syllabus:art 8

introduction to visual thinking

summer session II: 6 july – 12 august 2010

monday/tuesday/wednesday/thursday 5 – 9 pm rm 395 kroeber

amanda eicher, instructor


75%            three major projects, due 7/14, 7/28, 8/11

25%            attendance and participation (includes in-class projects and writing)

the session will be divided into three parts, each corresponding to one of the major projects that constitute, in all, three-quarters of the grade for the class.

the first project will be an individual project; the second will be a small group project; and the third will be a project designed and executed by the entire class.

the remainder of the grade is constituted by active participation and attendance.

more than three absences will drop grade by half a point: a to a-, for example.

computers will be allowed for working on specific digital projects; otherwise computers and cellphones are to remain OFF in class.

course overview:

the goals, methods, and frameworks of this class will be set by all of us together, on the first day of class and progressively onward from day one.

we will work both independently and collaboratively, moving from observation to forming questions to collaboratively proposing answers in the form of artworks.

if this sounds complicated, we will spend time writing, reading, using materials, making objects, documenting, and interacting with our surroundings.

you will be expected to use your mind, body, heart, and spirit to solve problems and engage one another.

we will tangle with line, gesture, color, texture, form, space, and composition.

we will also address politics, social dynamics, group-building, culture, community, theory, and conceptual architectures.

ultimately, we will place balanced emphasis on the processes and the outcomes of what we do, exploring what it means to cultivate a creative life for ourselves.

there are no shoulds, no have-tos, and no failures in the art processes we will use, as long as we stay engaged. if there is a prevailing goal, it is to cultivate curiosities, interests, obsessions, and opinions, and turn these into creative experiences and artworks. this will create difficulties, challenges and puzzles at every turn.


your materials needs will range from project to project and class to class. however, you can plan to spend between $100-200 minimum throughout the semester. this includes field trips to museums (2 visits x $10-15 each entry), the course reader (~$40) and materials for large projects and in-class projects which will depend on your own project proposals. please see me if materials fees prove to be an issue.

week 1: invitations

tuesday collective drawing: recipe for… , distribution of mini-reader, slide show.

homework: read instructions for the zen cook, bring bookbinder’s needle and waxed thread.

wednesday labor party: making journals and discussing ‘zen cook’ reading; aspects of the self proposal workshop.

homework: read miss manners & emily post; finish proposal and bring in 25 copies; bring in two meaningful objects.

thursday drawing and meaning-making, proposal mini-critique.

homework: read relational aesthetics; respond to one of the readings.

friday: sun ceremony at BAM; saturday: beehive market at berkeley adult school.

saturday: opening at catharine clark gallery.

sunday: open house at headlands center for the arts.

week 2: the raw and the cooked

monday in-class work period; in-class office hours.

tuesday movie night: badlands.

sushi night: bring cooked or raw vegetables, any other sushi ingredients, sushi roll mats.

wednesday critiques of first projects.

thursday field trip: colter jacobsen reading at 2nd floor projects or temescal street cinema or late night at sfmoma and mika rottenburg’s squeeze.

homework: read peter schjeldahl and kenneth koch; write a review.

saturday: reserve a place for a tour of the san francisco dump.

week 3: how-to

monday how-to presentations: 4 per day for three days/monday, wednesday, thursday. reproduction demonstrations/stencil making/xerox transfers; temporary library. reading residency week.

homework: read julia ferré, basic macrobiotic cooking; bring one ingredient, one bowl, one knife, one cutting board, one spoon for stone soup.

tuesday movie night: babette’s feast or into great silence.

stone soup: bring ingredients, bowl, utensils.

homework: read recipes for an encounter, anna halprin movement ritual, moishe feldenkrais awareness through movement

wednesday scores: creating and enacting scores.

thursday in-class work day: appropriation, recontextualization, integration

homework: read post-production

week 4: trust

monday full moon trust walk with artist david wilson; collecting and stashing.

homework: bring sandwich fixings/bread for one or two sandwiches, one condiment, one sandwich filling/cold cuts/sliced vegetables

read futurist cookbook, begin reading upside down

tuesday movie night: rivers and tides

picnic dinner: sandwich night

homework: bring in project materials; respond to readings

wednesday critiques/in-class work day

thursday critiques/in-class work day (possible field trip to anna halprin class?)

week 5: perception, phenomena, spirituality

monday group discussion: having an argument/coming to consensus

homework: envisioning final project, read conjunctions and disjunctions

tuesday artist visit with james reed/agents of change (?)

wednesday painting demo

thursday first thursday in san francisco

homework: write an artist statement for one artist at first thursday openings

friday: art murmur in oakland

saturday: optional field trip to san francisco zen center

week 6: finality/finity

monday group work day

homework: bring one pasta sauce ingredient, knives, bowls, olive oil, forks, knives.

tuesday movie night: after life

pasta night: making pasta together, sauce process.

wednesday group work day; art 21 and youtube jam

thursday general critique and evaluations


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