2012-13 Catalog

Decorative graphic

Offering Description



Spring 2013 quarter

Julia Zay visual arts, media arts, photography, film studies, art history , Miranda Mellis fiction, nonfiction, and contemporary literature , Shaw Osha (Flores) visual art
Fields of Study
art history, literature, visual arts and writing
Preparatory for studies or careers in
art history, literature, visual arts and writing.

The private, individual artist’s studio emerges out of an historically constructed ideal of art as an expression of the artist’s inner life. In the last fifty years, with the advent of institutional critique; relational aesthetics; dematerialization; installation art; earthworks; conceptualism; and performance art, there has been an increasing turn outward, away from the interiority of the artist and the studio and towards outdoor, social, public, and collaborative aesthetic engagements. This program will investigate the artist’s specific sites, including work spaces and exhibition spaces, and interrogate art’s relationship to site. By what powers and strategies do site specific artworks illuminate, localize, and focalize the politics of time and the poetics of space? The boundaries of studio walls shift and dissolve as artists move their practice into everyday life, turning commons into public studios, making visible the artist's process, and turning ordinary places into conspicuous locations that confront us with the tensions and mutabilities of public properties and local materialities, histories, temporalities, edifices, and processes.

In our research-based art practice, we will work inside and outside traditional exhibition sites, as we repurpose place and engage in study, critique, historical research, commemoration, and ritualization. We’ll explore how location shapes our projects and experiment with breaking conventions; for instance, if convention demands that form follow content, what are the results of letting content follow form? If the material attributes of our projects normally dictate the kinds of spaces we work in, what kinds of works might result if we let the spaces we find and activate with our attention determine our materials and inform our forms? We will engage the above and other questions through readings in art history and theory to analyze a variety of artworks, both individual and collaborative, in terms of their relation to site.

The program is structured to include critical and creative writing; critique; seminar; and lecture. Students should be prepared to read, write and make art in equal proportions. There will be a field trip May 17-19 to Portland to attend Open Engagement , an international conference on art and social practice whose theme this year is on publics, contexts, and institutions in relation to contemporary socially engaged art, education, and institutional practice.

Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Required Fees
$250 for overnight field trips.
Special Expenses
Students should expect to spend approximately $50 on art supplies.
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
February 5th, 2013 New opportunity added.