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ART 260 A: Introduction To Contemporary Art For Inderdisciplinary Practice

Meeting Time: 
Th 2:30pm - 5:20pm
Location: 
OUG 141
SLN: 
10437
Instructor:
Timea Tihanyi
Timea Tihanyi

Syllabus Description:

 

banner_art260

Instructor: Timea Tihanyi timea@uw.edu

 

Office hours:

TBD by appointment via Canvas Conferences or in person in ART 328J

 

In-class sessions:

Thursdays 2:30-5:20pm in OUG 141 (Odegaard Active Leraning Classroom)

 

Peer group brainstorming sessions can be scheduled on Tuesdays 2:30-5:20pm in ART 121

 

 

Course Information
Course Description 

ART260 introduces you to the reoccurring themes and practices in the interdisciplinary practice of contemporary visual arts.

Moving beyond medium-based categories, the course is organized around key topics in contemporary art, the visual art of the present. It surveys a diverse range of issues that motivate artists and create content, keeping the focus on the creative practice of the artists and the process of the art world system.

Contemporary art is an INTERDISCIPLINARY PRACTICE. This quarter you will see how various ideas, cultural concepts, creative strategies, mediums and processes influence one another, resulting in fresh and new ways of considering and commenting on the world we live in. 
During the quarter, in the context of several making and writing assignments, we will examine the importance and implications of the visual arts in the larger context of visual culture. The course is structured around three large modules: the Artwork, The Viewer, and The Artist. Within a module, each week we will look at a different topic, which will be organized around key concepts, artists and artwork examples. Applying this information to visual art that is currently in the making (either on view in a current exhibition or presented by a guest artist speaker) will allow us to consider the process of interaction between visual art and history, art historical precedents, cultural, socio-economical, and technological forces. The emphasis of the course is on the artist as a maker and a thinker.

You, as an interdisciplinary art major, are in the intersection of all current art forms, including those that you will help to shape and bring forth in the future. It is then your outmost responsibility in this course to keep an open mind, be inquisitive, explore as much as possible, and present yourself with challenges. This process requires your active participation in class. Our shared goal is to provide you with insight into contemporary interdisciplinary creative practice and with tools to engage contemporary art (and visual culture) on discursive, critical, and intellectual levels. These are the tools that you'll be able to take into your own practice and to upper level art courses. 

FAQs

What does hybrid format mean in this class?

This class is a hybrid format class, meaning that 50% of the guided research and learning will have to be done outside of class meeting times, on your own schedule. This guided research and learning is a very crucial part of the course learning and will always have to be done ahead of our weekly class meeting. In class, we are building onto the foundation you have prepared by studying, researching and analysing the assigned artist/artwork examples on your own.

What are the main requirements in this class?

This class is based on three main requirements:

  • Preparation
  • Participation
  • Assignment deadlines

What does Preparation mean?

In advance of each class meeting, it is of primary importance that you do all the required preparations as described on the week’s Canvas page. You are expected to use information from preparation during the class meeting, for example be able to contextualize artwork example within the artist's practice or to compare contrast artists and artwork examples. In class, there will be a short quiz on the required preparation.

What does Participation mean?

Participation is your informed and active contribution to the class meeting. Throughout most of the class time, we are going to be working in small groups or interacting in some kind of a discussion format. Being present does not equal participation. Please do your outmost to stay with the class dialogue and not get distracted by other tasks or personal conversations.

You are expected to do the following:

  • Be prepared with the assigned research for the week’s topic. 
  • Contribute to the small group discussion by offering your thoughts and the information that you have researched. Move group conversation forward with informed ideas and well-considered examples. 
  • Contribute to the class discussion by volunteering to present, ask relevant questions and help to maintain a dialogue about the topic with the instructor.

Why do we have Participation?

Art, first and foremost is a social activity. Making art, thinking about art and critically discussing art can only happen in collaboration of a diverse community of thinkers.

Attend all class meetings and actively participate in all class activities. The class is large in size; I will rely on each and every one of you to help keeping the topical discussion lively and relevant to your learning. 

How do we collaborate?

Groups are assigned in every class randomly by the card method and thus will change on a weekly bases. You can expect to interact with everybody in the class during the course of the quarter. We try to do most of the group work in class, but on occasion there may be a need to get together outside of class. Consider the Tue, 2:30-2:50pm slot. Collaboration, if appropriate for the assignment, may also be done remotely via Canvas COLLABORATIONS, Google Docs, Skype or other online tools. 

 

What is this course like?

This is an fast-paced course that requires you to engage in regular activities of research, reading, writing, making and visiting selected exhibition venues on a weekly basis. The workload is intensive but extremely rewarding; it is very close to what the daily practice of an art professional would entail. The more time and effort you invest into researching artists and artworks, refining your writing skills about art and experimenting with new ways of working and conceptualising ideas the more you will get out of the course in terms of enriching your own creative and professional practice. 

While the hybrid structure offers you a greater freedom and flexibility with your own personal schedule, it also requires you to exhibit maturity and forward thinking in responsibly scheduling your time for research and independent study and for interaction with your peers about the course material. You should never put up course work until right before class, as the creative process, thorough research and working through difficult concepts can be a real time-suck. Leaving it for last minute may NOT allow you to do your best or reach a good understanding.

How many hours per week should I budget towards this course?

You are responsible for your own successful completion of the course; I'm here to facilitate and guide your progress along the way of exploring contemporary art. As a 5 credit course, you are expected to spend 10 hours per week engaging with the course material that is provided to you: 3 hours of this will be during face-to-face interaction during class and an additional 2-3 hours per week reviewing the online lectures on your own. In addition, the course will have weekly homework research, site visit, writing and making assignments, for which you should also budget at least 5 hours work time per week.  Time investment is always clearly evident in the quality of the submitted assignment, which will be reflected in the grade earned.

When are assignments due?

In general, there are two major due dates each week to keep in mind: Mondays at 5PM is when the bi-weekly (module closing) assignment is due on Canvas and on Thursdays, in class when preparatory work (in the form of the worksheet) is due. There may be some weeks when the due dates differ from this schedule. Please check the appropriate week's overview page for specifics.

 

I prefer working on my own. Why are we to collaborate in this class? 

Your peers in class are a tremendously helpful resource, as the best discoveries come from sharing experiences and vigorously discussing and debating ideas. Art, as many other practices in the contemporary world, increasingly is a collaborative and cross-disciplinary endeavor, it takes many different kinds of expertise to create meaningful and interesting content.  Your peers are the first to bounce ideas off of and to help you move on when you get stuck. Of course, I'm also available for consultation on questions that you or peer-group has had difficulty with. 

How do I get to talk to you, the instructor?

It's easy. I have openings for consultation on most days, although you have to schedule an appointment via email for during one of these times in advance. Appointments are usually around 10-15minutes. It does not need to be about a question or problem from class; bring ideas to share or let me know what kind of art puzzles you and why. If you have assignment or vocabulary questions, you must consult the assignment description and other class resources before seeing me. 97% of questions are answered in these. Before any grade (assignment score) inquiry, be sure to carefully read the rubric evaluation criteria. 

Where do I find out what I need for weekly class preparation?

Consult the current week's OVERVIEW page for preparation. This page is divided into three sections: 1. CONTENT (topics and vocabulary for the week), 2. COURSEWORK (including online lectures, practice quiz, prep for class and homework Assignment), and 3. FURTHER RESOURCES. Please pay attention to the due dates, LATE ASSIGNMENTS are NOT accepted. You can find the weekly OVERVIEW page from PAGES or navigate MODULES starting from the navigation bar in the left column. 

 

What happens if I have to miss class due to being sick or having a serious emergency?

If you are sick and/or possibly contagious, stay home to get well. Alert me of your situation as soon as possible, preferably before class. If you do have to miss class, follow up with a classmate, and carefully review online information. The only way extension on an assignment deadline may be granted is by providing a doctor's note of being seen/being under treatment or an official note on your emergency. Traffic violation court dates, elective doctor's appointments, job related responsibilities, airport pick-ups, minor stomach flues, mood swings, etc. do not count as emergencies and thus will not be considered as a basis for extension. 

 

What makes a good writing assignment?

Invest enough time to review your notes and do all necessary prep work and research in-depth. Before writing anything: 1. test yourself by posing your own questions to see if you have a good grasp of the concepts involved and 2. write a bulletpoint outline of clear points that you will develop further. Make new connection between artwork examples, concepts and demonstrate appropriate and original thinking. In every kind of assignment, use 2-3 artist/artwork examples to illustrate your points. Examples need to be from class content, guest lectures, site visits, and from research of professional sources. Always use proper vocabulary. Stay away from including paragraph-length quotations and/or form relying on Wikipedia as a scholarly resource (it is not!) but always acknowledge all the sources you have had consulted (in bibliography or footnotes). Be sure to know that any instance of copying/pasting any kind of information from someone else—classmate, friend, hired help, print or online sources—will be taken seriously and may result in disciplinary action and a failing grade. (See UW policy on Plagiarism.) 

 

How do I make the most out of this course?

Keeping your eyes, ears, and mind open for the many forms of art, even if they appear contrary to your preferences or preconceived notions, is essential. You’ll find this process of discovery engaging and intellectually rewarding. You are encouraged to PARTICIPATE ACTIVELY, develop innovative ideas and critical thinking, and test the boundaries of art and your own understanding of what art can be; a process that will result in an extremely valuable learning experience.  

 

How to ACE this Course?

General Responsibilities and Requirements

Weekly:

  • Attend all class meetings and actively participate in all class activities. The weekly worksheet serves as evidence of your participation and learning.
  • Review all weekly online course materials and complete the appropriate part of the weekly worksheet before class. Required preparation is posted on the weekly OVERVIEW page under PREPARATION FOR THE WEEK.
  • Arrive prepared for class; bring printed worksheet for the week, and your notes, tools and materials for work.
  • Complete weekly worksheets: These count for the weekly participation credits. At home, do the review section on the required preparation. In class, there will be a sort quiz (prep for current week+1-2 vocabulary words from the past week) and some in class exercises to fill in. 
  • Worksheets are only accepted in class. Exceptions may be arranged in consultation with the instructor and only in case of documented emergencies. 

Bi-weekly:

  • Complete and submit module assignment on time; late work WILL NOT be accepted.

Final Project:

  • Complete and present all three stages of the final course assignment: draft, Final Project, and peer-review. 

Important:

  • There are NO make-ups for missed worksheets, assignments, and any peer or class activities. If you have a documented emergency, contact the instructor as soon as possible to make arrangements. Undocumented illnesses and emergencies are regrettable but are not a bases of accommodation. See What happens if I have to miss class due to being sick or having a serious emergency? on the FAQs.
  • Missing the Final Project / 3 or more weekly worksheets / 2 or more bi-weekly (module) assignments will result in failing (E) grade and no credit earned.
  • Unless otherwise announced, assignments must be submitted through Canvas. Pay attention to file format requirements and due days/times.

 

Best Practices for Class

* Keep a good record (notes) on the information presented. You will be able to utilize these in the final assignment.
* Check Canvas regularly, at least twice a week, for updates.
* You will derive the greatest benefit from this class if you remain alert, participate in the topical discussions and group activities and follow the material presented. Ask questions and interact with the instructor, guest speakers, and your peers. 
* Just because the class is larger than a regular studio class it does not mean that you are invisible: The ACL room allows everyone to be part of the discussion but you may need to get some practice on how to handle the technology in the room and how to stay on top of the interactive process of learning.
* Electronics (laptops, tablets and other smart devices) are only allowed when the instructor calls for their use. Outside of these times, turn off and put these away. If you are caught surfing the web, doing Facebook, texting or emailing, listening to music, playing games or doing homework for your other classes, you will be asked to leave the class and thus will not receive participation credit for the week. 
* Practice common courtesy toward the instructor, guest speakers and your peers by focusing on the class; do not prevent others from learning.
* Absences from class prevent participation and thus will result in lost participation credits for the week, negatively affecting the final grade.
If sudden illness, emergency or random act of nature should prevent you from attending class, you are responsible for following up with a classmate for class notes, reviewing missed concepts and exercises, checking assignment guidelines, and completing required work ON TIME.
* Class begins and ends at the appointed time. We will take one 15 minute or two 10 minute breaks. Arrive on time and plan to stay for the entire duration of class. In the exceptional case when you do need to leave early or arrive late, alert me in advance and take every precaution to not disrupt.

 

Best Practices for Teamwork:

* In collaborative group assignments, pull your weight. You are accountable for being as invested in group discussions and projects as you are in your own individual projects.
* Offer informed new ideas and suggestions.
* Solicit ideas from other team members, build on suggestions offered by others.
* Assign roles for team discussions. Roles are: 1. a facilitator (moves the conversation forward), 2. a time keeper and equity manager (makes sure that everyone contributes equally, calls on people if necessary), and 3. a record keeper and technology facilitator.
* Keep a record of everything that is said during group discussions and team projects. Leave enough time at the end to fill out the worksheet. For this, each person is to formalize and edit the group conclusions into a brief final report that responds to the worksheet prompt. 

 

Best practices for Writing Assignments

  • Answer all questions posed.
  • Identify and clearly present your point/s.
  • Demonstrate your knowledge and the research that you have done, include information from online prep work, class, site visits, reading assignments and additional professional research.
  • Use examples of specific artworks and artists examples. 
  • Provide critical analysis and connect ideas; Use compare/contrast among your examples to show an evidence of critical analysis and synthesis.
  • Artwork examples must cite artist’s name, piece’s title, medium and the date.
  • Use proper vocabulary, including appropriate terms from the vocabulary list.
  • Reflect on your opinion and personal experience, strive to express appropriate and original thought. 
  • Keep track of your research sources by collecting reference URLs and publication details (follow requirements for bibliography). You will be able to use these in the final assignment.
  • Write using clear and concise composition. Make sure the final writing is well crafted; spell-check and have someone to proof-read it for you.

 

Best Practices for Making Assignments

  • Consider why we are doing the assignment. (How does it relate to the topic? What ideas concepts artist examples from class might be relevant for it?)
  • Read and follow guidelines carefully; it is easy to lose points for not following instructions.
  • Attain the proper materials. 
  • Leave plenty of time for planning and developing an idea into the final product. Don’t expect the project to be done in a few hours before class.
  • Pay attention to concept, composition, craft (execution) and presentation.

 

Plagiarism

is defined as using in your own work the creations, ideas, words, inventions, or work of someone else without formally acknowledging them through the use of quotation marks, footnotes, bibliography, or other reference. 
Please check https://depts.washington.edu/grading/pdf/AcademicResponsibility.pdf if you have questions about what constitutes plagiarism.
Instances of plagiarism will be referred to the Vice Provost/Special Asstant to the President for Student Relations and may lead to disciplinary action.

 

Equal Opportunity

The School of Art reaffirms its policy of equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam-era veteran in accordance with UW policy and applicable federal and state statutes and regulations.

 

Academic Accommodations Due to Disability

It is your responsibility to request academic accommodations due to a disability. Please contact Disabled Student Services, 448 Schmitz, (206) 543-8924 (V/TTY). If you have a letter from Disabled Student Services indicating you have a disability that requires academic accommodation, please have them send it to me as soon as possible, and follow up by requesting an office hour appointment with the instructor to discuss the accommodations you might need for the class.

Grading

Course Grading (A total of 100 points possible.)

3 Bi-weekly module assignments (each 10pts): 30%
Final Project (20pts): 20%
Final Peer-Review (10pts): 10% 
Weekly Preparation and Participation (5 pts/week for 9 weeks=40pts; lowest score is dropped): 40%

Important Notes on Grading: 

  • There is no standardised score to grade translation in the School of Art. Points earned will be added together and weighted by your investment and development shown throughout the quarter as demonstrated by your work and participation.
  • Ignore the total posted by Canvas as it is a statistical value produced by a computer. It can be completely off, especially before all assignment have been scored.
  • To get an idea how you are doing in the class at any given time, be sure to check all your earned scores using the appropriate scales below.
  • If in doubt, schedule an appointment to discuss with the instructor.
  • Grade inquiries are not conducted via email.
  • While your concerns are always respected and valued, the grade on any given assignment is not a subject of debate. Please read assessment criteria and evaluation carefully before making any inquiry. Assignment grading rubric is available when the assignment is posted. Please consult it before working on the assignment to make sure that you are focusing on the correct aspects of the project. 

Interpreting your score for writing assignments

9-10 points

Excellent understanding of concepts. Clear points that are supported by relevant contemporary artist/artwork examples to form a well-rounded composition. Demonstrates extensive research of appropriate sources. Critical thinking is creatively and effectively applied, there is a clear evidence of synthesising of new information.

6-8 points

Good understanding of basic concepts. States main points, which are appropriately supported by relevant contemporary artist/artwork examples. Demonstrates some research of appropriate sources, although it does not go deep enough or consider the connections between ideas. Critical thinking is effectively applied, there is some evidence of synthesising of new information.

4-5 points

Demonstrates some basic research and a sufficient understanding of concepts. Ideas are supported by appropriate use of contemporary artist/artwork examples, which may not be developed enough beyond connections already made in class. Critical thinking is traceable but spotty and deserves more involvement with the material.

1-3 points

Demonstrates only a minimal understanding of basic concepts and vocabulary, with minimum research or effort exhibited in the completion of the assignment. Statements are based on opinion that is formed in absence of research and development. No evidence of critical thinking being applied.

0 points

Missing /late assignment or NO demonstration of an understanding of the basic concepts.

 

General Assignment evaluation rubric for Writing assignments

 

Expert

9-10points

Apprentice

6-8

Novice

4-5

Naïve

1-3

Demonstrates knowledge and research, including information from lectures, site visits, and reading assignments.

Strongly

Appropriately

Satisfactorily

Little or no

Critical thinking is effectively and creatively applied, synthesis is made between concepts.

Compares/contrasts examples and ideas.

Always

Mostly

Sometimes

Little or no

Evidence of clear points that are supported by relevant contemporary artist/artwork examples

Always

Mostly

Sometimes

Little or no

Demonstrates extensive research of appropriate sources

Strong

Appropriate

Satisfactory

Minimum or no

Well-rounded composition

Strong

Appropriate

Satisfactory

Minimally or not

  

Interpreting your score for making assignments

9-10 points

Strong evidence of cohesive, clear concept relevant to the assignment. Excellent inventive and adventurous conceptual and technical problem solving. Excellent formal choices and technical proficiency that effectively supports the concept of the work. Evidence of significant effort, commitment and care in production of the work.

6-8 points

Some evidence of a cohesive, clear concept relevant to the assignment. Mostly inventive conceptual and technical problem solving. Very good formal choices and technical proficiency that effectively supports the concept of the work. Evidence of effort, commitment and care in production of the work.

4-5 points

Satisfactory evidence a cohesive, clear concept relevant to the assignment but should be resolved in a more sophisticated way. Good formal choices and technical proficiency. Some risk-taking and effort in coming up with unique solutions evidenced.

1-3 points

Fulfilled the assignment with little evidence of a cohesive, clear concept relevant to the assignment. Fair to poor technical proficiency and attention to execution. Does not appear to have much effort invested in it. The work is predictable, concept static and should be developed further.

0 points

Missing /late assignment or NO demonstration of an understanding of the basic concepts.

 

General Assignment evaluation rubric for Making assignments

 

Expert

9-10points

Apprentice

6-8

Novice

4-5

Naïve

1-3

Evidence of cohesive and clear concept relevant to the assignment prompt

Strong

Appropriate

Satisfactory

Little or no

Inventive and adventurous problem solving both for conceptual and on technical challenges

Always

Mostly

Sometimes

Little or no

Material/formal choices and technical proficiency that supports the concept/intention

Excellent

Very good

Appropriate

Fair to poor

Evidence of project development informed by course content and research

Strong

Appropriate

Satisfactory

Minimum or no

Evidence of commitment, care, and effort in the production

Significant

Average

Some

Little or no

 

 

School of Art GRADING GUIDELINES

3.9-4.0

The highest possible performance in all aspects of the course with work exemplifying exceptional quality. Exhibits outstanding creative potential.

3.5-3.8

Exhibits creative potential with superior performance in most aspects of the course; high quality in the

remainder. Well prepared for subsequent courses in the field.

3.2-3.4

High performance in most aspects of the course. Very good chance of success in subsequent courses in the field. Exhibits some creative potential.

2.9-3.1

Good performance in some of the course; satisfactory performance in the remainder. Exhibits some creative potential. Good chance of success in subsequent courses in the field.

2.5-2.8

Demonstrates the minimum amount of research needed to complete the course with satisfactory

performance.

2.2-2.4

Met basic requirements in most of the course, with the remainder being somewhat substandard.

Catalog Description: 
Introduction to recurring themes and practices in the visual arts. Moves beyond medium-based categories, surveying a diverse range of issues that motivate artists and create content in contemporary art. Examines the importance and influence of the visual arts in the larger context of contemporary culture and society.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Status: 
Active
Last updated: 
October 5, 2016 - 9:01pm

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