As registration for Fall 2014 academic courses begins soon, I wanted to provide more information about courses I will begin teaching in September, 2014. Please see detailed descriptions below. If you have any specific questions that are not answered here or in the links I provide you to the registration for the courses, you can contact me directly. I look forward to another rich and engaging semester with both new and familiar faces.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (Mondays 1:00-2:50pm, Surrey Campus Fir 3414)
This course offers a critical and historical examination of “new media” and the influence of technological, digital, computerized, and networked information and communication technologies in the development of new formats of art making. Looking first to the history of late nineteenth and early twentieth century avant-garde stagings and engagement with new technologies of seeing (through photography and early cinema for example), the course will examine how innovative ideas about representation and free use of materials in the art of cubism, futurism, surrealism and dada set out to re-envision the strict adherence to traditional hierarchies of art represented by painting and sculpture. The course will then explore how artists and art movements of the last fifty years have embraced new media formats to further their visions. From conceptual photography to video, collage to assemblage, installation to performance, digital to virtual environments, new media formats have extended notions of what art could materially consist of, but have also affected the anticipation of audiences for that work, having social as well as aesthetic implications. An important aspect of the course will therefore involve thinking about how contemporary new media practices must be understood in a broader historical and social context involving changing ideas about time, duration, and narrative, notions of embodiment, and the turn to a digitally mediated world. Ultimately, our attention will be on the network where new media art is made, exhibited, and reacted to by different parties, and to the ways that portions of the art system have conceived of and explained the workings of such a system and the society it exists within.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (Fridays 1:00-4:50pm, Surrey Campus Fir 128)
Students will study the history and development of world cinema, and the comprehension and theory of film as a visual language and art-making practice from its inception in the late nineteenth century to the present. The goal of the course is to introduce students to the critical interpretation of the cinema and the various vocabularies and methods with which one can explore the aesthetic function, together with the social, political, and technological contexts and developments, of moving pictures. The weekly format of this course (as a 4 hour block) will normally entail a 1.5-2 hour lecture and the screening of a full-length film. Each film will thus serve as a starting point and gateway for discussion about the course’s weekly theme.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (Mondays 7:00-9:50pm, Richmond Campus Main 2500)
This course provides students with an introduction to the art, architecture, and visual culture of Western Europe and North America from the fifteenth century to the turn of the twentieth century. Major works representing principal historical periods will be studied in detail in order to illuminate the social, cultural, and political factors contributing to both the production and the reception of visual art. This class is not intended to be all-inclusive in which each and every monument contributing to the “canon” of Western art is studied. Rather, we will consider the constructed nature of the discipline of art history in order to trouble assumptions, both historical and contemporary, regarding the nature of art, its relation to different social and political institutions, and issues of patronage and viewing publics. Furthermore, through an introduction to critical and historical methods, students will develop the basic tools and terminology for analyzing visual art and culture, a skill set of crucial importance in understanding the barrage of images and technological stimulus at play in our postmodern world.
Simon Fraser University (Thursdays 6:30-9:20pm, Vancouver Harbour Centre Campus 1800)
This course provides an introduction to the complex ways in which social and political change, and ideologies of gender, class, race and ethnicity, worked to shape aspects of nineteenth century visual culture in Europe and North America. Emphasis will be placed on the roles played by industrialization, political revolution, rapid urban growth, global commerce, and the new media technologies of an expanding consumer culture in defining a wide range of visual culture. Throughout the term we will also examine different representations and debates around the idea of modernity and the “modern.” Since the time period under investigation has often been called “The First Modern Century”, we will pay particular attention to shifting ideas related to labour and leisure, urban social space and spectacle, and issues bearing on Euro-American expansion of empires in relation to indigenous populations, throughout the nineteenth century to turn of the twentieth century up to WWI.