FACS1900 C: Arts and Ideas
Dr. Caitlin Fisher



Field Assignment October 31st 10%
-- click here for the analysis strategy sheet (use this to to guide your field analysis).

Mid-term exam In official examination period 20%

Research project, due in two sections:
preliminary bibliography (if you would like
feedback from your tutorial leader) January 9th
Interdisciplinary research paper/critical work February 28th 20%

Collaborative group project November 28 or March 26 20%

Participation ongoing 10%

Final exam In official examination period 20%

Deadlines: This syllabus lays out deadlines for assignments clearly. Because of the large number of students registered in this course, exceptions can only be made for reasons of illness/medical emergency or family tragedy, with proper documentation; otherwise, work must be turned in on time. No late assignments can be accepted. Work must be handed in to your tutorial leader during your scheduled tutorial time.
A note on participation: being part of an intellectual community means attending class regularly and punctually, reading thoughtfully in advance and involving yourself in class discussions in a way that enables you and other students to learn.
Lastly, I encourage you to contact the teaching team whenever you are having trouble with your work for this course or would like to bounce around your ideas. All of us will hold regular weekly office hours and encourage you to make use of them – we’re here to help you.


Field Assignment: For this assignment I ask that you attend an event  that is part of the Soundtracks Exhibition or one of the current exhibitions being held this term at the Power Plant Gallery (details and dates below). Students will be required to produce a written paper which includes both description and a mini-analysis of a component of the exhibition. The paper  should be 4 pages maximum, double spaced, in a regular 12 point font. Include a brief description of the event/phenomenon under question prior to undertaking your analysis. In your analysis you should critically evaluate the work and also tell me about what you bring to it as a spectator/viewer/listener. The due date for this assignment is October  31. All papers must be handed in to your tutorial leaders at the beginning of the appropriate tutorial.

A. Soundtracks

All information from <http://www.thepowerplant.org/soundtracks/>

soundtracks takes a diverse look at how music and visual art have influenced each other over the course of the 20th century up until the early 21st century. Featuring some 70 Canadian artists and more than 200 works ranging from painting and sculpture to video and sound, soundtracks is structured in three separate but interrelated parts.

Where & When: 7 galleries in Toronto and environs

1. Come a Singing!

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection

September 20 to November 16

Come a Singing!, curated by Andrew Hunter , Adjunct Curator of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, establishes the relationship between Canadian art and the romanticizing of folk culture that took place between the two World Wars. Amongst the artists included in this section are Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson, Illingworth Kerr and Doris McCarthy.

2. See Hear!  

The University of Toronto Art Centre

September 23 to December 13

See Hear! curated by Timothy Long from the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina and Ben Portis from the Art Gallery of Ontario, focuses on the 1950s and 1960s in Canadian art. See Hear! looks at several instances or locuses of vanguard activity in the visual arts that had close relationships with music. The refined and  elegant prints from the mid 1960s by the late Yves Gaucher that explored visual parallels for the rhythm, duration, and structure of vanguard music are the starting point for See Hear!.

A second section that delves into two of the Emma Lake Workshops in northern Saskatchewan, those of 1964 and 1965 at which Stefan Wolp» and John Cage (respectively) were one of two guest leaders,  will feature works of art by John Cage, Ted Godwin, Ken Lochhead, Ric Gomez, Art McKay and Jules Olitski. A component centred around the Toronto phenomenon known as the Artists' Jazz Band (formed in 1963)  will contain paintings or works on paper by Graham Coughtry, Richard Gorman, Nobuo Kubota, Robert Markle, Gordon Rayner and Michael Snow.

Finally, See Hear! will have a section devoted to the artists associated  with the London, Ontario-based Nihilist Spasm Band, which began performing in 1965. See Hear! will comprise over sixty works of art, some of which have never been exhibited before.Ó


3. Re-play at:

The Power Plant September 19 to November 16

Art Gallery of Ontario October 22 to January 11

The Gallery, University of Toronto at Scarborough October 22 to December 14

Interaccess Electronic Media Art Centre dates tba

Re-play , curated by Catherine Crowston , Chief Curator from The Edmonton Art Gallery and Barbara Fischer , Director/Curator from the Blackwood Gallery , presents artists who examine, in visual form, the culture of popular music - the soundtracks of our lives. Eighteen artists from across the country are featured at five galleries including an installation by Rodney Graham at The Power Plant from September 19 to November 16, the installation Hors-champ by Stan  Douglas at the Art Gallery of Ontario from October 22 to January 11, Pascal Grandmaison and Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay at InterAccess  Electronic Media Art Centre (tba) Kevin Schmidt and Althea  Thauberger at The Gallery, Uof T at Scarborough , from October 22 -  December 14 and Ian Murray, Shannon Oksanen, Instant Coffee , among  others at the Blackwood Gallery from October 22 - December 14.


Special Events :  Artist Talks, Panel Discussions and other events are scheduled at most galleries (some of these are noted in your syllabus. Many are free. The text is the syllabus is taken directly from the soundtracks website.
http://www.thepowerplant.org/soundtracks/ so check that site for more information and additional events). 

Text above from the promo materials.  Full text and more here:


B. Power Plant more info here: <http://www.thepowerplant.org/exhibitions.html>

1. Power Plant
Sept. 19 to Nov. 16, 2003  Liam Gillick: Communes, Bars and Greenrooms

One of the 2002 finalists for the prestigious Turner Prize, the transatlantic    British artist Liam Gillick, who works between London and New York, has been    a creative force on the European scene. The Power Plant exhibition will be his    first exhibition in North America. Gillick's ambitious installations combine    the look of corporate architectural design and office supergraphics with the    colouristic formalism of minimal art. The sculptural environment of screens    and objects made of anodized aluminum and coloured Plexiglas physically engage    the spectator and offers itself as an open site for dialogue or discussion, informed as Gillick's work is by an examination of the ecosystems of art and    the management theories of business. (note that Liam Gillick will be giving a public lecture tthis term.  Please consult the lecture schedule for this and other interesting Žart and ideasŪ possibilities for your night(s) out.


2. Rodney Graham: Phonokinetoscope

Graham's The Phonokinetoscope is presented as part of soundtracks . Over the past few years there has been an explosion of interest among visual artists in the popular culture of music. They are attracted by its themes and  sentiments, its versatile styles of communication and its powerful, generative  effects. Some seek a more immediate contact with popular culture, immersing themselves within the circles of actual performers, collectors and fans. Yet, they all share a more reflective approach to the culture of music, offering    observant replays, emotional inhabitations, ironic appropriations and a skewed    perspective on glamour, hero-worship and stardom. Rodney Graham's The Phonokinetoscope comprises a five-minute 16mm film loop and a twelve-inch vinyl record with fifteen    minutes of music on it. The projector is activated when the needle engages with the record - technically making it a phonokinetoscope, after Edison's early    cinematic invention. The film is set in Berlin's spring-blooming Tiergarten;its only props are a playing card, a clothespin, a vintage German bicycle, a    thermos, and last but not least, a blotter of LSD, which Graham casually drops on his tongue while reposing on a rock. The phonographic component of The Phonokinetoscope is written, performed and recorded by Graham who is a talented musician in his own right.


3. Joďo Penalva, exhibiting widely in Europe and with upcoming major retrospectives in Budapest and Oporto, Portugal in 2003, the Power Plant exhibition will be the first opportunity for Canadians to see his work. Penalva's film installations have been compared to the Russian film master Andrei Tarkovsky. At the Power Plant, Penalva will exhibit several of these film projections. Penalva's films are narratives of translation. Set against a lyrical landscape    backdrop, several stories are told in voice-over and translated subtitles, some    conflicting, others evoking different memories, all blurring the truth in imaginative misinterpretations.


-- click here for the analysis strategy sheet (use this to to guide your field analysis).



Research  Project:  bibliography and essay/project

You will compile and annotate a bibliography of source material (might include books, articles, exhibition catalogues, audio, video, film, webwork) , receive feedback  from your tutorial leader and produce either a formal research essay or an equally rigorous creative project with a strong written component chosen in consultation with the teaching team.  The final project should be no less than 1250 and no more than 2500 words (or equivalent). Further details will be provided in class.


Collaborative group project: With this assignment, you have the potential to pull together several aspects of the course content and to consider the implications of collaboration and interdisciplinarity across the fine, performing and new media arts in a studio-based project that will be performed for/experienced by the entire class.  In the past students have worked with installations, video, performance art, parades, fashion shows, multimedia, music÷   This is a group project and hallf the class will have a deadline of the end of first term, the second group of students will have thie work due the second

Further details will be provided in class.