Fall 2022

  1. What is the meaning of contemporary? What is the meaning of critique? What are models for sustainable and ethical artistic practice? What is the role of the artist in contemporary culture? These are but a few of the frameworks we will use to explore an array of new tools for thinking, feeling, perceiving, and analyzing the textures of our inter-subjective environment. Together, we will address the challenges implicit in the willful consideration of what exists beyond what we think we know; beyond what we have been told is true about our chosen field as artists. We take up this exploration through a selection of readings, films, lectures and class discussions. Some of the discourses we engage include the relationship between politics and aesthetics, critical race theory, myriad feminist theories, theories of institutional critique, and methods of radical practice in contemporary art. Major requirement; Sculpture majors only. Registration by Sculpture Department, course not available via web registration.
  2. What is the meaning of contemporary? What is the meaning of critique? What are models for sustainable and ethical artistic practice? What is the role of the artist in contemporary culture? These are but a few of the frameworks we will use to explore an array of new tools for thinking, feeling, perceiving, and analyzing the textures of our inter-subjective environment. Together, we will address the challenges implicit in the willful consideration of what exists beyond what we think we know; beyond what we have been told is true about our chosen field as artists. We take up this exploration through a selection of readings, films, lectures and class discussions. Some of the discourses we engage include the relationship between politics and aesthetics, critical race theory, myriad feminist theories, theories of institutional critique, and methods of radical practice in contemporary art. Graduate major elective; Sculpture majors only. Registration by Sculpture Department, course not available via web registration.
  3. A Collaborative Study Project (CSP) allows two students to work collaboratively to complete a faculty supervised project of independent study. Usually, a CSP is supervised by two faculty members, but with approval it may be supervised by one faculty member. Its purpose is to meet individual student needs by providing an alternative to regularly offered courses, though it is not a substitute for a course if that course is regularly offered.
  4. This course will explore digital design and fabrication within the context of contemporary art, design, and architecture. Through a series of technical exercises, students will make connections between CAD/CAM software, digital fabrication technologies, and the physical world. Students will undertake a series of projects exploring 3D model creation using various CAD applications, 3D scanning technologies, and experimental approaches to digital model generation. Simultaneously, digital models will be made physical through various additive fabrication technologies, including large scale and multi material 3d printing. Rhino 3D will be used as the primary CAD tool and students will need to provide their own laptop with Rhino installed. Open to sophomores and above.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. This studio course will examine the expansive nature of installation and its prominent place in contemporary art discourse, both within and outside of institutional settings. The emphasis will not be on making what is termed 'Installation Art' but engaging with strategies and situations where artistic action/production can take place. We will examine the historical lineages surrounding installation, while considering its critical capacities in relation to site, intervention, bodies, public vs. private, the archive, and representation. Assignments allow for students to work in various media and to focus on the process and methodology for developing ambitious ideas, both materially and conceptually. We will deconstruct the ways in which the subject can offer multiple viewpoints and allow for the spectator to take on active and engaged roles. This class is not defined by or limited to a specific technical or artistic discipline. Students should be prepared to challenge the boundaries and limitations of materials, media, and space. The assignments and readings are designed to act as instigators for each student's studio and intellectual work. Experimentation and improvisation will be strongly encouraged, if not expected. The intention is to maintain, advance and expand robust artmaking processes within the mode of installation-based work. There will be group critiques of developed work throughout the semester in addition to lectures, screenings and discussions. Open to juniors and above.
  8. The Independent Study Project (ISP) allows students to supplement the established curriculum by completing a faculty supervised project for credit in a specific area of interest. Its purpose is to meet individual student needs by providing an alternative to regularly offered courses. Permission of Instructor and GPA of 3.0 or higher is required. Register by completing the Independent Study Application available on the Registrar's website; the course is not available via web registration.
  9. The Independent Study Project (ISP) allows students to supplement the established curriculum by completing a faculty supervised project for credit in a specific area of interest. Its purpose is to meet individual student needs by providing an alternative to regularly offered courses. Permission of Instructor and GPA of 3.0 or higher is required. Register by completing the Independent Study Application available on the Registrar's website; the course is not available via web registration.
  10. This course marks a crucial fulcrum in the pathway out of the sophomore experience and into independent work in sculpture. Thematically driven prompts will provide the scaffolding of three major work sessions that direct the conversation in the studio. These studio conversations will take the form of in-process critiques, formal group critiques, and scheduled individual meetings. Students may also expect intersecting projects with shorter timeframes when appropriate. There will be demos in advanced methods and techniques when appropriate. The visiting artist lecture series is a vital component of this course. Major requirement; Sculpture majors only. Registration by Sculpture Department, course not available via web registration.
  11. The prevalence and rapid evolution of digital fabrication technology is due in large part to open source communities of users who actively develop and contribute to new software, hardware, and publishing platforms. In this hands-on studio we will explore both the history and potential of the open source movement as it relates to art, design, and its production. Specifically, we will build upon, modify, hack, and create new open source tools, workflows, and platforms that aid in the production of original artworks. The semester will begin with a series of projects in which students gain familiarity with the norms and practices of open source collaboration, development, and publishing. From there, students will have the opportunity to devise and use an example of open hardware in the creation of an original body of work. Topics include: bootstrapping, hacking, intellectual property, licensure and attribution, speculative fiction, Cyberpunk aesthetics, Afrofuturism, Shanzhai, additive and subtractive fabrication, physical computing, motion control systems, experimental materials, digital distribution, and dissemination. Open to juniors and above.
  12. What is Operational Drawing? This considers the question by making works that address how we image the body in time and space with tools and media. Akin to dance, drawing just might be the next human activity that engages a spontaneous simultaneous interplay of thought, action and acting upon. In this studio we will be working together and individually to explore how drawing relates to your studio practice. Drawing has often been mistakenly viewed as a preparatory or even secondary element within traditional studio practices such as painting, sculpture and printmaking. Today, in an expanded field, those outmoded viewpoints only stand to unfairly discriminate and rank modes of realizing concept and form. It is also true that this archaic view of drawing has origins in the humble materials often associated within the practice, such as charcoal, graphite, chalk, and carbon black (ink). These geological elements on top of skin like substrates were once the defining features of the activity, but in a contemporary studio practice it is the artist's prerogative to either work with or challenge historical presets. The role of drawing in a contemporary studio practice may play multiple roles. Together we will look at, practice and explore that very thing through installations, group projects and large scale immersive work. Estimated Materials Cost: $50.00 - $100.00
  13. The professional Internship provides valuable exposure to a professional setting, enabling students to better establish a career path and define practical aspirations. Internship proposals are carefully vetted to determine legitimacy and must meet the contact hour requirements listed in the RISD Course Announcement.
  14. In Junior Research Studio students will be guided through a series of experiences and encounters in the community, at large that help them understand the local manifestations of larger systems. Along the way, we will ask questions and learn inquiry methods that enable an understanding of how these encounters, the conversations they spawn, and assigned readings we take on help anchor, shape, and guide the aesthetic, material, and media choices we make in our artwork. A continuation of the use of research methods in the context of a studio setting is exercised individually and in groups. Reflection is used as a tool for development. Students are challenged to explore relationships between chosen materials, subject matter, processes, and display in order to establish research practices that help them make the work they want to make. Estimated Materials Cost: $200.00 Major requirement; Sculpture majors only. Registration by Sculpture Department, course not available via web registration.
  15. Building on the research and synthesis methods learned in Junior Sculpture: Research Studio, this is an intensive semester designed to strengthen your ability to design, organize, and complete a unified project of your choosing in preparation for next semester's degree project. Emphasis will be placed on refining and questioning your areas of interest as well as strategic planning for the creation of a sustainable creative practice upon the completion of your degree. Estimated Materials Cost: $300.00 Major Requirement; Sculpture majors only. Registration by Sculpture Department, course not available via web registration.
  16. This course is structured according the notion that artists can use what is on hand to research and craft simple solutions to the complex physical, mechanical, and technical problems that must be routinely addressed in their making practices. This material and process based, hands-on, research studio will be structured in response to the issues that the advanced fine arts student is grappling with on a regular basis. Many of the issues that arise in the process of making provide the opportunity to transcend perceived material-based boundaries and thinking. Some of the questions this course attends to include: How do you defy gravity? How do you generate the hidden components required to physicalize the thing we can see in our mind's eye? How is the magic we need to create our work scalable to the resources we have readily available? Example working processes include: mig welding, tig welding, casting for prototyping, woodworking, and mold making. Open to fine arts majors only; juniors and above. Permission of Instructor required.
  17. This course is an introduction to the six major practices that are essential to the study of Sculpture. These practices include an introduction to wood, digital imaging, plaster, performance, installation, and metal. Over the course of the year, students will be exposed to four week intensives designed to augment their major studio experience. The course begins with wood to expedite the speed of moving from ideation to physicality. From wood, the group moves to digital imaging where basic skills in video editing, photographic documentation, and projection within the built environment are explored. Plaster as a medium is paired with performance as an activity, both of which underscore the importance of the body within the field of Sculpture. Once students have produced objects, videos, and performances, the group moves into considering the fundamentals of installation and metal fabrication so that the architectures that house myriad artworks can be understood as part of the modality of Sculpture. Students can expect to learn proficiency and safety in all of these areas. Students can expect to expand these skills in advanced studio electives in the Junior and Senior years. This course is required for all Sophomore Sculpture majors. Major requirement; Sculpture majors only. Registration by Sculpture Department; course not available via web registration.
  18. This seminar connects sophomore Sculpture majors to significant parts of the ever-expanding discipline of contemporary sculpture. Over the semester the class will explore how methods of artistic production, materials of artistic transformation, and practices of makers participating in various artistic movements have created and sustained the conversations so integral to contemporary sculptural practice. Through a series of film screenings, assigned readings, slide talks, and discussions, students will gain a familiarity with the historic events and trajectories that continue to produce associative canons and relational movements, forming the foundation of their chosen discipline. The course trajectory is coordinated with topics covered in Sculptural Practices I and II and Sophomore Sculpture: Studio I. Estimated Materials Cost: $50.00 Major requirement; Sculpture majors only. Registration by Sculpture Department, course not available via web registration.
  19. Building upon the independent work accomplished in Junior studio, students are expected to generate self directed work supported by in-process critiques, formal critiques, and individual meetings. Faculty and peer feedback will help students clarify their objectives, fine tune their technical abilities, and develop a strong working practice. Students are expected to hone their creative problem-solving skills and engage in a high level of dialog and work. Throughout the fall, students will practice integrating their source research into their studio practice. An increased and rigorous integration of contemporary art, critical theory, and criticism is expected. The visiting artist lecture series is a vital component of this course. Major requirement; Sculpture majors only. Registration by Sculpture Department, course not available via web registration.
  20. 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. Estimated Materials Cost: 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.

Wintersession 2023

  1. What does it mean to have a socially-engaged art practice? In this unprecedented period of late capitalism, building community and resistance is as challenging as it is crucial. In this course, we will familiarize ourselves with artists and art collectives-both historically and contemporaneously, locally and globally-who have integrated a myriad of socially-engaged practices in their work to respond to the conditions around them. This course serves as a generative studio space where students will critically investigate their own unique passions, develop personalized methods to sustain a socially-engaged praxis in their own work, create and iterate a unique project proposal, learn practices for equitable collaboration with individuals and communities, and critically reflect on our impact, positionality, and responsibilities as artists working within the institution. The course will consist of lectures and discussion, a research presentation, invited guest lectures from contemporary artists actively working in socially-engaged practices (Maia Chao of LAAGP and David Kim of Queer.Archive.Work), workshops and practical skills covering research methodologies, collaboration strategies, and budgeting, as well as guided field trips to local community-based, artist-run collectives (Queer.Archive.Work). Students are encouraged to develop a final project that engages a local issue pertinent to them, at RISD or beyond. Projects may take numerous forms, such as (but not limited to) an art piece, an exhibition, a performance, a manifesto, a workshop, a community action, and much more. Collaboration with others (both among classmates and/or with individuals/communities outside of class) on projects is permitted and encouraged, but not required. Also offered as IDISC-1740
  2. Language defines culture and human expression globally, it changes constantly and shapes the world around us. This studio course will be an environment to observe and do research about popular visual and verbal (idioms, slang) expressions of language in the public space. We will collectively analyze the cultural and political implications of some verbal and textual expressions from contemporary visual culture. The aim of this course is to provide new tools and frameworks for comprehending contemporary expressions of language. As a group we will build awareness for different ways language functions in a public space to acquire an expanded understanding of popular language and its value to contemporary art practices. Readings, lectures, field trips, assignments, and group critique will expand literacies around different modes of communication in public spaces such as activism, protest, naming, plaques. The studio projects will consist of both individual and collaborative work. For the final individual assignment, the students will develop a project to be placed in public space. The class could use billboards, slogans, bumper-stickers, posters, rebus, banners, social media, magazines, press, painted signs, gestures like graffiti, even language learning apps in creating this work. The collaborative project will result in a collaboratively produced zine.

Spring 2023

  1. Advanced Critical Issues Seminar 2 introduces a rigorous theoretical framework for thinking and writing about contemporary sculpture practice. Each seminar develops from a specific theme drawing on research from Grad Critical Issues 1, current debates in the field and contemporary events. Past seminars include: Artificial Natures, Precarious Relations, Frankenstein and Crime, Vanishing Points, as examples. Trespassing across sculpture, performance, cinema, fiction, feminist, queer, race and political theory and back again, we will address writings by Walter Benjamin, Lauren Berlant, Judith Butler, Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, Maggie Nelson, Claudia Rankine, Jacques Rancire (as examples) in conversation with contemporary artists writings and projects to cultivate a conceptual grammar to extend to our studio practice. Approaching issues in contemporary sculpture through these discursive perspectives generates new strategies simultaneously material, conceptual, and critical. Graduate major requirement; Sculpture majors only. Registration by Sculpture Department, course not available via web registration.
  2. This is a hands-on studio course focusing on three-dimensional object making, primarily working with wood as a medium. We develop an integration of intuitive approaches and structured processes through direct engagement with the materials. In addition to guiding the student through the various technical hurdles encountered as the projects unfold, an equal stress is placed on the development of the ideas and intent - and those ideas successfully expressed through the materials and its manipulation. At critical times, a slide presentation is given, followed by a general, open discussion on the relevant topics and how they relate to the class. Estimated Materials Cost: $200.00 Permission of Instructor required.
  3. This course will explore digital design and fabrication within the context of contemporary art, design, and architecture. Through a series of technical exercises, students will make connections between CAD/CAM software, digital fabrication technologies, and the physical world. Students will undertake a series of projects exploring 3D model creation using various CAD applications, 3D scanning technologies, and experimental approaches to digital model generation. Simultaneously, digital models will be made physical through various subtractive fabrication technologies, including CNC Milling and Plasma Cutting. Rhino 3D will be used as the primary CAD tool and students will need to provide their own laptop with Rhino installed. Open to sophomores and above.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. This course is a continuation of the vital pathway into independent work in Sculpture. Thematically driven prompts will provide the scaffolding of three major work sessions that direct the conversation in the studio. These studio conversations will take the form of in-process critiques, formal group critiques, and scheduled individual meetings. Students may also expect intersecting projects with shorter timeframes when appropriate. The visiting artist lecture series is a vital component of this course. Major requirement; Sculpture majors only. Registration by Sculpture Department, course not available via web registration.
  7. This course explores the point of contact between sculpture and performance.Temporal and spatial dimensions of both sculpture and performance will be discussed along with the material outcomes of performance that emerge from embodied relationships with sculpture. We will examine performance in its social, political, formal, and corporeal aspects, engaging questions of ritual, labor, and movement. Approaching sculpture in both the conventional and the "expanded" senses of the term, we will consider immaterial sculpture as performance while also considering traditional sculpture's material concerns as performative. Sculptural material engagements of process and technique; site and context; and objects and objecthood will all be examined. Art historical and political questions of power, agency, audience, gaze, attention, and passivity will take shape as we theorize and enact performativity and its relation to embodiment, display, and language. Through individual and collaborative work, students will create and critique performances with objects and objects that perform. A range of text, sound, lens, application-based, and object-based documentation will be encouraged, as we make works that emerge from our disparate locations and are mediated by the full range of perceptual technologies. Open to Sculpture majors only; juniors and above.
  8. This course utilizes experiential learning and hands-on research to connect sophomore Sculpture majors to resources held in the collections the RISD Museum, the Nature Lab, and the holdings of the Fleet Library, including the Visual and Material Resource Center. Over the course of the semester, students will select, compare, research, and contextualize objects of study from these collections as part of the larger material and conceptual framework of their trajectory in Sculpture. In addition to supervised, hands-on study, students will deepen their relationship to the themes and discourses including the relationship between Modernism and Imperialism, politics and aesthetics, digital communication and global image distribution, museum collections and cultural appropriation, power and knowledge, economic superstructures and available material resources, among others. Estimated Materials Cost: $150.00 Major requirement; Sculpture majors only. Registration by Sculpture Department, course not available via web registration.
  9. This course is structured according the notion that artists can use what is on hand to research and craft simple solutions to the complex physical, mechanical, and technical problems that must be routinely addressed in their making practices. This material and process based, hands-on, research studio will be structured in response to the issues that the advanced fine arts student is grappling with on a regular basis. Many of the issues that arise in the process of making provide the opportunity to transcend perceived material-based boundaries and thinking. Some of the questions this course attends to include: How do you defy gravity? How do you generate the hidden components required to physicalize the thing we can see in our mind's eye? How is the magic we need to create our work scalable to the resources we have readily available? Example working processes include: mig welding, tig welding, casting for prototyping, woodworking, and mold making. Open to fine arts majors only; juniors and above. Permission of Instructor required.
  10. This course is a continuiation of Sculptural Practices I. Students are introduced to the six major practices that are essential to the study of Sculpture. These practices include an introduction to wood, digital imaging, plaster, performance, installation, and metal. Over the course of the year, students will be exposed to four week intensives designed to augment their major studio experience. The course begins with wood to expedite the speed of moving from ideation to physicality. From wood, the group moves to digital imaging where basic skills in video editing, photographic documentation, and projection within the built environment are explored. Plaster as a medium is paired with performance as an activity, both of which underscore the importance of the body within the field of Sculpture. Once students have produced objects, videos, and performances, the group moves into considering the fundamentals of installation and metal fabrication so that the architectures that house myriad artworks can be understood as part of the modality of Sculpture. Students can expect to learn proficiency and safety in all of these areas. Students can expect to expand these skills in advanced studio electives in the Junior and Senior years. This course is required for all Sophomore Sculpture majors. Major requirement; Sculpture majors only. Registration by Sculpture Department; course not available via web registration.
  11. Junior Seminar: Critical Issues is an intermediary level course designed to facilitate and support an intense study of themes relevant to art practices and conversations today. Through a series of readings, films, classroom discussion, group, and independent work, students learn to contextualize myriad discourses using the frames of art history, critical theory, philosophy, ethics, and politics. In this studio-centered seminar, students will develop a critical literacy that is applicable to their working practices and the attendant process of using materials to make meaning. This course supports discourse around the formation of the artist in an effort to figure out meaningful strategies for the development and maintenance of sustainable artistic and intellectual practices. Estimated Materials Cost: $50.00 Major requirement; Sculpture majors only. Registration by Sculpture Department, course not available via web registration.
  12. 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. Major requirement; Sculpture majors only. Registration by Sculpture Department, course not available via web registration. Prerequisite: Senior Sculpture majors in Good Academic Standing.
  13. 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.

SS 2022

  1. The professional Internship provides valuable exposure to a professional setting, enabling students to better establish a career path and define practical aspirations. Internship proposals are carefully vetted to determine legitimacy and must meet the contact hour requirements listed in the RISD Course Announcement.