This course approaches the questions of “art” and “history” from the perspective of contemporary makers of art (sculpture, painting, photography, performance, installation and more), animators (whether character/story-based or experimental) and gamers, asking how artists actively make a history for their own practices by thinking about the creative process as a “conversation” with a wide range of art from the past. Why are ground-breaking artists so often historically-minded (and yet tend to break all the rules of conventional history-telling)? How do animators themselves “write” the largely unwritten history of their art through quotation, transposition and mash-ups? Why should contemporary gamers look at classical painting anyway?
This course will combine short video lectures/interviews and interactive quizzes with independent, peer-reviewed sketchbook and field work (suggested visits to local museums, film viewings, etc.) It is intended to give the student a background in a wide range of visual practices and a greater familiarity with techniques of historical analysis. It will help to build skills in visual analysis, and will also provide insight into the creative culture of CalArts, where a certain portion of these art histories have been made in the first place.