Media Art Lab
This workshop supports study and production in the media arts, including digital video, sound, installation/performance, and Internet and new media art, for students with a range of experiences with media technologies. Conceptual development is stressed though regular readings and screenings, while technology skills are built in hands-on workshops using a range of media production equipment and platforms. In class and short-term projects lead to the development of a significant final piece of work that may relate to students’ ongoing creative interests.
Art and Ecology
Structured as a collaborative, creative research group, Art & Ecology explores artistic responses to environmental sustainability and related social issues. In the first half of the semester, the course examines select themes in environmental discourse, paying particular attention to how artists have engaged them. In the second half of the semester, students develop collaborative or individual projects that may take the form of social/relational art practice, video, installation, performance, writing, sound, 2- or 3D forms, and/or electronic media. In-class activities are supplemented with field trips, screenings, and guest presentations, and special effort is made to connect students to university and community resources. Emphasis is placed on critical approaches rooted in the humanities, but students are welcome from all disciplines. Students from disciplines outside the arts are encouraged to contact the instructor prior to the first day of class.
Intermedia Artist in Community
This interdisciplinary practice-based research seminar is centered on students participating in internships at Iowa City nonprofit organizations. The course, open to upper-division and graduate students, is comprised of fieldwork and class seminars. Initial meetings identify issues of artists working in communities, and describe the local nonprofit landscape. Related readings focus on artists and civic engagement, and the new roles available to artists in society. Over the semester, students work with local nonprofits, applying their skills and abilities to a variety of collaborative projects. Class and individual meetings allow students to report on their experiences and get peer and instructor feedback on their internships. Discussions also look at the broader issues of community practice. Assignments include keeping an electronic journal, producing an interim report, individual projects, and completing a final portfolio. Grading is based on individual projects, attendance, and participation.
The goal of this workshop is to create conditions where students evolve conceptually and aesthetically. The workshop prepares students to interpret their culture in terms of new languages of representation. In particular, students gain critical skills in analyzing established visual languages and are encouraged to produce and perform such languages. Students learn to merge scholarly practices with workshop practices, thus challenging the barriers between so-called academic and creative areas. The work involves hands-on experience in production of video art, performance, and installation, as well as the creation of objects. The course is encouraged for all MFA students, and BFA students customarily enroll in this course in their final semester.