Interdisciplinary Studies News

Posted on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 by Allison Byers

STEM has been a huge acronym buzz word in education in recent years, standing for the “hard science” pillars of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, but an initiative led by the Rhode Island School of Design is hoping to turn that into STEAM. Aimed at promoting the national movement of putting arts and design in the STEM education program, STEM to STEAM seems to be picking up momentum with its argument that creativity and flexible thinking are just as important to innovation as science.

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Posted on Thursday, June 28, 2012 by Allison Byers

Plenty of museums these days have orientation videos. For the mind-bending, truth-testing exhibition “More Real? Art in the Age of Truthiness,” which opens next month at Site Santa Fe in New Mexico, Bay Area artist Jonn Herschend has, instead, created a “disorientation” video to greet visitors entering the space.

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Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2012 by Mitchell Schwarzer

Mitchell Schwarzer gives his introduction at the CCA faculty retreat

On February 4, 2012, the faculty at California College of the Arts gathered at the college's San Francisco campus for a retreat focused on the state of the arts across our many disciplines. In the morning, 25 short presentations offered insights into challenges and opportunities faced by practitioners and thinkers in recent times. The word aired most frequently was crisis: the crisis of the Great Recession; the crisis of Global Climate Change; the crisis of understanding and working within a discipline in our digital age.

Watch the video of all the presentations (91 minutes), shot and edited by Yoni Klein (Photography 2012)

The economic downturn has produced an economic squeeze within most of our disciplines. Art directors, as Alexis Mahrus remarks, have diminished roles in shaping an illustration. Smaller profit margins reduce the flexibility and time given over to experimentation. Branding and celebrity worship take up a larger slice of the creative pie. Some presenters, like Sue Redding of Industrial Design, see no problem in this conflation of art and business and, furthermore, dispute the notion of a crisis. Yet many presenters feel that the economic crisis is not only real but wielding dangerously asymmetrical impacts. Demand remains strong for high-end craft goods and blue-chip fine art. Some small nonprofits are struggling to survive. To Ignacio Valero of Critical Studies, the priority given over to luxury items can be attributed to the ongoing influence of classical economic policies that privilege individual decision making over collective social and natural needs. Likewise, Sandra Vivanco of Diversity Studies notes that economic inequalities have greatly worsened over the past few years, especially in the developing world. Contemporary society is forging a timeless, spaceless way of conducting business, a race for lucrative and short-term gains that concentrates investment more than ever in the hands of a few.

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Posted on Thursday, March 24, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Gender and Activism in a Little Magazine
Ashgate, 2011
Hardcover, 194 pages, $104.95

Interweaving nuanced discussions of politics, visuality, and gender, Director of Humanities and Sciences Rachel Schreiber uncovers the complex ways that gender figures into the graphic satire created by artists for the New York-based socialist journal, the Masses. This exceptional magazine was published between 1911 and 1917, during an unusually radical decade in American history and featured cartoons drawn by artists of the Ashcan School and others, addressing questions of politics, gender, labor, and class. Rather than viewing art from the Masses primarily in terms of its critical social stances or aesthetic choices, however, this study uses these images to open up new ways of understanding the complexity of early-20th-century viewpoints.

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Posted on Tuesday, March 1, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Last month the humanities and sciences division at California College of the Arts presented Water Works, an exhibition on the Oakland campus that showcased collaborative and independent student projects that featured water as the running theme.

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Posted on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 by Marion Anthonisen

The only collection of its kind at any art school in the country, the CCA Materials Library is an interdisciplinary space where students explore texture and engage imagination. Within its walls, fashion students envision constructing purses from heavy-duty conveyor belt textiles. Film students see high-performance sailcloth and imagine large-scale video projection screens. The idea is to inspire through tactile experimentation, and it's a pretty awesome place. Check out the video tour above. Many thanks to CCA alum Jake Sollins for taking us through the archive!

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Posted on Thursday, November 4, 2010 by Jim Norrena

Filmmaker and CCA alumna Rika Ohara’s (BFA General Fine Arts 1983) recent film, The Heart of No Place (2009), garnered the Best Film (International) award at the eighth annual London Independent Film Festival (LIFF) in April.

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Posted on Thursday, September 2, 2010 by Jason Engelund

This spring (2012) Anne Wolf will collaborate with the Zen Hospice Project of San Francisco to teach her course "Presence and Absence," which is part of the college's ENGAGE at CCA initiative. Students enrolled in the course will focus their studies on end-of-life care, as they create a series of memorial pillows for the organization's newly renovated Guest House.

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Posted on Tuesday, December 15, 2009 by Lindsey Westbrook

Michele Pred: CCA alumna (Interdisciplinary Fine Arts 1990), CCA faculty member, collector of confiscated objects, new mom, self-taught technology junkie, and multitalented crafty conceptual artist, recently entered a new phase in her colorful career: shopdropping.

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Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 by Sarah Owens

Students meet Adelaide, Pie Ranch's cow.

An interdisciplinary group of CCA students gathered this summer to connect with a rural community and get their hands dirty. Pie Ranch, a local nonprofit organization and farm that teaches about sustainable farming practices, served as their classroom. It is located near Pescadero, a coastal town about 70 miles south of San Francisco.

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