Syllabus and course material for Ideation & Methodologies
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README.md

Ideation & Methodologies

University of Georgia | Lamar Dodd School of Art | Fall 2018

TR 1:55pm - 4:40pm
N140 (check course schedule for location change)

Xin Xin (they / them)
xin.xin@uga.edu
Room N224
Office hours by appointment

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Ideation & Methodologies explores topics of materiality, system, body, and networks through a series of thinking and making experiments. By working both collaboratively and independently, we will study a diverse spectrum of artistsic processes and develop a cabinet of ideas and techniques through playing, assembling, testing, and breaking.

MATERIALS

Please buy / order:

  • Sketchbook (gridded / graphed)
  • Ruled Index Cards, White, 3” x 5”, 100-Count
  • Register an account on https://are.na. You may need to upgrade to a premium account ($5 / month) if you exceed 100 private blocks.

You will be using the sketchbook and the index cards to record to record ideas and techniques developed throughout the semester. Are.na will be used to create Artist Research and will serve as your online dossier for gathering visual / textual inspirations.

Please remain flexible to acquire other materials appropriate to your interests.

ATTENDANCE POLICY

Students are expected to be present and on time to class every day. Absences should be excused by a doctor’s note, comparable documentation, or an email from me a week in advance in which I say you are excused for a valid reason. Each unexcused absence after the second unexcused absence will result in a half-letter drop in your final grade (e.g. A- will become a B+). Three lateness will result in an unexcused absence.

We will be producing most of the course work through in-class projects and you are responsible for reaching out to me or your peers outside of class time to catch up on what you have missed.

GRADING AND EVALUATION

Attendance
This can only work negatively for your grade as described in the attendance policy.

Participation 20%
Verbal, critical, and informed participation in class. This means being present and aware — ready to contribute in real-time during both reading discussions and critiques. Personal phone and laptop usages are unacceptable for this class. Your willingness to engage in thoughtful exchanges in class will account for one fifth of the final grade.

In-Class Projects 20% Artist Research #1 10%
Artist Research #2 10% Artist Research #3 10%
Artist Research #4 10%
Final Presentation 20%
In-Class Projects, Artist Research, and Final Presentation will be graded on concept, execution, and effort. Points are deducted if you turn in an assignment late. You will lose all points if the assignment is more than one week late.

GRADING SCALE

97-100 = A+ 93-96 = A 90-92 = A-
87-89 = B+ 83-86 = B 80-82 = B-
77-79 = C+ 73-76 = C 70-73 = C-
67-69 = D+ 60-66 = D 0-59 = F

EXTRA CREDIT

There are two opportunities this semester to earn an extra credit. You have the option to either volunteer at the Orange Twin Conservation Land on October 2nd OR you can write a two-page course reflection over the Thanksgiving break.

DIVERSITY STATEMENT

In this class we make a commitment towards diversity by acknowledging the different identities and backgrounds we inhabit. A collaborative effort between the students and the teacher is needed for creating a supportive learning environment.

If a class member says that something you have said or shared with the group is offensive, remember this is a valuable opportunity for everyone present to grow and learn from one another with further discussion. All class members are encouraged to discuss such instances with the instructor so they can be addressed with greater care in the future.

Statement adopted from voidLab at https://github.com/voidlab/diversity-statement.

STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

Students with a disability or health-related issue who need a class accommodation should make an appointment to speak with the instructor as soon as possible. It is University policy that students with documented disabilities receive reasonable accommodations through access to classroom information. If you have a physical, psychological/psychiatric or medical condition, or a learning disability that will make it difficult for you to carry out the work outlined in the syllabus, or that will require additional time for taking exams and completing assignments, please notify your faculty for this class and the Disability Resource Center in the first two weeks of the semester so that we may make appropriate arrangements. All information and documentation is confidential. For more information, please visit http://drc.uga.edu/

SAFETY

Please adhere to all UGA health and safety policies. These standards bind student behavior inside and outside of class.

ACADEMIC HONESTY

Plagiarism will not be tolerated and are prohibited in this course and in any other course at The University of Georgia. Any act of plagiarism will be taken seriously and result in an automatic ‘0’ on that assignment and prosecution to the fullest extent of university policy. As a University of Georgia student, you have agreed to abide by the University’s academic honesty policy, “A Culture of Honesty,” and the Student Honor Code. All academic work must meet the standards described in “A Culture of Honesty” found at: https://ovpi.uga.edu/academic-honesty/academichonesty-policy. Lack of knowledge of the academic honesty policy is not a reasonable explanation for a violation. Questions related to course assignments and the academic honesty policy should be directed to the instructor.

BIBLIOGRAPHY (in the order of the course)

Materiality

  • Lange-Berndt, Petra. “How to Be Complicit with Materials.” Materiality (Whitechapel: Documents of Contemporary Art). Ed. Lange-Berndt, Petra. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2015. 12-23. Print.
  • Wagner, Monika. “Material” Materiality (Whitechapel: Documents of Contemporary Art). Ed. Lange-Berndt, Petra. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2015. 26-31. Print.

System

  • Meadows, Donella H. “Dancing with Systems” Systems (Whitechapel: Documents of Contemporary Art). Ed. Shanken, Edward A. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2015. 26-31. Print.
  • Boluk, Stephanie, and Patrick LeMieux. Metagaming: Playing, Competing, Spectating, Cheating, Trading, Making, and Breaking Videogames. University of Minnesota Press, 2017.

Body

  • Cuboniks, Laboria. The Xenofeminism Manifesto: a Politics for Alienation. Verso, 2018.
  • Allayari, Moreshin, and Daniel Rourke. 3D Additivist Cookbook. 2016.

Networks

  • McLuhan, Marshall. The Medium Is the Message. Gingko Press, 2005.
  • Debord, Guy, and Ken Knabb. The Society of the Spectacle. Bureau of Public Secrets, 2014.
  • Holmes, Brian. Critical Art Ensemble: Disturbances. Four Corners Books, 2012.

COURSE SCHEDULE - the course calendar is subject to changes

0. Warming-Up

Week 0 | Context Matters

TUESDAY, August 14

  • Hello!
  • Syllabus / Intro to Ideation & Methodologies
  • 2D / 3D / 4D exercises I

THURSDAY, August 16

  • 2D / 3D / 4D exercises II
  • Idea Factory Opening Ceremony
  • Are.na Demo

Artist Research #1 (Due August 21)

Form groups of two to research an artist (assigned in class) who makes sense of the world through its material reality. Create a 5-minute, 20 slides Are.na presentation and be ready to present to class on Tuesday. Be sure to include the following information in your presentation:

  • Artist bio
  • What mediums are they investigating?
  • How does the artist collect / produce their mediums?
  • Why are these mediums important to the artist?
  • How is the work received in the public sphere?

1. Materiality

Week 1 | Tangible Matter

TUESDAY, August 21

  • Artist Research #1 Presentation
  • Intro to Tangible Matter
  • Project #1: Mapping Tangible Matter: natural, synthetic, artificial

Collect and bring THREE materials to Thursday’s class

THURSDAY, August 23

  • Bioplastic Workshop
  • Artist Talk: Charles Harlan

Read “How to Be Complicit with Materials” by Petra Lange-Berndt and be ready to discuss on Tuesday

Week 2

TUESDAY, August 28

  • Reading discussion
  • Kombucha Leather Workshop
  • Kudzu Paper-making Workshop

THURSDAY, August 30

  • Project #2: Mapping Object: form groups of two to create a map that traces the history of how an object (assigned in class) is made. What kind of raw materials are involved and what type of human / mechanical process took place? Present to class

Read “Material” by Monika Wagner and be ready to discuss on Tuesday

Week 3 | Intangible Matter

TUESDAY, September 4 - MEET AT N240

  • Reading discussion
  • Intro to Intangible Matter
  • Project #3: Make a Conductability Map

Bring a plant with healthy, large leaves ( > 2”) to Thursday’s class

THURSDAY, September 6 - MEET AT N240

  • Arduino Workshop
  • Project #4: Create a forest ensemble!

Week 4

TUESDAY, September 11 - MEET AT N240

  • Project #5: Mapping Intangible Matter: analogue, digital, virtual
  • P5.js Computer Drawing Workshop

THURSDAY, September 13 - MEET AT N240

  • 3D Sculptris Workshop
  • Review Project #1, #2, #3, #4, #5. Contribute THREE ideas to the Idea Factory

Artist Research #2 (Due September 18)

Form groups of two to research an artist (assigned in class) who makes sense of the world through system-thinking. Create a 5-minute, 20 slides Are.na presentation and be ready to present to class on Tuesday. Be sure to include the following information in your presentation:

  • Artist bio
  • What kinds of systems are they investigating?
  • How does the artist collect / produce their “data”?
  • Why is system-system appropriate for the subjects?
  • How is the work received in the public sphere?

2. System

Week 5 | Loop

TUESDAY, September 18

  • Artist Research #2 Presentation
  • Intro to Repetition, Pattern, and Rhythm
  • Project #6: Choose a thing (assigned in class), render 20 variations of the thing and arrange your renderings in a 5 x 4 grid

THURSDAY, September 20

  • Intro to the Art of Translation
  • Project #7: Study someone else’s Project #6 and repeat their system using a different medium
  • Project #8: Study someone else’s Project #7 and repeat their system using a different medium

Read “Dancing with Systems” by Donella H. Meadows and be ready to discuss on Tuesday

Week 6 | Randomness

TUESDAY, September 25

  • Reading discussion
  • Intro to Randomness, Chance, and Probability
  • Project #9: Shoot a collaborative exquisite corpse video
  • Project #10: Go on a observational walk and draw a “dérive” map based on a random set of rules

THURSDAY, September 27

  • Critique Project #6, #7, #8, #9, #10. Contribute THREEideas to the Idea Factory
  • Intro to Generative Art

Read Metagaming (excerpt) by Stephanie Boluk and Patrick LeMieux and be ready to discuss on Tuesday

Week 7 | Playing, Breaking, Hacking Games

TUESDAY, October 2 - MEET AT N240

  • Intro to Metagaming, Cheats, and Tricksteries
  • Project #11: Form groups of two to play a game (assigned in class). Find new ways to play / break the game by adding / deleting / altering / ignoring rules. Document your process and write a How to Play manual.

*** Extra Credit *** Volunteer your labor at the ORANGE TWIN FARMHOUSE, 255 NOKETCHEE CREEK ROAD for three hours in the afternoon to earn bonus credit. You’d be coordinately invited to participate in a foraging walk and an evening performance by A Hawk and a Hacksaw at the same location on October 3 at 6pm.

THURSDAY, October 4 - MEET AT N240

  • Twitter Bot Workshop
  • Artist Talk by AC Carter
  • Project #12: Create a new social media profile and find new ways to exist on the platform by breaking expectations. Document your process and share with the class.

Artist Research #3 (Due October 9)

Form groups of two to research an artist (assigned in class) who makes work about body. Create a 5-minute, 20 slides Are.na presentation and be ready to present to class on Monday. Be sure to include the following information in your presentation:

  • Artist bio
  • What aspects of the body are they interested in?
  • What mediums does the artist use in their work?
  • Why are these mediums important to the artist?
  • How is the work received in the public sphere?

3. Body

Week 8 | Representation

TUESDAY, October 9

  • Artist Research #3 Presentation
  • Intro to the hot mess: sex, gender, race, and class
  • Project #13: Spectator v.s. the Spectated: form groups of two and take 20 selfies of yourself and 20 photos of your partner based off of instructions from the idea factory

Thursday, October 11

  • Intro to Queer Arts & Practices
  • Project #14: Mapping and transgressing borders through cut-up, remix, and other manipulation methods

Read The Xenofeminist Manifesto (excerpt) by Laboria Cubonik and be ready to discusson Tuesday

Week 9 | Labor

TUESDAY, October 16

  • Reading discussion
  • Intro to Labor
  • Project #15: form groups of two and record a 3 minute video of your partner performing a repetetive labor

THURSDAY, October 18 - MEET AT N240

  • Intro to Digital Labor and Mass Surveillance
  • Project #16: Digital Factory Simulation!

Read 3D Addtivist Cookbook (excerpt) by Morehshin Allahyari & Daniel Rourke and be ready to discuss on Tuesday

Week 10 | Bio-Art

TUESDAY, October 23 - MEET at N200

  • Reading discussion
  • Screening: DIYSECT (excerpt) by Mary Maggic and Benjamin Welmond
  • Project #17“Are You a Cyborg?” - form groups of two and figure out whether your partner is a cyborg. Present in class

THURSDAY, October 25

  • Critique Project #13, #14, #15, #16, #17. Contribute THREE ideas to the Idea Factory

Artist Research #4 (Due October 30)

Form groups of two to research an artist (assigned in class) who makes work about networks. Create a 5-minute, 20 slides Are.na presentation and be ready to present to class on Tuesday. Be sure to include the following information in your presentation:

  • Artist bio
  • What kinds of network(s) are they investigating?
  • How does the artist capture / reproduce these abstract concepts?
  • Why are these network(s) important to the artist?
  • How is the work received in the public sphere?

4. Networks

Week 11 | Communication

Tuesday, October 30

  • Artist Research #4 Presentation
  • Intro to the Art of Communication
  • Project #18: Create a centralized communication network and a decentralized communication network through performance

THURSDAY, November 1 - Research Day, NO CLASS

Recommended reading: The Medium Is the Message (excerpt) by Marshall McLuhan
Recommended reading: The Society of the Spectacle (excerpt) by Guy Debord and Ken Knabb

Week 12

TUESDAY, November 6 - MEET AT N200

Visiting guest: James Enos

  • Screening: All Watched Over by the Machines of Loving Grace by Adam Curtis

THURSDAY, November 8

Visiting guest: Lauren O'Connor-Korb

  • Project #19: design and prototype a communication device

Read Critical Art Ensemble: Disturbances (excerpt) by Brian Holmes

Week 13 | Utopia / Dystopia

TUESDAY, November 13

  • Reading discussion
  • Intro to Utopia / Dystopia
  • Project #20: teach the class how to use your Project #19 communication device. Work collaboratively to map a utopia or a dystopiabased around the communication devices

THURSDAY, November 15

*** Extra Credit *** Write a two-page personal reflection on the work you have produced this semester. What are some new ideas that came out of the process? What are you interested in exploring further and why? (12pt, Times New Roman, double-spaced). Due before class on November 27.

November 19 -23 - Thanksgiving Break, NO CLASS

5. Wrapping-Up

Week 14 | Installation

TUESDAY, November 27

  • Studio day: revisit all the collaborative / solo work you have done this semester and select THREE projects for the final presentation. Use class time to expand and tweak the quality / nuances / contexts of each project. Meet one-on-one with Xin to discuss installation plan.

THURSDAY, November 29

  • Studio day: bring selected projects to completion and install.

Finals Week | Presentation

TUESDAY, December 11 - MEET FROM 3:30PM - 6:30PM, LOCATION TBA

  • Final critique and dinner party!