basic familiarity with camera, photographic techniques, Photoshop, low level lighting, and high end printing. Includes social, cultural, critical, and aesthetic considerations of the medium. Course Information: Previously listed as AD 150. Extensive computer use required. Field trips required at a nominal fee. Fully manual Digital Camera and laptop computer with appropriate Photoshop software is required. Open to non-majors by approval, obtained in Room 208 Jefferson Hall. Course Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Lecture and one Laboratory.
 
ART 170 Introduction to Moving Image. 4 hours. Introduction to the practice, history, and context of the moving image. Basic experimentation with image/sound capture and editing as related to film, video, and audio. Course Information: Previously listed as AD 170. Field trips required at a nominal fee. Computer use required. Students in 170 are taught Premier (part of the Adobe suite). Students can use their own cameras OR check out equipment through the School of Art & Art History. Open to non-majors by approval, obtained in Room 208 Jefferson Hall. Course Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Lecture and one Laboratory.

 

ART 190 Introduction to Socially Engaged Art. 3 hours. 

Socially Engaged Art is a term that includes numerous forms of artistic practice. This form of art aims to create social/political change through collaboration with individuals, communities, and institutions in the creation of participatory art. Often times, this discipline values the process of a work over the finished product or object.  Some examples include artistic activism, community based art, creative place making, cultural organizing, performance, participatory art, social practice, and social sculpture. This course will utilize both online, field trips, and in-class sessions to learn, explore, and experience examples of this type of art production.  Students will be expected to travel throughout the city to learn more about artists, organizations, and the various neighborhoods they live and work in. No prior art experience required

 

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. 

We strive for achieving the “new”: that vague, mutable, and nearly unhinged thing / gesture / moment / thought which will somehow elevate ourselves to a level of creativity that moves beyond our limits. The orgasm of uniqueness. This class will address that which painting and technological society is always wrestling with: the copy. Avatars, codes, idols, apprenticeships, and the curiously ineffable nugget inside creativity. As the world continues to speed up, so does our need for the new. Because of the incessant capitalists that we all are, the aura of anything is EVERYTHING. The aura seduces us, embedding itself in objects, ideas, and personalities with such an erotics that we are left vulnerable to incessant desire. “I know you are, but what am I”? What is not a copy? What is the difference between a copy and a double? Can a copy be an original? Like...seriously. Film, music, and dance will be significant reference points for this class as well. 

 

240 Topics in Sculpture I. 4 hours. 

Working Wood in Sculpture

In this class we will explore traditional woodworking application as it applies to making sculpture.  Techniques such as milling, joinery, shaping, planning, finishing and a general understanding of wood as a material have historical applications related to construction, cabinetry, furniture and instrument making.  Students will learn some of these basic (and more advanced) procedures for building objects out of wood. We will study how artists have borrowed methods from these disciplines and applied them to conceptual and formal art problems.  To be clear this is not a furniture making class. Rather it is a class that uses ideas and skills that come out of a background of functional craft and applies them to sculpture.

 

250 Topics in New Media Arts: 

Game Play

This hands-on course offers an exploration of art works constructed as games and investigates methods by which game authors extend the visual traditions and conceptual ideals of contemporary art into the gaming medium. Games represent a rapidly emerging medium, the history of which must be analyzed through the lenses of art history, new media studies, and game studies in order to be fully contextualized. Students will explore different game genres while gaining the technical skills needed to create their own games as well as analyzing, developing, and playing games in order to gain an understanding of their frameworks and programmatic strategies. The course is intended to incite an active and critical perspective on contemporary game practices in art and digital interfaces. No prior programming experience required. Laptop Required.

 

260 Topics in Digital Photography. 4 hours. 

Topics in Digital Photography: Expanded Photography

The outline of this course will focus on advanced approaches to Digital Photography and the ways in which contemporary photographic imaging has expanded alternative perspectives in our everyday world. Students will gain technical knowledge to digital imaging tools including : DSLR camera set up, advanced lighting techniques, and large scale digital printing. In addition, this course will analyze contemporary imaging technologies such as cell phone applications, computer vision, object recognition, surveillance technologies, scientific imaging, and beyond. Students are also encouraged to research alternative imaging techniques to convey their understanding of what it means to expand their photographic process beyond traditional approaches to the medium. 

 

261 Topics in Analog Photography. 4 hours. 

Analog Photography analyzes the initial driving forces of the medium: light and time. Throughout this course we will breakdown exposure, the mechanics of the camera, and the physicality of the print. Black & White and Color processes will be covered in addition to studio lighting, and 35mm, medium, large format cameras. Towards the end of the semester the course will experiment with alternative processes and analog’s place within Digital Media. 

 

ART 272/372 Topics in Video

The Performative Body for the Internet - How to make memes (T/H 3-5:40)

It is a class about what it means to be a YouTuber, a Tiktok Star, an anonymous meme maker, a big time comedian but only on twitter and applying that to your art practice. This class is a moving image based class that will discuss how the physical body fits into the increasingly digitally networked world and the power that can lead to. This class will be evenly spread between performance and video with the attention to the body's gestures, affect, dress and all over performance and how it translates when captured by the camera with the intention to release online.We will look at artists like Chris Crocker, Tonetta, Wendy Vanity, Ryan Trecartin, Rachel MacLean, Sondra Perry, Jacolby Satterwhite, Brad Troemel and many more. We will talk  about and employ strategies of distribution through social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, YouTube etc. Students are responsible for weekly meme creation, write weekly reading responses, produce two larger works with specific parameters and a final project that will be a combination of topics of their interest.

(Prereq: ART 170 - Introduction to Filmmaking, or Consent of Instructor: Zachary Hutchinson, zhutch2@uic.edu). Laptop Required.

 

ART 274/374  Topics in Motion Graphics:  Experimental Techniques

Instructor Laura Harrison

M/W 3:00-5:40

In this mixed level animation class we will explore experimental methods to create animated films. From classical hand drawn cells to graphite and glass “destructive animation” (a form of animation that is built on erasure and re drawing) to drawing and painting directly on film we will create work that allows a greater sense of intimacy with materials and content. At the end of the class you will have a series of short experiments along with a one to two minute final film.

280 Topics in Color. 4 hours. 

Collaborative Resistance Printshop

This class will focus on the creation of graphic images within a social and political context to amplify the stories and concerns of historically marginalized groups, with specific attention given to Chicago neighborhoods. Using accessible printmaking techniques, students will potentially work with community organizations doing grassroots organizing to develop and distribute images that support people movements. We will learn from the work of contemporary artists working in collaboration with people to challenge oppressive systems.

 

 

350 Advanced Topics in New Media Arts. 4 hours. 

Digital Fabrication (MW 11-1:40)

This course offers a comprehensive exploration of rapid prototyping as it applies to the creation of new media artworks - from concept development to execution. Students of all skill levels are introduced to a world of contemporary art and design projects which incorporate digital fabrication technologies. Such technologies include laser-cutting, 3d printing, wearable and interactive electronics, and conductive materials. 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 their individual practice. (Prereq: ART 150 - Introduction to New Media Arts, or Consent of Instructor: Sabrina Raaf, sraaf1@uic.edu). Laptop Required. 

 

Physical Body: Virtual World (MW 3-5:40)

How does the physical body perform through virtual time and space? In this course, students will respond to this paradox by way of synthesizing audio, video, performance, and installation art. Students will be exposed to flexible technologies that enable artists and performers to create multifaceted projects without requiring complex programming. Techniques will include video projection mapping, digital controllers for real-time interactivity (such as Bluetooth and midi), body tracking, audio mixers, and visual programming for sound design. Students will learn how to use immersive technologies to respond and interact with their environment to create captivating experiences using light and sound. Additionally, this course will provide an overview of the history of multimedia performance, computer music, and responsive installation art.  (Prereq: ART 150 - Introduction to New Media Arts, or Consent of Instructor: Sara Condo, scondo3@uic.edu) Graduate Students may enroll in this course under ART 480. Laptop Required.

 
 

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.

ART 372:

The Performative Body for the Internet - How to make memes (T/H 3-5:40)

It is a class about what it means to be a YouTuber, a Tiktok Star, an anonymous meme maker, a big time comedian but only on twitter and applying that to your art practice. This class is a moving image based class that will discuss how the physical body fits into the increasingly digitally networked world and the power that can lead to. This class will be evenly spread between performance and video with the attention to the body's gestures, affect, dress and all over performance and how it translates when captured by the camera with the intention to release online.We will look at artists like Chris Crocker, Tonetta, Wendy Vanity, Ryan Trecartin, Rachel MacLean, Sondra Perry, Jacolby Satterwhite, Brad Troemel and many more. We will talk  about and employ strategies of distribution through social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, YouTube etc. Students are responsible for weekly meme creation, write weekly reading responses, produce two larger works with specific parameters and a final project that will be a combination of topics of their interest.

(Prereq: ART 170 - Introduction to Filmmaking, or Consent of Instructor: Zachary Hutchinson, zhutch2@uic.edu). Laptop Required.

 

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.

 

ART 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 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 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