BISIA 450 (Winter Quarter 2015)
Monday & Wednesday 3:30pm - 5:30pm (UW2-211)




Course Website:

Office hours:

Dr. Ted Hiebert


Monday & Wednesday: 2:30pm - 3:30 pm
(or by appointment)

Click here to download the course syllabus
(PDF format)

Advanced Arts Workshop

Explores image-based arts in a contemporary context in an advanced arts workshop. Emphasizes the development of creative and conceptual projects in a practice-oriented setting.


We live in an increasingly imaginary world, a world saturated with information that no longer clearly refers to a lived reality, a world in which the image threatens to actually replace the real as we know it. In part this is due to the pervasiveness of digital technology and the spectacle of media living, but there are ideological consequences as well. In the words of the Canadian thinker Arthur Kroker, "the analog is dead and digital is dancing on its grave," and the world that emerges is one not only saturated by propaganda, advertising and media representations, it is also one in which the languages of image and imagination begin to fuse in new and creative ways. The image no longer represents a truth of the world -- instead, the world now struggles to keep up to the images we imagine into existence, from molecular mappings to astronomical data to Google Earth renderings, Photoshop faces and Facebook personalities.

Image and Imagination -- it is the image that sets the stage for the truths we believe, no longer as a passive representation of an external world but as an always active invention of one form of reality or another. The impact of this fusion of digital and material culture should not be underestimated. We no longer believe what we see -- nor can we rely on the image in an age of digital manipulation. Instead, we can imagine the world any way we want to -- and more importantly, we can provide the images to prove it as well. It is perhaps in the world of contemporary art that this transition becomes most clear -- a stage of imaginary production in which the task is set to challenge the imagination itself. Here a question emerges: how might we begin to imagine the world differently, and how might we provide images that begin to speak to these new fusions of reality, the imaginary and creative possibilities for representation?

This course explores the theory and practice of image making as a contemporary art form, with an emphasis on the 2D digital and photo-based image. Considerable attention will be placed on the cultivation of, and engagement with questions of art and the imagination, mediated through the work of artists and theorists who engage these concepts to creative ends. Student will be expected to develop individualized projects -- and to contribute to the project development of others -- in the context of readings, class discussions and other material presented in class.

Required Texts