Fall 2014, Winter 2015 and Spring 2015 quarters

Taught by

media arts, photography, visual studies
animation, media studies


Students must demonstrate upper division college-level reading, writing and critical thinking skills as well as thoughtful engagement with the theory and/or practice of art and media. In addition, successful completion of at least two quarters of an interdisciplinary program, or the equivalent, is a prerequisite for admission. Previous experience in media production is not required .

As media artists, we define the responsibilities we have to our audiences and the subjects of our work. This is a foundation arts program that explores what it means to make an image, to make a photographic image, to make moving time-based images and to pair image with sound. We approach these questions philosophically, historically and materially—through the critical-creative practices of reading, writing, making, critique and reflection. This inquiry will require that we examine the implications of making new images and/or appropriating and repurposing old ones in our age of media proliferation and saturation. It also will require that we return to media’s roots in the 19th century to examine how photographers, vaudevillians, artists and others invented their way into cinema. We will critically engage with traditions of film and video practice as well as related forms of visual art, mapping a broad contextual territory and challenging received notions of the boundaries between forms, genres and mediums.

We will focus our creative work on a broad category called “nonfiction” that includes experimental and documentary forms, developing skills in the crafting of both live-action and animated moving images. We will explore the technologies and material properties—as well as multiple exhibition modes—of sound and moving image media, and apply these to projects that explore essayistic and autobiographical approaches, among others. We will spend significant time in critique to help each other see, describe, evaluate and improve our creative and critical work.

In fall, we will focus on building essential skills in practices of attention: seeing, listening and experiencing. We will apply these skills to everything we do; class sessions will include lectures/screenings, conceptual and technical workshops, seminar, critical reading and writing and critique. We will gain skills in animation, 16mm film, video, audio and drawing as we explore the larger social and historical contexts and philosophical questions surrounding each medium. Students will form collaborative groups to research and develop projects informed by multiple disciplines that will be the focus of their winter quarter creative work. In winter, we will deepen our study and practice of media, moving towards more intentional examinations of how our investments in collaboration, community and networks can animate our intellectual and creative work. We will also consider the environmental impacts of this work. In spring, as a culmination of the work in fall and winter, students will organize themselves into affinity groups as they each prepare an extensive proposal, including research prospectus and planning documents, for an independent nonfiction media project that will include both exhibited and written components. We encourage collaborative projects. Students will sharpen their conceptual design skills as they identify the most useful forms for this work; this could be film or video, animation, audio, installation, performance and/or an internship. Weekly critiques, presentations by visiting artists, screenings, research presentations, community service projects and technical workshops will support each student's emerging work.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

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

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day and Evening


Buy books for this program through Greener Bookstore.

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning: Access to web-based tools required, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.

Required Fees

$350 in fall for film, supplies, a book reprint, and field trips.

Special Expenses

$100-200 in fall and winter for art materials and external hard drive. Spring quarter expenses will vary depending on individual project work.

Internship Possibilities

Spring: with arts or media organizations, by faculty approval. It is the student's responsibility to identify, make contact with the organization and arrange the internship before the end of winter quarter. Students must complete an In-program Internship Learning Contract (designed for this program) in consultation with the program faculty and Academic Advising.

May be offered again in

Fall, Winter and Spring 2015-16

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Fall); 16 (Winter); 16 (Spring)

Class standing: Sophomore–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 44


Signature Required

Students must submit an application demonstrating how they meet the prerequisites. Applications are available from the Seminar 2 program office and at . Applications will be reviewed until the program fills—we will start accepting students into the program after the Spring quarter academic fair, May 14, 2014.

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (16 credits): 10121
So - Sr (1-16 credits): 10438

Go to to register for this program.


Enrollment Closed

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (16 credits): 20070
So - Sr (1-16 credits): 20263

Go to to register for this program.


Enrollment Closed

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (16 credits): 30054
So - Sr (1-16 credits): 30176

Go to to register for this program.

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