History and Aesthetics of Photography
A survey of the history, principles and theory of photography in the 19th and 20th centuries as it is used as an aesthetic medium and for visual communication. Differentiation between photographs made as art vs. snapshots, as well as photojournalism, scientific record and commercial art is emphasized.
The 20th Century
The varied schools and styles of painting and sculpture in the 20th century are explored in depth.
Survey of Art History
A general survey of the art of the Western World with emphasis on the nature of style, medium, aesthetic changes and continuity. Criticism, analysis and evaluation of works of art related to their aesthetic worth and cultural significance are central to the course.
Contemporary Movements in Art
An in-depth study of the contemporary art scene including an exploration of its cultural and historical roots.
The Cyborg in Contemporary Art
A course on gender, technology and computer culture. The term cyborg, coined in 1960, refers to an organism with both artificial and natural systems. In 1968, influential critic and curator Jack Burnham advocated a new “posthuman” paradigm for art, characterized by a synthesis of the technological and the organic. This class examines the intersections of technology, gender and culture from the Cold War to present-day. Beginning with the celebration of technology manifested in the Fluxus movement and Experiments in Art and Technology (EAT) in the 1960s, the course tracks the rise of systems theory and cybernetics, precursors to the internet and the personal computer, in the art world. Systems theory examined the proliferation of information in a post-industrial society, and sanctioned a new dematerialized art that critically engaged economic and social systems. During the women’s movement in the 1970s, systems theory and new technologies provided women the conceptual framework needed to comment on patriarchal social systems, as well as the tools to distribute their work to new and expanded audiences. By the mid-1980s, scholar Donna Haraway hailed the internet as a means to level the gender playing field. Communicating in anonymity in the cyberworld, women could adopt any identity. At first imbued with limitless potential, the cyborgian marriage of human and machine in internet-based art was later subjected to feminist criticism, charging that the internet served only to perpetuate culturally constructed gender codes.