Contemporary Art: Theory, Practice, Institutions
Professor Martin Irvine
Communication, Culture & Technology Program
Required Books [these editions only]
- David Campany, Art and Photography. New York, Phaidon Press, 2003. ISBN 978-0-7148-4756-6
- David Hopkins, Art after Modern Art, 1945-2000 (Oxford and
New York: Oxford UP, 2000). ISBN: 019284234X. [=Hopkins]
- Hans Werner Holzwarth, ed. Art Now, Vol. 3. Köln, London, Los Angeles:Taschen: 2008. ISBN: 978-3-8365-0511-6 [=ArtNow 3]
- Klaus Honnef, Andy Warhol 1928-1987: Commerce into Art. Rev.
edition. Taschen, 2000. ISBN: 3822863211.
- Brian O'Doherty, Inside the White Cube: The Ideology of the Gallery
Space. Berkeley, CA: Univ. of California Press, 1986. ISBN: 9780520220409 [See also Web
- Pierre Bourdieu, The Field of Cultural Production, ed. Randal
Johnson (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1993)
- Tyler Cowen, In Praise of Commercial Culture (Cambridge, MA:
Harvard Univ. Press, 1998)
- Regis Debray, Media Manifestos, trans. Eric Rauth (London and
New York: Verso, 1996)
- William D. Grampp, Pricing the Priceless: Art, Artists, and Economics
(New York: Basic Books, 1989)
- Karl Ruhrberg, et al. Art of the 20th Century (New York: Taschen,
- James Heilbrun and Charles M. Gray, The Economics of Art and Culture,
2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2001)
Weekly Seminar Modus Operandi
This seminar will be developed in real time with the participation of
seminar members. The entire world of contemporary art
as it happens is our domain, including the legacy of the past and inclusion of new media.
Prior knowledge of modern and contemporary art is helpful, but not required.
Each week after the introductory weeks we will do a short profile on
an artist, group, or significant movement to build students' familiarity
with contemporary visual art. Each seminar meeting will begin with a short student presentation on the readings and art sources of the week, presented in the Wiki space for weekly discussions. Weekly discussion will be centered around student contributions to the course Wiki site.
We will arrange a group trips for museum and gallery visits.
Requirements and Grades
Final grades will be based on weekly written discussion on our course
site Wiki, student participation and small collaborative group presentations,
and a final Wiki essay project.
Click on the + / - to expand and collapse weekly units
|1 Orientation to studying contemporary art through theory, practice, and institutions
Opening questions and orientation: How is art made and valued, how does it happen? what are the institutional conditions? how does the artworld as a system work? what is the artworld network, its nodes, and effects?
- Lecture Notes: Contemporary Art: Introduction to Themes and Problems
- Artists Case Studies for the seminar: exemplary artists over the past 20 years.
- Image Resources: Web Album
- Major directions and works in contemporary art: across all media and categories
- Plurality of genres, mediums, conceptual arguments:
- From materials-based (assemblage, found materials, appropriation of objects) to conceptual art (idea of work independent from the material or medium in which it is manifest
- Recent museum exhibitions as case studies (consider museum presentations and contexts):
Case Studies for Discussion: Artists and Institutions
|2 Orientation: Overview of Contemporary Art, 1950s-present (I)
- Hopkins, Chaps. 1-2. Beginning a historical view of modern to contemporary art.
- Defining Contemporary Art:
the "modern" and the "contemporary" as institutional categories
- Introducing the Art Market: Ben Davis, "Art Class," Artnet, Aug. 2007.
- Art Now: Consider these artists who have defined current directions
in art: Barney, Cattelan, Currin, Gursky, Hirst, Koons, Mehretu, Murakami,
Ofili, Rist, Ruff, Sherman, Struth, Wall (to be studied more thoroughly
Orientation to major recognized movements from Modern to Contemporary
- Post-WWII shift of art capital to the US and New York
- Abstract Expressionism and color field abstraction
- Pop art (Warhol, Lichtenstein) and new categories of New York artists (Johns, Rauschenberg)
- Minimalism and geometric reductionism
- Conceptual art and performance art
- Feminist art and rise of sexual identity politics in art
- Materials and materiality: art based on conceptual encoding of materials (Rauschenberg, Serra, Shinque Smith, Shawne Major)
- Rise of photography a leading art medium: photography to post-photography
- The use of video and film: analog to digital and beyond
Notes: The Artworld Visual System, c.1950-c.1980
- Abstract Expressionism and Color Field Painting | Pop Art | Minimal
Art | Conceptual Art | Hybridity and Pluralism (1990s-present)
- Beginning to theorize: semiotic matrix of interdependent meaning and
value, intermedia/presuppositions, artworld reception
Museum, Examples from Installations, 2004-2009
Overview: 1960s-present (II): Ab-Ex, Modern Ideologies, Art History
Contextualizing "Contemporary Art:"
Recent Art History and
the Ideologies of Narratives of Art
To understand Pop, Minimalism, and the Pluralism of the 1980s to the present, we need to confront the constant "elephant in the living room"--the ideologies surrounding Abstract Expressionism, one of the first fully ideological art movements in modern America.
"Art history" is never a neutral catalog of facts: like any social history, "art history" is constructed from the rules for description and narrative, and us usually presupposes a teleology, a goal-directedness from an origin to a future state.
Arthur Danto on "The Transfiguration of the Commonplace"
"what they [post-Duchamp and NY pop works in the 1950s-1960s] are about is aboutness, and their content is the concept of art. The artists might as appropriately have written a paper like this, called it The Transfiguration of the Commonplace--and counted their effort a contribution to the philosophy of art, the line separating the two having all but vanished."
- Hopkins, Chaps. 3-4
- Arthur Danto, After the End of Art (Princeton: Princeton Univ.
Press, 1997): Chap. 1, "Introduction:
Modern, Postmodern, and Contemporary," pp. 3-19. Another copy
- Arthur Danto, "Transfiguration of the Commonplace (1974)," and recent follow-on debates:
- O'Doherty, Inside the White Cube [Also Web
- Essays by Clement Greenberg: Often Cited as Theorist and Apologist for Modernism in Art
and champion of Abstract Expressionism.
- Barbara Jaffee, "Jackson Pollock's industrial Expressionism," Art Journal, Winter, 2004.
Artist/Movement Focus: One of the most important chapters of modern American
art history centers around the rise and institutionalization of Abstract
Expressionism as a culmination of modernism. We need to comes to terms with why and how.
- Describe the work of the Ab-Ex artists in as many contexts of the
artworld as possible. Consider the work as a node in the artworld network.
- Why was the reception of Ab-Ex so strong in the artworld from the
late 1940s through the early 1960s? For many people, Ab-Ex remains a
paradigm, even the paradigm, of American art.
- How does O'Doherty see the reception of these artists on the wall
space of the art gallery?
|4 The Artworld
as a Social-Economic Network and Institutional System
Core Seminar Topic:
An introduction to the social and institutional
theories of Art and the Artworld
What makes art? Instead of forming questions like "what is art?" (an unrewarding essentialist question),
we should ask "how is something art?" and "when/where is art?": "how" = the social and institutional contexts that make something art vs. non-art, "when" = the historical conditions, and "where" = the institutional and location/container as precondition for Art to appear as such to us at all.
All this adds up to the social institutions in which learned codes, conditions, and contexts for Art to be known and visible. Here is where we see "art" fulfilling a cultural category.
The modern and contemporary artworld thus expands the management of the category of "fine art" as it emerged in the 18th century.
- To understand the artworld as a social-economic system, we must also recognize the history behind the category of "fine art" as distinct from other kinds of material and cultural goods, crafts, and artisans.
Notes: Intro to the Institutional Theory of Art and the Artworld (Irvine)
- Arthur Danto, "The
Artworld," Journal of Philosophy (1964); see especially sections 3 and 4.
- Arthur Danto, "Art
and Meaning" from The Madonna of the Future: Essays in a
Pluralistic Art World (Berkeley, CA: Univ. of California Press,
2000): xvii-xxx, 416-431.
- Finish O'Doherty, White Cube.
- Bourdieu and the value system of the Artworld
- Bourdieu's key concepts: symbolic capital, cultural capital, social capital, economics of disavowal, collective misrecognition (of economic and social base).
- See the Wikipedia summary of Bourdieu's theory of symbolic and cultural capital (though this summary is very incomplete) as part of a larger institutional view of the conditions for art.
- Introductory readings (we will study Bourdieu's theories in more detail later):
- Bourdieu on the "Forms of Capital" (html) (pdf version)
- "The Production of Belief: Contribution to an Economy of Symbolic Goods" (book version) (article version). Bourdieu on the theory of symbolic goods and the economics of disavowal or "misrecognition" of material economy in symbolic capital.
- Simplified model
of an artwork in the Artworld network (Irvine)
- Presentation: Introduction to the Artworld Institutional Network
Topics for Discussion
- Consider "Art History" (the academic discipline) as one of the institutional nodes in the artworld.
- Consider the issues of artworld and art market concentration, the
nodal effects, network externalities in attracting more activity
to the same node.
- Where does art happen? Cities as central nodes in the artworld network.
- New York's nodes: aggregating art capital in Chelsea: Downtown Express article (this is now out of date, but it described the concentration or aggregating effect of Chelsea as an artworld node)
Contemporary Art as Global Institution: Globalized Locations and Markets, and the Global Networked City Effect
Current Example: Shepard Fairey's Retrospective at the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art
- Boston ICA site
- Consider the accrual of symbolic capital and the kinds of cultural capital required for this artist to have a major institutionally produced twenty-year career Retrospective now.
- The arrest and copyright fracas: ArtDaily summary.
Artist and Art Movement Focus: Andy Warhol and Pop Art
What are the institutional frames in which Pop emerged and through which it continues to be transmitted, defined, and valued?
- Klaus Honnef, Andy Warhol, 7-68.
- What network of prior and contemporary art and artworld players gives
Warhol's work its meaning? In the 1960s? Today? What was Warhol reacting
against in other art movements?
- How did the artworld containers (galleries, museum) frame the meaning
and reception of Warhol's works?
- Warhol ranking in Artfacts.Net's
artist ranking list.
of 2002 Retrospective (Artnet)
- Douglas Crimp, "Getting
the Warhol We Deserve: Cultural Studies and Queer Culture." Invisible Culture, 1, 1999. [Useful review of debates
on approaches to Warhol: art history, cultural studies, visual
- Thierry de Duve, "Andy
Warhol, or The Machine Perfected," October 48
|5 Theoretical Contexts (I): Art, Originals, Reproductions, Signs, Spectacles, Photography
Photography and film have been at the center of debates and theory about contemporary art and the status of images and representation since the Modern and Postmodern eras. This unit provides an orientation to some of the conceptual issues and the transition to the current status of photography as both the high art and popular media forms of today.
- Classic theory statements that have become part of the modern and
postmodern consciousness about the contemporary social and economic
conditions of art:
- Compare Foucault on the "author function:" author/artist
no longer viewed as authorizing or authenticating origin of a work.
- Foucault, "The
Author Function" (excerpt): how does this view change the
theory of originals, authorship, uniqueness (and by extension, the
role of the artist and status of art works?)
- Foucault documents and texts at Foucault.info
| Primary Texts
- Roland Barthes, "Myth
Today," from Mythologies (1984).
- George Dillon, "Art
and the Semiotics of Images," University of Washington, 1999.
An Introduction to Photography in the Contemporary Artworld
Introduction to Photography (Powerpoint presentation) (Irvine)
A major turning point in the institutionalization of photography as an art form in the history of art is the Metropolitan Museum's new gallery and department of photography, which includes many recent acquisitions of contemporary photography (1960-present). Many other museums have expanded their photography collections, expanded departments, and added curators to manage the expanding use of photography, film, and digital media in art today.
Historical Overviews from the Metropolitan Museum
Introductory Theory and Statements on Photography
- Henri Cartier-Bresson, "Statement
on Photography" ("The Decisive Moment" theory), 1933.
- André Bazin, "The
Ontology of the Photographic Image," Film
1960. (Focus on pp. 6-9.)
- Roland Barthes, "The
Rhetoric of the Image," from Image,
Music, Text, 1964.
- Rosalind Krauss, "A
Note on Photography and the Simulacral," October 31
(1984), especially pp. 55-62.
- Christian Metz, "Photography
and Fetish," October 34, 1985.
Bourdieu, Photography: A Middle-Brow Art
|6 Theoretical Contexts (II): Postmodernism, Post-postmodernism, New Media
can be art now or in the future--if it works--and there are no hierarchies
of style except on the basis of past performances. All these are powerless
to govern the future. What may have been the high style of one period
becomes the kitsch of another." Who
said this, and when?
Node: Working with Postmodernism
Modernism to Postmodernism: Readings/Sources:
- Hopkins, Chaps. 6-7.
- Donald Kuspit, The
Semiotic Anti-Subject, Artnet, 4.20.2001. [Essay on the postmodernisms
(plural) in recent art.]
- Jean Baudrillard, "Simulacra
- Harrison & Wood: Introduction
to Postmodernism section: 1013-17. Pierre Bourdieu, 1020-25; Peter
Halley, "Nature and Culture," 1042-45. Artists' discussion,
"From Criticism to Complicity," 1051-54.
- Hal Foster, "Re:
Post" in Brian Wallis, Art after Modernism: Rethinking Representation
(New York: New Museum of Contemporary Art, 1984): 189-201.
- Fredric Jameson:
Lecture Presentation: Art and Popular Culture: The Art and Fashion Node
Artist Focus: Major Women Photographers Since Postmodernism: Slide Library (Picasa)
Cindy Sherman (multiple identities, breaking the iconography of the female image and the "indexical" function of the photograph)
(snap shot aesthetic, intimacy, blur between direct and staged shots, image and identity)
Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin: Post-Postmodernism meets post-feminism (fashion, nudes, portraits,disrupting images of the body)
Wiki Discussion and Student Presentation
7 Pierre Bourdieu: The Theory of Cultural Capital and the Circulation
of Symbolic Goods
The artworld functions (mostly) through a binary logic (maintaining the distinction between art and non-art): we need to analyze the art/non-art cultural categories and
their fungible (exchange) value. Following the lead of Pierre Bourdieu, we will consider these important topics:
1. cultural capital and symbolic goods
2. the "economics of disavowal," value creation by using a discourse of disinterestedness (detachment, non-engagement with money) for denying economics, money, and business in the production, marketing, and purchase of art works
3. the fungible value of art works: at various points in a value sequence (value chain), works of art can be purchased and valued at a dollar amount
4. the development of the artworld as a semi-autonomous field and economic sector
- Art business often succeeds (like academe) by pretending not to be
doing what it is doing (creating symbolic capital at a market exchange
- The function of the "economics of disavowal" and negation of the
economic, appearing disinterested in financial capital in order to
accumulate symbolic capital.
- Development of art and the artworld as an autonomous field.
- Pierre Bourdieu:
Forms of Capital." [Original version, 1983; English trans., P. Bourdieu, "The Forms of Capital," in John G. Richardson, editor, Handbook of
Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education (Westport, CT: Greenwood
Press, 1986), 242-258.]
- Gunnar Lind Haase Svendsen, "On the Wealth of Nations: Bourdieuconomics and Social Capital," Theory and Society, Vol. 32, No. 5/6, (Dec., 2003), pp. 607-631. [Good introduction to Bourdieu's theory of multiple forms of capital and relevance for cultural wealth.]
- The Field of Cultural Production, ed. Randal Johnson (New
York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1993), 1-25, 29-40, 75-111, 112-141:
- Hopkins, chaps. 5-6
- Artfacts.net: introduction to one market methodology for tracking value:
"Cracking the Art Value Code: Thinking with Bourdieu" (Irvine) (Presentation)
Notes: The "Art" vs. "Non-Art" Binary:
Describing the Strategies for Maintaining the Cultural Category of "Art" (Irvine)
Art Market Cases:
Artist Focus: Jeff Koons, Gerhard Richter, Richard Prince
For the wiki discussion, write about one of the artists for this week with the methodology of analyzing art value.
|8 The Museum System: Ideologies of art spaces and art experiences
Backgrounds in Museum History and Ideology
- O'Doherty, White Cube (conclusions and bringing back into discussion)
- James Putnam, Art and Artifact: The Museum as Medium (London
and New York: Thames and Hudson, 2001): 8-45, 154-161, 166-67 (Anthony Gormley, European Field installation), 184-191.
- See also images: Gormley 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
- Edward P. Alexander, Museums in Motion: An Introduction to the
History and Functions of Museums (Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press,
1996): Chap. 1 | Chap. 2 (pp. 3-37).
- Neil Harris, "The
Divided House of the American Art Museum," Daedalus (Summer
1999: America's Museums) 128/3 (1999): 33-56.
- Didier Maleuvre, Museum Memories: History, Technology, Art (Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press, 1999): 9-21, 39-56, 87-112
- Larry Shiner, "Architecture vs. Art: The Aesthetics of Art Museum Design," Contemporary Aesthetics, 5 (2007).
Museums and the Meta-Museum: Beginnings of Institutional Critique:
© Murakami @ MOCA-LA-Geffen Contemporary:
Museum Exhibition Case Study: Follow the Money and Symbolic Capital
© Murakami is made possible by endowment support from the Sydney Irmas Exhibition Endowment. The exhibition and publication are made possible by generous support from Maria and Bill Bell. Major support is provided by Blum & Poe, Los Angeles. Generous additional support is provided by Steven and Alexandra Cohen; Kathi and Gary Cypres; Gagosian Gallery; Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris and Miami; The Norton Family Foundation; Dallas Price-Van Breda; Janet and Tom Unterman; Ruth and Jacob Bloom; Marianne Boesky; David Teiger; The MOCA Contemporaries; The Japan Foundation; and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.
Wiki and Student Presentations
|9 The Structure and Sectors of the "Art Economy": the Market System and Value Creation
The main sectors of the artworld "value system": art schools, dealers & galleries, museums and "non-profit" art exhibition spaces, art fair exhibition organizations and venues, auction houses, art media (press, publications, published commentary and criticism). How is value created in the whole networked economy?
- William D. Grampp, Pricing the Priceless: Art, Artists, and Economics
(New York: Basic Books, 1989), Introduction
- Tyler Cowen, In Praise of Commercial Culture (Cambridge, MA:
Harvard Univ. Press, 1998), Introduction
and Chap. 1, 1-43.
- Note "art market" coverage in the art press and news media:
Lecture Notes and Seminar Outlines:
The Gallery and Primary Art Market System
- Art galleries and the art value system
- The role of art fairs: concentration of information, network economies, and transaction costs
- Coverage of Art Basel. Art Basel-Miami Beach, and other fairs
- The Art Newspaper
- Economist (Nov. 2009): "How to Make Art History."
Art Industry Case Study: The Whitney Biennials
The Whitney Biennial discloses the various nodes in the artworld economic network: see the funders list (which is only a small party of the story, since the value chain creators have been the artists' dealers, galleries, collectors, and prior artworld contexts that allowed them to be visible to the museum curators per se.)
Biennials, Art Fairs, Museum Exhibitions as Institutions of Value
|10 The Art Value Chain: How Value is Created
The traditional business question, "What's the Value Proposition," also applies to art and cultural goods.
The "art value chain:" the network of value exchanges. How the system of symbolic capital circulates and creates fungible value.
- Dave Hickey, "Frivolity
and Unction" in Air Guitar: Essays on Art and Democracy (Los Angeles: Art Issues Press, 1997): 61-72, 199-209. [countering the
moral views of art as "good for you."]
- Grampp, Pricing the Priceless, Chap. 2, "The
Acquisition of Art," and Chap. 4, "The
Art Market": 40-78, 123-166.
- Robert Lacy, Sotheby's:
Bidding for Class (Boston, New York: Little, Brown, 1998), 255-61;
Business of Art," American
Prospect, 11/8, February 28, 2000 [critique of aspects of the art
The Art Value Chain and the Art Economy Network (Irvine)
"Cracking the Art Value Code: Thinking with Bourdieu" (Irvine) (Presentation)
Online Art Market Sources
Auctions and Results from the Auction Houses
Picasso's "Boy With Pipe". Compare the background on the
sale of Van Gogh's "Irises" at Sotheby's in 1987 and its effect
on the art market (in Lacy, Sotheby's).
May 7, 2004 Artnet
review of Sotheby's sale (Art Market Watch, 5/6/04).
Art Criticism, Art Discourse, and the Art Media
The function of media criticism in the matrix of relations with galleries,
collectors, museums, auction houses. The kinds of art discourse and how they constitute art objects and how people know them.
Become familiar with the major art journals and magazines:
For seminar discussion:
- Review copies of the latest issues of ARTnews, Artforum, Art in America, Art Newspaper (London).
- Other influential art writing in The New York Times, the New Yorker, New York Magazine.
- Compare with levels of discourse in The Washington Post and other regional papers.
- Art criticism in the art press has become something like analysts
reports from investment firms (eagerly involved in influencing the marketplace
and tied in with gallery advertising).
- How journalistic art criticism constructs its objects: news writing
templates, style, audience, idea of "news coverage," arts
and personality journalism (cover the artist, not the art), positioning
art as middle class accessory, celebrity and fashion, art and luxury goods co-branding.
- Discuss the function of major magazines and journalistic styles:
- ARTnews, Artforum, Art in America, Flash Art (and companion
- Art criticism in the major newspapers and weeklies (NYT, New Yorker,
Time, New Republic, Village Voice, etc.)
- What kind of advertising?
- Websites as magazines for art: Artnet,
- Some major art critics and their influence: Roberta Smith and Michael Kimmelman (NYT); Jerry
Saltz (Formerly Voice now New York, Artnet)
- Artforum vs. October:
Supposed "collusion" of art criticism and publication with
commercial art interest occasioned founding of October journal
and left-leaning critics abandoning Artforum in 1976.
- Review and discussion of Artforum, Art in America, ARTnews;
major newspaper and newsweekly critics.
- Common art discourse and the circle of "collective institutional misrecognition" (Bourdieu): how does the pressure to maintain "common sense" discourse work to repress questions and challenges proposed by other (theoretical) discourses?
Student Wiki Presentations
|12 Photography and Contemporary Art
Photography is the medium of our time: almost all other image-making--and abstraction--assumes the photographic image as a reference point, source, or implied comparison.
Photography has a more recent history in the "fine art" world: the art collector's market and serious museum acquisitions emerged gradually from the 1970s to the present. Now, it's taken for granted.
Consider: the adoption of some kinds of photography within the art category, and emergence of the photography market in contemporary art. The cross-over and merging of sectors in photography: artworld, fashion, design, architecture, advertising, popular media (film and television).
Important points: it's not useful to talk about "photography" in general: we should ask, what are the social uses of the photograph, what genre of a photograph are we dealing with, how do genres of photographs and arguments about photography play out in the artworld and the art value system?
Readings and Sources
Important arguments and theory about the role of the photographic image
- Henri Cartier-Bresson, "Statement on Photography" ("The Decisive Moment" theory), 1933.
- André Bazin, "The Ontology of the Photographic Image," Film Quarterly, 1960. (Focus on pp. 6-9.)
- Roland Barthes, "The Rhetoric of the Image," from Image, Music, Text, 1964.
- Douglas Crimp, "The Photographic Activity of Post-Modernism," October 15, 1980.
- Christian Metz, "Photography and Fetish," October 34, 1985.
- Pierre Bourdieu, Photography: A Middle-Brow Art. See especially Part 1, sec. 2. pp. 73-75 on "The Social Defibition of Photography."
Some Key Topics for Discussion:
Genres, styles, approaches, arguments within the practices of contemporary photography
- Street Photography: modern exemplars: Robert Frank and Gary Winogrand
- "Snapshot esthetic": Nan
Goldin, Larry Clark, Wolfgang Tillmans
- Conceptual composition and use of scale: Jeff
- Post-digital scale, staging, cinema effects, narrative: Gregory Crewdson (on Artnet), Kahn & Selesnick (at Irvine), Anthony Goicolea (on Artnet), Philip-Lorca Dicorcia (on Artnet)
- Post-digital, post-pop, post-fashion fusion new definitions: AES+F Group,
- New interpretations of portraits and intimate narratives: Kelli Connell (at Yossi Milo), Nikki S. Lee, Alec Soth (at Magnum Photos), Tina Barney (on Artnet)
- Artworld fusion with fashion, portrait, glamour, eroticism, fetish: Mert Atlas and Marcus Piggott, Inez van Lamsweerde, David LaChapelle, Marla Rutherford
- Global identity, political portraits: Shirin Neshat, Zhang Huan, Pieter Hugo
- Digital and "post-photography" photography: photographic images made with and without a camera or lens, the role of digital production.
Art Market Sources and Information
DVD-video on various artists and their studio practice (from Photography Contacts Series and PBS Art21 series): in class
Student Wiki Discussion
Art and Visual Culture: Media Systems, Technology,
The "visual culture studies" debate in the artworld: Can the study of visual art and the artworld be subsumed under the new
field of "visual culture studies"? Consider the contexts, debates, theory
The ongoing hybridization of genres, materials, and high/low cultural sources is one aspect of the real-time artworld that corresponds to the "visual culture" debates.
This "always already" hybridity and cross-mediality of today's visual culture and the artworld may be one way of arriving at a post-postmodern view that does more than recycle the old debates about modernism and postmodernism.
Is this consolidation of art theory useful to the institutions of the artworld beyond careers in academe?
Recommended: Additional Reading and Theory Resources
Notes: Introduction to Art and Visual Culture (Irvine)
Culture Studies: Inventory of Definitions
Culture Studies: Discipline Map
- Kevin Bamhurst, et. al., "Mapping
Visual Studies," Journal of Communication, Dec. 2004.
- W.J.T. Mitchell, "Interdisciplinarity
and Visual Culture," Art Bulletin, 78/4, Dec. 1995.
of Visual Culture from the University of Wisconsin program on Visual
- Nicholas Mirzoeff, "What
is Visual Culture," from The Visual Culture Reader,
- Irit Rogoff, "Studying
Visual Culture," from The Visual Culture Reader,
ed. Nicholas Mirzoeff.
- The October Debate (1996): Art History and Art Theory Critique Visual Studies
Final Seminar Project Presentations
Final Wiki Project Instructions
Group review of Wiki content and presentation of final Wiki project ideas.