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ART 285 A: Introduction to New Genres

Operations and teaching are online. Current and prospective students: please visit our COVID-19 Updates pages. Faculty and staff are available via email.
Meeting Time: 
MW 11:30am - 2:20pm
* *
Whitney Lynn
Whitney Lynn

Syllabus Description:


Autumn 2020 | M/W 11:30am-2:20pm | Whitney Lynn
Virtual Office Hours: By appointment (email to schedule)



This course focuses on experimental and conceptual approaches in contemporary art and is designed to develop students' abilities to think critically, generate ideas, and translate concepts into forms. As a class, we will work to understand relationships between material/form and meaning, while questioning preconceived notions regarding the role of art in culture. Designed as a laboratory for experimentation, the course will be fast-paced and requires active participation.

The field of "new genres" was developed by artists who wanted to expand the traditional boundaries of art (sculpture, painting, printmaking) and historically encompasses works of installation, video, performance, sound, and text-based works. It also includes conceptual photography, interventions, socially engaged practices, digital, hybrid, collective, and emerging art forms. As we learn about artists who dared to challenge previous conventions, students will be encouraged to continue to embrace new processes, approaches, and technologies in the creation of their own work, with the understanding that they hold the potential to imagine and develop the art of the future. 



Through active engagement with and successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Engage in flexible thinking and feel comfortable working within the context of a multi-disciplinary class that focuses on conceptual art
  • Analyze and interpret artworks through the critique process
  • Demonstrate fluency in communicating ideas through visual, aural, spatial and written forms



Students and instructors are all in the process of adjusting to the changes and regulations that have been put in place in response to COVID-19. However, despite the difficulties of adapting to this new situation, our primary goal -- whether in person or online -- is to view our class as a community. Together, we acknowledge that each individual influences the class dynamic, and it is a collective effort to create and sustain an engaged learning environment. Through active participation and collective engagement, we will work to create a course that fosters intellectual nourishment, social connection, and a system of support.

For this course, we will be using a combination of tools to access, upload and discuss individual assignments.  As the instructor, my goal is to create a course structure that is dynamic, flexible, and accommodates the resources that may or may not be available to each person in the class. As a class member, your job is to stay engaged and to communicate any problems you are running into and/or suggestions you might have for how to support learning in this course. 

The majority of course assignments will be designed to be asynchronous to accommodate diverse time zones, technology access and contexts. Synchronous discussions (on Zoom) will also be scheduled to facilitate learning together and to build social connections. (Please note that you will not be penalized for missing one of these sessions if you run into technical or scheduling difficulties -- just be sure to be in touch with me and communicate any issues.) To maintain opportunities for individual guidance and mentorship, one-on-one meetings will be scheduled to check-in at the midpoint of the quarter, and office hour appointments can be scheduled each week. Students also have the ability to host their own independent Zoom sessions, or start a Discussion on Canvas.



Things to Watch:


Kadist Video Library



Things to Read:

artnet news: Opinion




BOMB Magazine

Art in America

Mousse Magazine











Catalog Description: 
Develops abilities to generate ideas and translate concepts. Emphasis on questioning preconceived notions of the role of art in culture. History and practice of conceptually-based art, including installation, video, performance, and sound; challenges students to identify the appropriate form or medium to express ideas and content.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
July 28, 2020 - 9:10pm