My teaching philosophy begins with trust and wonder. I trust in my own process of delight and discovery in the world to carry me into a process of wonder and wondering with my students. I trust my students. I trust that each of them can discover the extraordinary internal patterns that can guide and become their beautiful contributions to the world. I trust conversations and I trust intuitions. I trust the beginnings of ideas and I trust rudimentary outlines. I trust things that have no voice yet and yet have tangible form. I trust incoherence and willingness to be present with confusion as a precursor to eloquence.
I trust art as a process of discovery for everyone. Many students come to General Education art classes with a view of art as a merely aesthetic or even extraneous activity. One of my primary goals with each class is to reveal artistic practices as profound processes of discovery, the components of which can be inherent to exploration and innovation in many different fields, and the learned elements of which can become part of each students' ongoing way of being successful and contributing beings in the world. Art is not a supplementary part of life; rather, it is, at root, an inherent part of the creative evolution of the human being and human society. Art as essential to the fullness of academic, professional, communal and internal life is an explicit part of in-class discussion and content in every class I teach.
I trust conversation and reflection as a foundation for innovation and as a particularly important part of General Education, the components of which should be widely applicable and useful. In addition to scaffolding skill building in different new media disciplines, I believe in building each of my classes around meaningful conversation. I trust that by listening and thinking carefully about what a student is saying and then questioning further, the key elements of brilliant projects and ideas can emerge from the students' own intuitions, ideas and internal processes, not from a pre-determined teacherly aesthetic
or imposed preference. My role is to highlight the inherent intelligence found in any student thought or work, and reveal it as fundamental to a worthy enterprise of discovery. Even in large classes, it is possible for each student to have repeated and significant one-on-one conversation time throughout the semester. It is my goal to make each student's projects part of an ongoing and meaningful conversation.
I trust evolving technologies to carry formal and pedagogical roles as General Education moves to accommodate new capacities in students’ interactions and growth. In addition to teaching new media skills in all General Education classes, I have innovated a way to use easy-to-use micro-blogging as a way for students to build meaningful semester-long portfolios that include artwork, writing and multiple modes of reflection to contain their discoveries and creations. The blogs are accessible on the course website and students have loved the easy accessibility and accomplishment of seeing their work take this form.
I trust magical assignments. My most pressing criterion is that each student feels enough allowance to be valued as an individual artist and that he or she makes the work out of true interest and joy; not just to complete an assignment. Each assignment should be interesting, relevant and exciting while carrying strong technical and intellectual expectations. Projects should provide a significant context of structured suggestion and skill building while affording a great deal of personal expression and creativity. It's important that assignments should design for magic by providing enough of a container to ensure that the outcome has meaningful dimension and aesthetic value.
Finally, I trust what happens when trust is given, when ideas are treasured and when each moment is an opportunity to find wonder in what is happening.
Digital Visual Effects
This is a studio art class that explores digital video as a way of creating meaning. The class gives you an opportunity to collect your own digital materials and build experiments using the studio environment of Adobe After Effects CS6. Many of you will be familiar with the idea of collage, or placing items or actions in novel circumstances in order to register a new experience. Most of you will be familiar with the practice of digital compositing, through which filmmakers cobble together different bits of footage to create a new ‘reality’. Finally, all of you are aware of your own lives, of the actions, things, people and experiences that you cobble together into a sense of yourself and life. It is in the geography that includes these nodes of beginning that this course will journey this semester, conceptually, experientially and technically. This course will give you the invitation to use new digital practices and skills to make sense of materials and meanings. It is a studio workshop experiment and will develop over time based on your own interests, aesthetics and the interaction and contributions of the class. Art can be a way to explore theworld and create new ways of understanding and being. You are invited to make your journey through the semester about your own life, world and ideas. Over the semester, you will build an online portfolio of your experiments, thoughts and references. We will work together as a class to build a community that supports reflection, experimentation, creativity, bravery and the generation of new materials and ideas.
Writing for New Media
This course is an experiment in what it means to write for new and emerging media, particularly on the Internet. Interactive media opens the creative practice to writing that can encompass many forms of rhetoric: verbal, visual and even spatial. In terms of exploring the possibilities for contemporary writing, this class invites students to inhabit the terrain of Internet art and new-form writing, inviting the possibilities that can emerge when certain restrictions loosen and a new kind of representation can emerge. As a class, we will be creating Internet art, with a focus on creating new-form written environments. The class will emerge as a collaboration between artists and invite the contributions and explorations of each class member as an autonomous artist. The class will provide students with a theoretical base to write for new and experimental media as well as the practical tools necessary to develop interactive, non-linear, hyper-spatially realized documents. As in a traditional writing course, Writing for New Media will cover the basics of writing: prewriting, drafting, and revising; however, this class is an art class and students will learn how changes in the medium open unprecedented possibilities in both the form, content and future of both art and writing.
This course is a studio art class in which you will be invited to develop your own artistic practice. This semester, we will explore the capacity of image-making as an exercise in investigation and discovery. What is an image and how do images—particularly digital images—function in our lives? In this class, we will take an in-depth journey into the images that accompany us in life and explore what happens when we select, analyze, organize and alter them. This class will give you the invitation to explore and use the imagery in your own life and begin to understand the conceptual possibilities in digital collage and construction. You will learn to use Adobe Photoshop CS6 and other digital tools to investigate topics that mean something to you, especially as they can be investigated using digital techniques of collage and compositing. This course will offer you both an opportunity to develop a new comprehension of artistic process and a new skill-set in the digital world. Coursework will use the rich resources of contemporary artistic theory and practice.
Creativity and Community
This course is an opportunity to investigate community in all its multifarious complexity, beauty and possibility through new media art as a processual investigative and collaborative tool. You are invited to ask about and listen deeply to the relationships and realities that connect people, animals, environments, ideas and feelings: the strands and affinities that create and define communities. As you do this, you will learn to use certain new media skills as lenses or constructive capacities through which your theoretical understanding can expand. You will learn processes associated with digital image and sound creating: production, editing, collage, installation and contextualizaion. As your primary work this semester, you will be invited to create a semester-long project that engages community in a way that is meaningful to you and to deploy your new media knowledge as the creative vector for this project. You will find a way to connect this project to actual community and context in the real world, making the work of this semester tangible and meaningful beyond your previous boundaries.