Banner image from JJ Grandville.
Images of animals are the oldest known artworks; they are also some of the first images that children in Western culture see and learn to recognize. From 35,000-year-old cave paintings to Disney animations, from the fables of Aesop to the many thousands of animal videos uploaded to and viewed on YouTube—images and stories of the animals with whom we have evolved weave in and through Western culture. The images proliferate as our experiences with actual animals become increasingly rare.
Students will study how we see, understand and represent animals in an effort to learn about human relationships with animals as “other” and as mirrors of ourselves. They will engage in analyzing and deconstructing a variety of visual and written representations of animals to discover what these images and texts communicate about humans and their cultures, about the relationships between human and animals, and about animals themselves. Through a series of creative and technical assignments, students will interrogate their own consumption and creation of animal imagery and their own relationships with individual animals. As they execute these assignments, students will build skills in observation, research, critical thinking, conceptual design, writing, drawing and animation.
Faculty: Anne de Marcken and Ruth Hayes