Special Topics for Fall 2015 and Spring 2016

Special Topics 

Please note: this page will be updated as information is confirmed. In case of a discrepancy between this page and InsideEC, the information on InsideEC will be deemed correct.

  • Additional information on these courses is available at https://inside.ecuad.ca
  • Most credit courses have prerequisites that are clearly outlined on the website.

Spring 2016

AHIS 333 S001 – Interdisciplinary Forums (3)

Thursday, 3:50pm – 6:30pm, Spring 2016

Instructor: Randy Lee Cutler

Topic: Vibrating Matter: A User's Manual

Through the convergence of different perspectives this course considers the role of materiality and matter in the construction of aesthetic forms, philosophical phenomena and scientific artifacts. In the interface between art and science vibrating matter with its affective and symbolic intensities offers us access into matter as a material mode of engagement. Thinking across and between artistic practices how does matter come to matter? And how do visual experiments with a focus on materiality whether light, time, pigment, wood or clay to name but a few, draw and enlarge ideas from the social sciences, the sciences, industry and popular culture? With this in mind, the instructor's biweekly lectures complimented by visiting speakers and media presentations will provide an understanding of a range of artistic practices through the performance of the nonhuman, material, natural and cultural factors.

AHIS 401 S001 – Topics in Curatorial Projects (3)

Monday, 8:30am – 11:20am, Spring 2016

Instructor: Gillian Russell

Topic: Topics in curatorial issues: Re-Thinking art and design in the context of the exhibition

This course uses historical and contemporary examples to examine socially engaged curatorial practice in both art and design. The role of the curator and the exhibition as live medium will be examined alongside innovative methods and approaches to mediation, with an emphasis on process and audience engagement. 

We will explore strategies for curating that facilitate ‘knowing’ and ‘not knowing’ and examine the exhibition as a open platform – a space where things and thinking can happen. This course will investigate concepts of embodied criticality, the epistemic object, the curatorial and the paracuratorial using texts by Irit Rogoff, Paul O’Neil, Karin Knorr Cetina, among others. It will serve, also, to raise students’ awareness of the particular characteristics that distinguish curating art and curating design, while deepening their knowledge of curatorial methodologies and theory. 

Site visits and curatorial exercises will be essential elements of the course. 

AHIS 420 S001 – Topics in Feminist, Gender, Cultural Studies (3)

Monday, 4:30pm– 7:20pm, Spring 2016

Instructor: Magnolia Pauker

Topic: Decolonial FeminismS

This course will focus on intersectional feminismS, specifically in relation to decolonial theory and cultural production. We will look at a variety of cultural texts (visual and performance art, fiction, film, etc.) and theories in order to consider decolonial feminist engagements at present. Films will be drawn from directors and artists such as Elle-Maija Tailfeathers, Tracey Moffatt, Claire Denis, Trinh Minh-ha, Carlos Mayolo and Luis Ospina, and Hito Steyerl. Texts will be drawn from theorists including Lee Maracle, Chela Sandoval, María Lugones, bell hooks, Rey Chow, Chandra Mohanty, David Garneau, and Hito Steyerl.

The class is run as a discussion group with reading assignments and film screenings providing the thematic basis for discussions. Close critical reading of assigned texts by students before each class will generate a deeper engagement in discussions and activities. Students will present on a reading and an artist whose work relates to decolonial feminismS and analyze one of the films screened in class. For their term project, students will engage decolonial feminist praxis by identifying and rewriting Wikipedia entries that ignore and erase colonial histories and or contemporary decolonial artists, theorists, and activists. Students will be required to participate in in-class peer review writing workshops throughout the term.

CCID 200 S001K & CCID 300 S001K – Community Projects (3)

Monday, 1:00pm – 3:50pm, Spring 2016

Instructor: Zoe Kreye

Topic: Immigration: Spaces of Belonging

In partnership with MOSIAC (a local non-profit immigrant organization) students will work in dialogue with immigrants living in Vancouver to create relational art and design works. This course will consider the diversity of the ECUAD student community in relation to immigration to Vancouver. In our ever-changing intercultural society we can experience inspiring multiplicity as well as the challenges of dislocation for both citizens and new comers. This course provides a forum for the university and its students (Canadian and international) to explore issues of belonging, using art as a vehicle to unpack the complexity of “multiculturalism”.

Referencing students’ own experiences, local community relations and national politics, students will research and produce projects that investigate home, 'integration', social isolation, attachment and community building. Using dialogue methodologies students will gain skills in cross-cultural communication, dispute resolution/conflict mediation, anti-racism and dialogue facilitation skills. The goal of this course is for students to learn how art can be used to challenge the dynamics of difference, and foster agency for negotiating spaces of belonging.

This course is part of the SPACE minor (Social Practice + Community Engagement) which is open to students in all disciplines (studio, design, animation, film, critical studies…). The class will be active; with discussions of readings, creative experiments and developing projects in public. There will be field trips and hands-on workshops that offer concrete skills for idea development, community cooperation, ethics, collaboration skills, conflict mediation and short/long-term project planning. The course will combine lectures, dialogues, field trips, projects and workshops. Students will be expected to research and develop projects in and outside of class.

CCID 201 S001P & CCID 301 S001P – Social Practice + Community Engagement (3)

Tuesday, 12:30pm – 3:20pm, Spring 2016

Instructor: Caylee Raber

Topic: Design for Democracy

Students in this course will have the opportunity to propose and develop design solutions to increase youth voter engagement for the 2017 provincial election. This course is for students who wish to employ their design skills towards social change in our community.

In this studio course students will work collaboratively in small groups to produce a final deliverable which will include a detailed design concept and proposal for implementation for Elections BC. Within the scope of the challenge students can take their projects in a wide variety of directions based on personal interest and skillset. Final deliverables may include, but are not limited to, print advertising campaigns, web design/development, social media engagement, film/video, animation, and public installation.

The course is open to students in ALL design majors including 4th year students. It also qualifies towards the SPACE minor.

CCID 202 S001M & CCID 302 S001M – Social Practice + Community Engagement (3)

Wednesday, 8:30am – 11:20am, Spring 2016

Instructor: Ashley Guindon

Topic: Making Art Happen in Marpole!
This CCID practice-based course offers students an opportunity to engage in coursework focused on embedded practice that includes an off-site fieldwork experience. This class will be based in the Oak Park Fieldhouse located in the Vancouver neighbourhood of Marpole. Using a project proposal that was chosen by a jury in the Fall semester of the course, the class will produce a real-world work. Students will be responsible for the project management, community engagement, and implementation of the artwork, thus gaining hands-on experience in working in the public realm and getting the chance to explore new approaches for understanding audience, engagement, and negotiation. This course is open to students in any degree program, and participation in the Fall 2015 class is not required.

CCID 202 S001L & CCID 302 S002L – Fieldwork (3)

One week intensive face-to-face Tuesday, Feb 9th – Saturday, Feb 13th, plus online component until the end of term, Spring 2016

Instructor: Justin Langlois

Topic: Spatial Crisis in the City

Fieldwork: Spatial Crisis in the City will run as an innovative hybrid course, delivered through a five-day intensive workshop over Reading Week from Tuesday, February 9 through Saturday, February 13, and supplemented by online resources and small assignments running throughout the entire semester. Students enrolling in this course must be available for the entirety of the five-day intensive.

Everyday we hear stories about the affordability crisis of housing, the prioritization of land-use and density over environmental and architectural diversity, and the increasing privatization and land-swapping of our public spaces. In our everyday lives and practices, we are continually engaging, resisting, and rehearsing this crisis, and yet we can also begin working towards new models for living and working together under alternative arrangements, negotiations, and experiments of our private and common spaces. In this multi-disciplinary studio-driven course, students will explore the complexities and imagine the solutions to the spatial crisis in Vancouver and beyond. 

Drawing from a lineage of art and design practices focused on spatial interventions, radical architectures, and critical engagement with economic and governmental policy, students will collaboratively explore and contextualize their practices through making, writing, and performing in the classroom and beyond. From the development of new models for activating and sharing common space to proposals and provocations for better utilizing existing public land, the course will aim to engage a collective imagination towards problem-solving at a civic scale.

CCID 300 S040Y – Community Projects (3)

Thursday, 1:00pm – 3:50pm, Spring 2016, course at North Island College

Instructor: Sarah Van Borek

Topic: Pieces of an Estuary

Pieces of an Estuary is a dynamic environmental art and public education project in consultation with Canada’s leading environmental organization, the David Suzuki Foundation. Students will share outdoor adventures and collaborate with musicians to create original songs and music videos celebrating and raising awareness about the economic and cultural values of a local ecological oasis: the Courtenay River Estuary. Estuaries are the most productive ecosystems on the planet and the ecological processes of an estuary are mostly hidden and subtle. Students in the course will have a direct hand in making visible these essential ecological processes that provide approximately 40 million dollars a year in services or about 1.5 times the operating budget of the Town of Comox[1]. Students will learn the basics of sound recording and editing while creating soundscape compositions from the field. Songs will include a storytelling component developed from interviews students conduct with “local experts” (biologists, restoration volunteers, etc). Students will also learn basics in cinematography, art direction and video editing while working collaboratively in teams to produce music videos that further develop key messages of songs. The course will culminate with a public screening and concert event as a catalyst for community dialogue. Students from all disciplines are encouraged to participate.

[1] Data provided by Scott Wallace, Senior Research Scientist, David Suzuki Foundation from his Estuary Gala Talk notes.

CRAM 303 S001 – Ceramics Practices: Topics (6)

Thursday, 12:30pm – 6:40pm, Spring 2016

Instructor: Brendan Tang

Topic:  Ceramics Mashup
In the contemporary art world it is common to see an inter-disciplinary approach to making work. Artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Wim Delvoye and Lee Bul employ a variety of differing mediums to express their ideas.
The ability to navigate various types of media in their work, allows the artist to speak more clearly. Naturally, development of this skill takes time, a lot of experimentation and some strong creative feedback; that's where this course comes in. While this is a ceramic course and will focus primarily on this medium, we will be approaching it through three different "mashup" projects and several smaller exercises. This course will particularly appeal to students that have a grounding in 2d and 3d materials as well as new media; projects will require the use of multiple media. Over the
term we will be covering a number or techniques and methods to help bridge and interface ceramics with other ways of making, be it printmaking or found objects, sound or video. And as always, prepare to work.

DESN 323 S002 – 3D Design Concentration (3)

Friday, 8:30am – 11:20am, Spring 2016

Instructor: Imu Chan


This course uses space as a design medium and investigates how the physical and temporal dimensions of space can be dually explored to transform and heighten our sensuous and emotional experiences.  Students will be led through specific design projects to explore the concept of threshold – a physical entity of space that defines a singular moment of experience through crossing.  Rigorous conceptual thinking as well as a commitment to tactile making of physical models are required for this course.

DESN 323 S003 – 3D Design Concentration (3)

Friday, 8:30am – 11:20am, Spring 2016

Instructor: Cameron Cartiere

Topic: Urban Ecologies: Pop-up Design and Community Intervention

Working in the public realm as a creative practitioner is rich with opportunity and fraught with contentious territory. What are the relationships between design, urban ecology and socially engaged practice? Where does design come into the equation and what is the role of community art? Can these ways of working overlap and is an adaptable practice attainable or even desirable? 

This studio-based course is a unique opportunity to unpack the shared methodologies across the field of public practice within a site-based practicum. Working within a specific format of the “environmental pop-up”, students will have the opportunity to engage directly with urban planners and designers, public art officers, parks department officials, landscape designers, environmental artists and sustainability experts to develop in-depth knowledge of how interventions are developed and their potential impact on environmental, social, economic, and cultural levels.

The students will work in teams to develop environmentally based pop-up projects that incorporate community engagement, design opportunities, and ecological considerations. The majority of studio work will take place on campus, with two inspirational fieldtrips.

This curriculum allows students to acquire direct experience working in the field and to participate across multiple disciplines. Class sessions will be active; focused on workshops, presentations, site visits, and discussions of current practice. Assignments will integrate studio and professional praxes and be applicable for students across departments and levels.

FNDT 134 S001 – Directed Projects (3)

Wednesdays, 4:30pm – 7:20pm, Spring 2016

Instructor: Zoe Kreye

Topic: Directed Projects: Community Engagement
Do you tire of solitary nights in the studio, wish your creativity could have social relevance, or dream that art would touch all aspects of life? This class invites you to extend your creativity beyond the classroom with real life training on how to make art for your future. Community engagement is a necessary and fulfilling part of our lives as students, designers, artists and creative citizens. In this class we will look at a range of practices that illustrate how art can actively engage with community (i.e. public space, home, charity, politics, utopias, routines, oppression, community, social norms & structures…).

ECU offers this class as part of an innovative minor in Social Practice + Community Engagement (SPACE) which is open to students in all disciplines (studio, design, animation, film, critical studies…). The classes will be active; with discussions of readings, creative experiments and developing projects in public space. There will be field trips and hands-on workshops that offer concrete skills for idea development, community cooperation, ethics, collaboration skills, conflict mediation and short/long-term project planning. The course will combine lectures, dialogues, field trips, projects and workshops. Students will be expected to research and develop projects in and outside of class.

*This course is open to students in all years, as an introduction to the Social Practice + Community Engagement (SPACE) minor.

HUMN 305 S090 – Studies in the Humanities (3)

Online, Spring 2016

Instructor: Sadira Rodrigues

Topic: Retreat To/From
This online course will look at the practice of retreat as a gesture of resistance.  In The Pleasure of the Text, Roland Barthes states, “there is only one way left to escape the alienation of present day society: to retreat ahead of it.” To retreat communicates agency through radical refusal - and retracting can be a powerful act of turning away from society. While often associated with self-alienation and passivity, this course will explore the positive forms of agency, challenge and refusal that can inform the act of retreat. This course will be part theory and part practice. We will begin by looking at texts, projects, artistic practices and ideas on the practice of retreat, and then you will create a retreat – conceptualize it, experience it, think through it, and reflect on its workings.

HUMN 306 S001 – Studies in the Humanities: Design (3)

Thursdays, 3:50pm – 6:40pm, Spring 2016

Instructor: Rebecca Bayer

Topic: Material World

We encounter objects and systems in our world every day.  Design informs the way we operate and interact with the physical and non-physical world.  What are the implications of a design’s presence over time within the world in which it exists?  How is design connected to contemporary material and immaterial realities?  Students will explore contextual relationships of material and immaterial conditions from their own perspectives, as surrounded by designed objects and systems in Vancouver and beyond.  Discussion topics will include: approaches to material in philosophy and science, the changing cultural value of material and immaterial items, and situational connections between material and societies.

HUMN 311 S003 – Visual Art Seminar (3)

Wednesdays, 4:30pm – 7:20pm, Spring 2016

Instructor: Allison Hrabluik

Topic: the Literary

This course will explore how literary strategies can be employed in making visual art. We will look closely at how writers and artists use poetics to political ends, how absurdity functions as allegory, and how constraints are used as generative tools. Students will be introduced to a wide range of authors and artists, and will apply the strategies learned in class to their studio practices.

HUMN 311 S004 – Visual Art Seminar (3)

Mondays, 4:30pm – 7:20pm, Spring 2016

Instructor: Elizabeth MacKenzie

Topic: Reading Faces: The Face in Representation

Humans are hard-wired to see faces—according to art historian E.H. Gombrich they are a "preferred pattern." This seminar provides an opportunity to consider representations of the human face within contemporary visual culture.

The belief that the face communicates a unified subjectivity is remarkably enduring. Rather than pursuing the idea of the face as a fixed, singular image we will consider representations of the face as ambiguous, shifting fields of interaction and interpretation. Diverse representations of the face will be considered within a range of interdisciplinary frameworks, including philosophical discourse, popular media, scientific research and cultural production. 

HUMN 311 S040Y – Visual Art Seminar (3)

Thursday, 1pm – 3:50pm, Spring 2016, course at North Island College

Instructor: Sarah Van Borek

Topic: Pieces of an Estuary

Pieces of an Estuary is a dynamic environmental art and public education project in consultation with Canada’s leading environmental organization, the David Suzuki Foundation. Students will participate in a wide range of field trips, workshops, presentations, meetings and discussions alongside their peers in the CCID 300 S040Y “Pieces of an Estuary” studio course which will oversee the creation of original songs and music videos raising awareness about the economic and cultural values of a local ecological oasis: the Courtenay River Estuary. Students in this humanities course will do reading, research, writing and presentations about the project process and related concepts ranging from natural capital and ecosystem services to social practice art, soundscape ecology and experience design. Research and writing will include interviews students conduct with “local experts” (biologists, restoration volunteers, etc). Student writing may be compiled into a book that could potentially be considered for publication. Students from all disciplines are encouraged to participate.

HUMN 311 S090 – Visual Art Seminar (3)

Online, Spring 2016

Instructor: Annie Briard

Topic: The Aesthetics of Rare Experience

Some experiences are so arresting they seem to change our relationship to the present moment; to time, space, and knowledge. From mirages to rainbows, to [insert your own experience here] rare experiences are in the eye of the beholder. They can produce crucial affective outcomes in their concurrently felt intimacy and immensity.

This seminar will investigate the concept, aesthetics, and affect of rare experience in its many forms with an aim to better grasp how these moments shape our understanding of the world and of each other, and the creative methodologies they may reveal. Thematic avenues will include revisiting landscape, voyage, and curio through this lens.

A broad range of artists and theorists will be explored, with windows onto the various media used for creative responses to these evocative encounters. In this online course, students will engage in individual and collaborative activities spanning virtual guided tours and foraging, internet interventions, reflections, studio projects, and conversations with practicing artists based around the globe. Curated readings and screenings will also be discussed by the group regularly to forge new perspectives together.

ILUS 208 S001N – Illustration Practices: Topics (3)

Tuesdays, 8:30am – 11:20amm, Spring 2016

Instructor: Diyan Achjadi

Topic: Drawing for Lithography

In the lithographic process, one draws directly onto the surface of  a limestone, and then transfers that drawing onto paper using a  press, resulting in images that are rich in tonal range. This class  will explore a range of approaches to making drawings for  lithographs using crayon, tusche, transfers, and photographic  processes. The class will be taught through lectures,  demonstrations, workshops, and assigned projects. Class critiques  and tutorial discussion will encourage the students' artistic  development in developing drawings and illustrations for  lithography. Emphasis will be on the critical examination of the  students' work, technical development and the exploration of contemporary ideas in lithographic form.
This class must be taken in conjunction ILUS 208 S002N –  Lithographic Techniques

ILUS 208 S002N – Illustration Practices: Topics (3)

Tuesdays, 12:30pm – 3:20pm, Spring 2016

Instructor: Diyan Achjadi

Topic: Lithographic Techniques

Lithography is a method of making prints by drawing on stone. In the  late 19th and early 20th centuries, lithographic techniques were the  primary means for printing commercial, illustrated images such as  advertising posters. In this course, students are introduced to the  fundamentals of working with lithographic techniques using limestones. The class will be taught through workshop demonstrations  and projects. Class critiques and tutorial discussion will encourage  the students' artistic development in lithography. Emphasis will be  on the critical examination of the students' work, technical  development and the exploration of contemporary ideas in lithographic form.
This class must be taken in conjunction ILUS 208 S001N – Drawing  for Lithography

ILUS 208 S003 – Illustration Practices: Topics (3)

Wednesdays, 8:30am – 11:20am, Spring 2016

Instructor: Robin Mitchell-Cranfield

Topic: Typography for Illustrators

Illustration is often paired with text, as we see in illustrated books, graphic novels and editorial design. Illustration can be enhanced by typography when text is required, but how? This practical course is designed for illustration students who would like to better understand and use typography in their work. Students will learn how to apply their illustration skills to hand-lettering as well as how to complement their own illustrations with digitally set type. Over the term, we will cover the basics of typography, typesetting and choosing fonts. Students will learn to speak about type with confidence and clarity, in the process developing the ability to effectively communicate with art directors and designers as well. Students will have the opportunity to develop a typographically-driven illustrated project designed to showcase their own work.

ILUS 305 S002 – Illustration Genres: Topics (3)

Mondays, 8:30am – 11:20am, Spring 2016

Instructor: Jesse Garbe

Topic: Humour, Satire and Illustration

Humour and illustration’s mature relationship arises out the early firers of Industrial Capitalism and its political environment. Somewhere at the cross roads between socioeconomics and politics, illustrators have often been motivated by a satirical impulse to comment on the world around them. But not all humour is equal or just. There are power dynamics involved in poking fun. While the strength of humour can be used as a critical force to undermine and provoke questions around these power relations, it can also be used to reinforce them. In this course we will be illuminating, through illustrations, the relationships between humour, ethics, politics and the role of the illustrator.

ILUS 306 S001 – Illustration Practices: Topics (6)

Fridays, 8:30am – 3:50pm, Spring 2016

Instructor: Julie Morstad

Topic: Drawing for Storytelling

This course will investigate the possibilities of storytelling in two parts:
The first part will be drawing-intensive, exploring a variety of subjects and topics, with the goal of building drawing dexterity and visual fluency for narrative. The second part will investigate, through short assignments, the stylistic, formal, and conceptual possibilities of the picture book as a storytelling genre, while applying the body of drawings done during the first part of the course to these projects. The course will emphasize hand-drawing techniques, though some elements of digital intervention will be addressed.

MHIS 327 S001 – Studies in Animation History (3)

Mondays, 1:00pm – 3:50pm, Spring 2016

Instructor: Alla Gadassik

Topic: Animating the Invisible

For many animation scholars and filmmakers, a defining feature of “animation” (that separates it from traditional photographic film) is the capacity to bring to life images and processes that are invisible to the naked eye or the camera. This course takes the notion of “animating the invisible” as an organizing structure for thinking about the history and aesthetics of animation over the last century. How has animation grappled with visually rendering invisible or intangible concepts like “personality” and “emotion”? Why are animated films often interested in invisible hidden worlds, such as the secret lives of domestic objects and toys? How has animation been employed in scientific and medical portraits of invisible bodily process and abstract mathematical simulations? The course will consider different ways of thinking about “animating the invisible” through weekly topics that include animating emotion, desire, abstract thought, race and gender, labour, and other major forces that define our everyday and cultural experiences, and yet do not have an optical referent (cannot be actually seen as tangible things). Topics and films are going to cover traditional narrative animation, but will also include a lot of experimental animation, scientific and industrial animation, animated documentaries, and other genres that far exceed the mainstream understanding of animation history. Each week’s topic will be accompanied by important scholarly readings, which students will be expected to complete, discuss, and write about independently. Assignments will include short writing assignments and a research-curation project. In-class participation and discussion skills, independent reading and research skills, and writing skills will all be developed in this course. Students enrolling in this course should make sure they meet the required course prerequisites.

MHIS 407 S001 – Themes in Interactivity (3)

Wednesdays, 4:30pm – 7:20pm, Spring 2016

Instructor: Alla Gadassik

Topic: Social Media Cultures

How has the 21st-century shift of mass-media technologies beyond defined spaces (movie theaters) and grounded individual devices (television sets) toward more dispersed, mobile, and networked infrastructures shaped our social and cultural experience? This course considers different ways in which “social media” have not only become deeply interwoven into our everyday experience, but also have come to define our understanding of social processes such as identity, citizenship, friendship, community, even social forms of communication like comedy and tragedy. “Social media” is often used interchangeably with digital mobile platforms, but are the two really synonymous? What exactly is “social” about social media, and how does it tie into previous technologies and previous forms of communal experience like the cinema, television, board games, political demonstrations, school dances, and other sites for negotiating between the individual and the community? This course will tackle this very broad question by taking up ten very specific topics (including relationships and dating, surveillance and privacy, violence, humor, identity politics) and tracing their relationship to contemporary social media news stories and practices like memes and selfies. Each weekly topic will be accompanied by seminal academic scholarship in the field, which students will be expected to read independently and discuss in class. Independent reading, independent research, in-class participation and discussion skills will be central to this course. Active participation online through the course Moodle page is also expected. Assignments will consist of weekly short writing assignments and a major project on “viral media” that students will work toward independently or in small groups throughout the semester. 

MHIS 429 S001 –Topics in Film/Video Theory (3)

Fridays, 12:30pm – 4:30pm, Spring 2016

Instructor: Phil Smith

Topic: Narrative/Non-Narrative (and the Space Between)

Although a current media industry truism is that “content is king”, one effect of the technological/digital revolution (with regard to the means of both production and distribution of media content) has been a re-defining of the perception of what constitutes a conventional narrative, chronological fragmentation, multiple and shifting POVs., “reality/dream” intersections etc. becoming part of a new normal for creators and audience alike.                                                                                                                           

Accordingly the course will explore this increasing intertwining of traditional narrative and more contemporary non-narrative structures in film and animation (with the full acknowledgement that the term “narrative” itself may be subject to discussion). Although we will touch on the two poles of this tension – classical Hollywood structures and experimental/avant-garde film - for the most part we will focus on works that straddle this aesthetic divide while still in pursuit of a mainstream audience, the first part of the course looking at some notable experiments in filmic narrative structure from the silent era to the 1990s; the second part focusing on media works from this millennium.

The screenings will include feature length live-action films and animation, shorts, television shows, documentaries, and web-based content (and in accordance with the course theme, some works that are a mix of the above); assignments will include a screening journal, presentations and a term paper. Please note: the screenings will take place during the extended scheduled class time on Friday afternoons.

PHOT 306 S001 – Special Topics in Photography (3)

Thursdays, 8:30am – 11:20m, Spring 2016

Instructor: Susan Stewart

Topic: Documentary

This course will consider an expanded definition of documentary photography in the context of social practice, as well as community and participatory engagement. We will examine the role that emerging media technologies and documentary practice play in social agency, understanding difference, and forming new ways of being together in communities. We will look at a variety of documentary strategies, including but not limited to photojournalism, culture jamming, collaborative and experimental documentary, and creative non-fiction and/or fiction. There will be class discussions on readings, dialogue, group critiques, and examination of contemporary documentary work. Students will participate in a group presentation, engage in a collaborative documentary photo project and develop their own documentary work during the term. There will be an opportunity to address ethical, conceptual and formal issues that arise in projects.

PNTG 315 S001 – Painting Practices: Topics (6)

Mondays, 1:00pm – 7:20pm, Spring 2016

Instructor: Landon Mackenzie

Topic: Experimental Practices in Painting

This section of Painting Practices at 3rd year level opens up other ways we may consider making objects and images in what the artist Michael Snow called the “painting paradigm”. By temporarily moving away from the traditional rectangle, historic procedures and applications, we can explore making things that still reference painting while opening up a broader experimental framework.

Students who will enjoy this class are willing to shake up what the carrier of pictorial and colour information is and will be open to investigating new ways to think and make their work, even if this is parallel to a classic practice in their art.

The intention of this critique and workshop based class, is not to leave the tradition of painting behind but to engage new possibilities and stretch the definition of what makes an interesting painting.

SOCS 300 S001– Studies in the Social Sciences (3)

Mondays, 4:30pm – 7:20pm, Spring 2016

Instructor: Colleen Brown

Topic: Look, Measure, Test, Use, Join

Artists, designers, and social scientists are all professional observers. The social sciences have long been obsessed with the question of how best to observe the ever-changing subject of the social because how you go about looking will inevitably affect what you see.  Social scientists have become very canny about how to attend to their subject. We will sift through the social science observational toolbox for things artists can use. I'll start our critical look at observation with a cheese and fruit tasting.

The course will begin by taking one step back from the title to ask what “to know” might mean. From there we will take a tour of some of the most common ways of looking from direct observation used by Walter Benjamin in the Arcades Project and Jane Jacobs in Death and Life of Great American Cities, to the ancient practice of the national census, to the social experimentation of intentional communities. Along the way, we will talk about how artists have incorporated some of these techniques in their work.

VAST 310 S001– Visual Arts: Special Topics (3)

Tuesdays, 3:50pm – 6:40pm, Spring 2016

Instructor: Kathy Slade

Topic: The Projects Class

This class is for students interested in experimentation, collaboration, translation, and reinterpretation in relation to the legacy of Conceptual art strategies and practice. For the class we will be remaking The Projects Class, taught at NSCAD in 1969 by David Askevold, in which artists such as Robert Barry, Mel Bochner, Jan Dibbets, Sol Lewitt, N E Thing Company, James Lee Byars, Robert Smithson, Doug Huebler, Dan Graham, Lucy Lippard, Joseph Kosuth, and Lawrence Weiner contributed projects, works or propositions for the students to produce.

For The Projects Class (2015), the classroom will become the site of a relational workshop that is a collective experimental project where students will interact with leading contemporary artists from afar by engaging in the translation and interpretation of their ideas into artworks. Contributors are Dan Graham, Eileen Myles, David Platzker, Lawrence Weiner, Matthew Buckingham, Rita McBride, Alejandro Cesarco, Kota Ezawa, Lisa Robertson, Maria Fusco, Cullinan and Richards, and Gerard Byrne.

VAST 310 S040Z– Visual Arts: Special Topics (3)

Tuesdays, 9am – 3:50pm, Spring 2016, course at NIC

Instructor: Sandra Semchuk & Sara Vipond

Topic: Creative Research
The 3rd and 4th studio course puts the research and meaning making
methods across disciplines of each participant in the center.
Participants are encouraged to work with questions and ideas that are
close to their hearts and minds to create works that are articulations
of their own inquiries.
A learning community will be created where students share knowledges,
readings and skills. Instructors will support participants in their
honing their research methods and in deepening their inquiry processes
conceptually, aesthetically and technically.

VAST 320 S001U & VAST 420 S001U – Visual Arts Thematic I & II (6)

Tuesdays, 8:30am – 3:20pm, Spring 2016

Instructor: Rodney Konopaki

Topic: Chance Operations

What happens if an artist intentionally gives up control of a work’s outcome? Is it possible to make art when there are no compositional rules and deliberated aesthetics? In the creative process can decisions be made by rolling the dice? If one removes the eye and hand from the creation of a work what are the criteria for its success?

This interdisciplinary studio course considers chance, randomness, games, accident, machines, contingency and indeterminacy as beginning points for making. Students are encouraged to engage in experimental approaches, supplemented by research, writing and critiques.

Students from all areas of the school working in all media are welcome.