Joachim Koester, Variations of Incomplete Open Cubes, 2011, film still
Alexandra Navratil, Modern Magic, 2013
Batia Suter, Parallel Encyclopedia #2, 2016
Images have manifold power to show, to affect, and to shape perceptions. They simultaneously draw and resist the gaze. They are places of negotiation of meaning and critique, of resistance. They trigger debate, articulate forms of knowledge, and invite thinking. But they also invite empathy, fascinate, and trigger passions and capture us in the complexity of visual experience. Their affective and public power is entangled with their presence between media and the force field of the body. We live with, and we make images on the surface of a page, a screen, as a projection, or as a mental image. The hand, the mind, or a medium, are equally protagonists in the process of image making, which involves skill and gesture, object, material, substance, technology, but also imagination, paying attention to detail, and thinking along not so obvious paths as resistance, reduction and considering failure as a productive moment.
The course includes a theory seminar every two weeks, followed by a group critique session, and individual talks.
During the group critique students are invited to present a project, or a work in progress, or an idea and a constellation of images and objects. Their presentation is followed by a prepared response by another student and a group discussion. The group critique sessions focus on practices of presenting and responding, listening, looking, thinking together, discussing ideas, approaches, details and emerging questions.
For each session of the theory seminar we will read and discuss two texts, which examine a similar object,concept or question from a different perspective, and thus create a productive tension or a counter-point. The course material includes an interdisciplinary selection of key texts, which will allow us to drift through a network of questions and concepts belonging to design theory, art theory, visual studies, media studies, philosophy of design, anthropology of images. We will engage in discussions of the fluctuating identity of images and artefacts, processes of making, visibility and performativity of images and objects. The selection of concepts and texts creates an open constellation, and provides model of how to work with conceptual tools without losing the key issues of one’s own creative practice out of sight. The texts will be introduced by a short lecture, to be followed by a group discussion. The students will develop skills to formulate questions in a productive way, and to mobilize the potential of the selection of theory fragments into their own creative practice and research.
Individual talks for those students who would like to discussing practice, work and ideas in progress with me. We will talk in detail about aspects of a project, own practice and questions, integrating research in making, how to understand the different stages of making and research, and their stage-specific logic and energy.