Making Meaning Matter: The Ornament of Materiality
Fall 2014 quarter
What do wampum, bitcoin, quantum computing, 3D printing, community, and forgetting have in common? What does the education of women have to do with reproduction and population growth? How do these "things" differ in connecting the ethereal with the physical? Non-verbal experiences evolve into expressible thoughts and ideas, which can be crafted and manufactured into material existence, all of which may carry value. What are the stakes of each step of reification, given their carbon footprint in an ecozoic anthropocene? What are alternative, sustainable processes for learning, computation, and currency?
This program investigates this connection between meaning, making, and matter using scholarly as well as contemplative inquiry, experimental writing, moving images, and 3D printing. We’ll experiment with the role of optimism both in connecting mind and body and in debugging mental habits. Students will use 3D printing to bring an idea, developed through their writing, reading, and film experience into physical being. We'll analyze the relationships between an object’s material and non-material natures and values. Students will begin this program with a meditation retreat to become more familiar with bodily, felt experiences as the materiality of, and for, thought processes.
The program is designed to be self-bootstrapping and evolving using innovative pedagogy, through which all students actively participating in activity planning and community building.
Possible texts include Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar by James Marcus-Bach, How Things Shape the Mind: A Theory of Material Engagement by Lambros Malafouris, Antifragile by Nassim Taleb, The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson, Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman, Make: Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing 2014 by Mark Frauenfelder, The World is Made of Stories by David Loy, and A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki.
The program will continue as a studio component of the program “The Nature of Ornament” in the winter and spring quarters.
Fields of Study
Preparatory for studies or careers in
Location and Schedule
Offered during: Day and Evening
Final Schedule and Room Assignment
|July 30th, 2014||Arlen Speights has joined the teaching team; Paul Pham has been removed.|
|May 13th, 2014||New opportunity added.|