Art as Experience
Works of art, John Dewey wrote, "are the most intimate and energetic means of aiding individuals to share in the arts of living." Whether by playing games in the art gallery or describing the description, by creating situations or recreating vintage events, thinking about art as experience can provoke stimulating and rewarding research. Through cases studies, demonstration, and live practice students will learn an array of strategies that have been used by artists as diverse as Picasso or Ono to complicate the material and conceptual status of the artwork and its reception–now the gallery guard is a performance artist, too, and education an aesthetic project. A wide variety of texts from contemporary fiction to ancient philosophy act as starting points for discussion and scholarly work. Active and collaborative projects are encouraged along with individual responses and analysis.
Breaking Bad Habits
Inspired by the rigor of Lars von Trier’s documentary “The Five Obstructions,” students in this course will challenge current trends of intuitive and provisional uses of clay. Through exercises, design challenges, and limitations, students will discover new technical and conceptual possibilities and will experience a range of ceramic material processes. Students at all levels working at the intersections of fine art and design are encouraged to enroll. Demonstrations and exercises will include fundamental hand building strategies, experiments in slip modification, post-firing assembly, and alternative finishing.
Interiors, physical and mental. Space, as a psychological construct. Cramped, menacing, crowded with furniture, bodies, stuff. Dust accruing, objects piling up. Chairs and tables and sofas and cups and saucers, records, books, shelves, and more dust. In the late nineteenth century, with the increase in speed (trains, telegrams) and industrialization of production, public spaces opened up. People promenaded in public and cowered, paranoid, in private. Women of all classes appearing in public were mistaken (or correctly assessed) as prostitutes. Retreat to interiors both spatial and mental increased. In this class we will look at painting’s and film’s depiction of interiors as metaphors for mental space. We will make painting and video/photography with an eye toward seeking the shadowy, inhabiting the corners. Ox-Bow’s library of interior decorating books, and specifically built cabins will be our ideal terrain - a specific and ready locale for investigating, drawing, picturing in a slow, exploratory way. We will watch films in the evenings and discuss readings, painting and film in terms of imagined and real space.