This Introductory Open Studio course is about researching and developing new genres, multiple combinations and various multidisciplinary hybrids of art making into interdisciplinary art practices which convey contemporary thematic/metaphorical content. Methods of art practices may include options of integrating: installation, digital reproduction and time based work (blurring the boundaries between performance, video, sound, animation, book works) as components for each project.

Many of the student work examples presented below may not represent all the objectives for the Open Studio course but instead offer some initial ideas in combining various disciplines.

Often a single example of work presented on this blog may not demonstrate all the required objectives for a particular assignment. Instead students should collectively consider: the required objectives for each assignment, the examples presented on this blog and during in class presentations. As well ideas discovered through a student's independent research in combination with examples and various ideas presented by instructor will ultimately be the best approach for synthesizing ideas and reaching the requirements (and unique outcome) for any particular course project.

Fictional Themes/Narrative Assignment: Developing Meaning and Poetic Layering in Works

Assignment Description:
Through observation and free association in public and private environments students will develop a work that will reflect visual research and potentially written research in finding fictional metaphors and or narratives with in a single environment or multiple environments. Potential choices of mediums and processes could include bookworks, video, sculpture, installation, performance, series of drawings, painting, prints or photographs. Students will be required to explore and research environments that offer fictional metaphors and will then convincingly create work based on the explorations of the environment(s) and the fictional themes they convey.

The purpose of this assignment is to exercise each student's individual imagination in terms of harvesting all the potential themes available to them in public and or private environments. As well this project will be about synthesizing the language of the chosen materials to the fictional themes/narratives with in a dialogue encompassing contemporary ideas in relation to art.

Subject Matter:
Subject matter with in the environment  that inspires metaphor or narratives could include people, various objects, interior or exterior architecture, rural or urban environments, public transportation and  various other types of vehicles.

Required Process and Evaluation of Work:
Students should strike a balance between expanding their technical skills of various mediums/processes and working with materials that will not overwhelm them. Consultation with instructor regarding this balance will be required. During the process of the work changes in directions from initial ideas for the assignment, editing, risk taking, thorough research (including an explorative curiosity) and experimentation and innovation will be all required for this assignment.

During the early stages of the work it will  be very important to always have ideas materialize into some kind of physical  or visual presentation. In these early stages of the project, people may start with weak or straight forward ideas as a starting point but should discuss ideas and potential struggles with instructor immediately.  It is also very important for students to consult with instructor particularly during the project's early stages even if the students ideas and or work are too straight forward. The instructor anticipates that discussing a project in the early stages will very likely present work that is unfinished, unresolved or most likely presents a variety of significant problems.

Even if the idea is very basic and the work has many unresolved problems students are required to take a leap of faith early on in the project and present an initial work in progress to the instructor. These initial works in progress could include photographs, raw video, sketches (analogue and or digital) and or a maquette.

Final Objectives/Goals:
The ultimate goal for this assignment is to advance beyond straight forward themes striving to eventually resolve the work with as much poetic meaning and thematic layers as possible. This resolution of the work includes synthesizing materials and processes into the poetic/thematic layers. As well there is the overall expectation that the work strives for (or even achieves) new knowledge with in the contemporary art context.

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