ACAD 310 - Topics in Studio Practice

The course will build on knowledge, skills and practices developed in program specific majors to support emergent inquiry in studio practice relative to a topic, and recognize the capacity of works of art to engage with the contemporary. The learning in this course will be delivered through a range of activities and assignments such as studio projects, readings, critique and presentations. Relative to their practice and the topic, by the end of the course students will understand how to evaluate the effectiveness of a range of practical and conceptual/theoretical perspectives; analyze, evaluate and apply relevant research, and reframe their practice through experimentation and an exploration of a range of media and processes as well as reflect on and evaluate their own and others’ work.

ACAD 310 A | Speculative Fiction

The activities of this class will proceed from the conceit that the contemporary artist is an inventor of speculative futures. Through acts of imagination, dreaming, conjuring and questioning, the artist sees the world all the more truthfully through fabulation. Employing archaic forms while creating future possibilities, artists must contend with the most pertinent sociological, technological, and ecological issues affecting our world. In this course, we will consider the cultural role that speculative fiction – and our own art – can play in founding strange and wondrous realms, whether utopian, dystopian, or heterotopian.

ACAD.310 B | Affect, New Materialism & Abstraction

In this studio, students will undertake studio-based inquiry in relation to abstraction accompanied by introductory readings on affect theory and new materialism. The course will support a sustained material-based exploration on a subject or source of the student’s choosing, with a strong emphasis on the role of process and documentation in developing new work. Students may continue to explore media specific to their major program, or pursue inquiry into other materials, techniques and genres. Key aims of this course are to further students understanding of abstraction in contemporary art practice, as well as support insight into the role of inquiry and research in the development of their work. Assignments and assessment will be based on regular group critiques and individual studio visits, readings & discussion, and 2-3 short descriptive writing assignments.

ACAD.310 C | The Invisible/Visible: Art about the Unseen

Invisible/Visible is designed to give students an in-depth, semester-long investigation into the topic of seeing the unseen or intangible in contemporary art. Over the duration of this course students will examine various processes and approaches related to ‘the dematerialisation of the art object’ (Lippard, 1973) through conceptual art and other conceptual/post-conceptual ways of portraying things, events and experiences in our lives that are often unseen or intangible. Forms of expression related to the invisible and the hidden in contemporary art will be examined in order to convey experiences that often remain hidden or out of view. The area of focus or concentration will pertain to the discovery and analysis, interpretation and creation, of studio work within an intellectual/aesthetic thematic context of material production. Students will inquire into contemporary examples of the “invisible” in art in order to reinforce or enhance understanding of art to the limits beyond visible experience. The course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of the following: lectures, audio visual materials (including video presentations), small group discussions, research presentations, discussion seminars, and group critiques.

ACAD.310 D | Tell Them I Said No

ACAD.310 E | The Human Figure in Phantasmagorical Imagery

In this studio course, students explore representations of the human form through the lens of various formal and conceptual motifs informant of surrealism. Interdisciplinary projects investigate this notion as divulged through a range of constituent themes applicable to pictorial, spatial, and time-based depictions of the figure such as fragmentation, distortion, disembodiment, mirroring, abjection, self-othering, phenomenological encounters, and the integration of symbols. Students may interpret these cues through the media and material methodologies encapsulated within their own studio research, or by experimenting within new and unknown processes. In addition to the production of works, students will critically contextualize their own artistic ideas through group critiques, and discussions extrapolating upon assigned readings relevant to the themes addressed within the course. Students' aesthetic and theoretical research will be substantiated by regular case-studies presented by the instructor which examine contemporary and historical surrealist representations of the human body as manifest in visual art and a range of creative media including film, fictional literature, perceptual phenomena, choreography, and lyricism within poetry and music..

ACAD.310 G | Lost in the Interzone

“Losing things is about the familiar falling away, getting lost is about the unfamiliar appearing” (Rebecca Solnit)

This is a course on the peripatetic; a look at the art practice of walking, psychogeography, and an update to the notion of the flaneur/flaneuse. This course will examine historical definitions of these terms and explore their meaning in contemporary practices. The artist Mowry Baden once suggested that his sculptures were an “antidote to the virtual.” This course will have the students out of the classroom and into the city: walking, exploring and responding through assignments such as loitering, field guides, material objects and site specific performative pieces. Readings from a variety of sources on historical practices and current theory on the peripatetic will be assigned to support studio work.

ACAD.310 H | Identity and Place

What is your world lens? How do you see the world based on your life narrative? How can this translate into work that reflects your interests, experiences, and ideas? This course will address topics surrounding ideas of identity and place by using an interdisciplinary process with a focus on studio projects, readings, critique and presentations. Students will create a body of work addressing these ideas.

Course Credits:


Course Prerequisites

Nine (9) 200-level studio credits plus three (3) 200-level SCCS credits.


A31489Dragan, Miruna
8:30am - 12:50pm room: 524
B31490Emberley, Alexandra
8:30am - 12:50pm room: 536
C31491Rusnak, Tanya
5:00pm - 9:20pm room: 524
D31492Meszaros, Sondra
2:00pm - 6:20pm room: 524
E31493Dyck, Megan
8:30am - 12:50pm room: 510
G31550Sutherland, Barbara
8:30am - 12:50pm room: 524
H31561Flynn, Brian
8:30am - 12:50pm room: 524