Art, Technology and the Avant Garde is an overview of 20th Century Avant Garde and interdisciplinary art practice seen through the lens of the evolving technologies and medias of the 20th Century. The class will also look at the influence of 20th Century artistic movements on our current age of electronic reproduction. Movements covered will include Russian Constructivism, Dada, Surrealism, Futurism, Bauhaus, Fluxus, Happenings, Warhol’s Factory and Situationism. Areas of exploration will range from Marcel Duchamp’s bachelor machines to the chance operations of John Cage and the seminal collaborations between New York artists and Bell Labs researchers in the early 1960s.
A global study of images of creative expressions in the visual, media, literary and performing arts, and the underlying meanings and purposes that these images represent in the cultures and individual contexts from which they emerge. Works will be presented from a variety of cultures, including China, Japan, Bali, Meso-America, Africa, Europe and Mexico. Cultural concepts and beliefs to be studied will include the varying perceptions of self-identity among differing cultures; varying ways of defining, expressing and resolving paradoxes, dualities and oppositions in nature and human experience; varying relationships between people and nature; transformative journeys; and varying relationships between spiritual and material life in different cultures. Examples of creative works and art forms will include visual and literary labyrinths, world mountains, Balinese music and shadow puppet theatre, Chinese calligraphy, the I Ch’ing, haiku poetry, butoh, African music and masks, Cocteau’s film on the Orphic myth, and recent forms of portraiture that are redefining personal identity (including works by Carrie Mae Weems, Cindy Sherman and Frida Kahlo).