FAS: Terra Incognita

« Back to course listings

FINAR-604

All disciplines are encouraged to join this 3D focused critique seminar. Terra Incognita is a Latin term used in cartography to designate areas of land that were as yet unexplored. Unknown territory, the process of exploration, and the system of symbols devised to describe what is discovered are apt metaphors for art making. Focusing on each person's work, we will examine what is gained and what is lost when the unfamiliar becomes familiar and how that knowing is ascribed identity. The vast unknown exists inside our own minds as well as in the physical world. That which is unknown still has the potential to be anything. The edges of the unknown continue to recede as the unrecognizable becomes recognizable and the dragons and monsters have to move just outside our gaze or understanding. We too quickly ascribe familiar definitions and symbols to this Terra Incognita and in the process demystify and reduce the possibilities. We will attempt to explore the unknown without chasing the dragons away. Throughout the semester we will investigate each person's unknown territory using various ways of exploring that terrain, and see what can be brought back from these interior and exterior expeditions. How are materials, symbols, and formulas used to find ones way to and from an ephemeral experience like crumbs that lead home from the forest? We will explore the world at large and develop an arena where your questions, doubts, and experiments can rein. Through readings and field trips we will look to art, science, and the natural world to enrich our ideas of the unknown culminating with a weekend field trip in April to the desert in Nevada to experience the phenomena of cognitive dissonance.