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Information and Syllabus

Creative Processes -- Winter '15-'16 (J term)


Time & Location:
Distance Learning - December 21, 2015 - January 17, 2016
Course Syllabus Location: http://www.robertspahr.com/cpro/
Course Forums Location:
Professor: Robert Spahr
Email:
rspahr@siu.edu
rob@robertspahr.com

Office Hours:
MT  9:00am - 12:00pm & by appt.
You can communicate with me during office hours by
email, and telephone by appt.

Course Listings:
Topics C&P-Interdisciplinary: Creative Process - 28097 - CP 270D 950
Interdisciplinary Topics: Creative Processes - 25863 - CP 470D 952


Required Text:

* All readings will be available online. *

Description:

Creative processes is an interdisciplinary online course open to all students across the campus. Through a series of weekly projects exploring sound and image, students will develop a variety of techniques such as Aleatory/Chance, Improvisation, and Problem solving. This work culminates in a final individual project. Students will keep an online blog to record their own creative process, as well as participate in written critique and discussion on the course forums. Online discussions and readings will supplement the media projects. We will be using Free/Open Source software available for Mac/Windows/Linux.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have developed a deeper understanding of their own creative process. They will have developed new methods to foster their own creative development, and applied this knowledge in critiques and to the creation of media projects.


Syllabus:

Be sure to check back often for any updated information.

WEEK ONE- 12/21 - 12/27
INTRODUCTIONS, ALEATORY/CHANCE, PROJECT ONE

Introduction to the Syllabus

Week One

Project One


Create a WordPress blog:
Each student in the class will create a WordPress blog, and use it as an online journal to record their own creative process. Create a WordPress Blog

Introduce yourself on the course forums:
Log in to the course forums following the instructions in the email you were sent.
Please introduce yourself, tell us about your interests, your major, and any other information that would be relevant to the class.
Remember to include the URL to your WordPress blog.

Readings:
Steve Reich: Music as a Gradual Process
Tzara: How to Make a Dadaist Poem
George Brecht: Chance-Imagery
William Burroughs: The Cut Up Method

View/Listen:
David Greilsammer - John Cage - "prepared piano"
Cut-Ups William S. Burroughs
Pendulum Music / Steve Reich / 1968

Project One is assigned.
Project One is due by midnight CST, 12/26/15.

Forum:
Reflect on the readings, your own creative process, as well as the work created. How does a cut-up method, gradual process, or aleatory/chance seem to affect your intentions as an artist? What might the value be in giving up some control as the artist, and allowing the media, and chance to dictate some of the outcomes?
Critically comment on at least two other students projects and forum posts.
Forum posts are due by midnight CST, 12/27/15.

Blog:
Upload all supportive material that documents your creative process from the first project. Ideas, sketches, false starts, successes, failures and thoughts about your own creative process.
Blog enties are due by midnight CST, 12/27/15.

WEEK TWO - 12/28 - 01/03
IMPROVISATION & PROJECT TWO

Week Two

Project Two

Readings:
Sam Gilliam Jr: The Transformation of Nature through Nature, 1986
Agnes Martin: The Untroubled Mind, 1972
Bill Viola: Video Black - The Mortality of the Image, 1990
John Cage: Experimental Music, 1958
Shunryu Suzuki: Zen Mind Beginner's Mind - excerpts - 'Beginner's Mind' & 'Control'

View/Listen:
Miles Davis: Improvisation, 4:50
Marcel Duchamp: The Creative Act, 1957, 7:18
Wikipedia: Sam Gilliam Jr.
Artsy: Sam Gilliam Jr.
Wikipedia: Agnes Martin
Agnes Martin | TateShots, 7:37
Wikipedia: Bill Viola
Bill Viola - An Ocean Without a Shore, 3:28
Bill Viola: Tristan's Ascension, 5:13
Bill Viola: Cameras are soul keepers, 28:09

Project Two is assigned.
Project Two is due by midnight CST, 01/02/16.

Forum:
Post a response to at least two of your fellow students work. In your response, describe the work as if you were writing an email to someone who can not see the work themselves. Make connections with ideas from this weeks readings and artists. Begin to analyse and interpret the work. Spend time looking through the forums, and respond to at least two other threads of conversation. Forum posts are due by midnight CST, 01/03/15.

Blog:
Reflect upon the readings and the artists we looked at this week. Compare and contrast these artists ideas with your own creative practice, and your thoughts about your own art. Continue to document the work you are doing for project two.
Blog enties are due by midnight CST, 01/03/15.


WEEK THREE - 01/04 - 01/10
PROBLEM SOLVING & PROJECT THREE

Week Three

Project Three

Readings:
Paul Graham: Taste for Makers, 2002
R. Buckminster Fuller: Introduction to Expanded Cinema, 1970

Suggested Reading:
Free Online: Gene Youngblood: Expanded Cinema, 1970
Amazon: David Lynch: Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity, 2007

View/Listen:
Ephemeralization - Doing more with less - Buckminster Fuller (animated clip), 8:10
David Lunch, Big Fish Idea, 2:02
David Lynch - Meditation, Creativity, Peace, 1:10:57

Project Three is assigned.
Project Three is due by midnight CST, 01/09/16.

Forum:
Post a response to at least two of your fellow students work. Spend time looking through the past forums, note some of the developments of the work produced. What seems the most successful? What seems to be less successful. and respond to at least two other threads of conversation.
Forum posts are due by midnight CST, 01/10/15.

Blog:
Reflect upon the readings of this week, and comment on their ideas with your own creative practice, and your thoughts about your own art. Continue to document the work you are doing for project three.
Blog enties are due by midnight CST, 01/10/15.

WEEK FOUR - 01/11 - 01/17
FINAL CRITIQUE - PROJECT FOUR

Week Four

Project Four

Project Four is assigned.
Project Four is due by midnight CST, 01/16/16.

Forum:
Post a response to at least four of your fellow students final projects.

Work on your own critique skills, describing, analysing, and interpreting the work.

This will be a final critique, so frame the final project within the context of the students previous work, forum discussions, and development over the four weeks of class. Make connections to the readings.

Spend time looking through the past forums, note some of the developments of the work produced. What seems the most successful? What seems to be less successful. Use specific examples when you talk about the students development, and try to connect the work with ideas from the readings.
Forum posts are due by midnight CST, 01/17/15.

Blog:
Reflect upon your development over the entire course. What readings, and ideas resonate withe you and why? Try to assess yourself, your current strengths and weaknesses. What did you learn about yourself and your creative process during this course? Where will you go from here?
Blog enties are due by midnight CST, 01/17/15.



Projects

Students will create a series of weekly projects of sound or images. Images can be uploaded to the course forums or to Flickr, all other file formats such as sound should be uploaded to a SoundCloud account, and video should be uploaded to Youtube or Vimeo. Student then post the URLs to their projects in the course forums.


Forums

Course Forums Location: http://www.robertspahr.com/forums/

The weekly forum is where students will upload projects as images and text, links to SoundCloud files, Flickr images, or Youtube and Vimeo video files. After the first week, students will be organized into groups and will provide written critique and discussion with their peers regarding the final work, and the creative process that resulted.


WordPress Blog

Each student will create a WordPress blog to act as an online journal where they can document their own creative process, and include sketches, mock-ups, and alternative variations of final work. It is important that each week the student adds support material for each of the assignments.


Evaluation:

Your final grade will be determined by the following:

  • 20% Participation - Forums and Personal Blog
  • 20% Project #1
  • 20% Project #2
  • 20% Project #3
  • 20% Project #4

Your are expected to participate each week by creating artwork, critique and discussion to the course forums, as well as regularly documenting your own creative process on your personal blog.

All assignments and projects are due at midnight Central Time on the due date. The forums will be locked to future comments on that date and time.

Late projects will not be accepted.


Web Resources:

How to chat with XMPP - Jabber

How to register for the course forums

Audacity Beginner Tutorial

Free / Open Source Image Editing Software (cross-platform on Mac/Win/Linux)
The Gimp (GNU Image Manipulation Program)

How To Use Gimp 2.8.2 For Beginners