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ART 184 FieldWork/ research as studio practice

(aka Junior Seminar)

Fall 2017 Tues and Thurs: 4pm 7pm
Professor Brody Reiman (

What is "research" in a studio practice, and how does it deepen and enrich an artist's
work and process? How is trial and error, failure, and experimentation without fear a part
of a healthy studio practice? How do you self-evaluate and document your thought
process when you make work? How do you chart your influences as well as your future
possibilities as an artist?

This is a hybrid seminar/studio class for junior and senior art majors. We will be
investigating models of contemporary studio art practice, with an emphasis on exploring
interdisciplinary research and critique. Using discussions, presentations, and field trips
to working artist studios and examining your own real-time investigations students will
be asked to go beyond the normal assignment directive of being judged on good or
bad artwork and instead deeply explore their hunches, intuition, values, influences,
and process. The intent of this class is to open you up the questions that will lead you to
a self-reflective and generative independent studio practice.
We will focus on the significant ways artists and cultural producers create bodies of
research -- within their studios, the academy and applied to the wider world, and
expose students to the tools needed to move forward with a long-term, research-based
studio practice. Countering the idea of the lone artist who self-generates ideas within
the confines of their private studios, this class will promote models of cross-disciplinary
collaboration and interdisciplinary thinking via readings, lectures and extensive field
trips to engage with artists working out in the world.

You will be encouraged to take advantage of both local campus research resources
(university libraries, lab facilities, lecture series, museums, and Centers such as the
Arts Research Center and the Berkeley Center for New Media, etc.) as well as the
larger world of off-campus individuals, organizations and institutions. Based on this
outward exploration, students will incorporate these interdisciplinary models within their
own studio practice, reflecting wider fields of knowledge and research. Visits to
museums, institutions, and alternative gallery spaces will help students situate
themselves within a larger world of an arts ecosystem that they can draw from as an
emerging artist.

Rather than presenting a final artwork during and at the end of the semester, students
will be responsible for presenting their compiled research and small-scale experiments,
targeting future directions for expanded studio work. Emphasizing process over
immediate product, you will be challenged to be self-reflective and rigorously inquisitive
with your own ideas and experiments. You will be responsible for documenting and
archiving all developments and research in an online blog format.

This class also functions as an important early introduction to the ideas covered in the
Senior Projects/Professional Practices course that is mandatory for all art majors. We
will continually ask: What do you want for and from your work? How do you draw from
your experience? How do you draw from your research? and How is this in
conversation with the world around you?

Assignments include:
A research/progress/response blog that you will be expected to update twice a week at
minimum. This will include documentation, writing/response to field trips, lectures, and
visits, and weekly research assignments. It will serve to show evidence your practice-
based research inquiry at different stages of development
Field trips to working artist studios, museums/galleries/alternative spaces
Visits to MFA graduate studios
Mandatory attendance at all AP Mon. evening artist lectures (7:30-9pm)
2-3 independent studio projects
10 minute artist presentation (assigned by instructor)
10 minute material presentation (assigned by you)
End of the semester final research presentation

1. You are expected to be on time, be prepared with whatever you may need, and
be present and productive the whole class time.
2. Being engaged in the class events and discussions is extremely important.
Attendance alone does not constitute active participation. Beyond just showing
up, you need to really be engaged in all aspects of the class. This means using
class time productively, contributing to class discussions and most definitely
critiques, and participating in mandatory technical and safety demonstrations.
3. The more creative risks you take, the better you will do in this class. Risk-taking
is an integral part of the creative process. I will continually challenge you to try
new things and to risk failure in order to make creative leaps. It is essential that
you be open and willing to push yourself and each other to take chances with
your work.

o Critiques are an essential component of the class, and all class members are
expected to be active, respectful participants. These discussions will work to help
you in accepting feedback while learning to speak critically about peer work.
o Individual critiques are not re-schedulable. There are no make up days for
crits. However, you are free to trade slots and rearrange presentation schedules
with other students.
o It is imperative that you set up your work in a presentation format BEFORE class
starts, especially if it involves digital media presentation (a digital projector,
monitor, video, etc.) Media technology is always trickier than you think and setting
up and troubleshooting takes longer than expected. Present your work exactly as
you want it viewed, with no exceptions. Do not make excuses for not being ready
prepare yourself for adequately scheduling your preparation time.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are mandatory class days, in addition to the Monday
night lecture series.
Attendance at all class meetings, especially critiques, is mandatory. Three
absences will lower your course grade by one letter. If you are going to miss
class for any reason, you must email me in advance of the class in order for the
absence to be excused. If you miss two consecutive classes, you will need a
doctors note. Five absences can qualify you to fail.
Beyond 10 minutes late youll be considered tardy. Class starts promptly at
4:30pm. I take roll everyday even if it doesnt look like it.
And again, 3 tardys = 1 absence.

You will be evaluated using the following criteria:
- Timely and satisfactory completion of assignments, both studio and blog. Your
projects will be graded on the level of commitment in the development and resolution of
the piece along with technical, formal, and conceptual investigation. Projects will be
evaluated on fulfillment of the assignment, effort inside and outside of class, and the
quality of work produced, including proficiency with materials, inventiveness, and formal
and conceptual integrity. Students should also demonstrate progress toward identifying
important themes or issues in their work over the course of the semester.
Grade Scale
An "A" represents outstanding work, where the work and the process exceeds the
expectation and requirements of the course. A "B" is earned through meeting these
expectations in a strong and sustained way. A "C" is given to those who meet these
expectations with no particular flare. A "D" is the result of a missed assignment or
attendance problems. A "F" is the result of two missed assignments or a review

FEES There are no fees (material or user) for this class but you will be responsible for
purchasing all the materials needed for your projects and field trip costs.
You may need to pay the user fees for the labs you will be interested in using for this
class during the semester.

* Absolutely no cell phone use in the classroom, calls or text messaging. Go outside.
* Please feel free to make an appointment with me at any time during the semester to discuss your progress
and grade. Mid-semester usually works well.

For Tuesday Aug 29th:

Bring an object to class that you consider a touchstone for your life and/or artistic practice.