Fall 2020

2020: Art Can Help

Listed in: Art and the History of Art, as ARHA-233  |  Film and Media Studies, as FAMS-233

Moodle site: Course


Justin F. Kimball (Section 01)
Adam R. Levine (Section 01)


(Offered as ARHA 233 and FAMS 233) We approach the fall of 2020 in the midst of a global pandemic, a wave of international protests in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, systemic racism, an escalating climate emergency, and widespread anxiety about the consequences of the upcoming American elections. Our own responses to these crises can vary, often from day to day. We may feel inspired to make change or to further educate ourselves, but we can also feel overwhelmed and unsure of our own place in the world. What are our responsibilities as artists, individuals and as members of the communities that surround us?

In this remote studio course for students working in video and photography, we will explore methods and issues related to politically engaged art practice. Topics to be covered may include: the tension between the personal and the political in art, the role of images within political discourse, documentary, archive, and the relationship between creative practice and activism.

Each student will work independently in photography, video or both to produce a body of work that speaks to their own interests or experience. Students may choose to work in a variety of modes that might include or combine direct observation, diaristic record, archival practices, performance or poetic intervention. The course will include group and individual critiques of the students’ work, research seminars, historical and topical lectures from the histories of film, video and photography, and the examination of art practices that seek to balance or blend politics and aesthetics. We will conclude the semester with a group exhibition of artistic work created by students in the class.

Remote: Zoom, live demos, virtual visitors, individual and group critiques. Equipment and material supplied.

Requisite Course: One 200-level course in film/video or photography, or a portfolio of work which demonstrates relevant experience.

Limited to 14 students. Fall semester. Professor Kimball and Professor Levine.

If Overenrolled: Interview with the professors.


Artistic Practice, Online Only


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2020