ART 308 at Saint Mary's College of Maryland with instructor Fereshteh Toosi

Friday, January 19, 2007

creating personal space

Jenny Chowdhury's portable cell phone booth

23 Jan - 7 Feb schedule

MON 22 JAN: FEEDBACK ON SKETCHES - brainstorming + 15 thumbnails
HW: written brainstorming for project 1 with 15 thumbnail sketches (see handout)
Fereshteh will do the first SKILLSHARE & highlight best practices
SCREENING of body/boundary work

WED 24 JAN: visit from Leon Wiebers
READING 1: "Extended and Prosthetic Bodies" from The Artists' Body ed. Tracey Warr, post a 1-one paragraph response with questions and analysis to your blog (right click on the above link to download the PDF of the reading). Not all these projects deal with personal space, but as body extensions and alterations, they are relevant for the first project.
HW: request SKILLSHARE topic and/or partner... FT will choose date and final pairings

MON 29 JAN: FINALIZING THE PROPOSAL - sketches + written proposal
deadline to pay studio lab fee at bookstore! bring voucher receipt to class.
feedback from visiting artist Lance Winn

HW: preliminary model (see THIS LINK) made and ready to present

HW: post a comment to another person's blog: Lacey's, the main class blog, or your classmates' blog entries from the Artists' Body reading
• Lacey demo 1

WED 7 FEB: CRITIQUES - REVISED: The final wearable should me fully constructed and ready to present to the class. You'll have until Monday the 12th to take it to your chosen site, to document your actions, and to do a summary write-up about your results.

Rebecca Horn

Check out this article about Rebecca Horn.

Super Powers

If you ignore the horrible voice-over on this video,
the actual premise is actually very interesting:

Thursday, January 18, 2007

some answers to your questions

I wanted to share some of your classmates' questions with you anonymously, in case other people had similar questions.

Q: What should I do if I don't have any skills to share with the class?
A: I'm sure we will be able to find something for you to contribute.
As you go about your days until next week, think about your daily activities with this in mind. You might be surprised at what you do that others don't. Another possibility is that you could team up with someone who has a skill you want to learn in more detail, and that you would do some of the research beforehand to find artists but also to get some extra training from that person.

Q: I haven't taken any sculpture classes before so I'm afraid that I won't know how to make the projects.
A: I wouldn't worry about your technical skills, though I hope you pick some up along the way. You'll find that for a lot of the projects we look at and make it is more important to have a good idea and then choose the medium that best addresses it and learn how to do it, rather than trying to learn how to use every available sculptural process in one semester.

Q: Will we be specifically taught different crafts? For example, if I wanted to learn how to use plaster (not necessarily plaster), would I learn that on my own or might it be a class experience?
A: Because this is an advanced studio, the course work focuses more on independent projects than exposure to different techniques (that happens in the intro class). However, with the understanding that not everyone has taken a sculpture class before, the skillshares will serve as a time when you will be exposed to different possibilities. Many of your classmates have taken sculpture and some of them are even professional builders! If there is a process in particular you will need to know to execute your ideas, Lacey and I will work with you to make it happen.

Q: I'm worried that just being interested in gender studies and critical theory is not enough to stay in the class.
A: Actually, some of the best artists are people who are interested of other things, including philosophy, history, literature, and theory. Looking at other creative people and understanding how art can communicate complex ideas is really important. I think you will have a lot to contribute.

Q: I only like to draw, I don't like to make 3d stuff. Will I be ok?
A: Well, hopefully we will begin to see the relationship between all forms of art, and that there is a deep connection between all the media. We will find that music can become drawing which can become performance which can become digital media which can become sculpture. It's all fair game and each arena has a lot to learn from the others.

Q: How much will the gender topic affect the work in our class, and will there be a difference in expectations between the male and female students enrolled in the course?
A: The women, gender, sexuality focus of the course reflects the fact that a lot of contemporary art practices since the 1960s and 70s have focused on issues of identity, meaning how people perceive themselves and each other. And with this exploration came explorations about issues of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, race... not just in terms of minority groups, but EVERYONE. A lot of artists also began to explore the issues around power in human sociology, and this brings them to issues of identity as well.

Anytime you deal with the body, as we do as designers, architects, and artists, we deal with the question of WHICH bodies and WHERE? What is the size, shape, color, and history of the people who interact with our work? So the question is relevant for everyone.

Though the extent to which WGSX plays a part in the course may still seem vague, on this point I can be very clear: expectations between the genders of students enrolled in the class will be equal across the board. It would be unethical and illogical to do anything differently.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Sandwiched -
Adrian Piper and others -
Adrian Piper -
Jackson Pollock -

first day Q&A

Please cut and paste this text in the body of an e-mail, insert your answers, and send your replies to me:
-Please write one question you have for me about this class.
-What is your name/what would you like to be called?
-Why are you taking this class?
-What year are you?
-How old are you?
-What is your major?
-Where are you from?
-Please give me your preferred email address and phone number:
-What art classes have you taken already?
-What do you like to MAKE? (ie: do you build, cook, knit, sew, code, write, ???)
-Why are you taking this class?
-How do you measure your success as a student?
-Based on your own judgement (not actual grades given) what GPA would you give yourself for your academic career thus far, and why?
-What are your artistic strengths and weaknesses?
-What are your goals for this semester?
-What are your expectations for this class?
-What are your expectations for your peers?
-What are your expectations for your teacher(s)?
-What is your academic & extracurricular schedule this semester (including classes, jobs, sports, etc)
-Who are your favorite artists or other creative people (writers, dancers, musicians, architects, etc)?

how might these projects function if they were seen outside of a gallery?

Natacha Lesueur