Feit Interdisciplinary Seminars Fall 2015
IDC 4050H / UWH
To the Letter: Conceptual Art and Writing
Katherine Behar, Department of Fine and Performing Arts (New Media)
Ely Shipley, Department of English
Theodor Adorno stated that “...even the abolition of art is respectful of art because it takes the truth claim of art seriously.” The roots of contemporary art and literature lie in the diverse activities of 20th and 21st century vanguards who prioritized concept, process, and procedure over creativity, originality, and expressivity. Far from abolishing art, or rendering it impersonal or meaningless, these movements expanded the category of art so that today art proliferates: mere concepts can create. Avant gardes and their legacies challenge conventional ideas about creative process and redefine the role of artists and writers. Situating these radical ideas in history, students will explore techniques from the automatic practices of Surrealism and chance operations of Dada, to composer John Cage and the Black Mountain School, and on to proto-digital works by Fluxus and Oulipo. These lineages exert influence today on artists and writers as varied as John Baldessari, Tacita Dean,Paul Chan, Christian Marclay, Ann Hamilton, Charles Bernstein, Jen Bervin, Christian Bök, and Harryette Mullen. This course will guide students through hands-on exercises to move from concept to creation in their own art and writing. Students will participate in experimental modes to gain tools and methods for shaping and understanding their work.
IDC 4050H / NTH
The Digital Humanities and the Modern City
John Maciuika, Fine and Performing Arts
Luke Waltzer, Center for Teaching and Learning
Digital humanists are exploring how emerging technologies are opening up new avenues for studying and communicating scholarly questions. In this Feit Seminar we will examine how the digital humanities have impacted the ways that academics analyze, research, represent, and teach about modern urban social and cultural life, architecture, planning, and history. Students will be exposed to the latest trends in the digital humanities, and be introduced to tools and methods that are applicable across the disciplines. We will visit some of the city’s cultural institutions, both physically and virtually, and assess how they are adapting to emerging ways of seeing, thinking, and knowing about urban life. Students will read articles and books, examine websites, and explore digital archives, but they will also get hands-on experience working with select digital technologies and methodologies. By the end of the semester the class will design and launch digital projects on one aspect of the modern urban experience.