- Exhibitions & Events
Core CoursesThis is an aggregate of core courses for our MA program and both MFA programs. In many cases, courses that are core in one program can be taken as electives in the other programs. Individual listings indicate whether a given course is MA Core, MA Capstone, MFA Core, Interdisciplinary Arts and Media MFA Core, Interdisciplinary Book and Paper MFA Core, MFA Capstotne, Graduate Studio – or a combination.
Art as Discourse
This course will explore the relationship between modernism, post-modernism & current theory using art, literature, performance, film/video, and audio, providing students with a historical & theoretical context for their work.
Art as Practice
In Art as Practice, students learn the skills needed to function as a practicing artist in the contemporary art world. Students will integrate the necessary tools allowing them to sustain a lifelong practice in art, from sound research practices, to honed writing skills and presentation methodologies. The class emphasizes the planning process and working in collaboration with peers to enhance career success.
This course introduces the use of coding and programming languages for creative outcomes to artists. The class will build a software drawing ’machine’ together. This software drawing machine will have components constructed in several different programming languages – and these components will communicate with one another. This strategy will highlight the notion that coding itself is the core (portable) competency. Readings and discussions examine the conceptual and aesthetic impact of code within the context of an interdisciplinary art practice.
This is an interdisciplinary studio class, taught as a 5–day intensive workshop. Students engage with a specific topic, using this as the spring–board to the creation of either a concise body of work, or an interdisciplinary project. The class is required for MA's, as a culmination of their required studio classes; it is also recommended for MFA's interested in developing a focused project.
Connected Studio Practices
The focus of this class is to help students deepen their art practice and unify their individual art pieces into a body of work. To that end, students will be expected to present their ongoing work in class critique, and research in collaboration with peers in other disciplines. This course encourages a work discipline informed by pertinent contemporary theory and criticism by broadening knowledge outside the individual purview.
Drama: Theory & Practice
Students create original performance works in this class, coming to an understanding of contemporary theatre and performance practices. Emphasis is placed on the realization of original writing, and how it can best be conveyed through the body and the use of theatrical environment.
Excavating the Image
The proliferation of digital image capture technologies has complicated the notion of the camera. This course examines CCD/CMOS and related image capture technologies as the site for creative inquiry and investigation; it emphasizes the artist’s role as the organizer of optics that collect and focus light to form images that may be digitally captured or sampled. Image editing and output technologies will be discussed. Readings will introduce prominent theorists and concepts critical for integrating images within an interdisciplinary art practice.
This course explores the role of both the performer and the audience in traditional and interactive work and investigates activated media sets, props, and virtual performers. Traditional concerns are linked and expand into the performative potential of electronic media presentation modes.
Movement: Theory & Practice
Movement: Theory & Practice concerns itself with human movement as an expressive medium through its relationship to space, time, and energy, and its commonalities with other disciplines. The student focuses on choreography, individually and in groups.
Shaping Solid Light
This course explores the conceptual and technical use of light as projection, as image, and as source of illumination within the context of creating artificial spaces in installation and performance. This is a hands-on course in which students will use an expansive array of image projection, data display, and software controlled lighting technologies. Readings, discussions, and demonstrations in this course are organized to challenge the conceptual and technical assumptions about the materiality of the ephemeral image.
This course introduces audio fundamentals focusing on collection and excavation of sound from the natural world, the body, and seemingly inert objects and physical materials. Topics include digital audio fundamentals (e.g. sample frequency, sample size), audio editing, field recording, microphones, contact microphones, electronics skills for contact microphone construction, and sampling / synthesis / sequencing. Readings and screenings will introduce prominent sound artists, artworks, theorists, and relevant concepts critical for contextualizing the use of sound within interdisciplinary art practice.
Sound: Theory & Practice
In this course, students are introduced to working with sound as a creative medium. Basic skills in recording and sound editing are encountered in a perspective of composition, contemporary musical and sound-art practice, and a larger view informed by both Western and world music.
Space & Place
This course investigates the integration of media elements into physical, sculptural, and environmental artworks. Audience issues in gallery venues as well as site specific installation and public media artworks are explored. Topics include special planning processes, prototype and model development, negotiating skills, and legal issues specific to installation.
This course provides a structured, disciplined workshop situation in which students may begin the development of their final thesis projects as well as to expose students to contemporary artists and art making practices thereby providing a context and historical perspective in which the student may place themselves and their personal issues. This is meant to further understand the larger picture necessary for an ongoing commitment to art making practice after graduate school.
The course focuses on the completion of the Thesis Project and the Thesis Book required of graduating MFA students. The aim is to help them move through the various steps necessary for the completion of their art projects, organize and document their exhibition, and finish writing and compiling the Thesis book in accordance to CCC Guidelines. Through successful completion of this course, students have the opportunity to develop and demonstrate knowledge, skills, and competencies in the following areas: exhibition of their work, organizing, researching, writing, documenting and assembling material in order to fulfill requirements for their thesis candidacy.
Thinking Through Making
This course is intended to qualify first semester Book & Paper graduates (and other graduate students who want to use the Center's facilities) in the three major studios of the Book & Paper Center, to introduce them to the process of thinking through material investigation. Each of the three main studios - paper, print and bookbinding - offers a wide range of ways to interact and create with materials and processes. Technique will be taught as a method of investigation. This class will be team taught by three different professors.
Visual Art: Theory & Practice
A concept-driven studio class, in which students learn a wide range of artmaking strategies (from photography to artists' books), in pursuit of original ideas, while gaining a comprehension of current trends in the visual arts. Required for MA's and recommended for MFA's who do not come from a visual arts background.
Word: Theory & Practice
Word: Theory & Practice explores writing through a series of interrelated exercises that build the student's confidence in producing creative texts. The visual environment of language is related to other forms of image-making. This course is in sync with Drama: Theory & Practice; what the student writes in this course, gets performed in Drama: Theory & Practice.
History Courses21st Century Aesthetics
This seminar class examines the history and theory underlying new directions in the arts. Now that the 20th century is officially over, the new forms it evolved (installation, performance, etc.) have become the foundation of new approaches to defining art in the age of mediation. Concepts such as interactivity, the mash-up, game theory, robotics, etc. all contribute to an examination of where art may be headed in the next decades.
Future of the Book
This graduate seminar in the cultural history of the book: topics covered include literacy and reading practices, relations among publishers, authors, and readers, and media production technology. Students will produce a research project that connects their artistic practice to the history of the book.
History of Interdisciplinary Arts
The concept that the arts are not separate “disciplines” but a unified field of endeavor is explored in this class. The major focus is on 20th century art practices that fostered collaboration and an approach to artmaking that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries. Students select a particular time period on which to focus their research.
History of New Media
New media cannot be understood through technological particulars alone, it must be understood through its historical relation to other disciplines such as film, cultural studies, and media studies, computer science, philosophy and image sciences. This course looks at a number of theorists who interrogate 'new media'. Hypertext, the Internet, the open source movement, interactivity, and digital video are some of the topics investigated against a backdrop of automation, neural networks and scientific visualization.
History of Paper
This course examines the contributions of papermaking to historical records, artmaking, environmental activism, and community empowerment. The rise of collaborative studios and the American fine craft movement will shape a broader discussion on paper as an art medium. Students will investigate the relationship between paper and their own practice. A broader definition for papermaking including the 'works on paper' genre will widen the discourse.
History of Typography
This class examines the historical development and transitions of typography from Guttenberg to the present day. Important practitioners, innovations and concepts as well as cultural significance and influence will be discussed.
Reading the Artist Book
Artists' books are a unique genre in art, a diverse zone of artistic activity. This class focuses on artists and movements of the 20th century, particularly the rise of the artist's book movement, examining current trends and future possibilities.
Theory / PracticeAt the beginning of the semester in which you are taking a Theory / Practice course, you can choose to have the course count towards your History requirement (which would involve writing a paper for your final project) or you can choose to have the course count towards your Graduate Studio requirement (which would involve creating an artwork for your final project). Additionally, Theory / Practice courses can be taken to count towards your graduate elective requirements.
Art + Science Collaborations
Collaborations between artists and scientists can generate new forms of inquiry and produce results that benefit multiple fields. This course will examine the rich history of art/science relationships as well as new art forms and contemporary practices emerging from partnerships with scientific disciplines including ecology, biology, sociology, economics, and engineering. This course will address the complex relationship between the arts and sciences, including the tendency to distance these arenas despite their long, shared histories.
Art as a Spritual Practice
According to anthropologist William Irwin Thomson, “Art is the last religion.” This class combines actual artmaking with research to explore how artists make use of their skills as a way of exploring “the spiritual” in their lives. The concept of artist as shaman is balanced with the idea of art itself as a spiritual experience, in work ranging from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to the light installations of James Turrell.
This class will study autobiographical works – films, artist books, performance, and digital pieces – and their relationship to culture, history, memory, gender, the body, and the family. We will also consider the weight of formal elements – image, text, sound design, narrative, and structure – in conveying the autobiographical message.
This studio course is open to students interested in collaborating on original, creative projects that integrate various technologies with contemporary performance aesthetics. Projects might include music videos, site specific performative installations, streaming media monologues, video journals,or web site operas. A background in performance is encouraged but not necessary.
This course investigates body-related representations that go beyond the concerns of video and performance art practices of the 80's, while acknowledging their legacy. A transhumanist lens is used to question our persistent fascination with the human body. Students explore issues at stake today that destabilize accepted boundaries between the natural and the artificial, and pose new questions about what it means to be human.
Narrative is arguably the major artistic form of our culture. This course examines the history, theory, structure, and aesthetics of narrative. Emphasizing visual narratives – paintings, photographs, films, graphic novels, books, new media – the course explores the idea of narration and story, and the ways in which it both “means” and functions. The goal of this course is to enable you to think about story in ways beyond what you currently do in your art practice.
Graduate StudioGraduate Studio courses may be taken as electives by MA and MFA students.
Advanced Screen Media
Advanced Screen Media explores digital technology and interactive media using DVD Studio Pro, Final Cut Pro, and After Effects. This course will explore art–making that engages the audience in the direct creation and production of the work. Topics will include relational art, social practice, community art, community–engaged art, and new genre public art. Students will view works of art in which the artist, audience, and their interactions with one another become the medium. Techniques for translating these ideas into new forms of distribution such as streaming media, blogs, and websites will be used. Beginning with the conceptualization of the artwork and the development of a personal creative process, students incorporate these ideas into personal artwork.
Artists Books / Book Arts
Daring to go where few books have gone before, this class we will explore the creative application of traditional and non–traditional materials to the book format, as well as sculptural aspects of artist books. Also covered: Altered books and wearable books.
This course will qualify graduate students in the basic techniques, materials, processes, and concepts used in the Bookbinding. Techniques will be taught as a method of investigation, a material exploration of ideas. Projects will focus on acquiring basic skills, a competency on bindery equipment, knowledge of both archival concerns and experimental forms, while stressing the adaptation of structure to content.
Building on the book section of Thinking Through Making, we will cover a variety of more complex structures and begin to develop them into larger projects. Differences of approaches regarding unique books and edition binding will explored as well concepts of content development in relation to the structure. Individuals will be expected to develop content and structure of their projects into their ongoing artistic practice.
Advanced Bookbinding is the final class in the book-focused thread of the department. In this class, students are expect to synthesize all the skills they have learned and to produce an book work, either a unique structure, installation or an edition that reflects their highest artistic development. The class will be structured into two sections: planning the work, and making the work. Students will be guided in learning new techniques as they pertain to their specific projects. The central work in this class is the production of one large, ambitious project-either an edition, a large scale sculptural piece or installation. You will be asked to create a proposal for this work that outlines both conceptual, structure and technical issues, with a timeline and a budget. You will then execute this proposal.
A hands–on course on bookbinder's boxmaking techniques. A useful addition to the resources of the book artist, conservator, printmaker, photographer, writer and designer – anyone who deals with books, multiples or series in their work.
This course will introduce students to strategies for generating lines of inquiry in their work as well as identifying & nurturing strategies they already employ in their creative practices. This course will illuminate the notion that form is rooted in concept rather than a specific material or discipline. Students will explore the integration or research, collection, classification, mapping, intervention, collaboration, experiment, improvisation & play as well as thoughtful observation & reflection on these activities within the context of studio practice.
In this course, essential qualities of digital media are explored for their expressive potential. Beginning with conceptualization of the artwork and examination of ones personal creative process, students develop projects that investigate narrative through the lens of technology.
Screen Media Laboratory
While working on their individual projects, students will be introduced to the hardware and software used in creating digital media. Students will acquire and refine their skills through workshops on scanning images, digital still camera, portable lighting techniques, video and audio recording and editing, and media management. Students will develop their personal process of idea generation, visualization, and realization using digital media. Topics will include image editing and manipulation; sequencing images in PowerPoint, Final Cut Pro, and AfterEffects; and preparing digital media for various output formats and web technologies. Note: this course is open to all students and provides a gateway for access to entry–level media equipment including digital still cameras, portable lighting kits, basic video recorders, and video editing decks.
Directed Graduate Projects
The course provides students the opportunity to participate in individual discussions and critique with full–time MFA faculty. Particular emphasis will be on individualized production. Students will either refine a particular project or their ongoing body of work. Independent work by students, and individual meetings with instructors, form the essence of the class.
ePortfolio for Artists
This course will teach students to represent their work most effectively on the internet using appropriate media combinations. Documentation and portfolio sites become works of their own as they reconstruct and annotate pieces in other media such as perfmormances and installations. This class is for intermediate to advanced students in any media. Previous web design and construction experience is not required. Experienced web designers can take their work to the next level, incorporating animation, interactivity and multiple media.
Expanded Artist’s Books
Expanded Artist’s Books is an emerging area of artistic practice that uses tablet computing as a site for creative inquiry. Like Artist’s Books, Expanded Artist’s Books is an art media that claims all aspects of the book (format, typography, etc.) as potentially expressive, where every component contributes to the reading. Unlike electronic publishing that emulates traditional books, this practice integrates text with moving image, challenges traditional closure of a text with interactivity, and provides a performed sense of time.
This advanced workshop intends to explore the line that seperates documentary and narrative media. Students will examine the works of documentarians who are using fictional elements and narrative techniques in their work and who question concepts of truth and reality to expand the definition of documentary.
Graduate Teaching Seminar
This course will introduce the fundamentals for artists interested in teaching, in higher education and other venues. Students will have the opportunity work with a faculty member in an undergraduate classroom environment. Writing syllabi, time management, and important theoretical and practical aspects of learning and teaching will be covered. This seminar will address the practical concerns of constructing and conducting a class, to theoretical, thought–provoking issues centered on both teaching and learning.
Image, Time, and Motion
In this course students will expand their conceptual and technical skills in image editing and manipulation by applying 2D animation techniques to create the illusion of motion. By combining video and animation, students will learn to visualize their ideas and stories. Advanced strategies for sequencing real and artificial images will be compared using several software applications. Students will design and simulate three-dimensional space, which may be used to prototype sculptures, simulate performance space, or produce artwork for Internet distribution. this course stresses conceptual strategies and skills, intended to support individualized , exploratory art-making processes and practices.
In and On the Page
For too many printers and book artists, paper is simply a vehicle for holding ink. However, the relationship between paper and image making is actually a more complex and subtle interaction. Many printing processes (from inkjet to non-silver photo processes) are affected by paper chemistry, surface complexity, etc. Editioning with papermaking–specific techniques such as watermarking and pulp painting can result in completed artworks in and of themselves. This class will explore the relationships of paper, printing, and image development directly in the paper process utilizing both the paper studio and various printing facilities within the department.
Independent projects are advanced, student-driven learning experiences involving substantial student independence in project design and execution. An independent project must not be equivalent in content to courses currently offered by the department.
This course investigates interactivity and the processes by which artists construct experiences and spaces for the viewer. The role of the viewer in producing or completing the artwork is the central issue. Questions of research methodology, identity and authenticity are investigated.
Interactivity and Animation: Flash (J-Session)
This course offers an introduction to Flash both as an animation tool and as a medium that includes interactivity and web authoring. Students will learn the integration of video, text, audio & graphic elements to create a media rich Internet experience. They will explore interactive, multi–user & participatory environments that disturb linear narratives. The projects will incorporate ideas explored in other graduate courses to reconstruct and annotate pieces in other media such as fiction writing, poetry, performances & installation.
Lighting Techniques Practicum
This course will introduce artists to the basics of lighting including setup and placement of lighting instruments, selection of appropriate lights, and safety issues. Through demonstrations and exercises, students will operate both portable and studio lighting equipment. Students will create visual images as well as define space using a variety of lighting techniques. This course will help artists determine the appropriate lighting for live performance, video production, installations, and the documentation of installations and ephemeral media.
Discover your inner medievalist! Using no glue, this 13th century binding structure can bring a lot of dazzle to spines of your books with decorative elements which create unique sewn patterns that are essential to the form. Longstitch also be used with a variety of cover materials, paper to leather.
The mentorship experience is designed to perfect the student's craft in a particular medium through an intensive, hands-on experience with an acknowledged expert. A mentorship is a collaboration among the student, the student's advisor, and the mentoring environment's point person.
MFA Media Workshop
Weekly lectures, demonstrations, and critiques will assist students in creating media-based artworks. Students entering their thesis year may produce new iterations of that work. Topics addressed will include aesthetic issues, as well as technical strategies customized to the content in the student artwork. Projects may include public art, installations, performances, and artist collaborations.
Movement / Video
Students will explore the movement and choreography of both the camera and the artist within specific sites or locations. Fundamental techniques in conceptualizing, planning the production, and editing of the resulting video presentations will be demonstrated. The coursework will lead students through a view of contemporary video and digital media works by artists working in this modality.
Multiples are art objects produced in identical multiple copies. This class will encourage students to make a series of multiples collaboratively or individually as a way of investigating modern industrial production, global marketing and mass consumption.
This course will qualify graduate students in the basic techniques, materials, processes, and concepts used in the Papermaking Studio. Techniques will be taught as a method of investigation, a material exploration of ideas. Projects will focus on papermaking as a skill for carrying other information (such as printmaking) as well as a self-contained form of expression, through color, texture, images, etc.
Papermaking has sophisticated artistic applications for many media including sculpture, photography, drawing and installation. This course is the semester–long experience combining technical skills with individual project development in hand papermaking. In the first part of the class, studio time is dedicated to technical considerations in paper including the use of the laser cutter and Epson printer for paper art works, alternatives to the traditional mould and deckle, Asian papermaking techniques, plaster mold making, and pulp inclusions and experiments. During the second portion of the class, students develop directed projects employing these new skills through individual meetings with the instructor, and group critique.
As a follow up to Intermediate Papermaking, this course deepens technical skills in paper art for the advanced–level student. Emphasis in the first part of the class is on more technical development including skills such as advanced sculptural techniques, pulp spraying, large-scale work, and a variety of fiber recipes and preparations. In the second portion of the class, students develop directed projects through individual meetings with the instructor and group critique to create sophisticated works in handmade paper employing both technique and concept. Discourse building around this medium is also considered.
Performing in Artificial Space
This intensive course will expand students' capabilities of performing with media. Students should come to class with concepts of performance in artificial space that they would like to explore with the understanding that all works will require collaboration. In this course, students will develop and stage a live performance that may include virtual environments, wireless cameras, webcams, surveillance cameras, networked performance, virtual sets and artificial spaces via chroma-key techniques, multi-screen projection, and live sound reinforcement.
This class will qualify graduate students in the basic techniques, materials, processes and concept used in the Print Studio. Technique will be taught as a method of investigation, a material exploration of ideas. Projects will focus on using letterpress printing to create visual expressions of language as well as investigating various technical and conceptual aspects of printing pictures.
This studio course offers instruction in print as an image–making discipline, as well as a mode of publication. Students will learn photopolymer plate production, use page layout software, investigate digital typography, and perform experiments in offset lithography, intaglio printing, digital printing, and relief printmaking. Some experience with letterpress printing is highly desirable.
Advanced Print Media
Advanced Print Media is the final class in the print-focused thread of the department. In this class, students are expect to synthesize all the skills they have learned and to produce an ambitious work, either a book or a suite of related print works, that reflects their highest artistic development. This class will have two parts: Planning the Work, which is a focused on the artistic development of the project, and Making the Work, which is focused on production.
Photomechanical reproduction, as Walter Benjamin would have it, completely changed the nature of art. The fundamental ideas and techniques of photographic reproduction will be taught in this short course, as a way of thinking about how photographic images are inflected by how they are produced. Students will learn about stochastic vs. amplitude–modulated dot formation, tonal reproduction curves, dot gain, and the vagaries of resolution as a path toward printing photographs that just might have aura.
Students will use research, readings, and project creation to explore the meaning and varieties of art created in and for public places, especially concentrating on work that uses technology and/or interactivity. This course examines the traditional place of public art including issues of scale, function, and audience. Art and ownership, art and its relationship to time (lasting vs. ephemeral), art and public space will be considered.
Sound as Art Material
This course introduces sound as a vital material for producing art in physical & virtual space, and as an element in many forms of digital media productions. Students investigate the changing roles of author & audience in producing & participating in works of experimental sound art. The course explores new genres such as networked performance, locative media, interactive music systems, sound sculpture, audio hyperscapes & audio webcasting. Technical workshops provide all the skills necessary to produce individual sound artworks.
Sound in Context
This class will focus on music and sound as they function as an auxiliary element in a work rather than as an end in itself. Students will develop individual projects, which will range from performance work to objects and installations which incorporate sound.
In this course students develop original writing in a variety of forms. An emphasis is placed on writing for specific applications (book, performance, media, etc.) and the visual representation of text is taken into consideration.
The Art of Travel
Current thinking about the nature of the city - as the history of a people in a place, or as privatized public space - raises numerous challenges for contemporary artists. This class will contextualize current theories about urban environments and the phenomenon of travel by taking students to a different location, initially Florence. Students will process their experiences of travel in light of the theoretical texts they are reading.
This is an advanced writing workshop for students wishing to further develop and strengthen their writing skills begun in Text class.
Video for Artists & Performers
Students develop basic field production skills and video editing techniques for artists, entertainers, performers, poets & photographers. the practical use of video and non–linear editing will be covered such as creating a visual document of time–based artwork, uses of media in performance, visual poetry and installation & compression techniques for video on the web. Students practice the basic aesthetic rules of visual & audio composition & design.
Video for Artists & Performers (J-Session)
J-Session course in which students develop basic field production skills and video editing techniques for artists, entertainers, performers, poets & photographers. the practical use of video and non–linear editing will be covered such as creating a visual document of time–based artwork, uses of media in performance, visual poetry and installation & compression techniques for video on the web. Students practice the basic aesthetic rules of visual & audio composition & design.
Visual Art Workshop
This studio course focuses on offering instruction in specific visual art techniques. Students will develop more advanced skills for making substantial improvements for their projects. This course may be taught by visiting artists.
Visual Environments is a studio course dealing with installation; including site–specific works and an intense examination of intention versus reception, and personal process. The class culminates in an exhibition of individual installation works.