Academics

VIS STD Fall 2017 Courses

Visual Studies

Below are currently offered courses for the fall 2017 semester. For any other course information, see the UC Berkeley Online Schedule of Classes.


VIS STD 185X [Dubovsky]

 

Special Topics: Word and Image

"Songs & Places: American Roots"

What are the connections between songs and places — visual, musical, and otherwise? How can we describe these connections — give them form?

Music and place have long been intertwined, and the particulars of place have given rise to some of our most memorable songs: "On the Banks of the Ohio," "Shenandoah," "Red River Valley," "Sweet Home Chicago,” “Lonesome Whistle,” “Oh Mary Don’t You Weep.” Whether the folk lyrics from a Russian village on the banks of the Pripyet, or a single line from a shepherd’s flute in the Carpathian mountains, the songster licks of John Hurt down in Avalon, Mississippi, or a precisely bent blues note on a red electric guitar from Muddy Waters in Southside Chicago — the connection is endlessly evocative. However, we live in a world where traditional places — and the traditional songs that come from them — have been rapidly disappearing, inundated by the juggernaut of an international commercial culture which supplants (dis-places/re-places) them entirely--a primary characteristic of our times…

In this seminar-with-projects course we will investigate these changes by listening—by looking closely at the original connection between songs and places — and by making images in response. The medium will be open — drawing, painting, collage, writing, hybrid forms all acceptable. We’ll begin each week by listening to some songs — and learning to sing them. Together with a selection of visual images. Studio projects follow, outside of class. We then reconvene, the following week, to look at and discuss the work. Followed by a new set of songs. Note that during the fall term the course emphasizes American folk songs; the spring term presents the international version (Argentina, Russia, México to date.)

Prerequisites? Upper-division standing. At least some studio art and music background. Class size limited to 15 students. Open to all majors. Application procedures: Send me an email with the following: Your name. Your age. Where were you born? Where did you grow up? Your year (junior, senior, grad)? Your major? Musical background? Art background? Tell me something about your interest in this class… Include 2-4 jpegs of your artwork (these must be identified with your name on each jpeg) and send to Anthony Dubovsky at chambersstreet[at]hotmail.com. Earlier applications will be given preference.

Listed in Schedule of Classes as Visual Studies 185X Special Topics: Word and Image, Class Number: 12198

Painting: Anthony Dubovsky, Evening Train, oil on cardboard, 2001


VIS STD 186B [Bourdier] 

Image for the book Body Unbound

Image from the newly release book Body Unbound by Jean-Paul Bourdier

Photography As an Art Form

  • Course Format: Three hours of studio per week
  • Formerly 186C
  • Description:

"Staged Photography"

If we see our passage on earth as a theatrical play, what snapshots of our experiences would we wish to share with our contemporaries? At the core of this class is the desire to go deep within ourselves and explore how we can artistically and critically materialize the intimate relationship between our body/mind and the arts. Some of the situated questions we will raise are, for example: What aesthetic principles underlie and inform our practices? How do we see the boundaries between Design, Art, Photography and our lives? What is our relation to light, darkness, and color? How do we acknowledge our construction of reality through our senses and lenses?

Through diverse subjects centered around Body / Mind ( self portrait,  the bare body, a surreal moment, metamorphosis, transparency );  and the creative gesture ( no -gravity, still life , wrapping , the unknown ) , this class will focus on restructuring our experience across the fields of visual and performing arts – including painting, sculpture, design, installation and performance. We will be committed to explore photography as an Experiential  (including conceptual) Art and NOT as a documentary practice. You will be encouraged to think of each exercise as being a (sometimes highly designed) visual poem condensing your critical position, humor, thoughts and feelings on the subjects mentioned above. Our photographic production will lean towards a “new Social Surrealism” which I could best describe as: set up or staged “portraits of our time,” photographs as paintings, advertising or (slightly) burlesque compositions, theatrical narratives or artistic essays. In short, you will be required to show, through your photographs, your critical distance in relation to  your sensual and intellectual understanding of each theme.

Since the class is not solely about photography and not about photographic techniques, there is no restriction as to what tools you could use: analog or digital cameras, scanning devices, stylus drawing tools can all be put to use to enrich your aesthetic vision. Although you may use Photoshop in no more than two projects, I do not encourage its use for I want to see your resourcefulness and creativity through your direct sensual experience. Regarding your previous experience with photography, you may be in a much better position if you have already taken a photography class but some students have done well with no experience.

For each weekly assignment everyone is expected to produce a large-format photograph (a minimum of  20" wide) in B & W or in color. Everyone is also expected to present their work-in-progress on two other boards, showing the various stages of your creative process, including, for example: your 3 best pictures of the week, contact prints of weekly training exercises, copies of your conceptual sketches and library research. Each weekly meeting will be centered around a pin-up of the work and a class critique in which you’ll learn to become a critic/student/teacher and relate your observations to design, photography, the arts, your own field of interest, and your life in general. The group critique will be the major tool to develop our growth and understanding; please take this class only if you are planning to give your full oral participation during these class pin-ups. If you are not from the Architecture Department, please be aware that critiques may appear devastatingly brutal at first. Final grade will be based on the average evaluation of all 9 projects and home work and on a final critique and show presented in the Wurster lobby.

This is a class that requires a lot of work  (for 4 units and not 1-4 as described in the computer format),  time commitment and heart. It is not advised to take an architectural design studio at the same time, although a few have managed to do it. Taking the class for P, N/P is not accepted. Final class selection will be available on the Wednesday after our first class meeting on Monday, based on a short questionnaire collected the first day, and a short interview that will take place on  the Tuesday following the first class, from 5 to 8 PM in my office, 349 Wurster Hall, during which I would love to see any of your work in Design or the Visual Arts, including sketches and finished works . In other words, since being registered in the class is by consent of the instructor, the waiting list serves only as a temporary reference and does not imply that you’ll be included in the class, just as not being on the waiting list does not mean that you cannot get in. JUST SHOW UP THE FIRST DAY OF CLASS.

Interested Graduate students should enroll in Vis Std 298: Class Number: 12224

If you want to check my own work, see my latest  books of photography: Leap Into the Blue and Bodyscapes, FB or website at: www.jeanpaulbourdier.com


VIS STD 280 [Dubovsky] 

Photograph

 

Advanced Visual Studies

"Beginnings"

This is a class about imagination and ideas. A road trip, perhaps—or a voyage. We begin each week with a theme—often a single word---as point of departure. Each person in the group does a project in response—a drawing, a painting, a collage—the medium is open. In the following class we look at the work, and a conversation ensues. And then, a new word.

Note that the hand is important throughout--how the sense of touch becomes a guide.

Following this format, the class develops a certain rhythm--a kind of opening. Not just in terms of skill (although skill can play a part), but more in finding the right visual language to give form to one’s feelings about and understanding of the surrounding world. A challenge that carries over into any of the design fields—and beyond…. 

Important: Since discussion is central to each class, students need to be fully confident in spoken English—both comprehension and conversation.

Required: One project each week, made with energy and commitment... Attendance at all class meetings, and a well-crafted book with reproductions of your work, including a short essay about your journey, due at the end of the term. Open to grad students and some seniors from all departments, but limited in enrollment to 12 students.  This can be a good place to explore your initial thesis ideas.

If you're interested, send Anthony Dubovsky an e-mail with a paragraph or two about yourself and your backgound in the arts, along with 2-3 jpegs of your work. Make sure your name is on each jpeg. Send before January 15 to the following email address: chambersstreet[at]hotmail.com. Earlier applications will receive priority. Class # 12204


Painting: Anthony Dubovsky, Anhelo, acrylic on cardboard, 2013


VIS STD 298; Sec 001 [Bourdier] 

Image for the book Body Unbound

Image from the newly release book Body Unbound by Jean-Paul Bourdier

Special Group Study

  • Course Format: Three hours of studio per week
  • Credit option: No more than 5 units allowed each semester. Course may be repeated for credit.
  • Description: Special group studies on topics to be introduced by instructor or students.

"Staged Photography"

If we see our passage on earth as a theatrical play, what snapshots of our experiences would we wish to share with our contemporaries? At the core of this class is the desire to go deep within ourselves and explore how we can artistically and critically materialize the intimate relationship between our body/mind and the arts. Some of the situated questions we will raise are, for example: What aesthetic principles underlie and inform our practices? How do we see the boundaries between Design, Art, and Photography? What is our relation to light, darkness, and color? How do we acknowledge our construction of reality through our senses and lenses?

Through diverse subjects centered around Body / Mind ( self portrait,  the bare body, a surreal moment, sex race and gender, metamorphosis );  and the creative gesture ( light and shadows, still life , wrapping , the unknown, portrait of an artist ) , this class will focus on restructuring our experience across the fields of visual and performing arts – including painting, sculpture, design, installation and performance. We will be committed to explore photography as an Experiential  (or conceptual) Art and NOT as a documentary practice. You will be encouraged to think of each exercise as being a (sometimes highly designed) visual poem condensing your critical position, humor, thoughts and feelings on the subjects mentioned above. Our photographic production will lean towards a “new Social Surrealism” which I could best describe as: set up or staged “portraits of our time,” photographs as paintings, advertising or (slightly) burlesque compositions, theatrical narratives or artistic essays. In short, you will be required to show, through your photographs, your critical distance vis a vis your sensual and intellectual understanding of each theme.

Since the class is not solely about photography and not about photographic techniques, there is no restriction as to what tools you could use: analog or digital cameras, scanning devices, stylus drawing tools and Photoshop can all be put to use to enrich your aesthetic vision. Regarding your previous experience with photography, you may be in a much better position if you have already taken a photography class but some students have done well with no experience.

For each weekly assignment everyone is expected to produce a large-format photograph (a maximum of  20" wide) in B & W or in color. Everyone is also expected to present their work-in-progress on two other boards, showing the various stages of your creative process, including, for example: your 3 best pictures of the week, contact prints of weekly training exercises, copies of your conceptual sketches, library research notes and critical comments on your classmates main assignment . Each weekly meeting will be centered around a pin-up of the work and a class critique in which you’ll learn to become a critic/student/teacher and relate your observations to design, photography, the arts, your own field of interest, and your life in general. The group critique will be the major tool to develop our growth and understanding; please take this class only if you are planning to give your full participation during these class pin-ups.  If you are not from the Architecture Department, please be aware that critiques may appear devastatingly brutal at first. Final grade will be based on the average evaluation of all 9 projects and home work and on a final critique and show presented in the Wurster lobby.

This is a class that requires a lot of work  ( for 4 units and not 1-4 as described in the computer format ),  time commitment and heart. It is not advised to take an architectural design studio at the same time, although a few have managed to do it. Taking the class for P , N/P is not accepted. Final class selection will be available on the Wednesday after our first class meeting on Monday, based on a short questionnaire collected the first day, and a short interview that will probably take place on Tuesday following the first class, from 5 to 7-8 PM in my office, 349 Wurster Hall, during which I would love to see any of your work in the visual arts. In other words, since being registered in the class is by consent of the instructor, the waiting list serves only as a temporary reference and does not imply that you’ll be included in the class, just as not being on the waiting list does not mean that you cannot get in. JUST SHOW UP THE FIRST DAY OF CLASS.

If you want to check my own work, see my latest  books of photography: Leap Into the Blue and Bodyscapes, FB or website at: www.jeanpaulbourdier.com


VIS STD 299 [Staff] 

Individual Study and Research for Master's Students

  • Course Format: One unit will be assigned for each 4 hours of student effort per week.
  • Credit option: Course may be repeated for credit.
  • Description: Individual studies including reading and individual research under the supervision of a faculty adviser and designed to reinforce the student's background in areas related to the proposed topic