FAS: Ouija Board

Illusion, fictions, and fantastical narratives exist in political, cultural and artistic spheres. In Ouija Board we will explore the intersections of illusion with uncertainty, temporality and states of being in artistic practices. Throughout history, artists have created various types of illusion to produce painting, photography, sculpture, time-based media, performance and installation. What are representations and distinctions between the real and unreal, chance and intention, the ephemeral and permanent? As a starting point for this course, we will examine illusion through the lens of secular and supernatural magic, mysticism, the unexplained, and the phenomenological, and see where that takes us. Discussions and topics may include the rise of spiritualism and optical technologies, visionary painters, re-staging modernism, myths and magical realism, stagecraft, the paranormal, uncanny and uncanny valley, to name a few. Throughout the semester, students will make work based on class discussions, with each student moving toward the development of a unique vocabulary, system, process or language through which ideas can manifest into form. In other words, finding ways to make the invisible visible through the work. There will be films, readings, class discussions, critiques, field trips, and visiting artist lectures, including a trained Clairvoyant -translated from French, clair meaning clear, and voyance meaning vision. IMPORTANT: This class requires a few mandatory meetings all day on Friday, Saturday or Sunday to accommodate field trips. All students must be available to participate on the selected dates: Friday, 1/30; Friday, 02/27; Saturday 4/4; Friday OR Saturday, 04/17, 04/18.