Mediaworks: Animation, Documentary and Experimental Approaches to the Moving Image

Fall 2018
Winter 2019
Spring 2019
Class Size: 48
Credits per quarter
Variable Credit Options Available

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Taught by

animation, media studies
Suree Towfighnia
documentary film

What does it mean to make media in this age of media proliferation, saturation and commodity culture? As media artists, how can we participate in public discourse and strengthen historically marginalized perspectives? How do we critically engage practice to push beyond traditional forms? How can we represent and authentically document our new ways of seeing and being seen? How can media respond to social and environmental crises and inform positive shifts in thinking and policy? What ethical challenges and responsibilities are at the core of our practice and work? How have other media artists addressed these questions? What type of media makers do we aim to become?

Students will engage with these questions as they define and cultivate their artistic voices. Working within broad definitions of nonfiction media, students will sharpen essential skills of observation, research, collaboration, reading and writing, design and production, critique and reflection. They will experiment with autobiography, documentary, cine-poems, soundscapes and audio-visual essays, gain technical skills, produce short works in animation, live-action, and audio, and weave together a media practice from a wealth of philosophical, cultural, historical, and material perspectives. Students will explore strategies of challenging dominant forms and stereotypes, and will develop fluency in media analysis and criticism.

The program begins by laying the theoretical and practical foundations essential to all media creators, with particular attention on how viewers interpret and make meaning. Students will engage in field observation, critical analysis, and research, and experiment with representing their observations in 16mm film, video, animation, and audio. Class sessions include lectures, screenings, conceptual and technical workshops, seminar, and critique. Students are expected to engage with substantial reading and writing as they learn to analyze and critique historical and contemporary films and texts. We will emphasize how to make images and sounds work together to represent identity and respond to social and environmental crises.

In winter, students apply practices of media to community collaboration. Working in cohorts to create animation and digital video produced in the field and the CCAM, Evergreen's high-definition studio, they will make works that support the goals of specific community groups. In spring, as a culmination of their year’s work, students will design and produce extensive self-directed, nonfiction media projects. They may work individually or collaboratively in the wide range of media and forms covered in previous quarters, producing single channel works, multimedia installations or performances, or serving in internships. Students will support their creative practice with weekly critiques, visiting-artist presentations, screenings, and technical workshops, and screen their productions publicly at the end of the year.

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:

media art, visual art, journalism, communication, education, and the humanities.


Credits per quarter
Variable Credit Options Available

Variable Credit Options:

Contact the faculty to discuss options.


No prior production experience is required, but intermediate college level reading, writing and critical thinking skills are necessary. An additional prerequisite is successful completion of at least two quarters of college-level studies spanning multiple disciplines. This could be satisfied by Evergreen interdisciplinary programs or classes at Evergreen or elsewhere that provide breadth. Students must complete and submit an application in order to demonstrate that they have fulfilled these prerequisites.

Online learning:
  • Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.
Special expenses:

Approximately $150 for art and film/video production supplies needed for winter and spring quarter projects, including an external hard drive.


$350 in fall for supplies and an overnight field trip.

Internship Opportunities:

In spring quarter, students may choose to do an internship in a local or regional organization focusing on media production, media education, or a related subject. Students must complete an in-program Internship Learning Contract in consultation with the faculty and Academic Advising by the end of winter quarter. Please go to Individual Study for more information.

Class Standing: Sophomore–Senior
Class Size: 48

Scheduled for: Day

Final schedule and room assignments:

First meeting:

Monday, April 1, 2019 - 11:00 am
SEM 2 D1105 - Lecture

Located in: Olympia

May be offered again in:


2018-03-20Description updated.