Fall 2016 Curriculum

Fall 2016 Curriculum

Visionary Studio Themes:

(Un)Plugged: Do we run technology or does technology run us?
Technology continues to generate new tools for communication and artistic production. We are all undeniably dependent on technological tools and gadgets in our everyday lives. The Internet, virtual reality, social media, digital self-modification, and other tools and digital spaces alter our lives and the ways in which we communicate and see ourselves and the world around us. Contemporary artists are increasingly using technology in their work: both as an artistic  medium  and an opportunity to question and critique our use of it. After looking at the work of artists such as Krzysztof Wodiczko, Cory Arcangel, and Trevor Paglen, this class will introduce a wide range of artistic media to explore the state of technology and consider different perspectives. Students will think about and visualize their own ideas about technology and create work responding to the question: Does technology controls us or do we control technology?

Vote This!: What Does Democracy Look Like?

Each national election season our country gets caught up in debating whose vision for America is the best one. For many people the election season is long, often leaving us exhausted from the media coverage, skeptical of politicians, and unable to think critically about how democracy does or does not impact our daily lives. This election season with nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the debates about democracy are even more critical. Politicians, journalists, and the general public are now forced to take a stand about what democracy in the 21st century should look like both nationally and internationally. We will survey contemporary artists, such as Thomas Hirschhorn, Jeremy D. Olson, and Group Material who use their artwork to express, critique and challenge ideas about democracy. Students will engage with their own personal experiences and ideologies, and will use a range of mediums to explore the question: What are our personal experiences of democracy?

#NoJusticeNoPeace: How can artists contribute to racial justice?

Racism, from the height of European colonialism to our present-day conflicts and injustices, has fueled unthinkable violations of human life. Most recently, our attention has been drawn to the deaths of numerous unarmed African American people at the hands of police officers. Visual art in particular provides a powerful tool for artists invested in confronting and overturning racist ideologies. Students will explore the work of contemporary artists such as Rashid Johnson, Kehinde Wiley and Shirin Neshat, who all focus on race, ethnicity and identity, often on a global scale. In this class, utilizing a variety of skills and materials, students will challenge themselves to ask the following question through their work: how does contemporary art challenge our institutions and histories? How do we respond to misrepresentation and underrepresentation in the art world? And what is the potential of art to impact the ways in which we conceptualize racial and ethnic identity both here and abroad?

Gender Lines: What is the future of the gendered body?

Since the mid twentieth century, philosophers, social scientists, and historians have theorized that gender—the roles, characteristics, and activities that distinguish men from women—is not innate but socially constructed. Behaviors thought to be feminine or masculine differ from one culture to another, and across time periods. Many artists have examined, challenged and critiqued the relationships between gender and society in their work, addressing topics such as women in domestic and public spheres, conventional standards of beauty, how societal pressures and mass media inform and reinforce our expectations of men, and the constricting notion of the traditional gender binary. In this class, students will examine their own understanding of gender and their position along the spectrum of gender identity and expression. Students will use their art to critically explore conventional expectations of the gender binary within the reality of an increasingly fluid, contemporary global conversation.