Associate Professor Thomas Sakoulas
State University of New York at Oneonta : Art Department
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 Language of the Visual Arts

ART200, Language of the Visual Arts is a course taught by Thomas Sakoulas at the State University of New York, College at Oneonta.
This site is designed as an auxiliary tool for the students participating in this class.

textbook I:
Contemporary Art:
Art Since 1970

 

 

Chapter 1

- Robert Rauschenberg

Mario+Merz

- Robert+Morris

- Donald+Judd

Anthony+Caro

Richard+Long

- Michael+Heizer

- Robert Smithson

Robert+Barry

Vito+Acconci

Carolee+Scheemann

Daniel+Buren

- Hans+Haacke

Chris+Welsby

 

Chapter 2

Feminism

- Linda+Benglis

- Judy+Chicago

- Jackie+Winsor

- Eva+Hesse

Mary+Miss

Martha+Rosler (about the artist)

Mary+Kelly

 

Performance Art

Carolee+Schneemann

- Chris+Burden

- Marina+Abramovic
List of Videos
List of Videos with Ulay

Gina+Pane

- Joseph+Beuys

Stuart+Brisley

Survival+Research+Laboratory

TATEetc. article on "The Death of the Body"

 

Film and Video

- Nam+June+Paik

- Ernest+Gusella

David+Byrne

Malcolm+Le+Grice

Michael+Snow

Chris+Welsby

- Richard+Serra
Television delivers people (video)

Ant+Farm

Dan+Graham

A Collection of Media Art
From the Netherlands Media Art Institute with a list of Media Artists

 

Conceptual Art

Gordon+Matta+Clark

Michael+Asher

Patric+Ireland

Zdenek+Beran

Andrei+Monastysky

 

Chapter 3

Painting and Sculpture

Anthony+Caro

Remy+Zaugg

Cy+Twombly

Frank+Stella

Craig+Owens

 

The Figure

- Lucian+Freud

Sandro+Chia

Georg+Baselitz

- Gerhard+Richter

Gerard+Fromanger

Art and Language

- Leon+Golub

- Philip Guston

 

Postmodernism

- Sigmar+Polke

- Julian+Schnabel

Thomas+Lawson

David+Salle

- Keith+Haring

- Mike+Bidlo

Gerard+Garouste

Milan+Kunc

- Ken+Currie

 

Painting and the Feminine

Ree+Morton

Cynthia+Carlson

- Joyce+Kozloff

Philip+Taafee

Valerie+Jaudon

Joyce+Pensato

 

Chapter 4
The 1980s

Photography as Art

Ger+Van+Elk

Boyd+Webb

- Cindy+Sherman

Sherrie+Levine

Victor+Burgin

Sophie+Calle

- Barbara+Kruger

- Jean+Baudrillard
CAUTION: OBJECTS IN MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR

Thomas+Ruff

Thomas+Struth

Christian+Boltanski

Jeff+Wall

 

Objects and the Market

- Tony+Cragg

Bill+Woodrow

Richard+Deacon

- Haim+Steinbach

Ashley+Bickerton

- Jeff+Koons

Tony+Tasset

Sylvie+Fleury

 

Painting and Appropriation

Jack+Goldstein

- Peter+Halley

- Ross+Bleckner

Sherrie+Levine

Braco+Dimitrievic

The+Mukhomory+Group

Yurii+Albert

Avdei+Ter+Oganyan

 

Chapter 5
In and Beyond the Museum: 1984-1998

Art itself as the Subject

- Daniel+Buren

Niele+Toroni

Alan+Charlton

Gerhard+Merz

- Anselm+Kiefer

Luise+Lawler

Susan+Smith

 

Installation as Decay

John+Armleder

Reinhard+Mucha

Fritz+Rahmann

- Herman+Pitz

Imi+Knoebel

Albert+Oehlen

Olaf+Metzel

 

Some Counter-Monuments

- Krzysztof+Wodiczko

- Richard+Serra

Rachel+Whiteread

Jenny+Holzer

Isa+Genzken

Thomas+Hirshorn

 

Chapter 6
Marks of Identity, 1985-2000

Narrating the Body

Robert+Gober

- Robert+Mapplethorpe

David+Wojnarowicz

Felix+Gonzalez+Torres

- Aimee+Morgana

John+Miller

- Kiki+Smith

Sue+Williams

Vanessa+Beecroft

- Kara+Walker

 

West Coast Postmodernism

Lari+Pittman

Nancy+Rubins

- Robert+Williams

Paul+McCarthy

Larry+Johnson

Jim+Shaw

Raymond+Pettibon

 

Slackers

Laurie+Parsons

Karen+Kilimnik

- Cady+Noland

Mike+Kelley

Ilya+Kabakov

- Jessica+Stockholder

 

Millenial Moods

David+Reed

Glen+Brown

Luc+Tuymans

- Maurizio+Cattelan

Jake+Dinos+Chapman

- Damien+Hirst

 

Chapter 7
Other Territories: 1992-2002

 

The Rise of Africa and Asia

Rasheed+Araeen

Jimmy+Wululu

Jimmie+Durham

Shelley+Niro

Allan+Kaprow
Read: "Art that can't be Art"

Robert+Watts

Lee+Ming-Sheng

Chen+Chieh-Jen

- Tehching-Hsieh
see "The Year of the Rope"

- Fang+Lijun

Xiao+Lu

Ma+Liuming

Zhang+Huan

 

East European Renaissance

Oleg+Kulik

Aleksandr+Brener

- Vladimir+Dubossarsky
Harvest Celebration (1995), compare with Aleksandr Gerasimov's Harvest Celebration (1931)

Arsen+Salvalov

- Kenji+Yanobe

Ilya+Chichkan

 

Documenta 11
Exhibition in Kassel, Germany 2002

Documenta 11
Documenta 11 Artists
Documenta 12 (June-September 2007)
House of World Cultures

- William+Kentridge

Bodys+Isek+Kingelez

Georges+Adeagbo

Yinka+Shonibare

Muhammed+Soueid

 

Chapter 8
A New Complexity: 1999-2004

 

Chaos Theory

Thomas+Hirschhorn (Bataille Monument)
also see: Georges+Bataille

John+Bock

- Julie+Mehretu

Mathew+Ritchie

Sarah+Sze

Tomoko+Takahashi

- Mathew+Barney

 

 

The Art Museum: Emporium or Shrine?

Richard+Meier+Partners
Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona, Spain.

- Frank+O+Gehry
Guggenheim, Bilbao, Spain.

Herzog+De+Meuron
Tate Modern

Santiago+Calatrava

Anish+Kapoor

Spaces for Film

Steve+McQueen

Eija-Liisa+Ahtila

Katarzyna+Kozyra

 

Digital Images

- Jeff+Wall

Nancy+Burson

- Bill+Viola
video: Reflecting Pool

- Tony+Oursler

Mark+Napier

textbook II:
In the RealM of the Circuit
Computers, Art, and Culture [index]

 

Chapter 1


Foundations

Information Technology over the past 50 years (National Science Foundations)

Cybergeography.org

Computer Numbering Formats
Binary Numerical System

Working with digital files is profoundly different from working with physical objects. [physical] [digital 2 3]

Terms

  • Circuit
    The electrical wiring of the electronic devices.
  • Realm of the Circuit
    The digital culture in which we live + the processes that are enabled by the digital tools.
  • Network
    The linkage of node into a system.
  • Metafora
    The material of the digital network. The media and material of artistic production in the digital age.
  • Dataset
    The raw material of the realm of the circuit
  • Virtual Image
    Images that have no physical presence.
  • Computer Programs
    The tools that manipulate the datatset.
  • Digital/Analog
    Methods for encoding and storage
  • Golden Mean
  • Boolean Logic
  • Punch Cards
  • Pixel
    The smallest unit into which an image can be divided

History of the Computer

The Bitmapped Image

People

Digital Artists

 


 

MULTIMEDIA

Terms & Concepts

People

Digital Artists


WORLD BRAIN

Terms & Concepts

  • World Brain
    A 1937 idea by science-fiction writer H.G. Wells.
    He expressed the need for a "new world organ for the collection, indexing, summarizing and release of knowledge"
  • The WWW as a world encyclopedia
  • The urge to collect and to share our knowledge is an ancient one.
  • Physical Collection Advantages
    • Collections create communities
    • Collections illustrated abstract ideas
    • Human recollection is intimately tied to physical space
  • Problems of traditional Physical Collections
    • Contextual dislocation of objects
    • Contextual transience of exhibits
    • Bound to a physical space
  • World Brain advantages
    • Eliminate rigid categorization of objects
    • The World Brain devalues the physical "topos" as a collecting entity.
    • The digital tools make this collection, correlation, and dissemination of information easier
    • Hosts text, objects, sounds, film, images, etc.
    • Allows the viewer to create his/her own contextual correlations
  • Problems of World Brain
    • Navigation
    • Validation
  • Human need for collection and categorization of objects
    • Cupboard as a device for storing and categorizing physical objects
    • Search engine as a devise to create infinite categories of digital objects

People

Art and Artists

 



METAFORA

"CREATIVITY IS THE PROCESS OF GIVING FORM TO VISION THAT IS OTHERWISE UNRECOGNIZED BY EVERYDAY PERCEPTION." (pg. 107)

Terms & Concepts

  • Metaphor:
    • The act of transmitting meaning through a representation
    • The new expressive possibilities generated with the aid of the computer
  • Gesture
    Motion transforms into electronic impulses. Allows direct interaction with the Realm of the Circuit
  • Sound
    "Sound cannot exist without motion: a still object is silent" (pg. 128)
    "Digital Music is not the trace of sound, as a recording is, but sound made into trace. It is not the sign of a sound, but a sound that has become a sign." (pg. 126)
  • Object
    • Physical objects bestow a sense of permanence to an idea
    • Digital objects acquired permanence through the infinite replication.
    • Ritual objects
      • Masks - Avatars
  • Image
    • Records of our memory
    • Semiotics
      (Semiotics for Beginners)
    • Iconic, Indexical, Symbolic
    • Icon
      a sign that describes its referent
      cave paintings
    • Indexical
      an image that is a direct derivative of its referent
      cave hand-paintings, Photographs
    • Computer as an extension of the photographic lens renders the image more important than its referent.
  • Word
    • Words as representations of ideas.
    • Early computer interfaces resempled conversations. Later ones utilize icons in a symbolic environment.
    • Rene Magritte
      " This is not a Pipe"
    • In the computer age the word has been amplified through streaming speech, gesture, image.
    • Writing-Printing-Hypertext
    • Linguistics

People

Art and Artists

 



- DIALOG -
[ identity | Survival | Learning | Advertising | Love | Amusement ]

"There are only two ore three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before ." (pg. 181)

Terms & Concepts

  • "Culture is the story we tell about ourselves, using narrative to transform information into knowledge and knowing into telling." (pg. 181)
  • Communication through art of any medium opens up a dialog between the artist and the audience.
  • By placing powerful creative tools in the hands of anyone who desires, everyone can contribute to the cultural discourse.
  • Culture does not need to emanate from cultural institutions any longer, but it can spring from everywhere.

Identity

    • Our continuous search for our role in the social, political, and historical realm.
    • Our identity is forged in part by our creations.
    • Our projection into the digital world.
  • Avatar = Incarnation of a god in earthly form
    • The first computer game Spacewar: one of the first instances of an "avatar", a manifestation of humans in as shared virtual reality. (pg. 197)
  • Danger of the virtual self overpowering the physical self

Survival

"By the late twentieth century, our time, a mythic time, we are all chimeras, theorized and fabricated hybrids of machine and organism; in short we are cyborgs. The cyborg is our ontology; it gives us our politics ... the relation between organism and machine has been a border war ... -- Donna J. Haraway" (pg. 192)

Learning

The process of learning has fundamentally changed in the digital age.

"Education is no longer the process of learning the answers, but of learning how to ask the right questions. The World Brain holds the answers, if we can navigate" (pg. 215)

Advertising

"Corporations create their identities through advertising...

Advertising is a very careful construct of a story, one we are invited to join through the act of purchasing a product...

Baudrilard has referred to these imaginary constructions, the tokens of advertising, as simulacra, the image of reality." (pg. 221)

Love

Amusement

"Entertainment is the largest component of what most communities call culture...

The activity of play is integral to the creative act. (pg. 237)

Games with and against the computer remove psychological effects of playing against or with another human being.

Video and Computer Games

"The most intense thing about Missile Cmmand, though, was the weird crazy moment at the end, when the ICBMs are raining down and you knew you were about to lose it, that was totally euphoric. Because you knew you were going to die ... And after the fireworks display, you get to press the restart button and you're alive again." -- J. C. Herz, Joystick Nation" (pg. 240)

Games

Computer games allow players to interact with others from around the globe.

  • Adventure games
  • Text-Based games
  • First person games
  • Turn based games
  • Strategy games
  • Early games:
    • Spacewar!
    • Computer Space
    • Pong
    • Space Invaders
    • Asteroids
    • Defender
    • Pac-Man

Video games were replaced by computer games and in turn games became slower, turn-based games.

 



- Elements of structure -
[ Narrative | Spacetime | Form | Color | Rhythm | Perspective | Style ]

"But the role for creative people in any field is to challenge existing structures, re-arranging their elements into new configurations." (pg. 259)

  • Narrative: the way in which events in an artistic work unfold
  • Space and Time: the environments where narrative unfolds
  • Form and Rhythm: determine the arrangement of the narrative elements
  • Color: defines the the intensity of the act
  • Perspective: the artist's point of view
  • Style: the successful management of all the elements. Gives distinct character to the art.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Resources

[ Use your SUNY id and password if prompted ]

Download PDF files:

Course Calendar

 

 


 

Mid-Term exam:

Your mid-term exam consists of 30 multiple choice questions. Each question is worth one point.

Study guide for the mid-term exam:

From all the artists we discussed in class and included in your textbook, you will be responsible for the artists whose name is preceded by a "-" .

Use the list on your left as a guide.

 

 



Films we Watched in Class

Art of the Western World: Into the 20th Century

Art of the Western World: In our own Time

Video as Art

Thomas Sakoulas: Pneumatikon

American Visions: The Age of Anxiety

Sketches of Frank Gehry

Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon

Modulations: Cinema for the Ear

Aspect: The Chronicle of New Media Art: Vol 7: Personas and Personalities
--Sachico Hayaschi
--The Yes Men

Contacts Vol.2
The Revival of Contemporary Photography

Contacts Vol..3
Conceptual Photography

Blade Runner

Lectures we Attended:

 

Audio we listened to:

Douglas Adams

Digital Art and Artists

Contemporary Photography

Art Through Time

A lecture on Modern Art and Shamanism
by Thomàs Sakoulas

 

Quotes

A list of interesting quotes

 

Movie List
In no particular order...

Blade Runner, 1982 (Ridley Scott)

Matrix, 1999 (Andy Wachiwski)

Metropolis, 1927 (Fritz Lang)

Eraserhead, 1977 (David Lynch) scratch & sniff

Santa Sangre, 1990 (Alejandro Jodorowsky) a review

Prospero's Books (Peter Greenaway) here

Andalucian Dog (Luis Bunuel) imdb

A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick) alskj w

2001 Space Odyssey, 1968 (Stanley Kubrick)

8 1/2, 1963 (Federico Fellini)

Bowling for Columbine, 2002 (Michael Moore)

Grave of the Fireflies, 1988 (Isao Takahata)

Buena Vista Social Club, 1999 (Wim Wenders)

Modulations: Cinema for the Ear , 2004

Pulp Fiction, 1994 (Qeuntin Tarantino)

Requiem for a Dream, 2000 (Darren Aronofsky)

 

Book List
In no particular order...

Sidartha, Hermann Hesse

The Hitchiker's Guide to the Gallaxy, Douglas Adams

Cosmos, Carl Sagan

A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking

Man's Search for Meaning, Viktor E. Frankl

The Archaeology of Knowledge, Michel Foucault

Brave New World, Aldus Huxley

1984, George Orwell

The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Anti-Aesthetic, Edited by Hal Foster

The Great Dialogues of Plato

The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus

No Exit, Jean-Paul Sartre

The Ecstasy of Communication, Jean Baudrillard

Simulacra and Simulation, Jean Baudrillard

Neuromancer, William Gibson

Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Friedrich Nietzsche

This is not a Pipe, Michel Foucault