Lower Division Courses

Art 8 : Introduction to Visual Thinking

This course will explore how we observe and interpret our visual world. We will examine material from a wide range of sources, focusing on the social, political, and cultural connections, as well as the conceptual base and formal properties that comprise a particular visual/sensory experience. Two ongoing concerns will be the exploration of how art and life intersect, and how our perceptions of what constitute the “high” and “low” in collective culture establish our beliefs about art. The course requires the completion of three projects that stress the visual, intellectual and intuitive aspects of art making.

Art 8 A: Introduction to Visual Thinking/Design

Upper Division Courses


What is a crowd? Is it a swarm of bodies on the street, a dancing flash mob, or a set of data points culled from social media? This class investigates how digital cloud technologies cluster us together into formations that could be understood as both pleasurable and dangerous. We will look at how visual artists and social theorists have addressed issues such as self-tracking, fears around immigration, and crowdsourcing. We will also investigate how surveillance, big data, and social media are used by current governments and reframed by insurgent political movements. From the ubiquity of cloud computing to the crowds that have redefined contemporary mass politics, innovations in media platforms, data collection, and digital labor are redefining the ways that collectives are imagined, produced and defined. Crowds and Clouds examines the shared trajectories of technology and sociality, approaching the cloud and crowd through historically grounded, interdisciplinary scholarship in the visual arts, art history, ethnography, literature, and geography.

The course has no prerequisites and is open to all undergraduates, but anyone enrolling should be prepared to think hard, read deeply, question preconceived notions, and work.

Art 160 : ART 160 – ART & POLITICS

This multidisciplinary studio course will investigate the intertwined
histories of art and politics, the powerful relationship that contemporary
art and politics continue to share, and how artists strive to create
social change by responding directly to current affairs and global
political issues.
Class projects and lectures will explore the growing number of artists,
activists, and movements that are working together to change the
political landscape, and how art has historically helped produce
dissent and bring attention to issues and concerns that shape the
global community.

Graduate Courses