The Politics and Pragmatics of Making Art

Rhode Island School of Design
Glass Department

Fall 2018
Graduate Critical Issues Seminar

This graduate seminar provides an intensive study of current critical issues in contemporary art. Each Fall a visiting curator or critic is invited to lead the course. While the themes covered each semester will vary with the visiting instructor, the structure of the course will remain the same. The class is divided into two segments: a seminar and a studio. Each week the seminar lasts for three hours followed by studio visits with each student. This course helps students carry the dialogue of contemporary art issues into the studio more effectively.

The Fall 2018 theme to be examined is: The Politics and Pragmatics of Making Art. The course begins with an overview of challenges that confront artists and arts professionals as they make work and mount exhibitions. The class moves on to focus on in-depth discussions of social, political and practical issues that artists confront and some of the approaches, strategies and solutions they adopt. These include: individualism and collectivity, intellectual property and authorship, equity, identity, representation, narrative, legacy, archiving, commerce, productivity, patronage and, of course, aesthetics. The class will feature readings, discussion, three short written reading responses, field trips and weekly visits to students' studios to discuss works in progress.