The emphasis of this course will be on shifting the working process from assignment based to a thoughtful studio practice that more fully reflects the way artists work. The focus of the course will change from semester to semester.
Deep inside the dark recesses of the artistic mind lies a complex interwoven fabric of intuitions, instincts, sensibilities, inchoate expressions, emotions, feelings, obsessions, loves and fixations. It is a rhizomatic structure that resides more or less below the surface and can remain entirely unconscious to the artist. Some artists are startlingly self-introspective and can speak in quite surprising ways about their internal impulses which are commandingly utilized in their work - others seem to be as much a stranger to themselves as they appear to passersby. Despite being "unknown" this matrix can be the very driving force of the artistic impulse. Some artists are fascinating because of the ability to manifest this matrix and because of its unusualness. Other artists can also manifest it, but the matrix is composed of received understandings and conventional perspectives and thus manifests the familiar, whether the artist is aware of it or not. Still others artists can't draw from this deep source because it appears as a bloomin' buzzin' confusion, and is hard to identify in a form accessible to others or even themselves. As a result, for an artist to work out of their intuition, impulses and sensibilities is a risky game to play. For the few that can do it successfully, they have a rare gift and all praise to them. For the rest of us, it can be useful, and unquestionably interesting, to bring out the heavy machinery to excavate around this root-like structure and try to get a sense of what is in there and how it is structured. Doing this is difficult, and we need to define a procedure, somewhat arbitrarily, to help make it possible.