Critical Writing Visual Culture 1 copy


Critical Writing and Visual Culture | Philosophies of Curatorial Practice: 1800-Present | Contemporary Issues in Curatorial Practice | Curatorial Practice and Multiculturalsim | Curatorial Practice and Globalization | Curatorial Practice and Feminism | Curatorial Practice and LGBTQ+ Exhibitions. | Curating Black and Post-Black Art | Curatorial Practice and Relational Art | Curatorial Practice and Environmental Art | Curatorial Practice and New Media Art | Curatorial Practice: Sci-Art, Bio-Art and Posthumanism | Contemporary Issues in 21st Century Aesthetics |  Aesthetic Theory 1800-Present | Modern and Postmodern Aesthetics | Baroque and Neo-Baroque Aesthetics | Phenomenology of Artistic Experience | Archetype, Symbolism and Semiotics | Psychology and Artistic Expression | Being and Art | Art and Revolution | Philosophy of Architecture: 1800-Present | Philosophy of Fashion: 1800-Present |  Agency and Action in Cultural Production. (For course descriptions scroll down below the student evaluations) 



Responses from Fall 2023 - Pacific Northwest College of the Arts - Critical Writing & Visual Culture FA23 Crit525-01

  • "Thanks for the course this term, Dr. Vetter! I really enjoyed it."
  • "I just read your comments on my final draft on canvas, and I really appreciate your generous feedback. I appreciate your attention not only to what the piece is saying, but what it's doing -–– how it's situating itself within a specific meta-framework. This is something I really want to focus on going forward as a scholar –– how to write work which not only makes an argument, but makes a compelling case for how the argument ought to be situated. I'm still trying to figure out what I want to focus on more broadly in my career, so your comments are very helpful as a guidepost."
  • "Thank you so much Grant! I couldn’t have done it without your editorial guidance and framing of what’s at stake for art criticism today. I really appreciate your support!"
  • "I wanted to let you know that I recently got an internship doing docent and writing work for the Schnitzer Collection --- for my application I submitted both pieces that I wrote in your class as writing samples, and the manager interviewing me (my now boss) said that my writing really stood out to her! I have you to thank for that, and I really appreciate all the work that you put in to help me develop those two pieces. So thanks again!"
  • "We learned many different methods and principles throughout the course."
  • "Though the class was quite dense, I do feel as though I prioritized the methods and principles that appealed to me most and/or aligned with some of the knowledge that I came into the course with."
  • "While we studied many different schools of thought, it was challenging to go deeply into any particular one. I don't feel like I had a proper footing in any one school/method because we just did a brief overview of each."
  • "I grasped the overview of the debates, but I wouldn't say I fully understand all of them in detail."
  • "I found that the writing assignments to be the biggest part that improved my skill as a writer."
  • "I would've liked to possibly have more preparation for the assignments, or more opportunities to find interesting shows / exhibitions to write about, since each writing project took up half the term."
  • "I enjoyed the assignments and the practice of refining one piece for several weeks. I don't know how much they contend with the major issues of politics and culture, but I do feel that I consider that more in writing than I did in the past."
  • "The debates that defined turning points in the history of art criticsm from modernism, postmodernism and pluralism where the focus of the coruse content that was most effectively expressed during the term."
  • "In a very broad sense, I am able to describe works of art using the resources of many different schools of critical thought about cultural production."



Responses from Spring 2022 - Arizona State University - ARA 494 222128107 - Special Topics: Theories of Contemporary Art 

  • "This is the second course I've taken taught by Mr. Vetter and I enjoyed it as much as I did the first one. Definitely a good professor." 
  • "I loved learning and interacting with other students."
  • "I liked that we were allowed to "think out loud", so to speak, in discussion posts (as in, we were allowed to ask questions, share personal opinions, and sometimes ramble about a course topic). I think it led to more honest discussions, like we would have had in an in-person classroom."
  • "I've taken other classes of Prof. Vetter's and thoroughly enjoyed them. I know him to be a very kind and passionate teacher in general."
  • "This course allowed me to think and express myself in a more abstract (and honest) way. A lot of the time, I feel restricted by the limitations of academic formalities and language and so I felt free to fully explore the concepts without those limitations. I felt safe to say when I didn't understand something or didn't have an answer, and my classmates were able to help me too."
  • "I learned a lot and went deep into varying topics."



Responses for Spring 2021 - Arizona State University - ARA 489 221125167 - Writing Art & Design Criticism

  • "What a kind and talented instructor! I would definitely take any course he teaches. I hope to stay in touch and meet him in person someday."
  • " "More cowbell" That is an artistic metaphor I use to express my dialectic interpretation of critical pluralistic vision of modern society. You rock DR.V!"
  • "The instructor makes it very apparent that they want students to succeed and makes themselves available to students for questions and assistance related to the course material."
  • "It is a rare gift to be able to give feedback on how students can improve without hurting the confidence of unconfident students. With every piece of feedback he gave, I thought, "He's right," and "I wish I had thought of that." I have the worst case of imposter syndrome and it's rare that instructors can give feedback so encouragingly." 
  • "I had a great experience overall!"
  • "I enjoyed Dr. V! He really inspired me personally and challenged us to learn a new language of art criticism!"
  • "Dr. Vetter is excellent! He is encouraging and gave great feedback"
  • "Easy to flow through, straight forward."
  • "The reading-based discussions were really valuable though they were challenging. I liked that I could interact with my peers to see how we all interpret the same reading in our own way. It was also helpful that the professor would reply to our summaries of the readings to give us pointers about what the authors were truly discussing."
  • "Our instructor gave really helpful feedback."
  • "Mr. Vetter was very communicative and gave great feedback and was very helpful in the class."
  • "I got to read very interesting pieces of literature about art, it exposed me to a new genre of literature."
  • "Dr. Vetter is actually very inspiring really cool cat! He is a kick ass lecturer. Super intelligent. He could probably carve a statue with his mind. He kept my interest, He has been an inspiration of trying to jam as much stuff as you can into a can of "artists shit"! In a good way! Also, It being a half semester accelerated class, I appreciate the flexibility to "be late" on things because it happened again."



Responses for Spring 2021 - Arizona State University - ARA 489 221782022 - Writing Art & Design Criticism

  • "The professor has immaculate teaching skills; I would most certainly take another course by this instructor."
  • "I really believe I could learn so much more from this professor. He has studied under a lot of notable people and I found this as well as his own insight to be extremely valuable."
  • "Great teacher. Engaging and extremely encouraging."
  • "The content was eye-opening and has influenced my practice and process tremendously. Thinking about my art based on this course has helped during the decision process and has solidified certain aspects of what I believe in and want to say with my work." 
  • "I loved the lecture and the challenging readings (sometimes). I also loved how the review process was separated step-by-step."
  • "This course provided information to help students to think about art in depth which I think is necessary if wanting to venture into the field professionally."
  • "I want to be a curator and I believe the style of writing I learned in this course will be a very valuable skill."
  • "Everything was valuable within this course."
  • "This class is amazing."
  • "I loved everything about this class in general."



Responses for Spring 2021 - Arizona State University - ARS 494 221133982 - Special Topics: Contemporary Issues: Curatorial Practice

  • "It provided a preview to my future career."
  • "Through lectures, I know Prof. Vetter is very intellectual and I would love to learn more from him."
  • "Dr. Vetter is very knowledgeable of the course material and exhibits great enthusiasm."
  • "Good class Overall. I hope to take another class of his."



Responses for Summer 2021 - Arizona State University - ARS 494 221445540 - Special Topics: Curation and Globalization

  • "The explanation of the curatorial experience in a global arena made it easier to think about future goals in curatorial work."
  • "I found the writing-based nature of this course's assignments very beneficial. The method of discussion, research, and non-judgmental dialogue allowed me to actually absorb and think critically about the material rather than memorizing and repeating material."
  • "I liked learning about the deep history of curators and the complete understanding of globalization."
  • "I liked the fact that assignments were based on writing and discussion. It was the most constructive and long-lasting way for me to learn, as opposed to memorization and repetition for quizzes."
  • "I like the subject matter. It's an interesting course and it is clear that Dr. Vetter is invested in sharing his knowledge about the course with his students."
  • "Prof. Vetter has irreplaceable knowledge for me! I'm looking to enter the career that he has a long history of success in. He brings valuable personal experience to the table when it comes to learning materials and is always open to discussion."
  • "He is enthusiastic and happy to share the content, and that is something I can appreciate from anyone's teaching style."
  • "Dr. Vetter is very positive with excellent feedback."



Responses for Fall 2020 - Arizona State University - ARA 489 83874 - Writing Art & Design Criticism

  • "The teacher feedback was invaluable!"
  • "I enjoyed learning every aspect of art criticism and its history."
  • "It gave me a glimpse into the world of art criticism. I have taken art history classes, specific classes in my area of art, etc., but nothing that covered the concepts presented in this particular course."
  • "I valued the fact that Professor Vetter gave students a lot of freedom to learn their own way in this course. Because we read writings and were given freedom in the way we wrote our responses, I felt that I could come to my own conclusions about the material instead of searching for the "right" answers. This model might not work for some subjects, but for art and design criticism I thought it was great, because I was able to think critically and form my own conclusions and opinions. Professor Vetter also takes a lot of time to give wonderful feedback on student work which I appreciated a lot."
  • "I loved everything about it. Vetter cultivated an environment that encouraged true learning and critical thinking."
  • "I wouldn't change anything."
  • "I think this is a great course, very difficult but really valuable material and an excellent instructor (Vetter)."
  • "To repeat, the modules are set up to help you gather the resources you'll need to succeed on the final paper. Like "rewrite using different words" so I open and thesaurus."
  • "Lots of good discussion back and forth between students and the teacher."
  • "It gave me new knowledge that I did not have before."
  • "I really enjoyed the way the course was set up - none of the assignments felt arbitrary. Every single one worked towards the main goal for the final paper and to improve my skills in critiquing art."
  • "I liked that the reading and writing assignments gave me room to think critically and come to my own conclusions and learn through those processes."
  • "There is nothing I didn't like about this course."
  • "Super clear instruction, and amazing thorough and frequent feedback."
  • "Professor Vetter is an expert in his field and can explain material masterfully. This is the second course I've taken from him and I appreciate the material he provides, the way writing assignments are geared toward critical thinking, and the great feedback he gives on assignments."
  • "I truly learned things about art throughout history, and how to trust my instincts in art criticism. I would have never spent the time I did diving into the art from the exhibition I chose, and that was such a valuable experience to me. I am sad that this class is over, and Vetter's lectures were so valuable to my education. It is clear he knows what he is talking about and he made me see things I had never previously considered. His involvement with the students to help everyone truly learn really helped as well."
  • "I like how the modules are set up to make sure you succeed."
  • "Clearly defined expectations." 
  • "The instructor is very passionate and knowledgeable. I really appreciated that aspect. He was also very timely in his communications. He gave individual feedback to every student on every discussion post and assignment. I find this amazing and commendatory."
  • "Thank you for your time and energy you spent encouraging us to learn the subjects and succeed on the assignments."
  • "Dr. Vetter was so helpful not only to me but I think every student. I think this is the only course where I would go back and read the replies in the discussion board because they were actually valuable. He did not provide simple canned feedback, but rather individualized, specific responses to each and every post. In a world where "Create a discussion post and respond to X number of your peers" makes me want to vomit, this class was one of the best discussions I've had and came as close as I have had to simulating classroom discussion."



Responses to Summer 2020 - Arizona State University - ARS 494 220447452 - Special Topics: Curation and Globalization

  • "What was most valuable was learning about curation practices and their history."
  • "I absolutely loved that Dr. Vetter encouraged conversation and critical thinking as opposed to putting so much emphasis on quizzes and exams. I felt more inspired and willing to do the work because I knew I would be able to have critical conversations with both him and my classmates during the week."
  • "This course covered a broad range of perspectives on contemporary art curation that were presented in a truly global manner."
  • "I wish this course was Longer! So bummed this course was cut short because of summer session."
  • "I enjoyed critical conversations, assignments, discussions, and the lectures!"
  • "Learning the history about Biennials and World Fairs as well as curatorial practices was the best part. I do think a narrow focus on what American art industry has or is doing would be a nice touch to the lesson. We've learned about the past, but I would like to learn more about current process."
  • "Dr. Vetter encouraged critical thinking and active engagement with my fellow classmates as well as with him if I had any questions -- that is great when you are an online student and don't get the chance to interact with classmates very much."
  • "Dr. Vetter is an awesome instructor and truly cares about the subject! He encouraged critical conversations and thinking and always had very thoughtful responses to my assignments. I really appreciated the structure of this course and Dr. Vetter's teaching."



Responses to Spring 2020 - Arizona State University - ARS 494 33302 - Special Topics: Curation and Globalization

  • "Really great insights into curation and how it has evolved over the decades."
  • "Great information and insights to curation that have never been talked about in any of my other classes."
  • "This is the first time that anyone has virtually gone into the history of how biennials, curation, and how art fairs have come to be. It was incredibly eye opening and will be very useful for my career in the future."
  • "I enjoyed the topic of the course itself the most and being able to explore this other realm of the art world."
  • "I highly recommend Dr. Vetter for anyone going into curation. The information he gives about the history of how it evolved is truly beneficial for this role."



Responses to Spring 2020 - Arizona State University - ARS 494 33303 - Special Topics: Curation and Globalization

  • "I've never taken a class like this before, and to be honest I didn't know what to expect going into it! I have learned a lot about the structure of exhibitions, as well as the history of the Venice Biennale."
  • "I liked learning more about curating. I think it is valuable to know the past and use that information to help develop your own exhibitions."
  • "The easy instructions and professor's feedback are what I enjoyed most."
  • "Clear , organized, & the instructor was engaged in each student."
  • "No complaints."
  • "The course was organized and clear, and the readings and lectures were always relevant and valid to the assignments at hand. Also, he always replied individually to every single students' discussion posts! I have never seen another instructor do that, it must have taken him a lot of time, but I really appreciated that."
  • "Quality information."
  • "I liked how the class was structured, he would respond to any questions promptly, I think he graded things fairly."
  • "He is really helpful."



Spring 2020 - Arizona State University - ARS 494 33769 - Special Topics: Philosophy of Curatorial Practice


  • "This class offered different content than other classes I have taken, and as an aspiring curator I thought that all of the readings and lectures were very valuable."
  • "The reading selections were also very helpful to understanding the course."
  • "What I found to be really valuable was the introduction of the idea that the evolution of Western philosophy since the Enlightenment drove approaches to curatorial practice."
  • "The content was interesting."
  • "I enjoyed how the teacher presented a history of how curatorial practices have changed, and broke these down by their characteristics."
  • "Dr. Vetter was very passionate about sharing his passion and it was infectious. He was inspiring, inquisitive, informative, and supportive."
  • "What I liked most about this course was the course content, though very difficult, and its effect on my growth as an art historian and curator."
  • "It's a great topic, and I was introduced to the history of some interesting art exhibitions."
  • "I liked the material offered."



Spring 2019 - Arizona State University - ART 482 14587 - Senior Exhibitions/Portfolio

  • "The class overall was very in-depth on many topics from art to gallery presentations and how to run you own art practice as a business."
  • "Make the class a little longer, maybe by thirty minutes."
  • "I found this course incredibly helpful and relevant to my future art career. The lectures provided a lot of pertinent information and Grant shared his personal experiences and insights into the art world. I feel way more prepared to graduate and enter into the art world after taking this class than I would have if I had not. Much thanks and gratitude."
  • "I am not sure if I can put into words the impact this class and the professor has had for me. This class inspired me to engage in the arts every day. It showed, in a very clear effective way how to be a successful professional artist. This class, personally, has been one of the cornerstones to my art practice and experience here at ASU. Grant Vetter shows care, respect, and empathy to students that few professors I have worked with share. Grant is not naive, he takes the time to recognize students as people, non-superficially without even coming near crossing any boundaries. He is an example of what a professor and a class at ASU should be like. He took time with a student in my group, who had been disrespected by faculty and had been known for being difficult. Grant took the time to hear about his day, help him out and defuse tension and stress in a room of ten overworked art students in a way that valued human decency. I will forever be impacted by this course. This course gave me faith in ASU and Herberger as having a specific unique value in an arts education when in the past I questioned if this had been a mistake to attend."
  • "I absolutely loved Grant as a teacher. He teaches in an extremely engaging way, and he is no-nonsense and blunt (which is what students need). I learned far more in this class about life as an artist after college than any other classes I have taken (combined!). Not only that, but Grant has made himself available to us and ready to help after college anytime, but we have to show that we have been putting in the work and effort (again, no nonsense!). GRANT IS AMAZING!
  • "Grant is knowledgeable and passionate and a wonderfully enthusiastic speaker! His lectures were all full of truly useful information and inspirational insight that really made me want to go out there in the world and make it as an artist! I definitely took his advice to heart and feel privileged to have been given it."





Courses in Curatorial Studies

  • Philosophies of Curatorial Practice: 1800-Present

Philosophies of Curatorial Practice: 1800-Present examines the rise of different exhibition practices in the pre-modern, modern, postmodern and contemporary periods. Changes in institutional methodologies, the innovations of singular figures and discussions about landmark exhibitions will be presented through a selection of case studies. Students will develop a broad knowledge of how we understand different philosophies of curatorial practice as well as why dramatic shifts happen in the way that museums and exhibitions are organized during different periods of cultural production. The aim of the course is to prepare students to be able to think critically about the challenges faced by curators in the past as well as in the 21st century when artistic production has become a global discourse.   

Contemporary Issues in Curatorial Practice is meant to introduce students to a wide cross-section of issues that have transformed the field of curatorial practice today. These include how different models of curatorial practice have engaged with relational aesthetics, art and activism, new media and the multi-medial condition, post-digital aesthetics and accelerationism, eco-art and the anthropocene, and more! Each week students will respond to lecture material and readings about key debates that have defined curatorial practice during the first quarter of the 21st century as well as developing critical thinking skills about the new paradigms in museum leadership, collecting policies, and community responsibility.

Curatorial Practice and Multi-culturalism is a lecture and practicum course which provides weekly lectures on the history of curatorial practice as well as practical experience organizing an exhibition. Students will learn about the development of exhibition practices through lectures on curatorial methodologies and significant exhibitions that engage with Global art, Feminist art, LGBTQAI+ art, Black and Post-Black art, Latinx art, and the art of Indigenous peoples. Each week we will cover more than forty exhibitions through lecture materials and readings with a special focus on the premises behind an exhibition concept, the organizational methods used to carry it out, the critical reception it had at the time and the lasting impact that key exhibitions have had on the field of curatorial practice today. Students will develop their own curatorial project with a timeline, proposal, press, budgets, contacts, gallery layout, advertising plan, and selected venue. 

Curation and Globalization is a course that covers the history of World’s Fairs, Biennials and Post-Biennial Platforms as well as what the changing definitions of Post/Modern art, Contemporary art and Global/World art mean in the 21st century. Students will learn about the rise of Art Expositions as well as the changing structures of the international Biennial circuit over the last hundred plus years in places like Venice, São Paulo, Johannesburg, Havana, Alexandria, Istanbul, Shanghai, Japan and many other locations around the world. By examining key moments in the history of global curatorial practice students will be able to debate the role of the curator in relation to Global art production as well as the many different ways that a new global cannon of artistic producers is emerging today.

  • Curatorial Practice and Critical Race Theory

Curatorial Practice and Critical Race Theory introduces students to the foundational texts of Critical Race Theory as well as where CRT intersects with Critical Race Art History and Critical Race Curating. We will examine key exhitibitons that align with the aims of disability critical race studies (DisCrit), critical race feminism (CRF), Jewish Critical Race Theory (HebCrit), Black Critical Race Theory (Black Crit), Latino critical race studies (LatCrit), Asian American critical race studies (AsianCrit), South Asian American critical race studies (DesiCrit),  and American Indian critical race studies (TribalCrit). Students will become familiar with key figures and movements as well as the role that racial realism, intersectionality, white supremacy / Black-white binary, material determinism, interest convergence, counter-storytelling / standpoint epistemology, empathic fallacy, and the role that unconscious bias has played in the history of curatorial practice. The focus of the course will be on how anti-racist practices can be used to critique, challeneg and change institutional models that have reinforced colonial policies, white privilege, and models of art history that have excluded BIPOC and LGBTQAI+ artists from canonization and collections. 

Curatorial Practice and Feminism explores the contributions and the exhibitions of female artists from the pre-modern, modern, postmodern and contemporary periods in relation to the ethics of representation. Each week we look at the contribution of ten women artists and ten women curators as well as their impact on major movements, exhibitions and the place that feminist art occupies in contemporary collections. These achievements will be explored in relation to different feminist philosophies, four distinctive waves of post/modern feminism and the emerging fifth wave which is a global movement that is being explored through museum exhibitions around the world. Students will develop critical thinking skills with regard to challenging patriarchal structures of oppression and hegemonic models of gender discrimination and exploitation.

Curatorial Practice and LGBTQ+ Exhibitions explores the contributions and exhibition of LGBTQ+ artists from the pre-modern, modern, postmodern and contemporary periods in relation to the ethics of representation. Each week we will look at ten LGBTQ+ artists and ten LGBTQ+ curators as well as and their impact on major movements, exhibitions and the place that works by LGBTQ+ artists occupy in contemporary collections. This course has a special emphasis on the fight of LGBTQ+ artists to make and exhibit their art without having their existence criminalized, pathologized, politicized, stigmatized and stereotyped in relation to different waves of reception in cultures around the world. Students will learn about the role that LGBTQ+ artists and curators played in the rise of avant-gardism, activism, education, access, acceptance, and the celebration of their artistic projects. 

  • Curating Black and Post-Black Art

Curating Black and Post-Black Art explores the contributions and exhibitions of Black artists from the pre-modern, modern, postmodern and contemporary periods in relation to systemic racism and white supremacy. Each week we will look at the contributions of ten Black artists and ten Black curators as well as their impact on major movements, exhibitions and the place that art by Black and Post-Black artists occupies in contemporary collections. Students will learn to think critically about the history of Black artists with regard to racism and caste systems, colonialism and slavery, the civil rights era and strategies of gradualism, the Black Power movement and activism, Black Lives Matter and the evolving discourse around Post-Black politics in curatorial practice today. This will include a special focus on the legacies of colonialism, capitalism and patriarchy as well as why the need for anti-racist policy making and action are central to reforming museological principles and practices. 

Curatorial Practice and Relational Art explores the contributions and exhibitions of curators and artists who have challenged the boundaries between art and life. Each week we look at ten curators and ten artists working in the field of relational aesthetics and their impact on major movements, exhibitions, and the place that relational artworks occupy in contemporary collections. This course is meant to explore material and theatrical contributions by modern artists, the organization of festivals and "the new internationalism" by postmodern artists, educational and relational strategies by artists working in a pluralist ethos and examples from our contemporary moment which is focused on collective projects and “the new institutionalism”. Students will learn to think critically about the questions of participation, social practice, outsourced labor, and the politics of performativity.

Curatorial Practice and Environmental Art explores the contributions of curators and the exhibitions of artists who have challenged the separation of the while cube from the world at large. Each week we will look at ten artists and ten curators working in the disciplines of earth art, land art, public art, eco-art, and the Anthropocene as well as their impact on major movements, exhibitions, and the place that environmental art occupies in contemporary collections. Students will learn to think critically about how these projects relate to the concept of the sublime, the symbolic meanings associated with the picturesque, the discourse around pastoral systems of care, the evolution of ecological thinking and greater planetary concerns about the environment, the effects of accelerationism and the consequences of the sixth mass extinction on art production now and for generations to come.  

Curatorial Practice and New Media Art explores the contributions of curators and the exhibitions of artists who have embraced the use of new media throughout the ages. This includes looking at a larger genealogy of artistic inventions that extends from pre-modern art to the present. Each week we will examine the work of ten artists and ten curators who made major contributions to the paradigms of mixed-media, multi-media, new media, net-art and post-net/post-new media art as well as their impact on major movements, exhibitions, and the place that new media art occupies in contemporary collections. Students will learn to think critically about the role that technology plays in art and society as well as what the interchange between technological development and artistic development means for the future of human creativity. The course will conclude by looking at works that are generated by A.I. Ganism, Canism and other movements that challenge how we think about the question of value and aesthetics experience in relation to artistic production. 

Curatorial Practice, Sci-Art, Bio-Art and Posthumanism explores the contributions of curators and the exhibitions of artists who have challenged the limits of anthropocentric knowledge and experience. This includes looking at the history of scientist-artists, biological-artists and posthuman visions from the premodern period to the present. Each week we will look at ten artists and ten curators who have made major contributions to the paradigms Sci-Art, Bio-Art and Posthuman art as well as their impact on major movements, exhibitions, and the place that Posthuman visions occupy in contemporary collections. Students will learn to think critically about the ethics of creativity from the scientific laboratory to the artist studio. The coursework includes questioning what concepts like the singularity, cyborgism and transhumanism mean for the future of artistic production. 



Courses in the Philosophy of Art

  • Contemporary Issues in 21st Century Aesthetics 

Contemporary Issues in 21st Century Aesthetics explores the wide plurality of new "isms" that have exploded in the new century! This includes: Accelerationism, Affirmationism, Altermodernism, the Anthropocene, Afro-Futurism 2.0, Astro-Blackness, Black Speculative Futures, Black Surrealism, Complexism, Compositionalism, Correlationism, Cyber Feminism, Cyborgism, Dark Ecology, Digi-Modernism, Eco-Feminism, Eco-modernism, Glitch Feminism, Hyper-Modernism, Insurrectionism, Meta-Modernism, Object Oriented Ontology, Post-Capitalism, Post-Digital Art, Post-Humanism, Radicantism, Re:Modernism, Renewalism, Re-wilders, Slowism, Speculative Materialism, Speculative Realism, The New Aesthetic, The Radical Aesthetic, Transhumanism, Xeno Feminism and more. Students will learn to think critically about the claims and projects being made on behalf of each of these "isms" and their relationship to similar movements in the history of art. 

  • Philosophy of Art: Aesthetic Theory 1800-Present

Philosophy of Art: Aesthetic Theory 1800-Present explores the major debates in aesthetic theory from Kant to the Present. Students will engage with all of the primary texts from neo-classicism, romanticism, modernism, postmodernism and pluralism in an effort to understand the changing nature of how we think about aesthetic experience. In order to do this we will engage with the writings of Kant, Burke, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Bataille, Heidegger, Sartre, Derrida, Vattimo, Foucault, Deleuze & Guattari, Baudrillard, Virilio, Haraway, Butler, Cixous, Harmon, Massumi, Agamben, Ranciere, Badiou and others. Students will learn to think critically about the nature of "truth claims" made on behalf of the function of art in culture and society as well as what the ontological and epistemological foundations of aesthetic experience appear to be from the point of view of neuro-aesthetics, philosophy of mind and the psychology of perception. 

  • Philosophy of Art: Art and Design Criticism

Philosophy of Art: Art and Design Criticism introduces students to the practice of art criticism from 1800 to the Present. This course examines all of the major figures of art criticism from neo-classicism, romanticism, modernism, postmodernism, and pluralism by looking at ten major figures from each age, the terms and conditions that they used in the evaluation of art and the major debates that they engaged in with each other, the artists that they wrote about and the general public. Issues of taste, quality, the philosophical presuppositions that each age used to criticize, valorize, and cannonize works will be rigorously debated through lectures, assignments and learning to write reviews of contemporary art exhibitions. The course will conclude by looking at writings about "the crisis in criticism" as well as presenting some prospects about how to move beyond this impasse to engage with the kind of global art criticism that is being produced today. 

  • Philosophy of Art: Modern and Postmodern Aesthetics

Philosophy of Art: Modern and Postmodern Aesthetics explores the major debates in aesthetics from the twentieth century and the tradition of continental philosophy. The first half of the course is concerned with the philosophies of Nietzsche, Bataille, Bergson, Merleau-Ponty and Sartre; critics like Baudelaire, Apollinaire, Bell, Fry, Greenberg, Rosenberg and Steinberg; and a wide cross section of artists' writings from different movements. The second half of the course covers the philosophies of Derrida, Fouacault, Deleuze & Guattari, Baudrillard, Virilio, Butler, and Haraway; critics like Krauss, Buchloh, Bois, Foster, Owens, and Danto; along with a wide cross section of artists' writings from different movements. The course concludes with a look at contemporary readings about neo-modernism including altermodernism, hyper-modernism, liquid modernism, eco-modernism, and metamodernism. Students will learn to think critically about the debates that were at the heart of the modern-postmodern divide as well as their continuing influence on aesthetic theory today. 

  • Philosophy of Art: Baroque and Neo-Baroque Aesthetics

Philosophy of Art: Baroque and Neo-Baroque Aesthetics explores the theorization of the Baroque as a historical epoch and the return of Baroque aesthetics in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The first part of the course explores the writings of Wolfflin, Riegl, Wittkower, and others in shaping our conception of the Baroque. The second part of the course is dedicated to understanding the rise of the colonial Baroque and the Neo-Baroque in Latinx culture. This includes exploring the contributions of figures like Sarday, Lima, Carpentier, Borges, and Paz along with a wide cross section of visual artists. The third section of the course focuses on the return of the Baroque impulse after postmodernism in the work of Marvall, Buci-Glucksmann, Hallward, Ndalianis, Calabrese, Eco, Cubitt, and others. Students will learn to think critically about Baroque aesthetics in relation to colonialism in the seventeenth century as well as the role that Neo-Baroque aesthetics have played with regard to questions about cultural reappropriation and neo-colonialism today. Students will investigate a large cross-section of works that use strategies of decoloniality and counter-conquest as a means of creating greater autonomy, sovereignty and artistic freedom. 

  • Philosophy of Art: The Phenomenology of Artistic Experience

Philosophy of Art: The Phenomenology of Artistic Experience explores the birth of the discipline of phenomenology and its return in the twenty-first century with the rise of object-oriented onotlogy, speculative realism and speculative materialism. Drawing on the work of Brentano, Stumpf, Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre and Deleuze in the twentieth century and the work of Harmon, Bogust, Bryant, Grant, Brassier and Meillassoux in the twenty-first, students will learn to think critically about how we encounter objects and what they can convey from the point of view of subject-object relations. Students will develop the ability to interpret works of art through the concepts of intentionality, perception, memory, retention, protention, signification and other concepts for how we encounter works that are anti-reductionist, ultimately opening up the widest possible horizon for the interpretation of artistic experience. 

  • Philosophy of Art: Archetype, Symbolism and Semiotics in Artistic Practice

Philosophy of Art: Archetype, Symbolism and Semiotics in Artistic Practice explores the relationship between image, sign and signifier in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Drawing on the work of Wittgenstein, Piece, Jung, Campbell, Strauss, Saussure, and Barthes in the twentieth century and the works of Pernolia, Harmon, Bogust, Bryant, Grant, Brassier and Meillassoux in the new century will allow students to understand the evolving discourse about how objects signify, and what different regimes of signification mean when it comes to the question of interpretation. Students will learn how to analyze the play of sign and signifer in artworks throughout history and across cultures with the aim of demonstrating how meaning making systems in art can be compared and contrasted, embraced and subverted, challenged and reformulated anew. The course concludes with a look at emerging models of interpretation including radical aesthetics, cognitive poetics, and conciliatory approaches to symbolic interpretation.

  • Philosophy of Art: Psychology and Artistic Expression

Philosophy of Art: Psychology and Artistic Expression explores the relationship of psychology to art making from four different schools of interpretation. The first quarter of the course will explore the ideas depth psychology as it developed in the writings of Janet, Wundt, Horney, Freud, Jung, Lacan, Deleuze & Guattari, Kristeva, Irigaray, and Ettinger. The second quarter of the course examines models of artistic interpretation based on existential psychology including the writings of Sartre, May, Fankl, Jaspers, Sartre, and Fromm. The third quarter of the course looks at art through the lens of gestalt psychology and the theories of Wertheimer, Kohler, Perls, Kofka, and Arnheim. The final quarter of the course looks at the concepts of integral psychology and art by engaging with the writings of Piaget, Gebser, Baldwin, Graves, Beck & Cohen, Kegan, Commons, Wilber, Erikson, Loveinger, Cook-Greuter, Wade and others working in the field today. Students will learn to think critically about concepts like the unconscious, the real, the imaginary and the symbolic in relation to the act of interpretation and what artworks can reveal about an artist's motivations.  

  • Philosophy of Art: Being and Art

Philosophy of Art: Being and Art explores the relationship of art making to the to the concept of Being and beings. This includes engaging with the writings of Parmenides, Eckhart, Heidegger, Sartre, May, Maslow, Weiss, Tillich, Marion, and Badiou as well as what the concept of Being means in eastern philosophies of Taoism, Buddhism, Non-Dualism, Mediation, Yoga, and Tantra. The course concludes by looking at the writings of contemporary philosophers on the concept of Being and art like Malabou, Manganyi, Wilczek, Moss and others. Students will learn to think critically about the question of presence, disclosure, revealing, concealing, and truth in relation to artistic practice. 

  • Philosophy of Art: Art and Revolution

Philosophy of Art: Art and Revolution explores the role that art has played in revolutions around the world. This class explores the writings of Marxist and Post-Marxist thinkers in relation to aesthetics, protest and propaganda. The first half of the course examines the writings of Marx, Lenin, Luxemberg, Lukacs, Adorno, Benjamin, Horkheimer, Marcuse, Castoriadis and Lefebvre. The second half of the course explores the contributions of thinkers like Althusser, Debord, Jameson, Hardt, Negri, Virno, Mouffe, Laclau, Zizek, Badiou, Lazzarato and Raunig. The aim of the course is to examine the history of art, the production of manifestos, and how they intersect with political revolutions from the French Revolution to the anti-globalization protests, OWS, BLM and more. Students will learn to think critically about the relationship of art and politics by examining a series of case studies where the political dimension of art played an important role in changing the course of local, national and global politics. 

  • Philosophy of Architecture: 1800-Present

Philosophy of Architecture: 1800-Present examines the history of the philosophy of architecture from Hegel to Zizek. This course introduces students to the influence of Hegel on Gothic architecture, Nietzsche on Modernism, Bataille on the architecture of festivals and potlatch, Derrida on deconstruction and architectural practice, Lyotard on Postmodern Architecture, Baudrillard on Simulationist architecture, Foucault on Panoptic architectures and hetrotopias, Deleuze on smooth and striated spaces, Guattari on transversal space, Badiou on the Event of architecture and Zizek on the parallax view of architectural practice. These philosophies will be compared and contrasted with the writings and projects of architects working in each age including Pugin, van der Rohe, Alto, Wright, Isenman, Nieuwenhuys, Gehry, Novel and others. Students will learn to think critically about key issues in the philosophy of architecture including the rise of "starchitecture", disposable architecture and issues related to sustainability. 

  • Philosophy of Fashion: 1800-Present

Philosophy of Fashion: 1800-Present explores the function of fashion in society over the course of the last two centuries. In this course students will engage with the writings of Marx on commodity fetishism, Freud on the function of Victorian dress, Veblen on the dress of the leisure class, Adorno on the culture industry, Barthes on the fashion System, Eco on the Semiotics of fashion, Bourdieu on distinction and taste, Lacan on fashion and the function of the imaginary, Derrida on deconstructive fashion, Debord on fashion as spectacle, Baudrillard on fashion codes, and Gilles Lipovetsky on the empire of fashion in the twenty-first century. These philosophies will be contrasted with the writings of Menninghaus, Svendsen, Steele, Lurie, English, Bancroft, Matteeucci, as well as wide cross section of designers, collections, and reviews. The goal of this course is to allow students to think critically about the function of fashion in society by questioning what progressive fashion means today. 


Courses in Professional Practice

  • Professional Practice for Artists: Senior Exhibitions and Portfolio

This capstone course prepares students to enter the world of contemporary art by introducing them to 64 categories of performa that will help them to succeed in the art world today. Through lectures, quizzes and presentations students will develop the confidence to write about their work, to speak about their process and goals as well as how to design their website, prepare for interviews and secure gallery representation. This class also allows students the opportunity to organize their own exhibition, participate in group critiques of their work and learn the skills that are needed to successfully promote their work in the marketplace today. The coursework is rounded out by talks with guest speakers, including curators, gallerists and artists who have been working in the field of contemporary art for many years. 




Website Created & Hosted with Website Builder