Art and the Internet
Cross-listed: Experimental Humanities; Science, Technology & Society. This production course considers the Internet as a source of creative material, an exhibition context, and begetter of new art forms. With reference to electronic media history and theory, we survey the contemporary landscape of online media production. Topics covered include: the origins of “net.art,” hypertext narratives, social networks, surf clubs and group blogging, web video, machinima, hacktivism, online games, online performance, digital readymade and assemblage art, among others. Students complete independent and collaborative creative projects designed to respond to and engage with Internet technologies and online networks. No special expertise with computers is required, but all work for the seminar will be produced using the digital media we study.
Character and Story
An introductory screenwriting course that focuses on writing character-driven short pieces. There will be writing and research exercises, screenings, discussions, readings and script critiques. The course will cover story structure and story design in relationship to character development. The students will complete a short character study screenplay. No prerequisites.
Documentary and Social Media Workshop
Cross-listed: Anthropology, Human Rights. What real world relationships between individuals, social classes, genders, races and cultures have the necessary friction to generate compelling images for today’s filmmakers? This class will draw on readings, screenings, and production assignments to introduce you to the craft, history and theory underlying documentary film production with an eye on the concerns that motivate you and that animate your work. Open to students with cross- disciplinary interests with priority given to those with production experience.
Documentary Film Workshop
A video production workshop for students interested in social issues, reportage, home movies, travelogues and other forms of the non-fiction film. Working in both small crews and individually, the students will travel locally to a variety of locations to cover particular events, people and natural phenomena. A final project, that is researched, shot and edited during the second half of the semester, is required of each student.
Electronic Media: Digital Animation
Cross-listed: Experimental Humanities In this course we will make video and web-based projects using digital animation and compositing programs (Macromedia Flash and Adobe After Effects). The course is designed to help students develop a facility with these tools and to find personal animating styles that surpass the tools at hand. We will work to reveal techniques and aesthetics associated with digital animation that challenge conventions of storytelling, editing, figure/ground relationship, and portrayal of the human form. To this end, we will refer to diverse examples of animating and collage from film, music, writing, photography, and painting. Prerequisite: familiarity with a nonlinear video-editing program.
Electronic Media: Performance & Video
Cross-listed: Experimental Humanities, Theater This course explores intersections of video and performance art. Course participants develop ways of using video’s most fundamental property: its ability to reproduce a stream of real-time synchronized images and sounds. How does video technology mediate between on-screen performer and audience? How can artists interested in creating critical and self-reflexive media respond to video’s immediacy and “liveness”? How can performance artists use video playback devices, displays, projectors, and interactive elements to shape and enhance live art? Course participants will work on individual projects using cameras, monitors, switchers, surveillance systems, projectors, and software-based video mixers. The first half of the course concentrates on the creation of performance “tapes” (or tape-less video documents) and the history of experimental video focused on framing staged live activities. The second half of the course concentrates on the use of video as a central component within live art events, plus a continued discussion about the larger cultural and psychological impact of live video production. Readings on and viewings of work by Nam June Paik, Andy Warhol, Joan Jonas, Martha Rosler, Laurie Anderson, Richard Serra, Chris Burden, John Baldessari, Bruce Nauman, Gilbert & George, George Kuchar, William Wegman, Michael Smith, Walid Raad, Wynne Greenwood, Shana Moulton, Eileen Maxson, Ryan Trecartin, Xander Marro, Miranda July, Sadie Benning, Jeremy Bailey, Paper Rad, Harry Dodge and Stanya Kahn.
Electronic Media Workshop
This course is designed to introduce you to various elements of video production with an emphasis on video art and experimentation. The class culminates with the completion of a single channel video piece by each student. To facilitate this final project, there will be a number of camera and editing assignments that are designed to familiarize you with digital video technology while investigating various aesthetic and theoretical concepts. Class sessions will consist of technology demonstrations, screenings, critiques and discussions. Technology training will include: cameras, Final Cut Pro, studio lighting and lighting for green screen, key effects, microphones and more. No prerequisites, permission from instructor.
Found Footage, Appropriation and Pranks
Cross-listed: Experimental Humanities. This course surveys the history of appropriation in experimental media from the found footage, cut-up and collage films of the 1950’s through the Lettrists and Situationists and up to current artistic and activist production efforts such as culture jamming, game hacking, sampling, hoaxing, resistance, interference and tactical media intervention. The spectrum of traditions which involve the strategic recontextualizing of educational, industrial and broadcast sources, projects that detourn official ‘given’ meaning, re-editing of outtakes, recycling of detritus, and a variety of works of piracy and parody which skew/subvert media codes will be examined for their contribution to the field. Issues regarding gender, identity, media and net politics, technology, copyright and aesthetics will be addressed as raised by the work. Students are required to produce their own work in video, gaming, installation, collage and/or audio through a series of assignments and a final project.
Framing the Election
Cross-listed: American Studies; Experimental Humanities; Science, Technology & Society. If a canon of film, video and new media exists, it includes provocative media made in response to presidential elections. Fiction and documentary works like Haskell Wexlers Medium Cool, TVTVs Four More Years, Robert Altmans Tanner 88 and Nashville, Jason Simons Spin, DA Pennebakers War Room, and RTMarks voteauction and gwbush.com websites successfully capture the complex narratives and legacies of the last four decades election years. Designed to coincide with the months immediately prior and following the US presidential election in November, Framing the Election provides a structure for the course participant to capture, process, frame and produce some aspect of presidential politics in terms of ones own personal experience. Following the chronology of the election, we will use the first two months of the semester to gather source material and consider texts produced out of prior elections. The latter part of the semester is dedicated to the production of films, videos, sound works or internet-based projects made in response to the results of this election. Works may reflect any political persuasion and take any form including documentary, diary, personal essay, fiction and music. Prerequisite: a familiarity with and access to the tools one intends to use to produce work.
Gesture, Light and Motion
A filmmaking workshop introducing the student to the narrative form through the qualities of gesture, light and motion on screen. Focusing on these elements above dialogue and literary approaches to storytelling, allows the filmmaker to develop expressive control to communicate a deep sense of character. Approaches to visual storytelling, examination of narrative strategies, hands-on shooting, and solutions of practical and/or aesthetic problems, as they are encountered in the making of a film.
Graphic Film Workshop
This course explores the materials and processes available for the production of graphic film or graphic film sequences. It consists of instruction in animation, rephotography,rotoscoping, and drawing on film and of viewing and discussing a number of films that are primarily concerned with the visual.
Introduction to 16mm Film
An introduction to filmmaking with a strong emphasis on mastering the 16mm Bolex camera. Students will be required to shoot six different assignments designed to address basic experimental, documentary, and narrative techniques. A wide range of technical and aesthetic issues will be explored in conjunction with editing, lighting, and sound recording techniques. No prerequisites, permission from instructor.
Script to Screen
This is a live-action film workshop. Concentration will be on the narrative form as a means of exploring visual storytelling strategies. Students will collectively produce a dramatic re-creation of the 1929 Hitchcock film BLACKMAIL. Each student will produce, direct and edit a sequence of the feature-length film.
Text to Voice: An Introduction to Writing for Media
This course offers an introduction to a range of methods of writing for the screen, with attention paid to forms of composition for documentary and experimental media: including dialogue, documentary voice-over, found text reenactment, text as performance scenario, writing as a game or generative strategy, networked models of multiple or anonymous authorship, and notions of software or code as conceptual writing practice. We will look at compelling and unconventional uses of voice and on-screen text in a variety of works, such as Yoko Ono, Hollis Frampton, Guy Debord, Terence Malick, Godard & Mieville, League of Revolutionary Black Workers, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, David Gatten, Sharon Hayes, Eija Liisa Ahtila, Jenny Perlin, and Javier Telez.
This production course investigates video installation as an evolving contemporary art form that extends the conversation of video art beyond the frame and into live, hybrid media, site-specific, and multiple channel environments. Presentations, screenings, and readings augment critical thinking about temporal and spatial relationships, narrative structure, viewer perception and the challenges of presenting time-based work in a gallery or museum setting. Workshops hone technical skills and problem solving. Students develop research interests and apply their unique skills sets to short turnaround exercises and more expanded self-directed projects for gallery and non-theatrical contexts.
Writing the Film
Cross-listed: Written Arts. An introductory writing course that looks at creative approaches to writing short films and dialogue scenes. There will be writing and research exercises, screenings, discussions, readings and script critiques. The course will focus on researching and developing ideas and structure for stories, building characters, poetic strategies and writing comedic, realistic and awkward romantic dialogue.