Visual Music, Handmade Cinema, and Animated Arts

Summer 2020 Second Session
Freshman - Senior
Class Size: 12
8 Credits per quarter
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For more than a century, artists have created diverse media to strive toward "Visual Music" - a fine arts umbrella term describing a desire to transcend single perceptual senses and cross traditional art boundaries for expanded aesthetic experience. Primary art forms in this quest include cameraless cinema and direct animation, contraptions like "color organs" to combine sound with abstract motion graphics, as well as light shows, installations and other immersive art environments. This course focuses on the history and theory of this media art practice, from pre-cinema optical phantasmagorie, to early 20th Century intermedia, to modern practitioners of visual music via film and expanded cinema projection performance.  Primary text is "Making Images Move: Handmade Cinema and the Other Arts" by Gregory Zinman (UC Press 2020), complemented by a vibrant array of online guest artist presentations, viewings and supplemental essays.

Synchronous sessions engage students as a group online twice weekly for 60 min, Tues & Thurs mornings, supplemented by individual contacts with students. Readings, response and research writings, and journals accessed individually by students online. Experiential learning will be achieved through student individual artist research, hands-on experiments, and a culminating creative project at term’s end, all presented to class online. WordPress and Zoom are primary technologies. Faculty is available to proactively support any students with any challenges to participating in synchronous and/or remote technologies.


Summer 2020 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

Second Session (8): 40110

Academic details

Preparatory For

Media Arts, Moving Image, Visual Arts, Art History, Education

Fields of Study
Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing


Time Offered
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First Meeting