Special Topics for Summer 2015 (Term 2), Fall 2015 and Spring 2016

Special Topics 

Please note: this page will be updated as information is confirmed. In case of a discrepancy between this page and InsideEC, the information on InsideEC will be deemed correct.

  • Additional information on these courses is available at https://inside.ecuad.ca
  • Most credit courses have prerequisites that are clearly outlined on the website.

Fall 2015

AHIS 333 F001 - F007 - Interdisciplinary Forums (3)

Thursdays, 3:50pm – 7:30pm, Fall 2015

Instructor: Cameron Cartiere

Topic: The Extraordinary Everyday

Through the lens of Michel de Certeau's theories on the Practice of Everyday Life, this course considers the rich blend of everyday influences on art, politics, spatial aesthetics, and design thinking. By exploring the value of lived experience and confronting the materiality of our contemporary society, we will examine the concept of the everyday as a means to re-evaluate commons sense practices that may have been trivialized by mainstream culture. The instructor's lectures will be complimented by visiting speakers and media presentations that provide a broad range of artistic practices that examine the wonder, curiosity, despair and joy that create extraordinary moments in our everyday world.

Lecture (C.Cartiere) followed by Seminar (TBA). A1

CCID 200 F003P + CCID 300 F003P - Community Projects (3)

Wednesdays, 1:00pm – 3:50pm, Fall 2015

Instructor: Sarah Van Borek

Topic: Concrete Jungle, Rewilding Vancouver

CONCRETE JUNGLE is a dynamic urban-rural creative exchange program in partnership with Canada’s leading environmental organization, the David Suzuki Foundation, the Gibsons-based community engaged arts non-profit “Deer Crossing The Art Farm” (DCTAF), and the Town of Gibsons (Sunshine coast, BC). Drawing on fields of experience design and behaviour change communication, students will build site-specific, multimedia installations that infiltrate the urban environment with projections of the wild while challenging the ways in which humans value nature both inside and outside the city. These installations will include creative elements resulting from an exchange with emerging youth artists involved in DCTAF’s The Woodlands Project. Students will do field work in a specific urban forest in Vancouver, take a day trip to The Art Farm and a rural forest near Gibsons, and explore their wider self-community-nature relationships through video and sound recording tools. The installations will include a storytelling component developed from interviews students conduct with “local experts” (biologists, park staff, tour guides, etc) in the communities of Gibsons and/or Vancouver. Students will build professional relationships with project partners by interacting directly with them in meetings and some classes. The program will culminate in a public exhibition of students’ work in both the Town of Gibsons and in Vancouver.

CCID 200 F004Q + CCID 300 F004Q - Community Projects (3)

Thursdays, 12:30pm – 3:20pm, Fall 2015

Instructor: Justin Langlois

Topic: Between Consensus and Dissensus: Everyday Life as Social Practice 

This course will explore social engagement as a studio practice that either disrupts or merges with everyday life. Through a range of directed and independent studio and public projects, students will work to respond to questions including: Does socially engaged art have to do civic or public good? Can there be transdisciplinary approaches to contemporary art making that would contribute to fields of inquiry such as urban planning, education, or sustainability? As both political action and contemporary art imagine new worlds, how can art projects be seen as potential models for living? This course will work to develop a rigorous and useful dialogue between topics taken up in HUMN 304: Social Practice Seminar Social Practice Seminar and independent and collaborative artistic production.

CCID 202 F001N + CCID 302 F001N – Fieldwork: Topics (3)

Wednesdays, 8:30am – 11:20am, Fall 2015

Instructor: Cameron Cartiere

Topic: Where is Marpole? 

This CCID practice-based course offers students an opportunity to engage in coursework focused on embedded practice that includes an off-site fieldwork experience. This class will be based in the Oak Park fieldhouse located in the Vancouver neighbourhood of Marpole. Students will create their own practice-based project proposals based on site research, cultural context, and independent studio work. This is an opportunity to develop practical experience working in the public realm and to explore new approaches for understanding audience, engagement, and negotiation. This course is open to students in any degree program.

DRWG 304 F001 – Drawing: Special Topics (3)

Tuesdays, 12:30pm – 3:20pm, Fall 2015

Instructor: Elvira Hufschmid

Topic: Luck of the Draw
Historically, artists of all genres have expanded the definition of the drawing medium in relation to gesture and form by transgressing traditional disciplinary boundaries. Drawing emerges thereby as a result of a process with unexpected outcomes, an accident, a movement, or it appears as the condensation of an idea. Artists like Eva Hesse moved off the two-dimensional screen and extended the line into space. Ane Teresa De Keersmaeker recorded traces of her dance movement and transformed it back into the two-dimensional realm through film. Similarly, the composer John Cage employed coincident techniques to create a musical score as a graphic notation. How can we take inspiration from the discursive history of drawing and leverage aspects of its various concepts for our own art practice?
This class will give students the opportunity to practice drawing by exploring different materials and methods while embarking on a joint transformative process. Starting with drawing from observation in the form of sketching, life drawing and motion studies, we will also investigate experimental forms, like sensory drawing, graphic notations, media transgression or extensions into space as "cross-border" practices.
Students will be introduced to "Artistic Transformation" as an idea-generating approach in art making that engages them to develop a body of independent work over the course of the semester based on their individual interests. Presentations, critiques and  discussions of contemporary art support students to expand their drawing expertise. 

HUMN 311 F001 - Visual Art Seminar (3)

Mondays, 8:30am -11:20am, Fall 2015

Instructor: Erdem Tasdelen

Topic: Queer Culture + Theory                                                              

This course will explore notions of queerness through a series of lectures, literary and theoretical texts, discussions, screenings, presentations and studio projects. We will review queer cultural production and focus on the work of queer visual artists in order to investigate how social and sexual norms have been and continue to be challenged. Readings for the course will introduce a number of salient topics and debates in queer theory, and will include texts by Michel Foucault, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Judith Butler, Michael Warner, Sara Ahmed, Lee Edelman and Jasbir Puar. 

HUMN 311 F002 - Visual Art Seminar (3)

Thursdays, 8:30am -11:20am, Fall 2015

Instructor: Kathy Slade

Topic: The Practice of Artists' Publishing

This course will focus on artists’ publishing projects from the 1960’s to the present. Through a series of readings, group presentations, and assignments we will investigate the roll of publishing within a wider art context and consider its structure and position in relationship to the legacy of conceptual art practices. The scope of study will focus primarily on artists’ books, but will also consider journals, magazines, and web projects published by artists. This course will provide students with the opportunity to develop and produce a publication and research and develop an exhibition.

HUMN 311 F003 - Visual Art Seminar (3)

Wednesdays, 4:30pm -7:20pm, Fall 2015

Instructor: Alex Phillips

Topic: The Object and its Others

This course examines the history of museum collecting and display and its implications for contemporary sculpture. Since the 16th century Age of Resemblances until today, museums have held forth as primary repositories of truth and authenticity. What has come to be known as the “ethnographic turn’ in art is the interrogation of the museum and its practices by artists who have critiqued its methods of ethnographic collecting and display, thereby calling into question these notions of truth. Such artists include Joseph Beuys, Fred Wilson, Louise Lawler, Mark Dion, Andrea Fraser, Lothar Baumgarten, Iris Haussler, Juan Munoz, and Liz Magor, among others. This course covers issues such as problems with the preservation and display of cultural artifacts, the critique of social scientific authority, the history of exhibit design, and the tension between the real and the represented. The course will include field trips to selected museums, surveys of contemporary art reflecting the “ethnographic turn,” readings in anthropology and art history, as well as a sustained studio project.

HUMN 311 F004 - Visual Art Seminar (3)

Wednesdays, 4:30pm -7:20pm, Fall 2015

Instructor: Damian Moppett

Topic: Repurposing Modernism (Practical Applications for Outdated Doctrines) 

It’s easy to say that nothing new can be done. It’s just as easy to say that everything old is new again. Perhaps everything new is old again. These statements grant permission and encourage an involvement with history, its riches and especially its unexplored tangents. As our context shifts so does the very way we understand our experiences. Art and its history are continually brought into focus anew; this is why a work done 100 years ago can still shock and delight, or even better, look fresh. We constantly see historical moments, both canonical and obscure, in artwork made today. Making work outside of history is not possible, while making work ignorant of its referents is a missed opportunity! 

This class will be comprised of studio projects, presentations, written projects, discussions, readings, slide lectures and field trips. We will look at the history of Modernism, from its advent to the present, and focus on contemporary practices that use and/or reference that history. There will be a special focus on the ‘cross pollination’ of media and the multi-disciplinary nature of artists’ practices from today back to the end of the 19th century. We will look at and encourage painters who sculpt, photographers who paint, printers who perform and any other combination or deviation from one’s primary media.  

HUMN 311 F005 - Visual Art Seminar (3)

Tuesdays, 7:00pm -9:50pm, Fall 2015

Instructor: Madeleine Sauve

Topic: The Age of *Precarity: Free Agent or Slave to Globalization? 

This studio-based seminar addresses Precarity as a social construct. Photo-based imagery, the multiple and written practice will lead our exploration into meaning, metaphor and records of collective experience.

Expectations around labour equity, housing affordability and economic participation have shifted dramatically in the last 20 years . In this age of Precarity, how do we imagine ourselves via creative practice? What role does the artist have as archivist, commentator and advocate?

*Precarity is a condition of existence without predictability or security, affecting material and/or psychological welfare. Specifically, it is applied to the condition of intermittent or underemployment and the resultant precarious existence. The social class defined by this condition has been termed the precariat.

HUMN 311 F090 - Visual Art Seminar (3)

Online Course, Fall 2015

Instructor: Daphne Plessner

Topic: Going Viral: Art as Circulation, Intervention, Investigation

This course is paired with the studio course VAST 310 F001 and students must register in both courses.
What can art do? This online academic course (paired with the studio course VAST310 F001) assesses the social and cultural expectation for art to ‘do’ more than stage or present a personal, private aesthetic experience. The course introduces students to artists' projects that engage with the aesthetic dimension of social and political issues and concerns (Critical Art Ensemble and Yes Men are well known examples) and examines how strategies of  ‘circulation’, ‘intersection’ and ‘intervention’ are realized in public places and settings. The course content includes lectures, selected readings, discussions, videos etc. that outlines topics such as ‘intervention’, ‘dialogue’, ‘’circulationism’ and ‘aesthetic journalism’.  This course will also provide an opportunity for students to write their own research paper (in the form of a contextual study or a report) that is linked to the creation of their own interventionist art projects (as developed in the studio course VAST310-F001).

VAST 310 F001 - Visual Arts: Special Topics (3)

Wednesdays, 8:30am – 11:20am, Fall 2015

Instructor: Daphne Plessner

Topic: Going Viral: Art as Circulation, Intervention, Investigation

This course is paired with the academic online course HUMN 311 F090 and students must register in both courses.
This studio course (paired with the online academic course HUMN311 F090) expands the opportunity and possibility for students to create artwork that directly intervenes, or is installed, or circulates (either online or offline) in the public sphere and/or public spaces and places. This includes making artworks by experimenting with interventionist strategies and installing or assembling art works in relation to specific social, political and/or cultural themes and topics (as researched in HUMN311 F090). The course will explore making and disseminating artworks in the form of printed matter (posters, flyers etc.), experimenting with online software and digital circulation and orchestrating investigative and participatory events and installations. The course draws on the readings and discussion in HUMN311 F090 to inspire and contextualize the student's studio art projects. These two courses together explore a range of artistic approaches to interventionist art and contextualizes the impulse for art to ‘act.’

ILUS 305 F001 – Illustration Genres: Topics (3)

Mondays, 8:30am-11:20am, Fall 2015

Instructor: Jesse Garbe

Topic: Illustration, Natural History and Artistic Expression

Illustration and the natural sciences have a quirky, hierarchical, and long standing relationship. Historically, illustration served science with the ability to make concepts and places, such as Evolutionary Biology or the Malay Archipelago, into tangible pictures, diagrams and guides. It was able to do this because, like evolutionary models, illustrations can reduce the amazing amount of variation found within the natural world into generalized types, or images. These images can then be used to compare, categorize and understand the natural world. But, this history has another often ignored or repressed side. Illustrations also helped to document attitudes, prejudices and viewpoints about nature, culture and artistic expression.  In this course we will be exploring through pictorial means the ways that this relationship has continued and been subverted.

ILUS 306 F003 – Illustration Practices: Topic (6)

Mondays, 1:00pm – 7:20pm, Fall 2015

Instructor: Justin Novak

Topic: Pop Surrealism

Though Pop Surrealism is typically associated with gallery-oriented practice, it shares stylistic and thematic commonalities with commercial illustration, and operates largely outside of dominant contemporary art institutions. Though it came to prominence largely as an underground painting movement, Pop Surrealism has now broadened to include diverse digital and sculptural practices and encompasses mass-media product design and publication.  Students will take on the challenge of exploring, within the University framework, a cultural landscape that has developed well outside of critical academic discourse. The term "Pop Surrealism" invites examination of the historical influences at the root of the phenomenon, and discourses surrounding the 20th century movements of Pop Art and Surrealism will serve as our point of departure. The goal will be to bridge the gap between the intuitive spontaneity of this genre and the University’s dedication to cultural inquiry.

MHIS 405 F002 – Topics in Contemporary Photo (3)

Wednesdays, 4:30pm – 7:20pm, Fall 2015 

Instructor: Howard Ursuliak

Topic: The Itinerant Languages of Photography 

This section of Topics in Contemporary Photography takes its title, "The Itinerant Languages of Photography" from an interdisciplinary research project and exhibition co-produced by Eduardo Cadava and Gabriela Nouzeilles, colleagues at Princeton University. Initiated in 2010 and culminating in the exhibition of the same title at the Princeton University Art Museum that closed in January 2014, "this large-scale experimental project sought to develop a photography research network to initiate new forms of international interdisciplinary collaboration". It brought together scholars, curators, photographers and artists from Latin America, Europe and the United States.

"The phrase "itinerant languages" refers to the various means whereby photographs not only "speak" but also move across historical periods, national borders and different mediums". Through lectures and readings, in class presentations, study groups

and exhibition field trip, this course will apply research methodologies to examine the scope and nature of the project and exhibition, paying particular attention to the types of professional roles engaged in the "international circuits of image production".

MHIS 429 F001 – Topics in Film/Video Theory (3)

Wednesdays, 8:30am - 12:30pm, Fall 2015

Instructor: Alla Gadassik 

Topic: Cinema of the Senses

Classical film theory often described the media spectator as a disembodied subject, but in recent decades the role of the sensory body has become central to how we think about our relationship to moving images. Taking up this theoretical shift, this course uses the different senses as a series of entry points into film theory and film aesthetics. How do we experience and articulate our different senses, and how has cinema tackled those differences? What are the possibilities or limitations of using moving images to communicate non-visual experiences? How do different sensory modes shape our experience of a film’s space, time, mood, and themes? Weekly topics will include the five classical senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell), as well as the sixth and often neglected sense of proprioception. However, we will also blur the boundaries between the senses in considering topics like sensory deprivation, synaesthesia, and extra-sensory experience. Readings will pair cultural histories of the different senses with complementary film theory texts. Selected films will be integral in focusing our discussions, and students are expected to complete a weekly screening.

PHOT 306 F090 – Special Topics in Photography (3)

Online course, Fall 2015

Instructor: Merritt Johnson

Topic: Performing for the Camera
This course considers the questions: 
What happens when re-presentation becomes the primary form of presentation of performative action? How can artists working with performance use the Web as a space where action is cached, indefinitely retrievable, constantly suspended for the viewer? Can we use the camera to simulate participation and perpetuate voyeurism through the safety of temporal and spacial distance? How do we construct the relationship of audience to performer in the climate of Youtube, twitter, social networks, and edited reality TV, all actively confusing fiction and authenticity?
Students are strongly encouraged to experiment are welcome to work in varied media, including: performance, photography, video, and web-based practices. Students will create an online studio (using wordpress, blogger or tumblr). The online studios will function as a space to present and view student works, and must be regularly updated, the Moodle course page will be used to facilitate conversation and introduce works in performance and video. Students will meet regularly with Instructor via Skype.

Students from all areas of the school working in a range of media are welcome and encouraged to take this course.

PHOT 306 F040 – Special Topics in Photography (3)

Wednesdays, 9am – 3:50pm, Fall 2015

Instructor: Sandra Semchuk

Topic: How do we tell story in an age of information using photography?

Story can locate both teller and recipient in the transitional experience of coming to know. Where we come to know, how, when and with whom, are questions that lead towards the authorship of our own lives – those stories that constitute living immediate culture. This course will place the photographic stories of its participants in the center of the group's inquiry. Participants will develop their skills to make photographs, edit, sequence, and work with a range of non-linear narrative structures and forms including the use of text. Relationships between oral, written and the photographic will be experienced and investigated. Both individual and collaborative projects are included. This course aims to create a learning community based on telling story through photographs that includes learners from diverse cultural, economic and geographic backgrounds.

PHOT 323 F001 – Photography Practices: Topics (6)

Thursdays, 8:30am – 3:20pm, Fall 2015

Instructor: Felicia Gail & Patryk Stasieczek

Topic: Photographic Materiality: Process, Iteration, Form 

Anymore, the spaces of Photography are not stratified as merely Darkroom, or Digital, but may ally in the frictions between, encompassing a field of vision much greater than itself. Photographic Materiality transcends expected forms by surpassing everything we’ve taken for granted for Photography’s sake.

In this senior-level photography-minded course, each artist will breathe photographic materiality into process, iteration, as well as their individualized and collaborative forms. Resisting, and reacting to a hierarchy of historical legacies, each student will consider a specific context within the discourses of photography, the post-modern construction of photography as image, idea, and thing, as well as an experimentation of form through various gestures, and material studies. These will be explored by-way-of interactive lectures, applied workshops in techno-conceptual processes, and writing, as well as modes of context and display.

Experience will fabricate process as both site and stage for translations between photographic things as liminal space, the process as verb and noun, traversing in landscapes of compound materiality. Hypotheses of control and repetition will ensue amid the evolution of iteration (a word on the rise according to google’s ‘use over time’ graph). Iteration takes up the procedural, as well as the applicable by any means to produce approximations, and this time, without solution, comes a kind-of play with photographic resolve.

We, as a class, will ask of our modes of photographic production, “To what end can one abstract an event in photographic materiality?” These are new/old habits of process, a return to a primary awareness with material, and gesture. Form comes from the embodied impulse, form here = affective space (light, surface, chemistry, geography, technology, design, history, event, memory, sense). Reconfiguring the spaces of photography stirs up understanding, and sets into motion a new meditation on absorption. How will you respond?

SOCS 300 F090 – Studies in the Social Sciences (3)

Thursdays, 8:30am – 11:20am, Fall 2015

Instructor: Sadira Rodrigues

Topic: Global Exhibitions + The Art Market
Biennales and large-scale global exhibitions have seen a significant increase in the last 20 years, in Dakar, Shanghai, Istanbul, Havana, Sao Paolo, Johannesburg, Athens and Taipei to name a few. Despite continued criticism at the exclusionary and problematic nature of these exhibitions, we see the creation of biennales throughout the world.  Why is this?  What historical precedents inform the ways in which contemporary international exhibitions such as Biennales emerge? What do they reveal about the conditions of global art and the art market? This course will examine these exhibitions in relation to the art market, considerations of global capitalism, the growth of the "cultural industries", and cultural diplomacy. We will look at the network of the contemporary art system - from galleries, museums and fairs, to how artists and curators respond to the conditions of these large scale exhibitions.

VAST 310 F040Z & VAST 410 F040Z – Senior Studio Interdisciplinary (6)

North Island College - Tuesdays, 9am – 3:50pm, Fall 2015

Instructor: Ken Blackburn & Sara Vipond 

Topic: Space and Place
This interdisciplinary studio course will examine the topic of Space and Place.  Concepts of investigation will include: the exploration of 'situate/situation'; the personal, political and social dynamics of spaces and sense of place; participant and spectator relationships; the inherent harmonies and tensions of a 'site'.
Critical readings will accompany an ongoing discussion of individual and community based inquiry.  All mediums and personal practice will be encouraged.  Emphasis will be placed on current Public Art trends, Environmental Arts, Social Practice and Community Engagement.  Flexibility within the topic will be discussed individually based on student proposals. 

VAST 320 F001U & VAST 420 F001U - Visual Arts Thematic I + II (6)

Tuesdays, 12:30pm – 6:40pm, Fall 2015

Instructor: Ingrid Koenig

Topic: Black Holes and Other Entanglements in the Studio

This interdisciplinary studio course uses science as a lens through which to view and speak about the current world and invisible forces of the known universe, and interacts with these perspectives in the context of art practice. Students investigate and experiment with conceptual and material transformations that arise from being inspired, informed and mystified by phenomena in physics and other probing areas. The breadth of scientific fields to be encountered will depend on students’ individual research interests, while weekly topics address themes such as quantum particle behavior, biology and new materialism. The narrative of science contextualized in human experience, the abstract, embodied, misinterpreted, the complex rhizome, construction of knowledge, play of metaphor, connectivity, uncertainty, energy transformation, entropy, chaos theory, dark matter – these are all subjects for studio entanglements.

Students will participate in the Artist-in-Residence Program at TRIUMF, (Laboratory for Particle and Nuclear Physics with its cyclotron particle accelerator). They will also have a studio day at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum. Other studio workshops (such as soft shop) may be organized depending on students’ overall interests.

VAST 320 F002V & VAST 420 F002V - Visual Arts Thematic I + II (6)

Fridays, 8:30am – 3:50pm, Fall 2015

Instructor: Raymond Boisjoly

Topic: Meanings and Misunderstanding

The Yucatan Peninsula's name is derived from a 16th century encounter between Spanish explorers and the local Mayan population. Upon being asked the name of the region, reports indicate that the Mayans answered either, "I do not understand your speech," or, "Hear how they talk.” Misunderstanding their response, the Spanish explorers took these statements of incomprehension as the name of the place: Yucatan.

What is the role of misunderstanding in the production of knowledge? Drawing on this question, we will collectively consider ideas of “art” and “research” and the matter which populates the space between these two terms. Through lectures, readings, discussions, presentations, screenings and studio projects, we will investigate the concepts of noise, contingency, ambiguity and confusion as they impact the production of meaning in artistic and cultural practices.

Cross-listed Courses for the Fall:


ANIM 325 F001A - Special Topics in Animation (6)

FVIM 333 F001A – Media Practices (6)

ILUS 306 F001A – Illustration Practices: Topics (6)

Fridays, 8:30am – 3:50pm, Fall 2015

Instructors: Harry Killas and Justin Novak

Topic: Transmedia 

Transmedia has become a dominant strategy for the entertainment industry (wherein a singular narrative or concept might be manifested as a film, comic book, TV show, game, web project, etc), but it also provides a framework in which to discover how various graphic arts and film practices can feed one another in unexpected ways. This course offers students a space for broad transdisciplinary exploration, and the opportunity to examine how the medium through which a project is delivered can inform it, transform it, and expand its resonance. Students will identify themes, subjects and/or locations worthy of investigation, and a range of experimental methodologies will be engaged to challenge conventional approaches to constructing narratives. Collaborative projects will afford students opportunities to employ diverse skill sets and strategies in the pursuit of these investigations.  Two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and time-based media will all be explored as potential elements of a larger strategy that might involve delivery via screen, printed matter and/or exhibition spaces.  Class meetings will involve lectures, demonstrations, group critiques, and individual tutorials with faculty and technicians.

PRNT 315 F001W – Print: Alternative Processes (6)

DRWG 321 F001W – Drawing Practices: Topics (6)

PNTG 315 F001W – Painting Practices: Topics (6)

Thursdays, 8:30am – 3:20pm, Fall 2015

Instructor: Rodney Konopaki

Topic: Monotypes

Monotypes are the focus of research for this course. Monotypes, often referred to as “painterly prints”, are an approach to making images frequently explored by artists to augment their investigations in painting and drawing. Students will use additive and subtractive techniques, stencils and transfers to develop singular images and also to build evolving iterations of these images.

The course will be taught through workshop demonstrations and projects. Through artistic production, research, discussions, writing and critique, students are expected to increase their understanding of the content and context of their process and production as well as their knowledge of contemporary art. Critiques and tutorial discussions complement studio production.

The course is repeatable for credit provided the thematic topic has changed.

ILUS 306 F002T – Illustration Practices: Topic (6)

PRNT 305 F002T – Print Media: Special Topics (6)

Tuesdays, 8:30am – 3:20pm, Fall 2015

Instructor: Beth Howe

Topic: The Illustrated Book
In this course, we will use the medium of letterpress printing to produce book projects. What are the visual, contextual, and structural possibilities and implications of the handmade book?  How does the form reach back through the history of printed matter and where is it sited now?  Students will learn to combine printmaking and bookbinding techniques with hand-drawn and/or digital illustration and typography. The class will work on group and individual projects, work with assigned literary texts, and produce printed and bound matter by hand in the Print Media studios.

 

Summer 2015

AHIS 333 SU01 – Interdisciplinary Forums (3)

Mondays and Wednesdays, 1:00pm– 4:10pm Summer 2015 (Term 2)

Instructor: Phil Smith

Topic: Popular Culture and Art / Design / Media  (2015 Mix)

This course will look at the sometimes uneasy and constantly shifting relationship between art/design/media practices and popular culture as a whole from two symbiotic perspectives: the first, an examination of the evolution of the historical and theoretical concepts and contexts of the almost century-long interplay between “serious” artistic endeavours and popular/mass culture, an interplay often referred to as “the tension between high and low”; the second, a practice-oriented focus as to where emerging artists and other creative practitioners might position themselves within the contemporary world of popular culture (including its increasing emphasis on digital delivery systems), a positioning that will be considered from both a process and a professional practice standpoint.

These perspectives will be explored through the course readings, screenings, and lectures (including a number of guest speakers) as well as in the seminars that follow each lecture. Possible fields and mediums to be addressed over the course of the term include movies, television, comics, animation, video games, popular music, advertising, and professional sports.

CCID 200 SU01A and CCID 300 SU01A – Community Projects (3)

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00am – 11:50am Summer 2015 (Term 2)

Instructor: Holly Schmidt

Topic: Food Justice

In the last decade there’s been a proliferation of interest in food systems and increased participation in the struggle for “food justice”. This term encompasses efforts to challenge and reform current food systems, ensure equitable access to food, and create links to related issues of poverty, labour and immigration. Many contemporary artists and collectives such as Claire Pentecost, Conflict Kitchen, Fallen Fruit, and Future Farmers are responding to these pressing issues by advocating for change and creating alternatives through creative practice.

This course will explore local and global food justice issues from a classroom located at Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House (located at Broadway, near Fraser Street). Sitting on the border of East and West Vancouver this area has a complex history and rapidly changing future due to the pressures of gentrification. Ripe with food related initiatives from community gardens, farmers markets, communal dinners and independent grocers and restaurants, this neighborhood provides a compelling context to explore and engage with local food systems and initiatives to change them. This exploration will frequently take us out of the classroom for walks, field trips, and meetings with community members and local experts.

Taking up artist and educator Pablo Helguera’s “Education for Socially Engaged Art Handbook,” this course is an opportunity to consider the role of the artist in socially engaged art and explore methods for participation and collaboration through the creation of individual and collective socially engaged art projects focused on food issues.

HUMN 306 SU01 – Studies in Humanities: Design (3)

Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:00am – 11:50am Summer 2015 (Term 2)

Instructor: Jeffrey Swartz

Topic: From Design Criticism to Critical Design

This course engages criticism in contemporary design from complementary perspectives: while design criticism is about design, critical design emerges through design. Drawing on historical and theoretical references, the course also develops applied exercises in design criticism—writing—and critical design—production with critical intent. 

The idea of criticism about design is familiar, usually taking the form of written texts in magazines, journals and blogs. Yet it is also an idea in crisis, as many experts claim. Is design criticism really necessary for design to advance? If so, what tools do we need to think and write critically about it?

Criticism through design, identified by British duo Dunne & Raby as critical design, responds to the idea that design knowledge is acquired and advanced in real practice within the project. Even while addressing the demands of the commission, client or user, it wraps itself in further layers of meaning. Since it addresses other designers and professionals and seeks to provoke, it is a form of meta-design: critical design is loaded.

Historical examples, such as 1960s Italian radical design or Western design ideas in the developing world (Allende’s Chile), help illuminate the idea. Contemporary examples of critical design (Jurgen Bey, Martí Guixé, Natalie Jeremijenko) as well as critiques of the movement’s political and social biases, are taken into account. Finally, design criticism and critical design invite us to consider recent studies on the political and social status of design, including debates on sustainability and design activism.

This historical, theoretical and practical course is meant for students of all design disciplines and has crossover interest for students of art and media.

HUMN 311 SU91 – Visual Art Seminar (3)

Online, Summer 2015 (Term 2)

Instructor: Felicia Gail

Topic: Intimate & Immense: Regarding The Poetics of Space 

Throughout the journey of the course, each student will consider a contemporaneous take on the artist’s socio-political, and meta-physical sense of place through the reading and interpretation of Gaston Bachelard’s “The Poetics of Space.” We will discursively consider how we, as makers, interpret meaning from conceptual and applied translations of intimate and immense space through the context of multi-disciplinary works in text, visual art, and aural exposition. We will simultaneously ask the question, “how do we communicate the offline experience of artistic practice with the online representation as such?”As a pivot point for what will be an intersubjective course, we will contemplate topohilia (from Greek topos, “place” and -phillia, “love of”), paying special attention to the chapter, “Intimate Immensity.” 

In this course each student will participate by documenting site-specific location readings with image capturing, free-writing, as well as forum discussions. Each student will complete assigned and proposed projects based on their practice using the required text as a road map. Supplemental readings will include authors such as: Carol Mavor, Rebecca Solnit, Susan Stewart, and selected poets and other art writers. 

Required text: The Poetics of Space, by Gaston Bachelard

 

Spring 2016

AHIS 333 S001 – Interdisciplinary Forums (3)

Thursday, 3:50pm – 6:30pm, Spring 2016

Instructor: Randy Lee Cutler

Topic: Vibrating Matter: A User's Manual

Through the convergence of different perspectives this course considers the role of materiality and matter in the construction of aesthetic forms, philosophical phenomena and scientific artifacts. In the interface between art and science vibrating matter with its affective and symbolic intensities offers us access into matter as a material mode of engagement. Thinking across and between artistic practices how does matter come to matter? And how do visual experiments with a focus on materiality whether light, time, pigment, wood or clay to name but a few, draw and enlarge ideas from the social sciences, the sciences, industry and popular culture? With this in mind, the instructor's biweekly lectures complimented by visiting speakers and media presentations will provide an understanding of a range of artistic practices through the performance of the nonhuman, material, natural and cultural factors.