2008-09 Catalog

Decorative graphic

Program Description

Inescapable Beauty, Elusive Sublime

Revised Last Updated: 08/04/2008

Fall and Winter quarters

Faculty: Matthew Hamon photography, Kathleen Eamon philosophy

Faculty Signature Required: Students will be selected on the basis of a portfolio review and interview with the faculty beginning at the Academic Fair, May 14, 2008. The portfolio should include a minimum one-page writing sample and a minimum one-page description of the student's previous academic experience. Students focusing on studio art should also include photos of six to eight samples of 2D work; these portfolios can be submitted on disk. Students focusing in philosophy should tailor their one-page writing sample in order to make clear the kind of work they have done or are interested in doing in the discipline. For more information, contact Matt Hamon, hamonm@evergreen.edu or Kathleen Eamon, eamonk@evergreen.edu. Qualified students will be accepted until the program fills.

Major areas of study include philosophy, aesthetics, visual arts theory, art criticism, studio art, and writing for the arts.

Class Standing: Juniors or seniors; transfer students welcome.

Prerequisites: At least 12 credits in philosophy or the visual arts, such as photography, sculpture, video, painting, printmaking, etc.

"The work of art ... is essentially a question, an address to the responsive heart, an appeal to affections and to minds." –Hegel

"Everything goes past like a river and the changing taste and the various shapes of men make the whole game uncertain and delusive. Where do I find fixed points in nature, which cannot be moved by man, and where I can indicate markers by the shore to which he ought to adhere?" –Kant

This two-quarter program is designed for intermediate or advanced artists and philosophers. Students will choose to emphasize one of two areas, either 2D studio work or the critical application of philosophical theory. In addition, we will all participate in lectures and seminars. All students will undertake extensive reading in philosophy and aesthetics, as well as explore the visual arts in this context, and all students should be prepared to do upper-division work in critical thinking, reading, and writing. Seminar readings will inform our understanding of aesthetic theories. Writing projects and art workshops will encourage students to explore their own creativity. Students will be expected to pursue their personal work while participating in interdisciplinary critiques.

Together, we will undertake an artistic and philosophical inquiry into the beautiful and the sublime. What is the role of beauty in our creative and intellectual life? How do we experience the sublime? How have these experiences been historically documented and challenged? We will be exploring these concepts not only in connection with works of art, but it is with the work of art that we will most directly experience beauty as an occasion for reflection, and as a demand for thought and engagement. Further, we will ask whether the sublime is something that can be represented at all in art, and whether the attempts to do so gave rise to a certain line of modernist works.

We will approach these and other related questions through an in-depth study of aesthetics. Indeed, the "work" of art is, by some accounts, work that we as viewers must undertake and finish, or if not finish, at least continue. It is in response to this demand for serious but enjoyable engagement that we will pursue a deeper understanding of the concepts of beauty and sublimity, by philosophical and artistic analysis and through practice.

Students will register in either two-dimensional visual art or advanced philosophy in relation to the primary focus of their inquiry. 2D students will focus on aesthetic theories of beauty and the sublime while sustaining a rigorous studio practice in whatever media they choose to work. The philosophy students will do similarly ambitious work in philosophical aesthetics, with readings likely to include Kant, Hegel, Greenberg, Adorno, and Danto, with special emphasis on the relationship between criticism and philosophy.

In addition to classic texts and essays, students can expect to read books such as: Beauty and the Contemporary Sublime (Rolfe), Sticky Sublime (Beckley), Uncontrollable Beauty (Beckley, Shapiro), and The Abuse of Beauty (Danto).

Credits: 16 per quarter

Enrollment: 40

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Special Expenses: Additional expenses may vary, depending on student projects.

Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in philosophy, aesthetics, visual arts theory, art criticism, studio art, and writing for the arts.

Planning Units: Culture, Text and Language, Expressive Arts

Program Revisions

Date Revision
August 4th, 2008 Jean Mandeberg will no longer be teaching this program. Students wishing to work in 3-D art should view Jean's new program called Student Originated Studies: 3-Dimensional Visual Art. The enrollment, signature requirement and description have been adjust