Visual Music, Handmade Cinema, and Animated Arts

Summer 2021 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 efforts 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 production, 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 texts are: "Experimental Filmmaking: Break the Machine" by Kathryn Ramey (a TESC grad! Routledge Press 2015) and "Experimental Film and Photochemical Practices" by Kim Knowles (Palgrave/ Macmillan 2020), complemented by a vibrant array of online guest artist presentations, viewings and supplemental essays.

As a hybrid course offering, a few in-person sessions for experiential hands-on 16mm film learning - with safety precautions - will supplement synchronous sessions to engage students as a group online twice weekly for 90 min, Tues & Thurs, in addition to individual contacts with students. Supplemental readings, response and research writings, and journals are submitted and 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. Canvas and Zoom are primary technologies. Faculty is available to proactively support any students with any challenges to participating in synchronous and/or remote technologies.

This offering will include lectures, workshops, and seminars. Learning will include recorded lectures and video-conferencing workshop sessions and seminars. Our approach will emphasize participation in synchronous (live) sessions; however, if students find themselves unable to participate due to technology, caregiving obligations, economic disruption, health risk, or illness, they can work with faculty to pursue alternate options to earn related credit.


Summer 2021 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

Second Session (8): 40125

Academic details

Preparatory For

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

Fields of Study
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Time Offered
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