Weekly Seminar
Instructor: Serena Aurora Himmelfarb (UChicago)
UChicago Course Number: ARTV 10100

Course Description:

Using a wide variety of traditional and experimental mediums, this foundational class is a hands on investigation of what an image can do and be. Readings from a range of fields, including poetry, dance, and anthropology will inform our discussions and studio practice over this 7 week course held at the Marine Biological Laboratory, in Woods Hole, MA. Many classes will take place at least partially outdoors, where we will forage for pigments, discuss observational methodologies, and gain experience with plein air image making. Student driven assignments will encourage interdisciplinary thinking and research in visual meaning making. Field trips to nearby natural resources and historic sites will ground the class in local ecosystems and histories, while slide lectures will help contextualize our conversations within the rich global understandings of visual language.

Some questions we will consider:

★ What can an image do that              can’t do? Can an image be neutral?

★ How do images make meaning?

★ How can images make our life better, help us with our research and ideas?

Class Time, Attendance & Participation:

★ What, if any, are the risks of image making? What are the risks of a hypervisual culture?

Class meets on Thursdays from 1 - 4:50 Punctuality is critical for this once weekly class.

Cell phone use - All devices should be either powered off or in silent mode, and stored in your bag rather than on your person. On occasions when cameras are needed, your cell phone may be used.

Additional Meeting Times:

Field trip to the New Bedford Whaling Museum on March 30th (to be confirmed)

Additional optional workshops and opportunities, such as paper and ink making, will be announced in class and posted on canvas.

Materials & Space:

Materials needed for the class will be available in the classroom, which will be open for your use as a studio space outside of class times for the completion of studio work and related explorations.

A note on mediums: once a medium has been introduced, you are welcome to use it in the following assignments and encouraged to explore using it on your own time. If you have more in depth questions about specific mediums and techniques than class time allows, that is a great reason for booking office hours with me and I would be happy to work with you.