Art 1A Visual Literacy Reading Schedule: Fall Quarter 2018

WEEK 1 (September 27): Course Introduction

Reading Summaries: None.

WEEK 2 (October 2 & 4) Representation and Intertextuality
• Carl Matheson: The Simpsons, Hyper-Irony and the Meaning of Life

• Kelly L. Richardson. “Simpsons Did It!”: South Park and the Intertextuality of Contemporary Animation

• Joanna Woods-Marsden. Cindy Sherman’s Reworking of Raphael’s ‘Fornarina’ and Caravaggio’s ‘Bacchus’
Michel Foucault. This is Not a Pipe (Excerpt)
• Scott McCloud: The Vocabulary of Comics

Course introduction: Defining visual literacy as a general construct. The intertext, the hypotext and the hypertext as a general framework for considering visual literacy.

Reading Summaries: Matheson, Richardson, McCloud and Foucault.

WEEK 3 (October 9 & 11): Understanding Mediation: Photography and Cinema
• John Berger: Ways of Seeing 
• Walter Benjamin: The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
Marshall McLuhan: The Medium is the Message
Neil Postman: The Judgment of Thamus

Definitions of mediation. Technology as a force of cultural change. Issues of mechanical reproduction. The medium as an ideological choice. The ‘aura’ of the work of art, and political implications in the mediated image.

Reading Summaries: Berger Chapters 1 & 5, Benjamin and McLuhan.

WEEK 4 (October 16 & 18): Fictional and Documentary Space: Blurring the Difference
• Edward Branigan: Fiction
• Vivian Sobchack: On the Death of a Rabbit in Fictional Space

Fictional and documentary space in photography. The verbal supplement. Manipulated documents, fictions which aim at reality. The real and the irreal in film. Issues of fiction and document in film.

Reading Summaries: Branigan and Sobchack.

WEEK 5 (October 23 & 25): Art in the Age of Internet. Scholarly Research Training Workshop Tuesday, October 23
• Jeff Scheible: Longing to Connect: Cinema’s Year of OS Romance
Katrina Sluis, Julian Stallabrass and Christiane Paul. The Canon After the Internet
• Lauren Cornell. Self-Portraiture in the First-Person Age
• Gloria Sutton. CTRL ALT DELETE: The Problematics of Post-Internet Art
• Jeffrey De Blois. Hybrid Bodies

An exploration of the ways in which the advent of the internet and social media has shifted the way that we engage with art, and how it has transformed the way that artists think about, and make art.

Reading Summaries: Sluis et al, Cornell, Sutton and De Blois.

WEEK 6 (October 30 & November 1): Censorship & Obscenity. Paper #1 Due Thursday, November 1
• Richard Serra. Art and Censorship
• Richard Meyer. The Jesse Helms Theory of Art

Censorship, obscenity, and the First Amendment.

Reading Summaries: None. Paper #1 Due on Thursday, November 1.

WEEK 7 (November 6 & 8): No Lectures Class meeting at the LACMA on Saturday, November 10. Sections scheduled. Advertising: The Manufacturing of Desire.
• Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright: Consumer Culture and the Manufacturing of Desire
• Raymond Williams: Advertising: The Magic System
• Edisol Wayne Dotson: Buy Me Advertising
• Jean Kilbourne: Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel (Excerpts)
• John Berger: Ways of Seeing, Chapter 7.

Deconstructing advertising: probing the gap between what is promised and what is actually communicated and delivered.

Reading Summaries: None.
WEEK 8 (November 13 & 15): A Brief Introduction to Semiotics: Genre and Advertising Codes. Two-page museum response paper due Tuesday, November 13 in lecture.
• Daniel Chandler: Semiotics for Beginners: Codes
• Roland Barthes: The World of Wrestling
• Roland Barthes: The Romans in Films
• Roland Barthes: The Brain of Einstein

• Roland Barthes: Plastic

Joseph Kosuth: Context/Text

Basic semiotics: referent, sign, signifier, signified. Roland Barthes’ five narrative codes. Denotative and connotative meaning. Interplay of signs as a braid. Signs and codes within the structure of art and film.

Reading Summaries: Chandler. Two-page museum response paper.

WEEK 9 (November 20): Hidden Mediations: Racism, Sexism & Orientalism. Thanksgiving Holiday Thursday, November 22
• Linda Nochlin: The Imaginary Orient
• Ella Shohat and Robert Stam: The Imperial Imaginary
• Ella Shohat and Robert Stam: Tropes of Empire

Deconstructing Western assumptions about Otherness. How images are always ideologically inflected.

Reading Summaries: Nochlin.

WEEK 10 (November 27 & 29): TBA.

Reading Summaries: None.

WEEK 11 (December 4 & 6): TBA. Paper #2 Due Thursday, December 6)

Reading Summaries: None. Paper #2 Due Thursday, December 6.

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