Academics . Courses
Art & Its Social Life in Madagascar
Course No. ACD 382 / HCS 382 Credits: 3.0
Madagascar is a large island in the Indian Ocean, just southeast of the African mainland. Artistic practice in Madagascar is very distinctive, being informed by a unique blend of the 20 different ethnic groups on the island and a broad division between rural (animist, or ancestral cultures) and urban lifestyles. This course explores a range of Malagasy arts, giving particular attention to the forms these arts take, the processes of their production and the relations they maintain to the island’s social and cultural lives. Throughout the course, readings and discussions will be supplemented by images, videos and collected art. Students will be asked to analyze the various Malagasy art forms and the processes that go into their production, as well as to think critically about the relations these aesthetic practices have with Malagasy socioculture. Formerly ACD 379X/HCS 379X.
Course No. ACD 383 / HCS 383 Credits: 3.0
This theme-based art history course is designed to give students an in-depth, semester-long investigation into the art movements and ideas that informed Conceptual Art's development in the 1960s and 1970s as well as its impact on contemporary art making in the decades that followed. This course will cover, but not be limited to, the so-called heyday of Conceptual Art in the 1960s and 1970s, a focus on which would otherwise reinforce the traditional modernist art historical framework that defined styles in part by limiting them to a specific time period. Significant time in the class will be devoted to investigating examples of conceptually-informed art created in the 1980s, 1990s and the early 21st century, underscoring the impact of Conceptual Art's legacy for art, craft and design today. The course will investigate the philosophies that informed conceptual art that allowed artists to problematize the conditions and encounters with art; the conventions of its visuality, and the circumstances of its production. Visual Culture Emphasis course. Fulfills post-1960s art history requirement. Formerly ACD 483X / HCS 483X.
Changing Views: Perspectives on African Art
Course No. ACD 385X Credits: 3.0
Through lectures, readings, and discussions, this seminar will explore important developments in the history of the reception, study, and photography of African art, from the 15th century to present day. An analysis of a number of key publications by pioneering scholars in the field will illustrate the multiple approaches that have been developed to gain insight into Africa’s artistic heritage. Special attention will be devoted to the dialogue between anthropological and art-historical perspectives on the arts of Africa. This seminar will also address the politics and ethics of the acquisition and representation of African art, as well as the methodological challenges connected to their formal and stylistic diversity, and issues of artistic production and patronage.
Media Arts + Visual Culture: Installation
Course No. ACD 387 Credits: 3.0
This course investigates the emergence, prominence and impact of the installation as a new medium in contemporary art. "Media arts" or "new media" include but are not limited to video and experimental film, performance, interactive art, digital media, and especially the installation, which itself embraces a wide range of media. We will focus on the growth of the installation from "environments" in the 1960s into a distinct artistic medium used widely since the 1980s. We will discuss the work of many recognized artists and some less familiar artists from around the world as well as corresponding theories of media within the broader field of visual culture. Using a wide range of installations as examples, particular attention will be given to the implications that new media, especially digital media, have for the creative process and the critical social issues that they raise. Visual Culture Emphasis course. Fulfills post-1960s art history requirement. Formerly ACD 486.
Media Arts & Visual Culture: Interactive Zones
Course No. ACD 388 Credits: 3.0
What is "interactivity"? A recent publication is titled Total Interaction, but what does that mean? In this course we will look closely at the history, theory, and practice of the interactive as a facet of contemporary art, design, and media culture. We will explore thematic zones or territories of the interactive both real and imagined, including: cybernetic systems, sci-fi and popular culture, visionary design, interactive animations and massive multi-player games, convergent technology, responsive environments, and "A.I." (i.e., artificial intelligence). A previous course in modern and contemporary art or visual culture is assumed for all participants. Visual Culture Emphasis course. Fulfills post-1960s art history requirement. Formerly ACD 488.
From the Front Row
Course No. ACD 389 / HCS 389 Credits: 3.0
Does writing about a film mean something different from writing other things? What is cinematic representation? Cinema is a cultural phenomenon but what do we mean when we say such a thing? Is film a language? What is critical theory? The aim of the seminar is to encourage undergraduate students interested in cinema to develop better written and verbal skills within the context of a broader field of cinema studies. Students will debate the essence of cinema and acquire a framework for understanding its formal qualities. In the process, they will learn to experience film as a visual language, explore its similarities to other arts, and analyze its relation to critical dialogue. FROM THE FRONT ROW; Cinema and An Approach to Critical Writing is divided into three sections or thematic discussions with each section intended to follow one another to provide a cumulative sense of the field of study. Some cross-reference is required to initiate debate and discussion. May be applied as Post 1960s art history course.
Art History, Theory, Criticism Emphasis Senior Research Paper
Course No. ACD 415 Credits: 3.0
Research paper required of seniors pursuing the Visual Culture Emphasis. Not open as an elective. Offered spring. Pass/fail.
Issues in Design: Theory + Culture of Design
Course No. ACD 416 Credits: 3.0
What exactly is the "culture" of design? Design writer Guy Julier recognizes a shift in the design profession from "a multidisciplinary to an interdisciplinary activity." This assertion will become our point of departure for exploring the interdisciplinary aspects of contemporary design practice and theory in relationship to the complexities of culture and society, especially with respect to urban environments. We will move from conventional considerations of the history of modern and postmodern art and design, to a broader contemporary understanding of design with respect to globalization, consumerism, technological change, sustainability, infrastructure, city planning, urban design and alternative trends. Visual Culture Emphasis course. Fulfills post-1960s art history requirement.
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