4.s33 ACT Fall 2017 (3-3-9 U/G)
Orthographies: New Kinds of Drawings and New Kinds of Things
How many ways can you draw a circle? Or a field of grass? Or a cloud? Or a dumbbell?
In this course, we will be looking at, talking about, and making, all kinds of drawings. It is an in-depth exploration of drawing practices in dialogue with alternative forms of representation, such as writing, reading, coding, sculpting, mapping, and digital imaging. This course considers drawing as process, as performance, as incursion, and as cultural technique. Sections of the course will be dedicated to the intersection of drawing practice with poetry, anthropology, scientific experimentation, design, and computational tools. Drawings prompt inquiry into key themes in contemporary artistic practice, such as classification, mimicry, seriality, augmentation through machine-assisted techniques and negotiations between analog and digital.
Weekly lectures, guest presentations and discussions shape individual project trajectories. Course materials are distributed on are.na, a collaborative research platform. Students contribute to this experimental working archive by curating a body of research to complement individual drawing projects. The goal is to situate drawing research within a broader landscape of cultural production and to address parallel concerns in other disciplines. Prior experience with drawing and/or programming recommended, but not required. Students with varied backgrounds are encouraged to attend. Additional work required of students taking the graduate version.
Evaluation and Grading
Students should demonstrate a close reading of the required materials and exhibit a method of critical analysis. You are required to write and draw every week – at some point the two may converge. Unless notified and approved by instructor, missed classes and late completion of work will result in a lowering of grade.
Midterm Presentation – 30%
Final Presentation – 40%
Class Discussion + Participation – 20%
are.na + Booklet Completion – 10%
Exercises + Projects
There will be three exercises to be completed before Thanksgiving Break and one final project. Undergraduate and graduate level students are given the same assignments.
Classes will be Mondays from 9:30AM to 12:30PM and Wednesdays from 9:30AM to 12:30PM. Monday sessions will comprise of lectures, guest presentations and student-led discussions. (With a few exceptions given TBD guest schedules.) Wednesday sessions will comprise of reviews of drawing work. All readings are made available on are.na.
Week 0 Intro
September 6th (W) Hello
Week 1 Drawing a Hypothesis
September 11th (M) Lecture “How Many Ways Can You Draw a Circle”
Discussion Lead 1: Mackenzie Muhonen
Gansterer, Nikolaus. “Drawing a Hypothesis.” Drawing a Hypothesis – Figures of Thought. Wien/New York: Springer Verlag, Edition Angewandte, 1st Edition, 2011.
Ingold, Tim. Excerpt “Drawing, Writing and Calligraphy.” Lines: a brief history. New York: Routledge, 2007.
September 13th (W) Review of Exercise 1.1 + 1.2
*Friday, Sept 15th, attend Shannon Mattern Lecture "Mapping's Intelligent Agents"
Week 2 Classifying + Describing
September 18th (M) Guest: Robert Ochshorn
Discussion Lead 2: Sharmeen Sayed Dafedar
Petherbridge, Deanna. Excerpt. Primacy of Drawing: Histories and Theories of Practice. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991/2010.
Davis, Randall; Shrobe, Howard; Szolovits, Peter. "What is Knowledge Representation?" AI Magazine, 1993.
(Maynard, Patrick. Excerpt. Drawing Distinctions: The Varieties of Graphic Expression. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2005.)
Stewart, Susan. Excerpt “Descriptions and the Book.” On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection. Durham: Duke University Press, 1992.
Stein, Gertrude. Tender Buttons: objects, food, rooms. Mineola: Dover Publications, 1914/1997.
Perec, Georges. Excerpt Species of Spaces and Other Pieces. Penguin Classics, 1974.
Gladman, Renee. Calamities. Wave Books, 2016.
September 20th (W) Review of Exercise 1.3
Week 3 Drawing Stacks
September 25th (M) Lecture: Processes, Operations, and Choreographs
Discussion Lead 3: Nolan Dennis
Klee, Paul. Paul Klee: Pedagogical Sketchbook.
Klee, Paul. Excerpt. Notebooks, Vol. 1: The Thinking Eye. Basel: Schwabe & Co., 1956.
Kentridge, William. Excerpt. Six Drawing Lessons. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2014.
Joan Jonas is on our mind. San Francisco: CCA Wattis Institute of Contemporary Arts, 2017.
Latimer, Quinn. “Room of, Animal of (Sequence of, Silence of, Form of)”
Mangini, Elizabeth. “Deterritorialized Drawing”
September 27th (W) Review of Exercise 2.1
Week 4 Mimicry + Simulation
October 2nd (M) Lecture: Drawing a Cloud
Discussion Lead 4: Alex Bodkin
Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacres et Simulation (Simulacra and Simulations). Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 1981/1994.
Cheng, Ian. “Forking at Perfection.” On the Copy, Mousse Magazine 49 (Summer 2015)
“What is a Simulation?” Emissaries (2017)
Gombrich, Ernst H. Excerpt. Art and Illusion: A Study in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1944.
Simon, Herbert Alexander. Excerpt. The Sciences of the Artificial. Third Ed. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996.
Molnar, Vera. “My Mother’s Letters: Simulation by Computer.” Leonardo, Vol. 28, No. 3 (1995), pp. 167 – 170.
October 4th (W) Review Progress of Exercise 2.1
Week 5 Drawing by Numbers/Composing Lines: a brief history of computational drawings
October 9th (M) No Class
October 11th (W) Lecture: Drawing by Numbers
Discussion Lead 5: TBD
Maeda, John. Excerpt “Lines.” Design by Numbers. Cambridge, MIT Press, 1999.
Granger, Chris. “Coding is not the new literacy.” 2015.
Knight, Terry and Stiny, George. “Classical and Non-Classical Computation.”
Velminski, Wladimir. “Chains of Chance: A Convoluted History of Pattern Recognition.” Islands of Benoît Mandelbrot: Fractals, Chaos and the Materiality of Thinking. New York: Bard Graduate Center, 2012.
Week 6 Assisted Drawing + other Drawing Machines
October 16th (M)
Guest: Sarah Schwettmann
October 18th (W) Emily Workshop / Exercise 2.2 Due
Week 7 Assisted Drawing + other Drawing Machines
October 23rd (M) No Class (Lucy away)
October 25th (W) Lecture: Drawing Machines + New Tendencies
Discussion Lead 7: Cindy/Daniel
Kafka, Franz. “In the Penal Colony.”
Samim. “Assisted Drawing: Exploring Augmented Creativity.” Medium, 2015.
Wood, Deborah. “The Mind and the Machine,” all.go.rhythm: idea >> machine >> art. Chicago: Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art (UIMA), 2015.
Bangert, Colette S. and Bangert, Charles J. “Computer Grass is Natural Grass,” Artist and Computer. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1976.
Week 8 Digitality / a supposed Post-Digitality
October 30th (M) Lecture: Post-Digitality
Discussion Lead 8: TBD
Kittler, Friedrich A. “Computer Graphics: A Semi-Technical Introduction.” Grey Room no.2 (Winter 2001): pp. 30-45.
Pias, Claus. “Point and Line to Raster: On the Genealogy of Computer Graphics.”
Griffin, Tim. “Compression.” October 135 (Winter 2011): pp. 3-20.
Siegert, Bernhard. Excerpt. Cultural Techniques: Grids, Windows, Doors and Other Articulations of the Real. New York: Fordham University Press, 2015.
November 1st (W) Exercise 3
Week 9 Field Trip
November 6th (M) Field Trip to New York
November 8th (W) Drawing Project Proposal Due: Presentations + Feedback
Week 10 Tracing + Mapping
November 13th (M) Guest: Shannon Mattern
Discussion Lead 9: Daniel Garcia
Anderson, Erik. Poetics of Trespass. Los Angeles: Otis Books. 2010.
Additional reading provided by Shannon
November 15th (W) Drawing Project Progress
Week 11 Midterm Presentations
November 20th (M) Drawing Project Progress
November 22nd (W) Midterm Presentations
Week 12 Representations + Fictions
November 27th (M) Guest: Ericka Beckman
Discussion Lead 10: TBD
Avanessian, Armen and Töpfer, Andreas. Excerpt. Speculative Drawing: 2011 – 2014. Sternberg Press: Berlin, 2014.
Goodman, Nelson. “Fictions.” Languages of Art: An Approach to a Theory of Symbols, pg. 21-26.
Walton, Kendall. Excerpt. Mimesis as Make-Believe: On the Foundations of the Representational Arts. London/Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1990.
Lim, CJ and Liu, Eric. Short Stories: London in Two-and-a-half Dimensions. New York: Routledge, 2011.
Friedman, Yona. Pro Domo. 1958.
November 29th (W) Drawing Project Progress
Week 13 Progress
December 4th (M) Drawing Project Progress
December 6th (W) Drawing Project Penultimate
Week 14 Finals
December 11th (M) Drawing Project Progress
December 13th (W) Last Day; Hand in Are.na Packages, Set up Drawing Display
December 18th (M) Final Review