Sculpture

Courses

  • Fall 2014

    ADVANCED CRITICAL ISSUES

    This seminar addresses contemporary issues in the expanded field of sculpture. Through readings, lectures, and class discussions, we will examine discursive approaches to making, writing and thinking about sculptural practice, specifically attending to its historic, aesthetic, ethical, and curatorial contexts. Student generated research drawn from studio practice will also inform the dialogue.
    Major requirement; Sculpture majors only
    Registration by Sculpture department, course not available via web registration

    ADVANCED CRITICAL ISSUES II

    Interrogating Space: spaces imagined, spaces created, spaces walked upon. Inspired by Henri Lefebvre's concept of space as both "knowledge and action," this seminar considers space as theoretical concept and artistic material. Trespassing across a range of philosophical and critical texts, we consider space as a social and historical force, conceptual terrain, and as medium for artist interventions. Each class will focus on a specific theoretical project (Marxism) psychoanalysis, phenomenology, feminism, post-structuralism, postcolonial theory, visual culture, as examples) in conversation with artists' projects to interrogate how spaces are thought, produced and lived.
    Writings include: Walter Benjamin, Peter Sloterdijk, Henri Lefebvre, Paul Virilio, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Michel Foucault, elizabeth Grosz, Sigmund Freud, Anthony Vidler, Michel de Certeau, Anne Wagner, Beatrice Colomina, Dan Graham, Liam Gillick, Edouard Glissant, Ralph Lemon, Okwui enwezor, Gayatri chakravorty spivak, Michael Warner.
    Graduate major elective; Sculpture majors only

    CASTING STUDIO

    This course is designed to build upon the fundamental principles of mold making and casting while exploring more complex concepts, materials, and techniques. The transformative process of casting can embody the signs of growth or decay, of evolution and metamorphosis. From cellular multiplicity to large scale sculptures, casting skills enable the artist to control the sensation of the finished work through a spectrum of materials and processes.
    Through demonstrations then hands-on exploration, students will pursue individual projects that reflect upon themes in sculpture that utilize casting for its unique versatility. Students will have extensive exposure to a variety of traditional and nontraditional materials. Processes will include multi-part shell molds, gypsum and composite materials for shell construction, urethane and silicone rubber, castable plastics, cold cast metals, and material specific release agents. We will review the possible health hazards associated with casting, and learn safe working methods, as well as have in-class discussions about concept and craft, various fabrication and finishing methods, and uses for molds in the making sculpture.
    This class is for junior sculpture majors and other students with permission of the instructor. Elective; Sculpture majors must choose this class or SCULP 4691 during junior year.
    Registration by Sculpture department, course not available via web registration

    CONDITIONAL DYNAMICS

    We will create a unique learning environment where a classroom space is dedicated solely to the making and the display of the course work for the duration of the semester. This approach will encourage the participants to generate work that cannot be "carted in and carted out for a critique". The opportunity creates a unique format for interacting and making work within RISD's academic and facility structure. The explorations in this course are based on the fact that absolutely everything is a material and that everything can be manipulated using conditional approaches, responses and skills.
    We will start with fundamental skills that use; contextual influences, site specific analysis and behavioral observations. The emphasis will always be on making. You must be willing to adapt the way you work and collaborate with one another during the development and fabrication of every exploration. There will be occasions when you are used as material to be worked with.
    After a series of investigations and assignments, studio participants will generate work that is connected to their own interests. Together we will also create an environment within the room that supports the optimum display for all of the individual works. Everyone will be required to document their individual process and contribute to a final class compilation. This course supports the exploration and engagement of interdisciplinary and experiential learning.
    Major Elective, Junior and Above
    Open to non-majors by permission of department
    Course not available via web registration

    GRADUATE STUDIO I

    Students pursue individual work under advisement of resident faculty, visiting artists and critics during the semester. Individual objectives are clarified and professional practices are discussed. Group interaction and discussions are expected.
    Graduate major requirement; Sculpture majors only
    Registration by Sculpture department, course not available via web registration

    GRADUATE STUDIO III

    Students pursue individual work under advisement of resident faculty, visiting artists and critics during the semester. Individual objectives are clarified and professional practices are discussed. Group interaction and discussions are expected.
    Graduate major requirement; Sculpture majors only
    Registration by Sculpture department, course not available via web registration

    JUNIOR SCULPTURE: STUDIO I

    This course helps students develop a clear direction for their sculpture. Readings, discussions and slide presentations on contemporary art and culture supplement the studio work and critiques. Students are expected to research and present a talk on a subject of their choice.
    Major requirement; Sculpture majors only
    Registration by Sculpture department, course not available via web registration

    SENIOR SCULPTURE: STUDIO I

    This studio builds upon the work accomplished in the Junior studio. Students are expected to clarify their objectives, fine tune their technical abilities and develop a strong working attitude. Starting with some assigned projects and working toward independence and individual problem-seeking and solving. A high level of dialog and work is expected at this juncture. Throughout the fall, students will practice engaging their source research into their studio practice. Presentation of work in group and individual critiques will continue as an integral part of the curriculum, with an emphasis on contemporary art and criticism.
    Major requirement; Sculpture majors only
    Registration by Sculpture department, course not available via web registration

    SOPHOMORE SCULPTURE: STUDIO I

    This beginning sculpture studio encounter is organized to train students to workshop their ideas and concepts with the basic materials and processes of the sculpture studio. In this department we teach visual vocabulary on the basic principle of, "Thinking while making and making while thinking."
    The assignments in the Fall Sophomore studio parallels the exercises in technical skills taught in WOOD AND METAL SHOP PRACTICE I.
    Students will begin working in sculpture specific metal fabrication methods. Students may expect to gain proficiency in gas, TIG and MIG welding techniques, along with hot and cold forming methods.
    The second half of the fall semester is focused on sculpture specific wood fabrication methods. Students will acquire skills in methods of cutting and joining alongside methods of forming and lamination.
    Fees: Students are required to purchase a substantial selection of tools.
    Major requirement, Sculpture majors only
    Registration by Sculpture department, course not available via web registration

    THE ARTIST'S MACHINE: ELECTRICITY AND ELECTRONICS FOR ARTISTS

    Students learn the basics of electricity and electronics while focusing on how to use microcontrollers (one chip computers) in conjunction with sensors, lights, motors, switchers, audio signals, and basic mechanics in works of art. Projects include timekeepers, simple robots, and interactive environments. Readings and slide/video lectures encompass artist-built machines and sculpture from 1900 to the present. Students can expect to spend time outside of class reading and programming, as well as designing and constructing. No previouis experience with electronics is required. Students should have taken a basic computer art course and, ideally, a sculpture course. Computer programming and machine shop skills are definitely a plus.
    Major elective

    TRESPASS: FALL SCULPTURE WRITES PERFORMANCE

    The content of this course will be influenced by the sculpture department's visiting lecture series and artists invited into the class for projects and performances. Therefore fall and spring courses will be based upon these variables. Students should also expect to encounter accompanying readings and seminar scale discussions native to these discrete experiences.
    TRESPASS: sculpture writes performance is a experimental laboratory for thinking and making across the disciplines of sculpture and performance that uses writing as a critical choreographic tool. We trespass from sculpture to science fiction, cinema to landscape, punk rock to theory, dance to poetics, sound to insomnia, history to holodeck. These encounters-conceptual and material-engage a constellation of ideas surrounding critical writing and art-making processes.
    To think, to construct, to write within such a surround invites a precarious approach to process and to concept untethering syntax (materially, linguistically, theoretically) from its rational grounds. From here we consider questions of improvisation, correspondence, movement, gesture, repetition, timing, our relationships to history (personal and cultural), utopia and dream.
    Structured as a series of workshops, the laboratory unfolds through individual and collaborative projects, critiques, readings and discussions of artists' writings and theoretical texts. Readings will include Walter Benjamin, Anne Carson, W.G. Sebald, Paul Virilio, Shelley Jackson, Mike Kelley, Jorge Luis Borges, Sigmund Freud, Samuel Delany, Kelly Nipper, Douglas Gordon, Giles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Avital Ronell, Ralph Lemon, Michel Foucault, Stephen Parrino, Kim Gordon, among others. Each semester two Visiting Artists, working along the edges of sculpture/performance/writing, will present their own work and develop a collaborative practice with the group.
    Estimated Material Cost: $100.00
    Junior and above
    Elective; non-majors by department permission

    WOOD&METAL SHOP PRACTICE I

    The purpose of this course is to provide new Sculpture students with safety orientation for their future use of the wood and metal facilities in the Sculpture department. The shop technician instructs students in the safe operation of the stationary machines in the Wood Studio, including the band saw, table saw, sanders, planer, and jointer. In the Metal Studio, the welding equipment, stationary tools, and processes covered include: gas welding; electric welding processes, such as TIG, MIG, and electrode; plasma cutting; grinding tools; horizontal and vertical band saws; benders; and rollers. This course is required for all entering undergraduate Sculpture students - and highly recommended for entering graduate students. Passing this course is required in order to qualify for Shop Monitor Work Study jobs.
    Major requirement; Sculpture majors only
    Registration by Sculpture department, course not available via web registration

    Wintersession 2015

    CONTEMPORARY WOOD SHOP: CONCEPTUAL SCULPTURE EXPLORED

    Contemporary Wood Shop: Conceptual Sculpture Explored will familiarize students with the techniques and materials necessary to realize three-dimensional wood forms in real space. This class is a hands-on, fast-paced introduction to the wonders of working with wood in a full wood shop. Most major power tools and hand tools will be demonstrated and taught, as well as useful finishing and fastening techniques. Students in this course will research, conceptualize, plan, and fabricate sculptures under the guidance and supervision of instructors. Demos will focus on tangible skills apllicable to the student's ongoing studio practice. A discussion of contemporary sculpture as is related to woodworking will happen throughout the course. Students will be exposed to an array of contemporary artists and learn how they are approaching the medium.
    Estimated Materials Costs: $150.00

    INTERACTING WITH NATURE THROUGH SCULPTURE

    Using our understanding of how artists relate the the natural world, this calls will use sculpture as a vehicle to express our ideas around what nature is, where it exists and how we use it.
    Making work inspired by nature doesn't always mean that one must use natural or recycled materials. In this class we are interested in exploring both the beautiful and the grotesque. Nature goes beyond romantic landscpaes of prstine natural beauty. It includes urban settings and their distinct ecosystems of undesirable yet resilient flora and fauna such as rats, pigeons and the weeds that group up from cracks in the sidewalk.
    How can we reconcile the multi-faceted world we live in? A world where we chose to save one species and flinch at the sight of another? How can we use materials, both natural and synthetic, to address our personal concepts surrounding human interaction with nature?
    Through a combination of readings, lectures and studio assignments, we will explore how our idea of nature is ever changing and how we can push the boundaries of sculpture as object.
    From the 1960's to today, we will be looking at different artists to broaden our understanding of what we call sculpture and the different approaches artists have used to explore nature.
    Short assignments will allow freedom to explore prompts, challenge concepts and experiment with materials, leading into a final project.

    IRON IN WINTER

    Iron, as a material for sculpture, has a unique visual quality and history separate from Bronze and other traditional art metals. As one of the oldest and most common elements in the universe, it makes up the core of our planet and it runs through our veins. Artists respond to the transformation of Iron from elemental Earth to a liquid state fueled by fire; emerging as a new solid form, with an organic life that changes over time as it begins the slow return to its origin. We embrace the mechanical and architectural heritage of this material and its role in the Industrial Revolution; we marvel at its structure and strength, or its crystalline surface and depth, while adopting its history or reinventing its meaning within our own work.
    In this course we will explore form, material and process as we use cast Iron as a material for sculpture. We will delve into the physics of the furnace, and the technical aspects of casting Iron using RISD's first homemade blast furnace. Students will receive hands on experience in this vigorous and physical process of preparing and running an Iron Cupola, reclaiming and smashing up radiators and bathtubs to give them new life as sculpture. The course will culminate in an Iron Pour of work created in class, then return to the studio to complete the projects.
    This course requires prior experience with casting and will also involve hands on physical activity in the preparation for the pour.
    Open to sophomore and above

    MANIFEST METAL: SCULPTUER AND STEEL FABRICATION

    "Abstraction is one of the gratest visionary tools ever created by human beings to imagine, decipher and depict the world." Jerry Saltz
    Born of the industrial revolution, few materials are as ubiquitous in modern industry today as steel. Morden steel-working processes allow for a variety of practices to attain an almost unlimited range of shapes and forms from this simple material. The versatility, to expand and challenge the modern vocabulary of steel practice by incorporating ideas, techniques and materials from students' major interests. You should be prepared to work hard in an art-industrial shop setting, not with the aim of laying the perfect bead for industrial pipe-fitting, but rather to diversity and develop your own personal practice through exposure to steel-working techniques.
    Estimated Material Costs: $200.00

    Spring 2015

    ADVANCED CRITICAL ISSUES SEMINAR II

    This seminar introduces a discursive theoretical framework for thinking and writing about contemporary sculptural practice. Working from a specific theme, we will develop a conceptual grammar to extend to our studio practice that is both critical and material. Trespassing across sculpture, performance, cinema, fiction, critical theory and back again, we will address writings by Giorgio Agamben, Walter Benjamin, Judith Butler, Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, Lauren Berlant (as examples) in conversation with contemporary artists writings and projects. Approaching issues in contemporary sculpture from these discursive perspectives opens up a series of generative strategies for thinking about sculptural, critical, and writing practices.
    Major requirement; Sculpture majors only
    Registration by Sculpture department, course not available via web registration

    DRAWN OVER

    This is an advanced studio workshop for graduate students and students in fine arts moving into degree projects. The studio will be segmented into three four week thematic concentrations mining the relationship of drawing as an act, an action and a process. The goal of this experience is to further understand how to manifest the yet to be seen through studied practiced and applied modes of drawing. The content of the course will be driven by ongoing student thesis or degree projects works already in progress. The goal of this studio experience is to provide a framework for developing a drawing practice as a speculative tool. A tool that may enable one to discover viewports into the realm of the yet to be seen.
    Estimated Materials Cost: $50.00
    Senior and above
    Elective

    GRADUATE SCULPTURE THESIS PROJECT

    Students present a body of work supported by a written thesis to a thesis committee for evaluation.
    Major requirement; Sculpture majors only
    Registration by Sculpture department, course not available via web registration

    GRADUATE STUDIO II

    Students pursue individual work under advisement of resident faculty, visiting artists and critics during the semester. Individual objectives are clarified and professional practices are discussed. Group interaction and discussions expected.
    Graduate major requirement; Sculpture majors only
    Registration by Sculpture department, course not available via web registration

    JUNIOR SCULPTURE STUDIO II

    This course concentrates on the development of the student's individual sensibilities without the structure of specific assignments. The focus is on helping students develop a sustainable studio practice and locate their voice within it. Emphasis is placed on independent investigations and creative problem solving. Readings, discussions and slide presentations on contemporary art and culture or other relevant topics supplement the studio work and critiques.
    Major requirement, Sculpture majors only
    Registration by Sculpture department, course not available via web registration

    METAL FABRICATION STUDIO

    We will explore metal by cutting, machining, bending, warping,welding, stitching, binding, and altering the materials to pushand expand students skills and understanding of metal as material for sculpture. We will discuss, experiment and challenge the notion of metal as traditional industrial workhorse, or as coveted art object and embrace or reject these ideas as we create with this medium. Students will be encouraged to pursue other nontraditional uses of metal, through scavenging, collecting, transforming metal from various states into new surfaces and forms. With safety and ingenuity we will put into practice work of the hand and machine, use computer driven techniques in tandem with the deliberate and accidental to experiment with pattern, surface, line, form and color.
    This class is for junior sculpture majors and other students with permission of the instructor.
    Elective, Sculpture majors must choose this class or SCULP 4692 during junior year.
    Registration by Sculpture department, course not available via web registration

    ROBOTICS

    This is a hands-on introduction to robotics for artists class. Topics covered include: machine shop practices, electronic construction and theory, and computer programming. Students will build robots and utilize robotic technology. Students are free to choose their own microcontroller platforms. Peripheral technology will employ servomotors and sensors. Readings will explore the interface between art and technology.
    Restricted to Senior, Fifth-year, Graduate as Elective
    Also offered as D+M 7013. Register into the course for which credit is desired.

    SCULPTURAL FABRIC STRUCTURES

    This class is a hands-on studio elective that explores the potential of fabric as a sculpture material. We will spend the semester looking at useful examples of how fabrics have been utilized in a broad range of engineered solutions. Fabrics can be flexible, transparent, impermeable, delicate, rigid, lightweight, and stronger than steel. How has fabric been used to represent other materials in art? We will explore how fabric is being used in architecture, advertising, fashion, and design. We will consider the diverse functionality of all kinds of fabric and plastic materials and explore how these materials are engineered for specific purposes. We will study inflatable fabric structures as they have been engineered for art, architecture, advertising and functional objects. Students will build their own projects after learning the basics of patternmaking, assembly, and surface manipulation.
    Class will be held at a Brown University location, John Street Studios, per special arrangement.

    SENIOR SCULP DEGREE PROJECT

    Students are expected to continue the independent work developed in the fall senior studio. Over the course of the degree project semester students will present their work in the context of Duet shows". These "Duets" will be accompanied by a short video-taped interview between the partners based upon vetted questions germane to each others work. Seniors are expected to produce a significant group of work commensurate with the departments senior degree level criteria.
    Prerequisite: Senior Sculpture major in Good Academic Standing
    Major requirement; Sculpture majors only
    Registration by Sculpture department, course not available via web registration

    SITE UNSEEN: INSTALLATION

    Site Unseen is an elective studio course utilizing mixed media (sculpture, photo, textiles...) to create immersive sensory experiences. Over the course of the semester students will create site specific sculpture, collaborative works, and room size installations. Essentially, installation art is dependent on site. We will examine evocative spaces to alter outdoors, and create three dimensional immersive sculptural environments indoors using video, sound, light, performance, and virtual reality. Periodic reading assignments include excerpts and articles by Claire Bishop, Gaston Bachelard, Henry M. Sayre, Erika Suderburg, Miwon Kwon, and Mark Rosenthal. Frequent image presentations will prompt discussions and projects. Students in the course should have a basic understanding of sculptural materials and fabrication techniques. Instruction through workshops and demonstrations will introduce students to the necessary skill set to realize installation work. This is a skill sharing opportunity for students from different majors to work collaboratively, combining fabrication methods and inventing new ones to create unique spaces.
    Sophomore and above
    Major elective; open to non-majors

    Estimated Materials Cost: $150.00

    SOPHOMORE SCULPTURE STUDIO II

    The Spring semester of Sophomore Sculpture Studio is organized to continue training students to workshop their ideas and concepts while learning basic materials and processes of the sculpture studio. In this department we teach visual vocabulary on the basic principle of, "Thinking while making and making while thinking."
    The assignment projects in the Spring studio parallels the exercises in technical skills taught in WOOD AND METAL SHOP PRACTICE II.
    Advancing from basic fabrication methods learned in the previous semester, students will progress into workshops in modeling, molding and casting. Students will learn the basic language of form through the lens of basic mold-making methods working in wax, plaster and clay advancing to contemporary silicones and plastics. This workshop will culminate with lost wax ceramic shell casting in our foundry.
    Major requirement; Sculpture majors only
    Registration by Sculpture department, course not available via web registration

    SPATIAL VIDEO

    Our eyes are nearly always drawn towards something moving over something inert. What innovative strategies can be employed to incorporate video, sculpture, and physical space into a single work, without one medium dominating the other? How can an artist resolve the fundamental differences between two-dimensional moving images and three-dimensional objects or space? This intensive studio elective will explore methods and issues of assimilating video, photography, sound, performance, objects, and space through studying and constructing multimedia sculpture and installations. Throughout the semester we will be presented with assignments that examine these different possibilities from multiple perspectives, including studio projects that deploy video in a sculptural context, and sculpture that is only activated through a video work. We will study the recent history of artists and designers who engage multimedia techniques and experiment with new formats and technologies. Students will learn the basics of DSLR camera technique, digital video editing, audio production, audio/video display technology, and installation techniques. Students in the course should have an understanding of sculptural materials and fabrication techniques, and should be ready to experiment with the fundamental structure of the presentation of media.
    Estimated Material Cost: $150.00
    Sophomore and above

    TRESPASS: SPRING SCULPTURE WRITES PERFORMANCE

    The content of this course will be influenced by the sculpture department's visiting lecture series and artists invited into the class for projects and performances. Therefore fall and spring courses will be based upon these variables. Students should also expect to encounter accompanying readings and seminar scale discussions native to these discrete experiences.
    TRESPASS: sculpture writes performance is a experimental laboratory for thinking and making across the disciplines of sculpture and performance that uses writing as a critical choreographic tool. We trespass from sculpture to science fiction, cinema to landscape, punk rock to theory, dance to poetics, sound to insomnia, history to holodeck. These encounters-conceptual and material-engage a constellation of ideas surrounding critical writing and art-making processes.
    To think, to construct, to write within such a surround invites a precarious approach to process and to concept untethering syntax (materially, linguistically, theoretically) from its rational grounds. From here we consider questions of improvisation, correspondence, movement, gesture, repetition, timing, our relationships to history (personal and cultural), utopia and dream.
    Structured as a series of workshops, the laboratory unfolds through individual and collaborative projects, critiques, readings and discussions of artists' writings and theoretical texts. Readings will include Walter Benjamin, Anne Carson, W.G. Sebald, Paul Virilio, Shelley Jackson, Mike Kelley, Jorge Luis Borges, Sigmund Freud, Samuel Delany, Kelly Nipper, Douglas Gordon, Giles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Avital Ronell, Ralph Lemon, Michel Foucault, Stephen Parrino, Kim Gordon, among others. Each semester two Visiting Artists, working along the edges of sculpture/performance/writing, will present their own work and develop a collaborative practice with the group.
    Estimated Material Cost: $100.00
    Junior and above
    Elective; non-majors by department permission

    UNINHABITABLE PLACES

    Most people accept and believe in many things that exhibit this phenomena because, there are many daily experiences we have with our lives that does not include our physical presence. We often respond and remember these uninhabitable experiences as though we had physically been there. Some existing formats include television programs, theater performances, movies, the internet, historic recreations, store windows, miniaturization, dioramas, postcards, fantasy, cartoons etc.
    Artists and designers have benefitted from actively participating and manipulating where to locate the viewer as a part of the work they are making, keeping them at bay...from architects to cake bakers. (and it works) What happens when you address these issues directly and create works that are based on our acceptance of a physically limited engagement as being reality? Class participants will be encouraged to exploit this phenomena through class assignments, and their own interests and visual pursuits.
    Elective

    WOOD&METAL SHOP PRACTICE II

    This is a continuation of Wood and Metal Shop Practice distinct from SCULP-4706, which covered welding, metal fabrication and woodworking techniques. The second semester will emphasize lost wax casting, including wax fabrication, two-piece plaster molds, alginate moldmaking, gating and spruing, investing, ceramic shell building, chasing tool making, melting and pouring metals (aluminum and bronze), divesting metal finishing, tig welding, and patina. Casting techniques also covered: concrete casting and moldmaking using plywood forms.
    Major Elective; Sculpture majors only