Visual Music, Handmade Cinema, and Animated Arts

Summer 2022 Second Session
Freshman - Senior
Class Size: 12
8 Credits per quarter
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For more than a century, moving image 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. Now in our 10th year at Evergreen, 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. Students will learn cameraless animation techniques, such as drawing and scratching on film leader, photograms, cyanotypes and other alternative photographic processes (and much more!), to create film footage in 16mm and 35mm which will be presented in culminating shows at term's end. Primary texts are: "Experimental Film and Photochemical Practices" by Kim Knowles (Palgrave/ Macmillan 2020), and  "Experimental Filmmaking: Break the Machine" by Kathryn Ramey (a TESC grad! Routledge Press 2015), complemented by a vibrant array of online guest artist presentations, viewings and supplemental essays.


As an intensive hands-on film production and presentation course, the ideal is for mostly in-person class sessions at our COM 408 Design Lab workspace, film screening and edit rooms, and Photoland darkroom, with a few online lecture / discussion and artist presentation sessions. Depending on pandemic conditions in summer 2022, we'll adapt strategies accordingly.

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 class is an ideal  companion to the "Experimental Photography" class offered in 1st session (optional). This class  includes instruction in cameraless photographic experimental moving images to build upon still photographic techniques that will be explored in in "Experimental Photography."


Summer 2022 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

Fr - Sr Second Session (8): 40059

Academic details

Preparatory For

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

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing

$200 total fee: $150 fee for film leaders, photo films, art supplies, and $50 for a required media studio fee


In Person or Remote
In Person
Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting

Com 326 - Screening Room