4.322
Introduction to Three-Dimensional Art Work: Culture Fabric: Art, Fashion Identity

Prerequisites: 
4.301, 4.302 or permission of instructor
Required of: 
BSA

Explores issues related to three-dimensional artforms, including installation, site environments, onsite fabrication, and the art object’s relation to the body. Introduces working with a variety of materials and techniques, with an emphasis on papier-mâché, moldmaking, and textiles. Lectures, readings, screenings and field trips supplement studio practice. During theTuesday meeting students’ projects are workshopped and there is lecture, discussion of readings, and screenings. The Thursday meeting is for technical tutorials and supervised studio production. Additional individual work of about six hours per week is required outside of the class-time. Students from all disciplines are encouraged and welcome to enroll.

In fall 2014, this course is focused on the concept of “fabric” both as a medium and as a framework to explore the complex cultural histories, meanings, and functions of clothing in an artistic exploration of connections and empathy across cultures. We will investigate how wearable technologies can link ideas and people across physical and psychological borders. Students will probe cultural exchanges in different locations through onsite investigations of local traditions and their reinterpretation through creative application of wearable technologies, exploring ways in which clothing signals one’s belonging to a group and reflects the degree of one’s conformity with established social or cultural norms. We will examine ways clothing and fashion may provide insights into broader cultural codes and societal politics and processes of transformation.

Students will be expected to work on two studio-based projects informed by research and discussion in relation to the class theme. Selected readings from the fields of art history, anthropology, and cultural theory will provide us with different perspectives on how clothing and wearable art and architecture can be a medium for political expression and communication between cultures. Exercises and class presentations will be assigned drawing from the existing research methods and design strategies of selected artists, architects, and fashion designers. This will allow us to develop our own creative methods and critical positions relevant for the more hands-on part of the class, in which we will be designing two wearable artistic/architectural projects. Sewing skills are beneficial but not required; sewing tutorials, machines, and basic sewing equipment/textiles will be provided. Students will have an opportunity to meet with a group of visiting artists from the “Edge of Arabia” collective and discover interconnections between the Middle East and the United States.

Projects in 4.322