CCTP-738 Intro to Contemporary Visual Art: Theory, Practice & Institutions
This seminar is for students interested in learning about contemporary art in our current historical moment. We will work toward developing a big picture of the contemporary artworld by looking at exciting work being produced now, the artistic and social contexts of the work, and the business and economics of the art industry. We will consider a range of current cultural and art theory, but the seminar will be driven by knowledge of contemporary works and artists and the real-world drivers of art rather than academic theory. The seminar will be developed in real time with the participation of seminar members. The entire lived and active world of contemporary art is our domain, including the legacy of the past and inclusion of new media. Prior knowledge of modern and contemporary art is helpful, but not required. Enthusiasm for learning, intellectual curiosity, and susceptibility to acts of extreme beauty and provocation are more important for this seminar than any prior academic background. Some of the major questions and themes that we will explore include:
-the status of the visual arts today in an era of mass commodification of reproductions and replicas, video and TV, infotainment, and the digital production of images and movies
-what the major shows and art events of 1999-2002 tell us about value creation in the artworld the business drivers of the artworld
-the plurality of art forms, media, and dynamics of inclusion and exclusion in the art world tensions between working artists, the art viewing pubic, and the arts industry
-the economic and institutional contexts that shape the artworld-the possibility of new multidisciplinary models that map onto the current state of the arts and account for as much of the variety and complexity as possible.
The current structure of the artworld will be a major theme of the seminar. The seminar will include guest speakers, including artists, art dealers, art historians, and museum staff. There will be museum and gallery field trips in Washington and one to New York, and a visit to an artist's studio. Requirements will include seminar reports, individual field research, a collaborative project, and a final research project. Much of our work will be done in the Blackboard webspace and using online art resources.
Other academic years
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