Made for Contemplation

      Winter Quarter • 2008

      Major areas of study include visual arts, media arts, meditative arts, feminist theory, art history, photography and writing.

      Class Standing: This all-level program accepts up to 50 percent freshmen.

Joe Feddersen: Eagle, 2006

Winter Quarter: We will continue our inquiry into an awareness of the numinous, which Rudolf Otto, amidst the turmoil of WWI, explained as a "non-rational, non-sensory experience or feeling whose primary and immediate object is outside the self." In numinous experience everything but the experience of awareness falls away. Just as lava lamps that were made for contemplation in the 60s inspired renewed interest, Rudolf Otto's articulation of the numinous has also regained popularity as evidenced in our central text, Buddha Mind in Contemporary Art. Amidst contemporary global turmoil, we'll be asking what kinds of objects, spaces and practices evoke for us, now, a non-rational, non-sensory experience or feeling that takes us outside the self to that which is "wholly other." During the winter, we will take a regional approach, with a focus on the “Northwest Mystics,” contemporary northwest artists, contemporary Salish art, and the phenomenon of light.

We will continue to examine the recognized numinous works of others from global contexts and develop skills to create our own numinous art and experiences. We will explore how artists and practitioners manufacture opportunities for contemplative responses through visual arts, experimental film/video and meditative arts within trans-historical, cross-cultural and gendered contexts. This will lead to experiments in creating our own numinous works through skill development in workshops and collaborative projects in visual arts, media arts, community service and meditative arts, including yoga.

Reflection on the possible inherent disposition of our neurophysiology for numinous experience will be encourage throughout our inquiry. Such reflection will require the cultivation of analytic skills as well as the contemplative arts of listening and abiding in silence. We'll cultivate the capacity to pay attention to our awareness of experiences to which the most appropriate response is silence.

Class Schedule

      Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
      10am - 12pm 11am - 1pm 10am - 12pm 9:30 – 12:30    
      POD Group Work Film/Arts Screenings Seminars Studios    
        FIELD TRIPS     Individual
        2pm - 5pm 1pm – 5pm 2pm - 5pm Study
      3pm – 5pm Guest Artists Governance Studio    
      Governance & Presentations          

Book List

Continuing from Fall:

Baas, Jacquelynn & Jacob, Mary Jane (Editors). Buddha Mind in Contemporary Art

Feldman, Christina. Silence

Miller, Richard. Yoga Nidra: The Meditative Heart of Yoga

Sayre, Henry M. Writing About Art

Solnit, Rebecca. As Eve Said to the Serpent: on Landscape, Gender, and Art

New for Winter:

Ament, Deloris Tarzan. Iridescent Light: The Emergence of Northwest Art

Blanchard, Rebecca and Davenport, Nancy (eds.) Contemporary Coast Salish Art

Rush, Michael. New Media in Art

Zajonc, Arthur, Catching the Light: The Entwined History of Light and Mind


During the winter, each week will start with visual or experiential material. We will screen a number of films, examples of video art, and look at artists using new media to explore awareness, perception, and the meditative mind. In addition, our weekly schedule will include a lecture/presentation, field trip or guest artist on Tuesday afternoons, Wednesday morning seminars, and creative workshops in video art, collage, and yoga practice on Thursdays. Each student will participate in one of the creative workshops for four weeks, followed by fifth week presentations. Students will then be able to choose a second four week workshop, followed by student presentations in week ten. In addition, students will form and meet in peer groups (pods) throughout the quarter to do creative work and peer reviews of student writing.

Pods will continue to work collaboratively, developing a proposal for a Foundation Activities Grant for an installation to be completed by the end of the quarter. Pods will also be involved in developing community service projects related to the politics and pleasures of public, contemplative art. All program work will be complied in individual portfolios and shared in the fifth and tenth week program presentations.

                Downed, 1. Laurie Meeker, 2007


Total: 16 credits per quarter • Enrollment: 69

Special Expenses: Approximately $330 each quarter for art and media supplies and yoga workshop fee.

Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in visual arts, media arts, meditative arts and feminist theory. This program is also listed under Culture, Text and Language and Expressive Arts.