Fall 2012 Thursdays 1:30 PM - 4:00 PM
The LINK, Perkins Library 2-060, Classroom 1

Timothy Lenoir
Kimberly J. Jenkins Chair for
New Technologies in Society
lenoir A-T duke D-O-T edu
Smith Warehouse Bay 11 Rm. A231
919-668-1952 (office)
Office hours: TBD
Course email list: TBD

Patrick Herron
Research Analyst/Technologist
Jenkins Collaboratory
patrick D-O-T h A-T duke D-O-T edu
Smith Warehouse Bay 11 Room A-232
919-668-0276 (office)
Office hours: By appointment


Course Work

Weekly Reading and Blogging
Students are expected to read and be prepared to discuss the reading and media assignments for each week's class. We begin this semester with a "mindmap" exercise led by Professor Bill Seaman. The idea here is to generate a web of concepts, idea-sketches, and conceptual process-vectors that describe your current picture of yourself as an artist and, as you begin this program, how you imagine developing your work over the course of the next several months. We propose using a weekly blog over this semester as a personal sounding board for elaborating, deepening and further articulating your "mindmap." At the beginning of the semester we ask you to create a new blog on Blogger (http://www.blogger.com/) dedicated to the course (please send the URL of your new blog to the instructors once you have created your blog). Each student is expected to write at least one paragraph each week before class that engages some substantive theme in that week's materials in terms of your own evolving work as an artist. We would like you to use the readings each week to incrementally and materially—textually—develop a vision of your work that engages with the artistic movements and theory we will be examining that you can share with others. In each of these weekly blog posts we encourage you to write as if you are preparing an artist's statement of purpose. While the notion of an "artist's statement" is fraught with complications, for work that pushes old boundaries or creates new ones an artist's statement can be an effective tool for communicating one's artistic vision to others and may open doors to new friendships, artistic collaborations, shows, and residencies. Each student is also expected to comment substantively (at least one paragraph) on blog posts of other students after that week's classroom session. You are required to make such comments at least four times during the semester. It is hoped each student will interact more often than four times but four is a bare minimum; it is also expected that comments are civil, respectful, and constructive.

Links to each student's blog are posted on the course website (http://jhfc.duke.edu/jenkins/courses/mfa302/blogroll.htm). While it is understood that blogs are passé the instructors believe that using Blogger in particular (or Tumblr if you prefer) to store one's writing is a convenient and inexpensive means to data integrity, sharing, publishing and searchability.

We want each student to collaborate with another student on one presentation. The presentation is to be organized around a specific week's materials. Each student is required to team up with a partner on a week's presentation, one partner being responsible for the media content of the presentation, the other partner responsible primarily for the narrative. The roles of media coordinator and narrative coordinator can overlap or be shared.

The content of the presentations will vary, of course, depending on the readings and media under discussion for that session, and we want to allow you maximal freedom in presenting themes that you want to address. We expect, however, that the presentations will address themes from our assignments related to issues of successful elements of avant-garde art and reasons for either its influence at the time of its proliferation or its enduring influence. We would also like you to reflect on issues that are perennial topics of discussion related to avant-garde art, such as the role of conceptualization, art's responsibility vis-à-vis society, and issues of spirit, inspiration and technology.

Final Project
Each student must submit a final project for the course. We are open to multiple forms of final project. Least encouraged, but completely acceptable, is a traditional essay with notes and bibliographic apparatus addressing a theme raised by the readings we discuss. A paper should be 15-20 pages double-spaced.

Another possibility for a final project is an original work of art or series of works. We encourage you to use this as an opportunity to develop some component of the project or portfolio you are developing in connection with your MFA program. All possibilities for a final project should be worked out in consultation with us.

Grades for the class will be based on the following scale:

Blog: 30%

Presentation: 30%

Final Project: 40%