Understanding images and visual, sensory phenomena and messages may seem to be an intuitive process but acquiring visual literacy and learning how to think visually, are actually like learning a new language with its own special alphabet, lexicon and syntax. One might "know" a thing visually, but may not be able to describe that same thing. In addition to learning how to think visually and to become visually literate, this multi-media seminar is also devoted to exploring a history-spanning range of anthropological and art historical theories of artifacts and images produced by hand and through technological mediation. In this connection, we will consider artifact- and image-making as forms of instrumental action and agency (versus artifact and images as passive objects or subjects). This seminar traverses the globe in exploring cultural "case studies" of media--paints, inks, paper, cameras, ceramics, biological substances, etc.--and artifact/image-making--calligraphy, totems, sculptures, home decoration, landscape painting, cartoons and caricatures, tchotchkes, political gifts, photomontages, and collages--among other forms of expression and their occasioning circumstances.
Estimated cost of materials: $100 or more, but less than $150, but all readings will be on reserve.