Art 110: Introduction to the Visual Arts

Instructor: Glenn Zucman

■ Section 3: Class No.5067 – TR 9:30-10:45, UT-108
Teaching Assistants: Liz Juarez, Vanessa Canales, Erik Morales, Patrick Ho

■ Section 1: Class No.1060 – TR 11-12:15, UT-108
Teaching Assistants: Monique Nicholson, Laura Kaiser, Ashley Sorrentino, Kaitlin Hodgdon, Rachel Youdale

Electronic Contact: Art110 Group on Facebook
Office Hours: TR 12:30-1:45pm in FO4-267. On Lab days in Library 407 OH will be in Library 407.

About the Course
Projects & Points
Course Details

We use two labs for Art110.
Library 407 is a large room with tables and electricity where you can set-up your laptop and work on projects.
We are here most Thursdays, but check the schedule to be sure we’re not in UT-108.
AS-120 is a walk-in faculty lab that Art110 has special permission for student use! 🙂
You may use the Macs & PCs in AS-120 for Art110 work any time it is open. (faculty have priority)
Please do not work on other classes here. Please do not bring your non-Art110 friends here.
AS-120 is also where, with your California Driver’s License, you may check out a PC or Mac laptop from the front desk.
Laptop checkouts are only during lab days, and only for use in Library 407.
AS-120 Lab Hours: M-R: 8-8, F: 8-5, S&U: Closed

In 1439 Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. In 1991 Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. 40 years ago Marshall McLuhan said that our classrooms were (I’m paraphrasing a bit) too Gutenberg and not enough Berners-Lee. Yes! McLuhan, media genius of the 20th century, said that 20 years before Berners-Lee invented The Web! So, for the Spring Semester 2012, Art110 will try to be a little less Gutenberg and a little more Berners-Lee.

This course will cover 3 million years of Art History: from a proto-human moment in a distant South African cave, to the autonomous, post-human, Images That Think out somewhere in cyber-space. Along this journey we will consider the constantly evolving nature of human consciousness and how our consciousness is revealed & redefined through art. Among many other times and places, we will consider the art, life, culture, and consciousness of: 14,000 years ago, 1660, 1994, and 2012.

• None
This course requires no previous experience studying Studio Art or Art History. Although this course uses a lot of digital technology, you are not required to have any experience with this technology. You are, however, required to have a willingness to use it. You should not be complaining “Oh now I have to sign-up for Twitter” or “Oh now I need a YouTube account.” Art110 uses a lot of contemporary media throughout the semester. We will help you with it every step of the way.

The purpose of this course is to familiarize the student with the practice, appreciation, and cultural interactions of art across the ages and across the globe. This course will survey the entire sweep of history from ancient art to the contemporary moment. Students will be introduced to the terms, principles, methods, theories and practices of art.

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:
• Describe some of the styles, ideas, and issues found in the Western canon.
• Understand and articulate some of the ways that art functions vis-a-vis human culture
• Build upon their direct, introductory experiences, in Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Photography, Animation, and Data Visualization in both Physical and Virtual worlds
• Articulate their understanding of the relationship between art and: culture, speech, creativity, expression.
• Describe the role of the artist in culture / society.

This course includes lectures, readings, daily “clicker” questions and a variety of art projects in both the physical world and the virtual world. Students will post their work on their own individual blogs. There will also be a semester-long project as described below.

The course will have a total of 3,000 points possible as detailed under “Projects” below.

Out of the possible 3,000 points, the following numbers will earn the following grades:
A – 2700 points and above
B – 2400 points and above
C – 2100 points and above
D – 1800 points and above
F – 1799 points and below

There has never been a semester where students do not earn grades at every level in the grading alphabet. There have always been “A’s,” there have always been “F’s.” You can absolutely do well in this course; you can absolutely do poorly in this course.

What each grade level means:
A – Outstanding
A grade of “A” is reserved only for the most outstanding student work of the semester. To achieve at this level, the entirety of your work should be free of any spelling errors*, grammatically correct*, visually compelling, and conceptually perceptive and persuasive. Your blog should announce itself proudly and sparkle with the vision, confidence, and excellence that only that top students at this University are able to produce. Your text should be engaging, proper English*, and your visual presentation should look like you are a student in a visual arts course who is achieving at the highest level.
* – except for clearly vernacular usage

From there, each blog page or vlog you submit should be visually compelling and verbally perceptive. You never present ideas like “I like it because it’s cool” or “I don’t like it because it’s boring,” instead your writing & speech provide logical, grounded, backed up by evidence, arguments for how you perceive your own or someone else’s work functioning in our culture. Every element of your presentation should place you in the top 5% of students at this University.

B – Above Average
A grade of “B” represents above average work.

C – Average
A grade of “C” represents average work. If you do all the work at an average level do not expect a “B” or an “A” simply because you did everything. Doing everything at an average level is the definition of a “C”. Doing less than everything at an average level, or doing everything at a below average level is a “D” or an “F.”

D – Below Average
A grade of “D” represents below average work.

F – Failing
A grade of “F” represents failing work. Understand that the University schedules this course for 39.5 classroom hours and expects you to do an additional 3 hours outside the classroom for every hour in the classroom. Therefore the University expects you to do about 118.5 hours of work outside the classroom for this course this semester, for a total of about 158 hours of work this term. Therefore you might put in half that amount, or 79 hours of work, and achieve a grade of about 50% or a low “F.” Simply putting some number of hours in does not mean that you deserve a grade higher than “F.” It is very unfortunate to spend some amount of time on a course and receive zero grade points for it, but it is a real possibility. If you take this course seriously and do excellent work, you will be rewarded accordingly.

We have 11 weekly projects across a range of media this semester. See the Course Schedule for full details. Each of the weekly projects will be posted to your Personal Blog as Words, Images, and Videos, with a link to that page on your BeachBoard. Each project includes:
• PROJECT – documentation and analysis through photos, videos, words
• READING – about 3 pages in Eva & Franco Mattes to be discussed in your weekly vlog
• SKETCHBOOK – 2 sketches from your sketchbook, uploaded to your blog. The details are in this video.
• VLOG – in which you discuss this week’s reading, this week’s project, and any other insights or questions you have about art, life, and culture.

The projects are each 100 points, the sketches 20 and the vlogs 20, for a weekly total of 140 points x 11 weeks = 1540 points.

With a team of classmates you will select a contemporary artist from the Art-110 artist list, research their work, and have a “studio visit” with them to discuss their work and a project you will create with them. Your project may include collaborating on a new work with the artist, creating a virtual installation or performance space, and/or creating a virtual art gallery of their existing work. The overall project featuring all Art110 students and all of the artists we work with in Spring 2012 is a project called Forming Culture.
• Clicker Questions on your Artist = 100
• Forming Culture Oral Presentation = 100
• Forming Culture Project Turn-in = 100
• Forming Culture Technical Achievement = 100
• Forming Culture Artistic Achievement = 200
VAI TOTAL = 600 points.

Every day of the course there will be “Clicker Questions.” The daily number will vary, but by the end of the course we will have had 144 (or more) questions, each worth 6 points for a total of 864 points (or more) Since the number of points for each grade is fixed, A=2,700, B=2,400, etc, if we should go over 144 questions that just makes it easier for you to achieve a grade level. Some of the clicker questions will be “opinion” questions and you will receive 6 points simply for answering. Think of these as points for “attendance” and “class participation.” Other questions will be objective questions with correct and incorrect answers. Here a correct answer will be worth 6 points and an incorrect answer will be worth 0 points.
• Daily Clicker Questions = 864 (or more)

Extra Credit
See the Extra Credit page for full details.

• Total Points Possible in Course = 1540 + 600 + 864 = 3,004

MATERIALS pictures
We have a lot of students with a lot of identical sketchbooks, clickers, etc, so be sure to PUT YOUR NAME ON STUFF!
(1) TEXTBOOK: Eva and Franco Mattes, 2009, Charta.
(2) iCLICKER: iClicker1 or iClicker2 or Web>Clicker — Register iClicker or Register Web>Clicker

(3) ART-110 KIT: (in CSULB Art Store)
FOR SKETCHING: • 7×7 spiral bound sketch book, • Draughting Pencil, • Copic Ciao Marker
FOR PLASTER CASTING: • Box of plaster of Paris, • Stir Stick, • Cleaning Brush
FOR (legal) GRAFFITI WRITING: • can of Montana spray paint, • set of 6 Montana level cap system
NOT IN YOUR KIT: • Glue Stick (to collage in your sketchbook) • Shovel & Bucket (digging holes, carrying sand, mixing plaster)

(4) LINDEN DOLLARS: You’ll need Lindens for your virtual projects. Please buy L$2,000 (about US$8) which should cover all your work this semester. To buy L$ you first enter a credit card number under “payment info” at and then “Buy Linden Dollars.”

(5) YOUR LAPTOP: You’ll use your laptop to research artists and ideas, and to create Blog, Video, and 3D projects. Any laptop will do. We also have a number of labs around campus that can run some of the software we use:
• Horn Center Computer Lab @ Horn Center – Web Browsers – the Macintoshes here have Photoshop
• Spidel Center @ University Library – Web Browsers
• ITSS Computer Lab @ AS-120 – Everything

If you already have a blog or video channel, you are welcome to either continue using it and make your Art110 posts there, mixed-in with your other posts, or to make a new one just for Art110, whichever you prefer. We’ll help you with the “supported” platforms, you should probably only choose the “unsupported” platforms if you’re already familiar with using them. The “unusable” ones are cool, but they just won’t meet our needs.

SUPPORTED: WordPress or Tumblr or Blogger
UNSUPPORTED: Posterous, LiveJournal, Moveable Type, etc
UNUSABLE: BeachBoard, Twitter, etc

(7)YOUR VLOG (video blog)
Vlogging will be your primary mode of analyzing your project work and expressing your developing thought about art & culture. For each of the 12 weekly projects you’ll include a vlog embedded on your blog page.
SUPPORTED: YouTube or Vimeo
UNSUPPORTED: Blip, Revver, DailyMotion, etc
UNUSABLE: Facebook Video

SUPPORTED: Second Life
UNSUPPORTED: Blue Mars, Reaction Grid, OS Grid, Maya, 3D Studio Max, InWorldz
UNUSABLE: World of Warcraft, EVE Online, Minecraft, etc

BOTTOM LINE: For many of you, your 3 choices will be: Tumblr + YouTube + Second Life – this is a great trio of platforms. Yes there will be some frustration, but probably less this way than others.

Forming Culture (the online catalog for our group art exhibition)
Facebook Discussion Group
Picasa Photo Editing Software

Due Dates
All projects are due, posted on your personal blog, and linked on your BeachBoard blog by 11:59pm on Sunday nights.

Late Work
No late work of any kind will be accepted. Plan ahead! Make the due date!

Attendance is required. We cover a lot of material every day and award a number of clicker points every day. If you fail to attend, you will fail the course. You should not simply be physically present, but also mentally present. Yes, Facebook is a lot of fun, but it won’t help you get the education you came to CSULB for. If you are falling asleep, doing Facebook, etc, then you aren’t really present. Be present in our class, be present in your life. Really try to grasp ideas, raise your hand, ask questions, participate, be engaged, take an active role in your education and in your life!

The “Final” will be part of our Virtual Art Gallery presentations.

About Structure
Some students enrolling in this course expect a thick Art History textbook and a series of scantron quizzes. This is not that course. We do have detailed “EYEWTKA,” Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About, instruction pages for each project here on the Art-110 website, and detailed grading rubrics on the Art110 page on BeachBoard, so you should have a pretty clear idea of expectations and grading, but if you require the absoluteness of on question 7, answer “B” = truth and answer “C” = false, then you may find this course frustrating. This course emphasizes analytic thought and in-depth thinking. This is different from the absoluteness you may have been taught in high school or elsewhere. Two-and-a-half thousand years ago Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living, and in this course it is our goal to examine art, culture, and life. You are never expected to hold any specific aesthetic sensibility or cultural ideology, but you are expected to examine the world critically and be able to articulate justified arguments for your positions.

Letters of Recommendation
A few of you might ask me for a letter of recommendation in the future. It’s really a pleasure and an honor to write letters for students. At least it is if I know who you are. It isn’t a lot of fun to try to write a letter for someone you don’t remember. So, if you want a letter any time in the future, I only ask that you do 2 things during Art110:
1. Earn a minimum of 3,000 points
2. Make sure I know who you are, your interests, goals, plans – during this semester

Univ. Withdrawal Policy
It is the student’s responsibility to withdraw from classes. The Drop deadlines for Spring Semester 2012 are:
• 5 February 2012 before 10pm – using MyCSULB – without a “W” on your transcript
• 20 April 2012 – with the signature of the Art Department Undergraduate Advisor
• 11 May 2012 – with the signature of the Dean of the College of the Arts
For the first 2 weeks, withdrawal is your choice and done through MyCSULB. After that it requires at least the signature of the Art Department Undergraduate Advisor and is very likely to be denied. The CSULB Art Department is “impacted” and therefore maintains a strict drop policy. The official Art Department Drop Policy is no drops after the second week except for serious and compelling reasons. Severe or extensive medical problems would be a reason to drop late, but fear of receiving a final grade lower than desired, or change in your work schedule, are not considered serious and compelling reasons. If allowed, a “W” will appear on your transcript.

The Art Department grants “incompletes” rarely and only for the most extreme conditions.

CSULB will make reasonable accommodations for any student who has a disability. It is the student’s responsibility to notify me in advance of the need for special accommodations. I want this class to be as friendly to all who seek knowledge as possible, but with the large number of students in Art110 this semester it will be difficult for me to know what your situation is if you don’t tell me. Never be embarrassed. Always let me know where you’re at and what’s going on with you.

Cheating & Griefing
There are many ways to do well in Art110 and there are many ways to do poorly. Here are the two ways to automatically fail this course: Griefing & Cheating. There are many ways to grief and bully your classmates, and there are many ways to cheat in this or any university course. All are subject to disciplinary action, however I will focus on the two most common forms here: griefing your classmates in our 3D modeling environment, and cheating by clicking for someone who is absent.

If you “grief” or intentionally harm or disrupt the work of another student’s avatar, you are guilty of griefing. If you ever click for another student or ever have more than 1 clicker on your person while inside the UT-108 building, you are guilty of cheating. We have a “two strikes” policy. Griefing or Cheating each count as a strike:

Each person involved will receive -300 points on your final course grade. Your avatars will be permanently banned from the virtual CSULB island.

1. Each person involved will receive an “F” as their final course grade.
2. I will report you to the chair of your department.
3. I will report you to the dean of your college.

These are not idle threats. Most semesters that I have taught at CSULB we have had at least 1 caught act of cheating and 1 greifer. These act are selfish and hurtful to your classmates. Having to administer the punishments for them is not pleasant for anyone. Do the right thing.

The answer to Why are you taking Art-110? probably is, for many of you, Because it fulfills a GE requirement. Of course this is true. But it’s also a little bit like asking someone, on their wedding day, Why are you getting married? and having them answer, So that when I die my tombstone can read “Beloved Spouse.” “Beloved Spouse” on your tombstone is not the goal of your life, it is the result of a life lived well. Taking a “meaningless” GE class so you can go on to your “meaningless” major so you can get a “meaningless” job in hopes that some day in the distant future you can have a “meaningful” career and a happy life, is a pretty crappy way to live. We encourage you to take ownership of this moment in your life and to live it as fully, truly, and deeply as it is within your being to do so.

What is the purpose of a GE course? In the past we spoke of ideas like “Civics,” or “Liberal Arts Education,” today we’re too pragmatic and perhaps a little embarassed to invoke those lofty ideals, so we often speak of job and career training. We believe that the best education includes it all: becoming a more complete human being, becoming a better citizen, and receiving the training and skills that will help you find a career path after graduation. We will do our best, to help you do your best, to achieve a little bit of all of these in this course this semester.

In addition to all the stuff you have to do to get a grade in this course… don’t forget to have fun! Art is a fun, interesting, exciting, and enjoyable subject. Art offers pleasure to the viewer, consolation to the distraught, and wisdom to the seeker. Art will enrich your leisure time, resonate with your life, and offer surprising relevance to almost any career field you choose!

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