Each semester an outstanding photographic artist, curator, or critic from the Bay Area will be selected to develop and teach a course focused on their particular area of interest and expertise. The course will give students the opportunity to work intensively on projects within an area of specialization. The nature of the course will rotate from semester to semester, highlighting themes from documentary studies, narrative, public and community based projects, installation, and new technologies. Specific course descriptions will be available to students prior to registration.
Our Contemporary Landscape This course will cover the topic of contemporary landscape photography. Students will be exposed to a number of different ways of thinking about how we picture the places that surround us - whether they are built or natural spaces - urban, suburban or rural - interior or exterior - undesirable or fantastic. The West's rich history and tradition of landscape photography will be where we start by examining modernists such as Edward Weston, Ansel Adams and other f64 photographers. We will then move to the New Topographic movement that includes photographers such as Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz and Stephen Shore. We will continue by exploring the German school of photography exemplified by Berdt and Hilla Becher, Thomas Struth, Candida Hoffer and Andeas Gursky. We will also explore more expressionistic approaches to the landscape and architecture like those of Uta Barth, Michal Rovner, Sally Mann, Terii Weifenbach, Sophie Ristelhubler, Rocky Schenk and Nancy Rexroth. Through visits to artist studios and collections, regular slide lectures, four small assignments plus a final project, class deiscussions and critiques, we will closely consider the role and treatment of the landscape and place in contemporary art. An emphasis will be places on content and concept, as well as formal issues such as scale, tone, color, composition and quality of light. Students may work in any format, and in either analog or digital media.