Fall 2024. Advanced Practice: Material as Metaphor

CRN 14563 PGFA 5310 A

Time: Thurs. 9am – 2:40pm

Faculty: IV Castellanos

Course Description

Contemporary sculptural practice confronts us in our physical space, and asks us to consider our relationship to and with the material world. In this studio course students will take a deep dive into materials and processes as makers of meaning. Using contemporary materialist theories of scholars Karen Barad, Anne Anlin Cheng, and Elizabeth Grosz, students will examine the cultural, political, ecological, and global implications of materials, while considering the intrinsic qualities and scientific properties embedded in the materials they use. The goal is to gain a deep understanding of the language of materials, and how to shape that language to function literally: as a perfect sentence, but also metaphorically: as poetry. The course probes beyond the familiar meaning of wood, plaster, metal, and clay, and asks students how these materials might function figuratively, abstractly, symbolically, and conceptually. What can materials do in the world and how can artists activate them? The class will be introduced to processes in the wood, metal, and wet shops not only as the means for fabrication, but also as opportunities for hands-on exploration and in particular, how each artist can learn to cultivate a distinctive approach through manipulations. Our emphasis will be on experimentation, not perfection.