Practice of Art 8, 001 - Spring 2011
Source of these courses is Berkeley
Introduction to Visual Thinking. One hour of lecture and six hours of studio per week. A first course in the language, processes, and media of visual art. Course work will be organized around weekly lectures and studio problems that will introduce students to the nature of art making and visual thinking. Aspects of the Self - Others This first project has its roots within auto-biography/biography. However, instead of giving a “from birth to present moment accounting” in your piece, you’re asked to use a small aspect, as in a moment, event or memory from the larger time frame of your or another’s life. While it is certainly possible to encompass a lifetime of events within a piece, it is more often common to find yourself overwhelmed by the enormity of such a task. Conversely, taking an aspect of life and expanding upon it can deliver a more in-depth and interesting exploration/process and final piece. There is no “right” or “wrong” in making your choice. Exploring a major marker in one’s life, like graduation from high school, or the ritual of how a person brushes his/her teeth, both have the potential as subject to be incredibly interesting, or not, depending on how you handle them. Remember that your “process” counts as much as your “product.” Appropriation - Recontextualization - Integration Appropriation To appropriate is to borrow, or in an extreme sense, seize. Appropriation is the practice of creating a new work by taking a pre-existing image from another context (art history, advertising, the media) and combining that appropriated image with new ones. Some say Pop Art was appropriation’s precursor and Andy Warhol its godfather. Appropriation can be broadened in scope to encompass any “borrowing” from any source. With this interpretation, we begin to see that in the process of making art we are always taking from some person, place, or thing. Beliefs and notions about what constitutes the “originality of the artist” are made clearer from the perspective of a larger interpretation of appropriation. Recontextualization Recontextualization is an art word, which comes from “context,” “the circumstances in which an event occurs.” A thing taken out of context and placed within a new context/surrounding can take on new meaning. In art making, we appropriate a thing, “image/object/sound” from one source, and then give that “image/object/sound” a new meaning by placing it within a different context. When we place it in a new context, we “recontextualize” it. Marcel Duchamp invented the idea of the “readymade.” Pieces like “Fountain” stood not so much as art objects, but as catalysts for perceptual shift. Duchamp’s commentary states this premise clearly. “Whether Mr. Mutt with his own hands made the fountain or not has no importance. He chose it. He took an ordinary article out of life, placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under the new title and point of view – and created a new thought for that object.” By placing the appropriated image/object/word in a new context, we are giving it/them new meaning.
Integration Integration is the act of combining or fusing two or more parts into a whole. It is the manner in which and how carefully and fully these parts are combined that equals a strong integration. Strong integration gives a feeling of unmistakable intention to a work of art. Thoughtful integration informs the viewer as to how much consideration the artist gave to the “sum of the parts that make up the whole” in his/her artwork. While strong integration has roots in a sense of craft, “craft for craft’s sake” is never art. Perception – Phenomena – Entropy - Spirituality Below are the dictionary definitions of these words. Perception -consciousness, awareness -the awareness of objects or other data through the medium of the five senses -insight or intuition, as of an abstract quality Phenomena -any fact, circumstance, or experience that is apparent to the senses and that can be scientifically described or appraised, as an eclipse is a phenomenon of astronomy -anything that is extremely unusual; extraordinary occurrence Entropy -a thermodynamic measure of the amount of energy unavailable for useful work in a system undergoing change -a measure of the degree of disorder in a substance or system Entropy always increases and available energy diminishes in a closed system, such as the universe. Spirituality
-of or consisting of the spirit, not corporal -concerned with the highest part of the mind -characterized by ascendancy of the spirit, showing much refinement of thought or feeling Being spiritual doesn’t necessarily mean that one is religious, while being religious doesn’t necessarily mean that one is spiritual. The words that comprise this final project are realities with which you already have had some experience. Choosing one or more of these words as a “point of departure,” you will raise the level of your investigative ability to make your final artwork the most involved and fully realized thus far. Art 8 is an experience combining art and life. It offers you the opportunity to explore “points of departure” and process from a personal point of view. Art 8 will engage art history, theory, culture, visual fundamentals, conceptual strategies, and your experience. The course will be a positive experience if you adhere to the class and lecture schedule, stay focused on the issues at hand and give your best effort. Your instructors are your primary guides through the content of this course. Their experience and insight are invaluable. They are serious artists who have made art making and teaching their vocation. Without their dedication and passion, Art 8 would cease to exist. While your instructor is your primary teacher in the classroom, I am available to discuss your work on Monday afternoon from 1:30 – 2:30 and during my office hour, 1:30 – 2:30 on Wednesday. If these times don’t work for you, email me and we’ll set another time. Exercise Assignments Throughout the semester you will be given visual fundamental exercises. These formal assignments will focus on color, design principles, and conceptual / formal strategies relational to a wide range of art practice. Even if you have already done such assignments, you will always benefit from further investigation of basic principles. The most successful artists are able to utilize basic fundamentals in profound ways. Attendance Policy Your class will meet approximately thirty times this semester. You are allowed two unexcused absences before your grade will be dropped by one half, so that an A would become A-. The forth time that you are late; your grade will be dropped by one half. Always inform your instructor when you know that you will be absent or late. It is important that you be present for all critique days. Grading Policy Each of the three main projects makes up 25% of your grade. The remaining 25% will focus on the exercises and your total class participation. Word Association List During my presentations these words will be discussed. Materials and Tools Here are the basic tools and materials you will need. scissors, x-acto knife, 24” straight edge ruler, pencils (hard and soft,) erasers (pink pearl kneaded,) sketchbook, glue stick Your instructor will be adding other materials to this list. You will be responsible for supplying the materials for the three main projects. The closet in K395 contains basic hand and power tools for your use throughout the semester.