School of Art, Media, and Technology

Spring 2020 Electives, Advanced Practice: Spatial Thinking – H. Lan Thao Lam

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Advanced Practice: Spatial Thinking

PGFA: 5303 (CRN: 3995)

Monday 4:00pm – 6:40pm

“… there is a fine line between an installation of art and installation art.” This course interrogates the distinction Claire Bishop makes in her critical history of installation art, and asks whether or not all art is to varying degrees installation art. We will approach installation as the means of completing a project, rather than as merely the presentation of a project. That is, we will consider installation as an art practice that involves the negotiation of spatial engagement, space as material, and space as a prompt for thinking and feeling. This hand-on practice-based class will use exercises to test out ideas, in which students will learn about problem-solving as an installation practice. By unpacking the elements of architecture, we will gain an understanding of the necessity of asking fundamental questions, such as, what is a wall, what is floor work, what is suspension, and how do they function in space to orient or disorient the viewer? Through regular presentation of work-in-progess, students will critique the ways in which installation realizes each project. We will examine historical precedents set by artists such as Michael Asher, Ann Hamilton, Marcel Duchamp, Yayoi Kusama, and Kara Walker. We will also draw on texts that contemplate space as metaphor, including Tanizaki’s In Praise of Shadows and Gonzales’ Subject to Display. Required. Safety Orientations for Wood and Metal shops. Prior basic knowledge and hands-on experience with hand tools.

Faculty Bio:

Trained in architecture, Lan Thao Lam’s practice begins with research, then moves to incorporate object-making, installation, film, video, writing, and performance. Since 2001, they have been active as artist duo “Lin + Lam,” producing projects about immigration, sites of residual trauma, national identity and historical memory. Their work have been exhibited at 2018 Busan Biennale; Redcat Theater; BAM Cinema Festival; 3rd Guangzhou Triennial; Korean Arts Council; Taiwan International Documentary Festival; Stedelijk Museum; The International Short Film Festival Oberhausen; The Kitchen, The New Museum, Queens Museum, NY; Void, Londonderry, Northern Ireland; Cold City Gallery and Lennox Contemporary, Toronto. Lam’s work has been reviewed in numerous publications, including Art Forum, the New York Times, Art Journal, The Huffington Post, Time Out Hong Kong and Art Asia Pacific. Their awards include Canada Council for the Arts, Vera List Center for Art and Politics Fellowship, H.L. Rous Sculpture Award, and James Robertson Environmental Design Award. Lin + Lam are 2018 -2020 fellows at the India China Institute.

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