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.

Thematic Extension of Body Assignment

 Artist statement for image above

toilet paper, white glue, moulded from inflated balloons        2014

            Statement by Artist: There is a joke in Chinese Culture describing a person’s head in the  clouds making fun of  her or him when they are daydreaming. Also, this is a joke my parents usually used on me; therefore, I made a paper cloud and put on myself to respond to my parents that I am not a daydreamer who has a dream only without actions to make a dream come true.
No one can touch clouds because they are steam, as the same as dreams are non-touchable. However, the cloud I made is touchable, and it represents I will make my dream come true by my hands. 

Continuing with Themes in Interdisciplinary Work with non traditional materials and methods

Assignment Description:
Students will develop a thematic work (surreal prosthesis) that will be physically warn on one limb or head. Expanding beyond variety materials from previous assignment investigate and develop a work with various hard and soft materials.  Once again students will be required to explore and research a thematic work in relation to a variety of materials, textures, colour, line, shape, and composition. (Strong Formal Investigation and Resolution)

The purpose of this assignment is to exercise each student's individual imagination and skills in terms of harvesting thematic content in relation to the body/figure. As well once again this project will be about synthesizing the language of the chosen materials to the themes/narratives with in a dialogue encompassing contemporary ideas in relation to art. 

Subject Matter:
The work should have materials and or processes that convey fictional or real themes, metaphor or narratives. The body can be a site for political or social critique. As part of the thematic layers integrate a critique into your surreal prosthesis.

Required Process of Work (and connections to evaluation of work):
Once again during the early stages of the work it will be very important in class 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 basic 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 student’s ideas and or work are too straightforward. 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 maquette. Start with a variety of materials and then worry about your concept and themes later in the process! Start with the initial idea that this work could be part of a costume, but eventually strive to have the work go beyond being just a "costume". 

Once again 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. Once again for easy transportation and storage the assignment should be portable (reasonably light weight), expandable (foldable and or inflatable) and modular (assembled in parts) for. During the process of the work allow for 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.

Final Objectives/Goals:
As in the previous assignment the ultimate goal for this assignment is to advance beyond straightforward themes, materials and processes striving to eventually resolve the work by synthesizing as much poetic meaning and thematic layers as possible. As well the work should have an innovative use of various materials and formal design. Overall there is the expectation that the work strives for (or even achieves) new knowledge with in the contemporary art context. Strive to go beyond the work just being a "costume". 

Evaluation of Work:
Concepts/Layers of Themes 30%                                                                          
Formal Visual Language/Technical Skill with innovative use of materials   60%  
Synthesis of the concepts with formal/visual language   10%  

As well to assist people further here are links to examples of some artists and designer's  works and an image by non art person which are related to assignment 3 and may offer some ideas/influences as to where people could start with the assignment and or potential partial options as to where to proceed with the assignment:

Aldo Lanzini:

Andrea Chaves The “Form & Texture Shoe” 

Fabian von Spreckelsen:

Maia Flore:

Pawel Fabjanski:
Rebecca Horn "Finger Gloves":
Rebecca Horn "Pencil Mask":
Rebecca Horn "Unicorn":

Simon Birch (Great ideas in using an assortment of everyday, industrial, or just plain unusual materials as costume):

Protester wearing a giant cardboard DIY surveillance camera on their head:

"Basketry on the Body" by Damia Smith and other artists:

The above individual links do not address all the requirements of assignment 3 but do offer ideas to use and or combine in order to assist in developing the work. It is also hoped that the above links will assist people in finding their own voice while simultaneously expanding  the themes and visual language of their practice as emerging artists.

We will have a group critique of assignment 3 on February 28. Contact me if you can not find or are having trouble accessing the link for assignment 3 or if you have any other questions. 


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