Special Topics in Art and Culture: Art and Sound in the 20th Century
049 UMMA
M 1:00-4:00pm
3 Credit Seminar

How has music served as a model for the 20th century visual arts? Where and how have sonic practices claimed a place within the landscape of contemporary art? Tracing the interconnected answers to these questions, this course examines the impact of sound and music upon the visual arts of Europe and America during the last one hundred years. We'll lay our foundations in the early twentieth century, beginning with music's role as a model for early abstraction, continuing via the sight-sound connections of the jazz age, and arriving at the pivotal experiments and widespread influence of John Cage. From there we'll trace the emergence of sound art, as a present-day category, from the complications of post-war art-making (leaving time for guest appearances by Andy and the Velvets, John and Yoko, and many others). In order to assess these developments we'll immerse ourselves in a host of theoretical concerns: the pleasures and dangers of commerce and spectacle; the evolving relationship between art and technology; the increasing importance of performance and live action; intermedia models of art practice and art history; art's embrace of the multiple; the role of sampling and appropriation; the rise of installation art as a genre; and art's recent turn toward interaction and participation. Students will also research and introduce the work of contemporary practitioners. Intended for undergraduates; no formal prerequisites, but prior experience with 20th century art strongly recommended. Estimated cost of materials: $50 or more, but less than $100. D. 4