Monday, January 24, 2011

Syllabus Spring 2011

Towards A Green Sculpture
Spring 2010: Monday/Wednesday 6:00-8:50, Sculpture Conference Room
Office hours available upon request

Zach Springer

This course will explore possibilities for making sculpture in ways that are not harmful to humans or the rest of the ecosystems. In our class we will collaborate as we examine our own practices for ways we can continue with the forms and ideas we are interested in, in a more ecologically conscious and responsible manner. We will conduct analysis and experimentation of materials and processes. Each student will be responsible for presenting these experiments on a regular basis, and for making work that arises out of the experiments and is an extension of their own interests in studio art. There will be a community- based collaborative project as part of the course. This project will extend the exploration initiated in the experiments and will be considered as one avenue that many artists are taking towards a green sculpture. For their independent work students may choose to make sculptural objects, installations, site-specific work, performance, video, sound works, to work in mixed media and/or new ways.

Upon completion of this course students will understand the historical and contemporary motivation behind sustainable art practices, and how those ideas can function on a practical level. Students will be able to safely design and build their own artwork while being conscious of their impact on the environment around them.

Community Connection
During this course students will spend 2 weekends learning how to harvest natural materials and make sculptural objects with them. Martha Younkin will host this activity in her Union, MO home. On Friday, April 1 we will meet at 10 AM in the sculpture conference room and leave for a camping trip at Martha’s home, we will return Sunday morning. Saturday, April 16 and Sunday, April 17 Martha will come to KCAI to host a follow up workshop. All students are expected to attend both of these weekend events.

Our class blog can be found at Each student will have the ability to post on the blog, and will be expected to on a weekly basis. Each post should be an update to the project you are working on, pictures are greatly encouraged.

Weekly Assignment/Class Participation
Each Monday one student will bring 9 copies of an interesting article related to environmental issues (art or other) to class. The same student will give a Powerpoint presentation updating the class of their project status, and we will discuss what we think. The following Wednesday we will discuss the student’s article.

Your grade is based on your performance in this class, which includes not only the quality of what you produce, but also how you contribute to the class through participation. Every student is expected to engage in all discussions and not doze off.

Each project will receive a letter grade based on:
25% - craftsmanship & presentation
25% - ambition & work ethic 
25% - experimentation
25% - documentation to class blog

Final course evaluation will be based on:
25% - Class Participation
25% - Blog posting
25% - Instructables Project
25% - Final Project

Grading scale
A (100-94%), A- (93-90%), B+ (89-87%), B (86-84%), B- (83-80%), C+ (79- 77%), C (76-74%) C- (73-70%), D+ (69-67%), D (66-64%), D- (63-60%), F (59-0%)

Extra Credit
Almost every Thursday night there is an artist lecture at 7:00 in Epperson Auditorium. If you attend one of these and write a personal response on our class blog you can receive 2 extra credit points towards final grade. If the writing does not clearly articulate your ideas you will be asked to revise it, and Zach will help if it is needed.

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