2010-11 Catalog

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2010-11 Undergraduate Index A-Z

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Title   Offering Standing Credits Credits When F W S Su Description Preparatory Faculty Days of Week Multiple Standings Start Quarters
Art, New Media, and the Science of Perception

Richard Weiss and Naima Lowe

computer science mathematics media studies moving image physics psychology visual arts 

Signature Required: Winter 

  Program FR - SRFreshmen - Senior 16 16 Day FFall WWinter What is an image? How do we form them? What factors influence our perception of images? How are the history and practices of New Media related to social and cultural phenomena surrounding robotics, cybernetics, and networked culture? Cybernetics and reproducible images emerged almost simultaneously in the Western world and became markers of the post-modern era. The result was a rich interaction that developed between art, video and photography, robotics and image processing. The culture and history of New Media, visual perception and cognitive science will form the landscape for our explorations. In this program, we will investigate how images are formed and how we perceive them, as well as the theoretical underpinnings of reproducible images and the history of New Media. Both cultural and technological aspects will guide our examination of the entire sequence of events from how images are produced in a camera to how we perceive and react to images as informed by both our personal and social experiences. We will explore digital and non-digital images and image processing, as well as the cognitive science of how our eyes and brain process patterns of light. In the fall, we will study the concepts of editing, video production and photography, as well as the influences of culture and technology on art, printed media and electronic media in the age of the Internet. Robotics and image processing will lead us to geometric optics and color. Students will learn how to work with digital and non-digital images, image reproduction, the pinhole camera model, lenses, filtering images, and programming a simple mobile robot to take pictures. In winter, we will continue to develop and expand much of the work we started in the fall. We will expand our view of robotics to include more general, computer processor-based interactive art and the cognitive science of visual perception. Winter quarter will culminate in public presentations of student projects that integrate our studies. video production, media arts, computer science, mathematics, and cognitive science. Richard Weiss Naima Lowe Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Fall
Collaborative Autobiographics: Interrogating Representations of Self and Other in Media, Writing and Storytelling

Naima Lowe, Joye Hardiman and Marilyn Freeman

media arts media studies moving image theater writing 

  Program FR - SRFreshmen - Senior 16 16 Day SSpring How do we reconcile the needs and voice of the individual with the greater good of the group? How can a focus on collectivism lead us to greater individual understanding? How can we create collaborative art projects that combine strong individual voice with a collective sense of identity, and how do we do that with integrity and respect for one’s self, others and the creative work? This program is an interdisciplinary arts practice program that explores the complexities of telling personal stories across various mediums and within the context of the collaborative process. The purpose of the program is to explore cross-cultural and cross- disciplinary approaches to autobiography, to investigate the role of collectivism and collaboration in autobiographical storytelling, and to develop analytical and practical skills related to media, creative non-fiction literature and writing, and performance. The program will have four major components: Through collaborative work and through experiments intersecting creative nonfiction writing, electronic media, and performance, this program will explore the complex or multiple elements of identity and truth drawn upon or discovered in acts of self-representation.  This interdisciplinary arts program emphasizes collaborative learning and the importance of working generatively in an increasing diverse world. Students should come ready to take creative risks, to work hard, to work respectfully, and to practice initiative while serving the greater good of the program. If you’re a divergent thinker looking for opportunities to explore the possibilities of collaborative creative production, this is absolutely the program for you .  writing, media studies, and the arts. Naima Lowe Joye Hardiman Marilyn Freeman Tue Wed Thu Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Spring
Individual Study: Media Arts, Visual Anthropology, Communications

Sally Cloninger

communications cultural studies media studies moving image visual arts 

Signature Required: Fall 

  Contract JR - SRJunior - Senior 16 16 Day FFall Sally Cloninger offers opportunities for intermediate and advanced students to create their own course of study, creative practice and research, including internships, community service and study abroad options. Prior to the beginning of fall quarter, interested individual students or small groups of students must describe the work to be completed in an Individual Learning or Internship Contract. Sally is particularly interested in sponsoring individual contracts or internships in media arts, media studies, media production, visual anthropology, cultural studies, photography, performance studies, screenwriting and communications but will also consider other disciplines on a case-by-case basis. Where applicable, students will meet in small groups with faculty for critique and discussion as part of their contract. communications, humanities, media arts, performance studies, visual anthropology, and visual arts. Sally Cloninger Junior JR Senior SR Fall
Mediated States of Modernity: Distraction, Diversion, and Ambivalence

Kathleen Eamon and Julia Zay

aesthetics art history cultural studies media studies moving image philosophy writing 

  Program SO - SRSophomore - Senior 16 16 Day FFall One of the ways that historians and theorists distinguish modernity, and mass and popular culture more specifically, is by describing the ways in which it ushered in a new age of sensation. Using Marx's notion of the "social hieroglyph" as a model for looking at everyday life, we will splice together visual culture studies, cinema studies and 19th and 20th century aesthetic philosophy in an investigation of some of the defining mental and emotional states of attention produced by and for emerging cultural forms, such as cinema, radio, amusement parks, the arcade, and the language of modernist art. We will construct our own partial and fragmented or, to borrow Benjamin's phrase, "little" history of modern senses and sensibilities. In particular, we'll focus in on in-between states of attention that are easily dismissed as unremarkable but that, precisely by going unremarked, play a central role in our mediated public lives. Public intellectuals of the 20th Century like Freud, Benjamin, Kracauer, Gorky and others examine these states closely in their descriptions of everyday life in terms that make evident both the dangers and potentials of these modes of attention. We'll model our approach on the studied "ambivalence" that characterizes the attitude of Frankfurt School figures like Benjamin and Kracauer towards popular or mass culture, thinkers who are not indifferent but who sustain a truly divided, thus complicated, understanding of how one inhabits a mass-mediated, capitalist, industrialized, post-traditional culture - neither submitting to its demands nor removing oneself entirely, one ought to engage it playfully. We'll explore how we ourselves are always both submitting and resisting the ideological forces of mass culture. Some examples of the states we have in mind are: amusement, distraction, diversion, boredom, play, and so on. These states are often "located" in terms of specifically modern places, such as the cinema, amusement parks, and urban centers, and we will ask what kinds of audiences or what kind of "public" gets constituted by these states and contexts. Although our focus will be largely turn-of-the-century to mid-century (the last one, that is), we will follow our line of thought into more recent times with thinkers like Susan Sontag and David Foster Wallace. We will also develop our own practice of paying close attention to everyday life and meta-attention to our modes of engagement with it in our weekly observation exercises and field study. This work will inform both our traditional and our experimental essay-writing as we attempt to yoke the observational with the lyrical and theoretical modes. In summation, we will read and write a lot, watch films, look at art, listen to both music and sound, mix lecture with seminar and workshops with fieldwork. film studies, humanities, media, philosophy, visual culture studies, and writing. Kathleen Eamon Julia Zay Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Fall
Nonfiction Media: Animation, Documentary, and Experimental Approaches to the Moving Image

Ruth Hayes and Anne Fischel

media studies moving image 

Signature Required: Fall 

  Program SO - SRSophomore - Senior 16 16 Day FFall WWinter SSpring What does it mean to make moving images in an age of media proliferation and saturation? How do we critically engage traditions of media practice while pushing beyond established forms? How are images used in commodity culture and how can we repurpose them to communicate our own meanings and values? What responsibilities do media artists and producers have to subjects and audiences? How can we make media that responds to the world and supports struggles for change? What strategies, formats and distribution venues are available to us? In this program, students will engage with these and other questions while gaining knowledge of media history, theory and production. This is an intensive full-time, year-long program linking media theory with practice. We will start by exploring media’s capacity to observe and record the world, and its potential to create meaning. We will explore media modes and communication strategies including animation, documentary and experimental film/video, emphasizing the materiality and artistic properties of sound and moving image media, as well as the strategies artists and media producers have employed to challenge commercial forms. We will experiment with alternative approaches to production, including autobiography, audio-visual essays, installations and collaborations with community groups. Through experiments with image-making and sound students will build critical, conceptual and technical skills. They will develop further skills in media analysis and criticism through readings, seminars, research and critical writing. As a learning community we will participate in critique sessions, another form of collaboration through which we help each other evaluate and improve our work. In fall, students will build skills in field observation and research that are essential to media-based work. Through a series of design exercises, students will combine observation with technical skills in digital photography, video, audio, drawing and writing. We will critically analyze how the media frame our understanding of reality. In hands-on workshops and assignments we will explore the idea of image as commodity and the ways images create and contest meaning in art, politics and consumer culture. Our exploration of the social implications of the image will include representations of the body, self and other, identity and community. In winter, we will expand our study and practice of media to include its use in community collaboration. Through research, photography, video, sound and installation, student groups will produce multi-media works that extend and support the work of community organizations. We will do research, learn about traditional and experimental approaches to community involvement, and explore the new modes of distribution and exhibition that electronic and popular culture make possible. In spring, the conceptual, collaboration and production skills developed in fall and winter will form the foundation of independent project work—from individual projects in non-fiction video, animation, installation or web-based work to internships or community collaboration. Students will be expected to develop a project proposal demonstrating informed and thoughtful planning in the mode or format of their choices. media arts, visual arts, education and communications. Ruth Hayes Anne Fischel Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Fall
Numbers: Video and Noise

Ben Kamen

media arts moving image music 

  Course SO - SRSophomore - Senior 4 04 Evening WWinter In this course, students will use the Max/MSP/Jitter visual programming environment to explore concepts in video and recorded sound as expressed through numbers, simple mathematics, and logic. We will develop techniques for storing, playing back, and modifying materials through algorithmic processes. Students will create original pieces of sound and video art exploring the manipulation of time and form. Ben Kamen Mon Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Winter
Ready Camera One: We're Live

Sally Cloninger

communications media studies moving image 

  Program SO - SRSophomore - Senior 16 16 Day SSpring This program is designed primarily for students interested in exploring visual literacy, television production, performance and media criticism. Students will be introduced to both media deconstruction and media production skills through a series of lecture/screenings, workshops and design problems that focus primarily on collaborative multi-camera studio production. No prior media production experience is required. We will take a critical, performative and historical approach as we examine and even emulate the production style and lessons from the early history of 20th century live television. Students will be expected to perform in front of as well as behind the camera and will explore the logistics and aesthetics of multi-camera direction and design. We will investigate the aesthetics and implications of live performance and multi-camera production for new media as well. This program will also examine the politics of representation, i.e., who gets the camera, who appears on the screen, and who has the power. Therefore, students who choose to enroll should be vitally and sincerely interested in the issues and ideas concerning the representation of gender, race, ethnicity, class and sexual orientation in the media. We will specifically study the role of visual humor as it applies to representation and stereotyping in the mass media. Activities also will include training in the multi-camera TV studio facility, instruction in basic performance and writing for television, and a survey of visual design principles. communications, humanities, moving image, television production, media arts, media criticism, social sciences, and theater. Sally Cloninger Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Spring
Self and Culture: Studies in Japanese and American Literature and Cinema

Harumi Moruzzi

cultural studies field studies literature moving image 

  Program FR - SRFreshmen - Senior 16 16 Day WWinter Modernity in the west established the concept of a human being as a thinking subject whose existence alone cannot be questioned through Descartes' seminal discourse . Though occasionally under attack, the concept of autonomous thinking and perceiving the subject as the center of reality—as the source of truth—has been the dominant ideology in the west since the eighteenth century, particularly in the United States. These days, due to our globalized communication and cultural exchanges, we have begun to question many ideas that have been taken for granted. The concept of self is no exception. It is often said that American and Japanese cultures represent mirror images of human values. For instance, while American culture emphasizes the importance of self-reliance and self-autonomy, Japanese culture dictates group cohesion and harmony. Certainly, the reality is not as simple as these stereotypes indicate; nevertheless, this dichotomized comparative cultural frame presents an interesting context in which we can explore the concept of self. We will explore the concept of self through the critical examination of American and Japanese literature, cinema and popular media. At the beginning of the quarter, students will be introduced to the rudiments of film analysis in order to develop a more critical attitude toward the film-viewing experience. Students will also be introduced to major literary theories in order to familiarize themselves with varied approaches to the interpretation of literature. Then, students will examine representations of individual selves and cultures in American and Japanese literature through seminars and critical writings, with weekly film viewing and film seminars to facilitate a deeper exploration of the topics and issues presented in the literary works. cultural studies, film studies, literary studies and Japan studies. Harumi Moruzzi Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Winter
Student Originated Studies: Media/Philosophy

Kathleen Eamon and Julia Zay

communications media studies moving image philosophy writing 

Signature Required: Winter 

  SOS JR - SRJunior - Senior 16 16 Day WWinter SSpring This SOS is designed to support creative and theoretical projects that can only arise at juncture of these distinct but related modes of academic and creative labor.  We invite students, including transfers, who have significant academic experience in media production and studies and/or critical theory and philosophy, and who are committed to exploring the boundaries of these modes of inquiry.  Our experiments will be anchored by a central line of inquiry around the relationship between objects, images, figures, and perception on the one hand and judgment, reflection, valuation, critique and synthesis on the other.  This means that the entire program will screen films and read texts together.  One shared text, for example, will be Mary Ann Doane's , which argues that the cinema participated in representing the singular instant of chance and ephemerality in the face of the increasing rationalization and standardization at the turn of the 19 Century.  Media and philosophy students alike will need to develop an understanding of what it means to think historically and concretely about both thought and its objects. Students will research and design individual projects in the first quarter, while focusing on honing a set of shared skills, exploring overlapping areas of student interest, and learning about developing models of creative/critical collaboration. Students will work in depth with one faculty member, depending on their academic focus (media production, critical theory, or philosophy), but seminars, workshops, lectures, and critiques will provide time for work outside these concentrations. The second quarter of the program will provide space for implementing individual projects and will culminate in a public conference. : This part of the program is designed for students who have already developed some expertise in media production, are familiar with aspects of media theory, and wish to do advanced production work that may have developed out of previous academic projects and/or programs. We will focus on experimental and non-fiction forms, which require a period of germination for new ideas to emerge. Students will deepend their understanding of media history and theory through readings, seminars, and writing; they will expand their technical skills through workshops; and they will present their own research to the entire program. In addition, each student or team of students (for collaborative projects) will do extensive pre-production planning and research in the first quarter for a media project to be completed by the end of the second quarter in time for public screening. : This part of the program is for students who have some substantial background in philosophy and/or critical theory. Ideally, students in this track will arrive with a specific set of categories that they find both intriguing and perplexingly abstract, and terms and questions that seem to invite extra-philosophical attempts to render them concrete. Students are free (and are in fact, required) to choose their own topics, but Kathleen Eamon's central areas of research and inquiry include aesthetics, social and political philosophy, and critical theory; a list of figures of interest includes Kant, Hegel, Marx, Freud, and the Frankfurt School theorists.  Students in this section will read texts, participate in and lead seminars, share and critique writing throughout the program, and develop a presentation and conference paper for the end of the second quarter.  the arts and humanities, film history and theory,  philosophy, critical theory, experimental media, media arts and digital communications. Kathleen Eamon Julia Zay Junior JR Senior SR Winter
Temporal Images cancelled

Matt Hamon, Naima Lowe and Joseph Tougas

aesthetics art history media studies moving image philosophy visual arts 

  Program FR ONLYFreshmen Only 16 16 Day FFall WWinter This visual art program introduces students to academic enquiry into concepts of time and artistic practices with a myriad of references to temporal space. We will investigate the many ways time is defined, tracked and represented across cultures. From physics to natural philosophy, we will explore references to time from narrative structures to technical communication and abstract images. We will look at the work of realist scholars such as Sir Issac Newton and contrast these concepts to ideas posed by Immanuel Kant and others.Themes emerging in the program will inform the production of written and artistic work. Class time will involve a combination of lectures, workshops, practical assignments, and studio seminars. Students with a strong background in any digital media are encouraged to apply, provided that they have an interest in synthesizing past themes and media in their work with academic enquiry into concepts of time. This program emphasizes art making, conceptual thinking and experimentation. We will focus on core aspects of analog, digital and new media art by challenging ourselves to produce a series of innovative art projects.This program will introduce the core conceptual skills necessary to employ image in the generative and investigative context of art making and scholarly enquiry. Students will work individually and in small teams with digital cameras, digital video cameras, non-linear video editing systems and computer graphics packages to examine a broad range of issues involved in the creation of provocative works of art and images relating to time. Image processing, web content creation, basic animation, temporal structures, interface design, interaction strategy, narrative structures, video editing and sound editing will all be introduced. This program is designed for students who already have a strong work ethic and self-discipline, and who are willing to work long hours in the art studio, on campus, and in company with their fellow students.Students are invited to join this learning community of contemporary artists who are interested in new media based art, design, writing, history and theory, and who want to collaborate with media faculty. media studies, moving image, visual arts and arts education. Matt Hamon Naima Lowe Joseph Tougas Freshmen FR Fall
Times and Works of Soseki, Mishima, and Murakami: Literature, History, and Cinema

Harumi Moruzzi

field studies history literature moving image 

  Program FR - SRFreshmen - Senior 16 16 Day SSpring Nobody lives in a vacuum. Every person is a product of that person's time and place, even when he/she rebels against such a background. Most people in society conform to the current ideology of society in order to succeed and perhaps merely to get by, even when their society is moving toward spiritual bankruptcy. It is often believed that the artists and the intellectuals are the society's seers and prophets who can shed light on social and cultural problems, thus inspiring new directions for regeneration. This premise often yields an advantageous framework through which we can examine the society and culture that produced such artists and intellectuals. The highly esteemed Japanese writers Soseki Natsume, Yukio Mishima, and Haruki Murakami are examples of such artists and intellectuals. They represent turbulent and paradigm-shifting periods in Japanese history: Meiji modernization, post-World War II devastation, and the advent of a rabid consumer society. In this program, we study the literary works of these three writers in the context of their times, with respective cultural and socio-economic structures, through lectures, workshops, films and seminars. At the beginning of the quarter, students will be introduced to the rudiments of film analysis in order to develop a more critical attitude toward the film-viewing experience. Students will also be introduced to major literary theories in order to familiarize themselves with varied approaches to the interpretation of literature. Then, students will examine the selected works of Soseki, Mishima and Murakami through seminars and critical writings. Weekly film viewing and film seminars will accompany the study of literature and history in order to facilitate a deeper exploration of the topics and issues presented in their literary works. Japanese literature and history, cultural studies and film studies. Harumi Moruzzi Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Spring