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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Theodor Frederick Hiebert
Bothell Campus

Image and Imagination

Explores image-based arts in a contemporary context in an advanced arts workshop. Emphasizes the development of creative and conceptual projects in a practice-oriented setting.

Class description


We live in an increasingly imaginary world, a world saturated with information that no longer clearly refers to a lived reality, a world in which the image threatens to actually replace the real as we know it. In part this is due to the pervasiveness of digital technology and the spectacle of media living, but this has ideological consequences as well. In the words of the Canadian thinker Arthur Kroker, "the analog is dead and digital is dancing on its grave," and the world that emerges is one not only saturated by propaganda, advertising and media representations, it is also one in which the languages of image and imagination begin to fuse in new and creative ways. The image no longer represents a truth of the world -- instead, the world now struggles to keep up to the myriad images we imagine into existence, from molecular imaging to astronomical data to Google Earth renderings, Photoshopped faces and Facebook personalities.

This course explores the theory and practice of image making as a contemporary art form, with an emphasis on the 2D digital and photo-based image. Considerable attention will be placed on the cultivation of, and engagement with questions of art and the imagination, mediated through the work of artists and theorists who engage these concepts to creative ends. Student will be expected to develop individualized projects, perspectives and ideas in the context of readings, class discussions and other material presented in class.

Student learning goals

learn strategies for self-directed arts production and project-based skill acquisition;

cultivate a visual imagination and the ability to translate abstract concepts into visual form;

learn the context of image-based arts production, both social and theoretical;

develop critical, interpretive and reflective skills for engagement with visual arts practices.

General method of instruction

This course will be content-driven, discussing aspects of theory, technique and context as they relate to image-based arts practices. There will be a combination of lectures, readings, discussions and in-class critiques of assignments and works in progress. Students will be expected to develop their own perspectives and areas of technical competence using resources provided in class.

Please Note: This is not a course on technical skill-acquisition or professional graphics practices -- this is a course that explores ways in which images can be used to develop an artistic and conceptual perspective. While some element of technical learning will be discussed, the focus of the course is on using technical consideration to further an artistic agenda. Students will be expected to be largely self-directed in their technical learning supported by campus technical resources and staff, and by individualized project-specific guidance.

Recommended preparation

Students will be expected to provide their own camera(s) and other technical equipment necessary for project realization. Available campus resources, supported practices and off-campus alternatives will be discussed in class.

Class assignments and grading

Grades will be based on a combination of writing, arts production and participation in class discussions and critiques. Not less than 50% of final grades will be based on artworks produced for the course.

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Theodor Frederick Hiebert
Date: 01/02/2014