MACAA*Mid-America College Art Association

2018  Mid-America College Art Association Conference AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA - LINCOLN

 

OCTOBER 3 - 6, 2018
Information for the 2018 conference will be posted soon.

Please check back for updates and follow us on social media for more information. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARCHIVE:  MACAA 2016 

 

STUDIO SHIFT : CONFERENCE ARCHIVE 

College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning

University of Cincinnati, October 26-28, 2016

 

MACAA 2016 WAS A SUCCESS!

MACAA 2016 took place at the University of Cincinnati (DAAP) in October 2016. Macaa was honored to have Hal Foster, Jon Rubin and Hamza Walker as the keynote speakers for the 2016 conference.

 

In addition to a wide range of stimulating conference panels and discussions, the 2016 program included two special exhibitions. "Better Than Art" was a juried Macaa conference attendee exhibition that took place at Modern Makers in Cincinnati. The second exhibition "Straight to Video" was curated by Jon Rubin at DAAP. 

 

+ DOWNLOAD MACAA 2016 PROGRAM

 

SESSION PROGRAM "STREAMS" & SESSIONS

Stream 1: Exhibition Design | Curatorial Studies

 

Curatorial Shift

Session Chair: Kate Bonansinga, University of Cincinnati, bonanskn@ucmail.uc.edu

I propose a panel discussion about how shifting studio practices on the part of artists has required a shift in curatorial practice, too.  Panelists may be, for example, curators, museum professionals, practicing artists and/or designers who also curate, and/or educators who tackle these issues in their research and teaching.   Some topics might be how curators educate and engage audiences about contemporary art in all of its formats and manifestations; how curators effectively and respectfully incorporate performance and action-based art in museum exhibitions; how public art and action might be the an effective method for introducing art to the “uninitiated” and to reinvesting in civic live; how a studio visit and the conversation that it begets may still be a curator’s most valuable source of information.  Curators follow the lead of artists as they think,  write and organize exhibitions about prescient art and design.  For this panel curators and their affiliates will share some of the projects of which they are proudest; ones where they proved themselves capable of keeping up with the art and design practitioners, and revealing and lending insight on some of the important ideas generated by creative people of our time.  

 

Designing the Display: Staging Objects in the Museum and Beyond

Session Chair: Jillian Decker, Independent Scholar, jillian.e.decker@gmail.com

What does the history and theory of presentation and display teach us about designing staging environments? Historians, artists, curators, and designers engage in complex experiential, pedagogical, and technological challenges facing the design of environments meant for education, appreciation, entertainment, and consumption. The theory and practice of object display has a long and rich history, from church crypts and museums to theme parks and department stores. This session explores the evolving practices of presentation and display, including but not limited to exhibition, historical house museums, retail and interior design, and art installations. This session aims to map a history of display with papers examining the cross-fertilization of ideas and practices relating to the display of objects in different historical contexts and spatial layouts. What emerging trends might shape the future of the art of display?

 

Changing Spaces: Activating Space, Place, and Communities Through Nomadic Art Exhibition

Session Chair: Maura Jasper, Ball State University, mjasper@bsu.edu

A changing model of a studio practice that engages communities goes hand in hand with changing models for public exhibition.  When public practice becomes public art – art can take place anywhere, and exhibition can take on new forms. Pop up galleries, portable or mobile units, community workshops, public events and interventions are just a few examples.  This becomes particularly significant in communities with limited traditional resources to support the arts, or communities wanting to use the arts as a catalyst to re-invigorate local economy or activate unused real estate. More recently art exhibitions and events have taken place in empty shopping malls, factories, abandoned lots, and shipping containers.  This session will ask the questions: How can non traditional or nomadic exhibition models become a catalyst for activating communities of artists, energizing local economies, or working around limited resources to support the arts? How can non-traditional or nomadic public exhibitions be encouraged and facilitated in smaller communities with limited resources? How can academic institutions become more supportive of community engaged research for visual artists working and exhibiting in non traditional spaces with non traditional outcomes? How can artists better work with communities to create new experiences for encountering art?

 

Stream 2: Post- Studio | Rethinking Practice

 

The Mobile Studio

Session Chair: Christopher Burnett, University of Toledo, chris.burnett@utoledo.edu

The mobile studio frames art production in the current era of mobility as much as the craft workshop, industrial loft, or luxurious salon did in the past. This session invites presentations for examining the studio/mobility nexus from as many angles as possible.  Some suggestions follow. Along with flexible designs and pliable spaces, the mobile studio takes the form of real vehicles such as mobile homes, trailers, and deployable structures.   Historical examples run from Raymond Roussel’s Roulotte, Ant Farm’s video vans and inflatable domes, Mike Kelly’s Mobile Homestead, and contemporary “pop up” projects.  Other approaches might look at the urban displacement of artists and their strategies to recover their studio practice through the reuse of suburban strip malls and the reclamation of environmentally damaged areas. The mobile studio might also appear in more figurative terms by shifting emphasis from production to display. Many artists like Ed Ruscha recirculate signs drawn from the roadways and traffic signals of modern life while Doug Aitken’s Station to Station uses railroads as a journey for the creative process.  Animated symbolically by trains, cars and airplanes, the mobile studio is becoming one of the most potent expressions of the subjectivity of auto-mobility itself.  More to our digital environment, smartphones and mobile media raise the multiple possibilities of the virtual studio and artists engaging mobile technologies.  Already, locational media are shifting significant art practice from site-specific art to location-specific art. This session welcomes proposals for illuminating the mobile studio as shifting space, medium and cultural figure.

 

A Return to the Studio Through the Analogue

Session Chai: Amanda Dalla Villa Adams, dallavillaan@gmail.com

Since Daniel Buren initiated his post-studio practice during the late 1960s, artists have increasingly left the studio behind. The medium of digital photography in the twenty-first century--mobile, transferrable, and digital--especially lends itself to a life based purely within the digital cloud. Yet since the 1990s, a group of photographers have turned to historical nineteenth-century printing techniques, or “alternative processes,” that require hands-on manipulation and a studio practice. This field is only growing as evidenced by the recent exhibition at the National Gallery of Art, “The Memory of Time,” (2015) which privileged photographs that emphasize the hand, the unique art object, and the analogue. While Claire Bishop argued in her essay “The Digital Divide” (2012) that analogue practices are indebted to the digital, this panel aims to look further behind the motivations that encourage a contemporary artist’s return to the studio. Is it just, as Bishop has posited, a response against the digital, or as others have surmised, a nostalgic-driven project to save the Benjaminian aura of the art object? Is it merely in response to neoliberalism and our globalized condition? How can a return to analogue practices be something more than the reassertion of the authorial hand? While “alternative processes”-photography offers one example, this panel seeks papers that consider other case studies across media that consider an artist’s motivation for an analogue practice and turning back to the studio.

 

Artist/Designer:  Hybrid & Forbidden Identities

Session Chair: Joe Hedges & Jiemei Lin, Washington State University, joe.hedges@wsu.edu / jiemei.lin@wsu.edu

Who can carry the banner of artist in a world of rampant appropriation coupled with the proliferation of technologies that make creative acts ever faster and more ubiquitous?  Just as the industrial revolution opened up a multiplicity of new opportunities for designers, the digital revolution is disrupting categories yet again.  Contemporary artists are increasingly working like designers—hiring teams of laborers, coders or advertisers to create and promote works.  Conversely, commercial designers are now free to utilize the artist’s toolbelt.  With creative individuals reaching across boundaries, are the distinctions between artist and designer more or less proscriptive in the digital age?  How are we molded by the limits of occupations?

 

The World is Flattening

Andrea Myers, Kent State University at Stark, andreamyers79@gmail.com

The world is flattening.  Through the inclusivity of technology and consequently, the over abundance of imagery delivered through virtual means, a proliferation of artwork and architecture emerges through mediated and distant modes. How we perceive dimensional objects and the world simultaneously opens and becomes compressed and flattened into a dichotomy of a distilled and diluted screen presence.  Objects are shifting into façades, where most sculptures are experienced as photographs, they become art “props” in a two dimensional space, constructing a photographic representation of a dimensional object.    Through examining the space between mediums and the relationship of photography and sculpture, I will address how the world is flattening into a place that has become more of an illusion than a reality and how sculpture might respond in a world full of façades. When I make a sculpture, am I staging a dimensional scene that will be mainly understood as a two- dimensional rendering of an idea?  The inflation and deflation of the object is more and more commonplace, starting with drawing the idea, then constructing the dimensional piece, only to flatten the work back into a photograph for mass virtual consumption. My studio practice is situated in the ongoing conversation between mediums; painting and sculpture come apart and then conjoin, and create a dialogue with the added layer of digital photography and virtual dimensions.  Do we make work to please the camera, to stage a physical presence?  When I make an object, is it less about the embodiment and more about the documentation, to convince the viewer it is dimensional in space without the viewer needing to be in the tactile moment with the object?  Ultimately, is sculpture becoming akin to painting, creating the illusion of depth, scale and environment?

 

Balancing Act: Between Artist, Environment and Community

Christopher Olszewski, Savannah College of Art and Design, colszews@scad.edu

This session will address the current compendium of post-studio sculptural practice that activates a complex set of negotiations between artist, environment and community.  Sculpture, as a discipline, has expanded to meet the concerns of an ever-interconnected global landscape. Mobility- The regional isolated artist, exhibiting for a small constituency of believers does not jive with contemporary ease of travel and interconnectivity. Temporality- The materials with which the contemporary sculptor makes artwork must adapt to meet available resources.  The temporary sculpture, using recycled, reused, or sustainable materials reverses the sculptural process’ focus to longevity in practice versus permanence of form.  Performance- How does the art object act in an expanded sculptural field?  As a prop in a larger action; sculptural form stands as an interrelated player in a larger narrative. Context- Sculptures can effectively engage communities and ignite dialogue beyond the museum/gallery context; attempting to bridge the divide between contemporary sculptural practice and a more expanded landscape of ideas/interactions. Memory- Sculpture correlates personal and public notions of history. How can the manifestation of “memorial” reconsider marginalized communities and address unequal representations?  Panelists will expand on these concepts through presentations of their own sculptural work as well as historical and contemporary examples. Please Note: I will review proposals for photography, video, performance, sound and other expanding fields connected to artist, environment and community.

 

Home Making and Art Making: Embodying Studio Shifts

Harmony Wolfe, harmony.wolfe@gamil.com

This panel explores the role of home and hospitality in “post-studio” art practices. Art collectives such as Mildred’s Lane and homeLA: a performance project are gathering in homes, transforming them into galleries or using bedrooms or backyards as sites of production and welcoming spectators into traditionally private spaces. How is the place of home as a studio transforming art practices? How is this re-configuring a definition of home? How are ideas of hospitality latent or projected through these projects? In providing a forum for the discussion of the role of home and hospitality in art practices from the perspective of artists, makers, theorists, historians, and designers, this session aims to explore how artistic practices are perhaps re-negotiating home, hospitality and traditions of artist studios. Contributions from fields of art, design, art history, and art education are welcome.

 

Everyone is a Developer

Session Chair: Mathew Board, Miami University (Ohio), boardmj@miamioh.edu

The use of programming and computational media in creative fields is not a new phenomenon, but with the increased ubiquity of tools and learning resources for programming coupled with public demand for interactive experiences that increase the quality of many aspects of life, creative practitioners acquire programming skills in order to work within interdisciplinary creative teams and to develop creative output. This session seeks to explore various ways that artists and designers have approached the interdisciplinary use of programming and computational media to support and enhance their creative endeavors and vision; tools created for the purpose of creative output; unorthodox uses of programming or creative technologies, such as game engines, that yield unpredictable and unorthodox results; or computational media practices that focus on emergent and agile development practices that promote serendipitous, process nurtured output.

 

Long Hallways, White Cubes, Galleries, and Websites

Session Chair: Scott Sherer, The University of Texas at San Antonio, scott.sherer@utsa.edu

From outsider artists to those working with rigorous formal concerns, modern and contemporary artists make a range of choices.  Biography and personal concerns may linger in subtle ways or be transformed into declarative statements.  Intuitive action and invention are often in interplay with academic technique and years of honing knowledge and the skills to work with various methods and materials.  In producing their work, artists pursue a range of private, community, and expansive public conversations. How do artists conceptualize and pursue the relationships between studio work and exhibition? This panel explores the challenges artists face in consideration of their audience and welcomes papers from all disciplines.

 

Stream 3: Community Practices, Public Art, & Experiential Learning

 

Art & Power

Session Chair: Heather Hertel, Associate Professor of Art, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, heather.hertel@sru.edu

Art is energy transferred which is power. Art has the power to affect the community that surrounds it. Art can affect change in a community. Art may be a reaction or make a statement to the environment it is placed in. Contemporary Art practices that include collaboration and community involvement infuse change among participants and viewers.  This session invites studio artists to share their experiences on how their art has affected or changed a community. Architects and Designers are welcome to share how the designs of structures influence the public that interacts with them. It is also open to art historians, art writers, curators and art critics to cross examine how contemporary art practice affects change in society like or dislike how historical art has affected cultures or societies of the past.  Public art, performance art, temporary art, collaborative art, environmental art, art beyond the walls of museums as well as art within the borders of traditional gallery spaces will all be considered for conversation.

 

Squishystuff

Session Chair: Kjellgren Alkire, Saint Mary's University Of Minnesota, kalkire@smumn.edu

Some educational experiences within academic programs, strategically place students in contexts that have been be understood as the realm of outdoor recreation, contemplative practices, yoga, exercise science, mental health services and religious traditions. As our field increasingly moves towards science, engineering and technology, the Squishystuff in our curricular offerings also have significant agency. Students gravitate to experiences where they are challenged to grow emotionally, developing the soft skills so many have been championing for so long. While studio disciples have long been laboratories of interdisciplinary thinking and mind-body synthesis, some university administration-level conversations are only now beginning to value these ethics. Now mindful of research along the lines Brené Brown's vulnerability studies and Paul G. Stoltz's work on adversity quotients, many universities have championed experiential learning, leadership programs, service learning offices and new approaches to field work. This panel seeks to explore pragmatic curricular offerings that explore the spongy terrain where artists, art historians, student affairs and cultural theorists work to educate the whole persons who arrive in our classrooms, labs and lectures.

 

Michigan Legacy Art Park

Session Chair: Renee Hintz, Michigan Legacy Art Park, Executive Director, renee@michlegacyartpark.org

We propose a session that explores the concept of nature as a creative research space. Nature, starting with the cave painters onward, has been a source of inspiration for jewelry and vessel design, as well as subject matter for paintings and prints. With the earth works movement of the 60’s, nature itself became the medium to be manipulated for creative expression. It also became the venue for performance artists. Then nature itself was moved into museums and galleries and used to create art on site. This panel will explore how the outdoor research space is used by Michigan Legacy Art Park and by the artists who have created art there. It will also welcome other visual and performance artists to share experiences of working in nature and how it has influenced their art work in the past and where it might be leading them in the future.

 

Misunderstandings: Art Flops in the Public Sphere

FATE Affiliated Session

Session Chair: Guen Montgomery, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Guenmail@gmail.com

This panel calls for educators to share experiences, unexpected teaching moments, and/or pedagogical lessons-learned that address student-made public artwork. Inspired by student sculptural pieces that have been publicly presented and then publicly misinterpreted, this panel will address the specific kind of learning that takes place when art leaves the art building.  The panel topic facilitates discussion about student projects in terms of guerrilla sculpture/ installation, public performance, and socially engaged, political works.  We will explore censorship, the role of failure in art making, and how asking students to create work specific to a public space changes college-level artistic experimentation. Although this conversation is intended to especially engage those instructors working with foundations students at the beginning of their artistic career, or educators who teach art/ design to non-major students, panelists can draw from any experience relevant to the instruction of, or participation in, the creation of public art.

 

Third Space Sites of Aesthetic Inquiry

Session Chair: Nandita Baxi Sheth, University of Cincinnati, shethnb@ucmail.uc.edu

Responding to the call to envision the “future of creative research space” for a diverse range of arts practitioners I propose that we consider the pedagogical spaces of arts education—broadly conceived to include MFA, Graduate Art Education and K-12 Licensure, Art History, Design, and Architecture programs—as productive sites of aesthetic inquiry.  The creative transmission of arts and design practices invokes theoretical and philosophical frameworks of pedagogy--teaching practices--that deeply influence students and in turn their educators/instructors.  I propose that the crafting of a course is another medium a creative practitioner works with and through -- with the consequence of shaping future arts practice in the world.  Therefore educational sites can either recreate and perform practices from the past or intentionally shift from modernist notions (of foundations and critique, for example) to innovative and productive teaching practices that reflect a diverse 21st century milieu. This session seeks to expand the duality of art spaces from (one) the studio of the maker and (two) the gallery/museum/exhibit to include the spaces of art and its education as potential third spaces for aesthetic inquiry. I ask, “How might we think through the third sites of art practice as socially engaged and relational sites of creative artistic pedagogy”?  This session would bring together arts educators from a variety of fields in conversation about innovative and successful teaching practices as experienced across a variety of arts disciplines.

 

Stream 4: Interactive Art | Animation | Design | Communication Design

 

Visual Communication in the Digital Age

Session Chair, Catherine A. Moore, Georgia Gwinnett College, cmoore10@ggc.edu

With the increasing integration of technology into all aspects of our lives, our modes of communication are one of the most affected components. Through the visual aspects of websites, photo apps, Internet advertising, chat applications, and digital games, the visual elements of these communications have evolved and changed our styles and methods of communication, as well as the thought processes behind the way we communicate with others. This panel will examine how our changing technological habits have diversified the methods in which we use visuals to communicate ideas and interact with others.

 

The past 2D Design vs. The future 2D Design

Session Chair: Chung-Fan Chang, Stockton University, chungfanchang@gmail.com

Digital literacy is a common trait for students to become diversified thinkers. In foundation studies, digital pedagogy has been implemented into traditional teaching in recent years, including the use of Apps and computer softwares. How do we transform students’ 2D experience to both hands on with high emphasis on craftsmanship, but at the same time immerse in problem solving digitally? How do we take traditional 2D context and turn it into a comprehensive digital experience in addition to learning the basic skills, such as cutting and pasting? Is a traditional 2D classroom too old school? Creative projects that involve both the actual making and digital manipulation are welcome. Proposals from artists, designers, educators and professional in regards to shifting traditional 2D Design teaching (the past) to Digital 2D Design experience (the future) are encouraged to submit.  Topics relate to developing classroom space will be considered.    

 

Paint Brushes and Pixels: Animation as a Fine Applied Art

Session Chair: Barbara Giorgio, Ball State University, bgiorgio@bsu.edu

In the October 2015 article “Learn by Painting” in The New Yorker, Louis Menand concludes that, “tech courses are hands-on, collaborative, materials-based (well, virtual materials), and experimental—a digital Black Mountain curriculum.” The field of animation combines theatre, music, painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, cinema, and 2D design. What are the challenges of keeping up with the changes in these different areas and disciplines? Animation has the dynamics of working in both digital and traditional. Faculty continuously struggle with keeping curriculum current with yearly technology changes – software, hardware, and workflow. How does an animation program in a fine art department differ from one in architecture, computer science, or media art? This session is an opportunity to share ideas and anecdotes about animation programs and building trust among groups and individuals in the fine and applied arts.

 

Alternate Reality Art

Session Chair: Dr. Jason Cox, University of Toledo, jarmec@gmail.com

Art remains the most effective way to create and share lived experiences between people, but how we do so has been fundamentally altered by the tools and spaces that continue to emerge online. In this presentation, one professor will discuss how his class on contemporary multi-cultural art appreciation moved from the physical classroom to realms both personal and communal in an online general education course. Through the incorporation of online tools such as Pinterist and weebly, individualized feedback on each student’s own work from peers and mentors, and the creation of a narrative framework drawn from Alternate Reality Games (ARGs), the class becomes not just a venue for being told about or discussing artworks, but for experiencing them. The story the class joins, that of a desperate time traveler from a dark future, represents the investment and effort it requires of students in its motto: “Without you, there is no art. Without art, there is no future.”

 

Stream 5: The Language of Critique & Theory

 

Time-Based Art & Design: Finding the Language of Critique

Session Chair: Ellen Mueller, ellen@ellenmueller.com

With the constant evolution of art and design, more and more contemporary work moves into the realm of time-based practices. For the purposes of this panel, we will categorize time based (4D) art and design as the study of time-based media such as social practice, generative works, film/video, animation, performance art, motion graphics, sound art, game design, and any other time-based genres.  Artists and designers are well prepared to discuss and critique 2D and 3D works, with foundations classes often dedicated to semester-long study of terms and practicing basic skills. However, sometimes time-based practices are neglected altogether, or are tacked on, without establishing the same foundational understanding of terminology or practice of introductory skills. This panel seeks submissions that address strategies for improving critique of time-based work, along with rationale for their use. Topics of investigation could include, but are not limited to, looking at the past, present and future critique of time-based work, examining what premises we need to establish in foundational coursework to successfully critique 4D work, and identifying useful language for most clearly understanding one another.

 

Game Art and Methodologies of Critique

Session Chair: Theresa Devine, Arizona State University, Theresa.Devine@asu.edu

The game designer Jason Rohrer has self-identified as an artist. By doing so enters his work into a critique process that, according to James Elkins, dates back to the Romantic period in which artists are evaluated by peers on an individualized basis according to the ideals and creative direction they produce in the form of written and verbal artifacts. Arthur Danto calls these artifacts ‘‘artistic identification’’ in his essay, ‘‘The Artworld,’’ written in 1964. The study applies this critique method to Rohrer’s work in the game medium and asks how it fares when subjected to what Howard Becker calls, ‘‘a continuous process of selection’’ through critique. It asks, finally, how can knowing this methodology help to elucidate the path for the eventual full-fledged integration of games into the Artworld.

 

Discourse, figure: Art history and its Objects

Session Chair: Morgan Thomas, University of Cincinnati, thoma2mr@UCMAIL.UC.EDU

In the 1980s and 1990s, a semiotics of images and objects dominated much art-historical writing. Twenty-first century art history has, however, increasingly focused on the role of materiality, aesthetics and object-oriented approaches to the study of art and visual culture. Art history from this point of view has become a kind of studio or post-studio. How would these recent shifts in contemporary thought open up a rethinking of the relations between words and images, discourses and figuration, rhetorics and aesthetics in art history and related disciplines? Papers are invited that explore the differential between modes of figuration and discursivity in art history, visual studies and curatorial studies, from historical as well as contemporary perspectives. 

 

Stream 6: Post-Production | Financing Art Practice

 

The Challenge of Ephemera

Session Chair: Steve Lacy, Academy Records, stephenlacy@academyrecords.org

We live an increasingly connected yet ephemeral culture. As artists, educators and administrators seeking to create and present work that satisfies a contemporary world, What happened to production when production is tied to technology? What happens when technology guides the end use rather that what is actually produced? Artist have explored the role of ephemera since the beginning of moveable type through to happenings in today’s culture ephemera can include anything from web based work to social practice  to mail art to fleeting events and objects meant to be disposable. Where does this trend fit into the academy of the institution? How can a zeitgeist be described historically if it is one of deterioration? Many of these artist find funding through areas outside the gallery system which puts them as odds or on the odd end of the stick when it comes to presenting the work to a larger audience. I am interested in putting together a panel that explore how artist, writers, historians and administrators begin to deal with archiving, presenting, and even monetizing this aspect of contemporary production.

 

Creating Art Without Materials/Waste

Session Chair: Roscoe Wilson, Miami University Hamilton, Wilsonr2@miamioh.edu

In a world where energy consumption and materialistic consumerism are constantly pushed on the masses, we as artists are contributing to both simply by creating work and discarding materials. Think about the dumpster full of trashed projects at the end of a foundations course at any university or the leftover materials after a solo exhibition, then think of a better way, one where we can disentangle ourselves from this unsustainable path and create without waste in a more ethical manner. How do artists connect to the waste they create within their studios and/or classrooms? Are there more sustainable ways to create work without creating waste? Can we create without physically creating? Does the answer lie in using digital media or intangible forms of creation? Are there more ethical ways to source materials, use energy, and reuse debris leftover from the creative process? This panel is seeking diverse studio artists who have addressed these issues of overconsumption and sustainability in various ways within their professional practice and/or in their pedagogy.

 

Stream 7: Reimagining Curriculums: Foundations, Design, the MFA, etc.

 

MFA in Visual Arts: New Project Working and Teaching in a Multidisciplinary Project Based Program

Session Chair: Molly J. Burke, Columbus College of Art & Design, mburke.1@ccad.edu

What happens when you allow fine artists, industrial designers, illustrators, animators, fashion designers, photographers, videographers and designers to go through a multidisciplinary project based MFA program together?  What if you gave them access to a full suite of facilities and faculty with a wide breadth of knowledge?  After six years of this exciting new program we have seen both success and failure, however it seems that for most students the experience is transformative.  The program was created with the thought that this is how contemporary artists and designers work in the real world and that the traditional academic model for MFA graduate programs should be adjusted to accommodate that.  Painters are animators and sculptors turn to video and performance as their chosen media, fashion designers are growing organic forms on their clothing lines, and filmmakers create interactive installations.  We allow students from across all disciplines the institution can support through our facilities and faculty to go through the program as a cohort, each with a project they have outlined to complete.  The evolution that occurs throughout the 2 years is often astounding.

 

Art and Design at NC State University,

Russell A. Flinchum, NC State University, College of Design, raflinch@ncsu.edu

This panel will address a constantly evolving environment in which we face the diverse roles of technology in studio-based classes and lectures. Professors Tania Allen and Sara Glee Queen have been involved in the integration of studio-based and method-based education models for entering freshmen in the “First Year Experience,” both through Design Thinking courses and in the reformulation of the cross-disciplinary freshman studio,. Professor Deborah K. Littlejohn has overseen an extensive revision of the College’s first online course, “History of Graphic Design,” placing emphasis on contact with original materials through Special Collections at D.H. Hill Library and encouraging dialogue among students through a WordPress site. Teaching “History of Design” and “History of Industrial Design,” Professor Russell Flinchum has been implementing hands-on examination of artifacts through the University’s Gregg Museum of Art and Design as well as Special Collections. Allen, Queen, Littlejohn and Flinchum will make short presentations on the development and delivery of this diverse curriculum and how their own approaches to teaching have been influenced by various perspectives and practices over the past two years. They will discuss analyzing what has worked (and what hasn’t), how technology continues to be a major consideration in a college of makers, and their plans to expand the College’s presence to the University’s Centennial campus, which is home to the award-winning James L. Hunt Library and its collection of modern furniture that has been inspiring students since its unveiling in 2013.

 

Creating the Creative Class: Design in the Margins

Session Chair: Cindy B. Damschroder, University of Cincinnati,  cindy.damschroder@uc.edu

What is creativity? Is there a connection between creativity and problem-solving? Are these valued and “worthwhile” professional qualities for students pursuing a degree in design or art fields? Are the lines between art, design, and specific “disciplines” beginning to blur? The answer is a resounding YES!

As the MACAA2016 conference convenes at the University of Cincinnati’s renowned College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) it is fitting to discuss the trend of “design in the margins” - the intertwining of art and design.  In the summer of 2015, UC faculty conducted grant-funded research of this topic with co-op employers in the creative industry; results revealed that regardless of discipline, creativity is a top characteristic and skill valued by employers.  Additionally, DAAP’s School of Art undergraduate Fine Arts program has a newly designed curriculum that incorporates mandatory participation in alternating semesters of career-relevant work integrated learning experiences, beginning in the Fall ’16 semester with the Introduction to Co-op for Fine Arts course. Three semesters of cooperative (co-op) education placements will follow. Presenters will discuss key findings from their research on creative competencies and industry trends, including how these have shaped the Division of Professional Practice and Experiential Learning’s (ProPEL) employer/student/faculty advisor database for co-op positions in art and design.  Presenters will also share ProPEL’s strategic plan for the Fine Art Co-op program, including the identification of existing employers, job development with new employers, and work with the Fine Art students to shape the program in a collaborative grass-roots manner.

 

Identity Crisis – The Challenges of Building Effective Digital arts Programs Inside/Outside of Studio Art Curriculums

Session Chair: Chris Ireland, Tarleton State University, Ireland, IRELAND@tarleton.edu

Curriculums in digital art have been created in many colleges under guise of many names (i.e. New Media, Digital Media, Time based media, etc) Part of the reason for the confusion is that digital art may not be a single discipline but an umbrella term to define multi-disciplinary works with some form of digital technology involved in it’s creation.  Digital art is often created using other art disciplines such as photography, video, and sculpture.  Much of the contemporary digital art that is being made today requires skills that might be considered outside the traditional disciplines of the art degree such as electronics and computer programming.  This Panel will encourage discussion about the challenges of building effective curriculums in multidisciplinary digital arts within the traditional studio art degree model.  Presenters could address: What is the difference between a degree in digital art versus other fields such as photography or video use digital technologies?  Should art schools that offer digital art degrees also teach computer programming, if so how much?  Should art programs work with other disciplines such as computer science and business? What are the challenges/success stories of collaboration with disciplines outside the art field? What is the success point of a graduate with a digital art degree?  How do art professors address the conceptual and artistic quality of a form that includes commercial and entertainment applications such as video games, social media, and application design? The panel will invite proposals from artists, theorists, and designers.

 

Socially Engaged and Participatory Art – How Can it Be Taught? Should is be Taught?

Rod Northcutt, Miami University Ohio, northcr@miamioh.edu

As US exhibition attendance declines, participatory/dialogical/socially engaged art (SEA) gains faithful followers. Many artists contribute to this movement, relational aesthetic readings are now part of contemporary art theory, Open Engagement conferences have increased in impact and attendance, and multiple institutions now offer an MFA in some form of SEA. Critics quarrel over the function of democratic and inclusive art (from Dewey and Read early on, to Kester, Helguera, and Bishop more recently), yet all agree that it primarily stems from people with art training, so it seems critical to make it part of an art curriculum, but this creates problems. How can we teach pluralistic practice? Is it only for MFA students or can undergraduates participate? How can collaborative learning be facilitated? How can we guide students through non-heuristic research methods supporting SEA? How can unscripted experiments be evaluated? SEA is often transdisciplinary and collaborative, so how can we assemble all the players in an art studio class structure? SEA is often initiated by artists therefore many projects enjoy urban sites where artists and resources are concentrated, so how can rural SEA or projects happening in non-art centers effectively fit art curricula based on traditional art-center paradigms? This session invites proposals from practitioners, historians, and academics who have met these challenges with creative solutions and who strive to enable students to learn about and operate actively in this current yet challenging genre, with an emphasis on participatory presentations and discussions of projects that occur rurally or outside of art centers.

 

Future Foundations

Session Chair: Samantha Krukowski, University of Cincinnati, samantha.krukowski@uc.edu

Foundational studies (those which provide students with ‘essential knowledge’) are a familiar component of most art and design curricula. This session invites inquiries into the nature and form of beginning art and design education in the 21st century post-studio landscape. Papers might address topics like the role of history in pedagogical initiatives, disciplinary and/or interdisciplinary initiatives, the character and experience of the beginning design studio, specific courses and/or projects, alternative learning environments (fields), curricular structure and nomenclature, the relationships and interactions of beginning design students – with each other and with more advanced students, the role and status of foundations faculty, reflections on the nature of beginnings. Some starting questions: What does it mean to begin? Is there an essential body of knowledge that all art and design students should engage? How does the history of foundations pedagogy play a role in the beginning semesters or years of a student’s education? Are certain historical precedents more valuable than others? Have some precedents become outdated and/or irrelevant? How are beginning art and design studios organized? How long does or should a foundations education last? Should beginning art and design studios be discipline-specific, or should they introduce and promote cross-disciplinary pollination? What are the challenges of interdisciplinarity in foundations design? What different curricular approaches exist in beginning education today? Are there radical propositions? How are foundations curricula organized? What courses and projects make up a foundations education? What “skills” should students leave their first semester or year with?  Is the foundations studio a room, a complex, or an extended learning environment? What is or might be its extended field?  What are the experiences of beginning art and design students and faculty? How are they positioned in the larger fabric of departments, schools and institutions?

 

Stream 8: Post Visuality: Art, the Digital | Design

 

Mash Up: Blending Digital and Analog Techniques

Session Chair: Jonathan McFadden University Of Kentucky, jonathan.mcfadden@uky.edu

In printmaking we often refer the medium as being “democratic”. This comes from the nature of the multiple and the medium lending itself somewhat naturally to wider circulation. However, in the 21st century the rise of appropriated technology in studio disciplines and the accessibility of the internet has made the lens and digital media more widely accessible. This has transitioned how we think about image making and More importantly who is looking at art. As we’ve acquired the ability to shoot in RAW and video in HD from our phones the lens has become an even more widely available tool. At The same time artists are acquiring new tools to integrate into their studio practice there is a growing appeal of more traditional methods of creating photo-°©‐based imagery. This Balancing and integration of processes occurs at a time when both BFA And MFA Programs are focused more heavily interdisciplinary practices in studio art. We are seeing dissolution of the silos that contained specific media and an increase and broadening of the interdisciplinary BFA And MFA. This Shift creates a debate on how as both artists and professors we integrate these techniques and equipment while not sacrificing traditional techniques. The Panel will consist of studio faculty, scholars, and practicing arts that have or are currently merging digital and analog technologies in their work and/ or classrooms. They Will discuss the issues and achievements of how they have approach and undertaken this class. Members Will also be asked to explain issues they see being raised in the future and how they are now planning to address those issues.

 

Polymodal Sites: Graphic Design in the Expanded Field

Session Chair: Silas Munro, Miami University (Ohio), munrons@miamioh.edu

The extended terrain of contemporary graphic design practice has its traditional basecamps in typography, image making, form giving, adept use of material craft, and system construction largely applied to the messages of paying clients. These nodes are mere footholds in a now very mature campaign by graphic design to land upon the banks of almost every other discipline under the sun. For at least the past two decades, the academy and profession of graphic design enjoy an ever-widening occupation into research, ethnography, social work, art practice, entrepreneurial endeavors, strategy, education, maker culture, innovation, product design, and social science to name, but a few key sites.  Our holdings and collaborations are so massive and multiple we have created new districts at our transdisciplinary fridges to deal with graphic design's evermore porous edges such as: user experience design, interaction design, social design, human centered design, critical design, speculative design, service design, and transition design.  So does this make graphic design an imperialist enterprise encroaching on other fields with intentions of a hostile takeover? Or perhaps graphic design is a series of rebel factions leading a nomadic, co-creative existence with the altruism to solve the world's (and other field's) wicked problems? Might we be a practice that has post-colonial problems? In an homage to Rosalind Krauss’ icons use of the Klein group diagram and Greimas’ semiotic square, this panel asks for diverse proposals or provocations from the profession and academy that lay down nodes to map our contemporary field of graphic design as much by what it is as it is not.

 

Pictographs, Glyphs, Emojis, and Brands

Mysoon Rizk, University of Toledo, mysoon.rizk@utoledo.edu

Since ancient times, human societies have relied on pictographic means of communication, whether manifesting as ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, ancient Chinese seal script, or even contemporary forms of instant messaging by means of colorful emoticons and clip art. While contemporary life predominantly revolves around verbal cues and written language, emojis have been enjoying considerable popularity for anyone with access to networked technological devices. Indeed, in 2015, the Oxford English Dictionary selected a pictograph for its word of the year: specifically, the “Face with Tears of Joy.” While the OED database has yet to incorporate such symbols into the actual lexicon, the idea that pictographs could harbor as much power as verbal cues became evident as early as the last decade of the twentieth century. Enslaved by legal contract between 1993 and 1999, the songwriter, musician, and performer subsequently relied on a unique and unpronounceable glyph merging male and female symbols that people learned to associate with “the artist formerly known as Prince” -- compelling the record company to supply the cryptic sign to print media on floppy disk. Two decades later, in a 2013 graphic novel entitled Book from the Ground: From Point to Point, Chinese artist Xu Bing generates a narrative cycle -- in this case, a twenty-four hour period in the life of an “urban white-color worker” -- by means of “an exclusively visual language...that anyone with experience in contemporary life” could understand. This session invites presentations that explore the implications, limits, and horizons of such pictographic turns or returns in contemporary art and life.

 

Alternative Sound Art Narratives

Session Chair: Mark Harris, University of Cincinnati, harrismk@ucmail.uc.edu

In what ways can the familiar narratives of the development of sound art be upended? What alternative histories can be envisaged for the remarkable surge in acoustic experiments from the beginning of the 20th century and how might these new perspectives influence the teaching and practice of sound art? The trajectory from Erik Satie’s Furniture Music, to Duchamp’s use of chance procedures, to John Cage’s work with silence, to Brian Eno’s experiments with ambient sound can serve as one familiar journey. At what points could it be interrupted, what other artists or sound items could be interjected, what components might be reappraised? The paths from Lou and Bebe Barron’s early sci-fi tape experiments to Cage’s Williams Mix, from Musique Concrète to Stockhausen’s Etude are well-tracked but are there new ways to listen to this work, new ways to extract affect or meaning? And what of composers like Daphne Oram, Delia Derbyshire, Eliane Radigue, or Pauline Oliveros whose innovations in electronic and tape experiments have been regarded as less central to the histories of sound art? And in what ways has popular music interrupted these histories with noise of its own design? Proposals for papers, performances, or conversations are welcomed that suggest revisions of the more familiar histories of sound art.

 

Is Digital Technology Getting Out of Hand?

Session Chair: Katrina Rattermann, University of Arkansas, kjratter@email.uark.edu

In today’s post-digital society, both fine artists and designers are either completely reliant on or are becoming progressively more reliant on technology. Integrating technological advances such as the use of 3D printing, CNC routing, and other forms of digital media as a means to achieve historically unfathomable forms of expression has become an integral part of the artistic process. Is Digital Technology Getting Out of Hand?, explores the 21st-Century phenomenon of digital technology within the fields of art and design from the perspective of a panel of millenials. Various topics related to this interdisciplinary trend will be presented. The panel will present their individual experiences growing up with digital technology and the impact this culture has had in relation to their current studio practices and future career goals.