Media Art Lab

This workshop supports study and production in the media arts, including digital video, sound, installation/performance, and Internet and new media art, for students with a range of experience with media technologies. Conceptual development is stressed through regular readings and screenings, while technology skills are built in hands-on workshops using a range of media production equipment and platforms. In class and short-term projects lead to the development of a significant final piece of work that may relate to students’ ongoing creative interests.

FinalProject_Wells_installation_Spring2010

Course Materials

Download as PDF: Fall 2014 Media Art Lab

Download as PDF: Fall 2013 Media Art Lab Syllabus

Download as PDF: Fall 2012 Media Art Lab Syllabus

Download as PDF: Spring 2012 Media Art Lab Syllabus

Download as PDF: Fall 2011 Media Art Lab Syllabus

Download as PDF: Spring 2011 Media Art Lab Syllabus

Download as PDF: Fall 2010 Media Art Lab Syllabus

Download as PDF: Spring 2010 Media Art Lab Syllabus

Level: Upper-Division Undergraduate/Graduate

Student Work: Video Exquisite Corpse

Among Surrealist techniques exploiting the mystique of accident was a kind of collective collage of words or images called the cadavre exquis (exquisite corpse). Based on an old parlor game, it was played by several people, each of whom would write a phrase on a sheet of paper, fold the paper to conceal part of it, and pass it on to the next player for his contribution.”

­­–William S. Rubin

In my work, I have been most strongly aware of the camera as representation of point of view…But I have been interested in how we can move this point of consciousness over an through our bodies and out over the things of the world…I want to make my camera become the air itself. To become the substance of time and the mind.

– Bill Viola

Each pair will have a week to create a video exquisite corpse, using the camera to record images grounded in a specific point of view and individual, subjective position. Use the camera’s manual functions in an intentional and controlled way, developing fluency with exposure and focus controls such that technical “imperfections” are clearly intentional, expressive effects.

Hints:

  • Atmospheric, personal, evocative imagery tends to work best for this project. Try to avoid a “home video” or “broadcast video” look.
  • Plan your shots in record standby mode before hitting record. Check for exposure, focus, and timing.
  • Consider the sequence of shots before you begin. You may edit by deleting mistakes, but you cannot reorder the sequence of shots.
  • Keep in mind that shots that seem short in camera may feel excessively long to the eventual viewer.
  • Camera movement can be distracting and/or nauseating to the viewer.
  • Have someone on hand to help you with camera operation or to manipulate items, but try to avoid letting the person immediately before or after you in your group see what you are shooting.
  • Disable the audio on your camera.

Download as PDF: Video Exquisite Corpse Assignment

Emily Dang (BFA, Drawing), Buffy Quintero (PhD, Interdisciplinary Studies), and Sarita Zaleha (MFA, Printmaking), Fall 2014.


Ian Abrams (BFA, Drawing) and Terrence Quinn (BA, English), Fall 2012.


Lisa Johnson (MFA, Sculpture), Rudolfo Salgado (MFA, Printmaking), and Taryn McMahon (MFA, Printmaking), Fall 2010.

Student Work: Video Trios

Over the next two weeks, each individual will shoot and edit three distinct but related videos of exactly twenty seconds each. The trio should have a unifying visual or conceptual theme (such as “time,” “pattern,” or even something silly like “fruit”) that is dealt with in three distinct ways. Each twenty second video should feel ‘complete,’ with a distinct beginning, middle, and end, and include a minimum of three shots. Create one video around each of the following:

  • Informal voiceover or conversational exchange
  • Reading of appropriated text
  • Images/sounds only, with no spoken text

Even though you will be editing the footage and have a vast palette of effects at your disposal, continue to pay careful and close attention to the content, aesthetics, and quality of your source imagery. To that end, you’ll be shooting during week one and editing in week two.

Note: The precise length of each video in this assignment varied each semester, from 12-30 seconds

Download as PDF: Video Trios Assignment

Jenny Braun (MFA, Printmaking), Fall 2013.

Christopher Willauer (BFA, Intermedia), Fall 2013.

Rachel Livedalen (MFA, Printmaking), Fall 2012.

Felicia Chavez (MFA, Nonfiction Writing), Spring 2011.

Lauren Street (BFA, Photography), Fall 2011.

Jeff Palmer (MFA, Film/Video Production), Fall 2011.

Student Work: Audio Postcard/Sound Story

This assignment asks students to tune into the aesthetic potential of sound composition while introducing fundamentals of field recording and audio composition. Variations have included audio ‘postcards’ – descriptive and evocative dispatches from a specific place, ‘sound stories’ – narratives in which the visual is subordinate to the sound, and thematic, collaborative sound investigations.

Download as PDF: Sounds Like War

Download as PDF: Sound Stories Assignment

Download as PDF: Audio Postcard Assignment

Emily Dang and V.K. Tian, “24 Hours,” Fall 2014
Naoki Izumo (MFA, Intermedia) and Jared Jewell (BFA, Intermedia), “Manufacturing War,” Fall 2014.
Erica Blair (BFA, Intermedia), “Abstract Audio Postcard,” Fall 2012.
Derek Blackman (BFA, Photography), “Anxiety,” Spring 2011.
Anna McDermott (BA, Film/Video Production), “Space for Conversation,” Fall 2011.

Barber (MFA, Intermedia), “Machine,” Fall 2013

Student Work: Installation

The class sometimes includes an installation component, especially when paired with Intermedia’s public Fall Showcase event. Due to space limitations, the students have only one week to develop the installation component.

Download as PDF: One Week Installations Assignment


Lev Cantorel (BA, Art/Cinema), Jason Renaud, (MFA, Sculpture) and Sarita Zaleha (MFA, Printmaking), “Surface Surrender,” audio installation, Fall 2014.

Dang03

Emily Dang (BFA, Painting/Drawing) and V.K. Tian (BA, Art), “24 Hours,” installation of the audio work shown above, Fall 2014.

hargrave_crompton_borger

Matt Borger (MA, Graphic Design), Katie Hargrave (MFA, Intermedia), and Stephen Crompton (MFA, Photography), “I Surrender/Make Your Own,” installation with live-projection of audience flag drawings, Fall 2011.

Dan Feinberg (MFA Sculpture) and Josh Hoeks (MFA, Sculpture), “Down He Goes,” site specific installation with mechanical arm “flushing” video image into a bucket of water, Media Art Lab Fall 2010.

Degges, Chavez, Meyer, Vernon

Douglas Degges (MFA, Painting), Felicia Chavez (MFA, Nonfiction Writing), JJ Meyer (BS, Computer Science), and Alyss Vernon (MFA, Photography), “Port-a-Potty,” life-size projection in Studio Arts lobby, Spring 2011.

Student Work: Final Project

Each semester, students propose and produce a final project for Media Art Lab drawing on themes presented in the course and their own interests and practices. This work varies widely in aesthetic and approach; all is subject to rigorous iterative evaluation and critique of the final project.

Denzel Bingaman (BFA, Graphic Design), “Running,” Fall 2014.

Naoki Izumo (MFA, Intermedia), “My Video Diary,” series of video vignettes, Fall 2014.

Sarita Zaleha (MFA, Printmaking), “Collapse/Clap,” video installation, Fall 2014.

FinalProject_Livedalen_Fall2012

Rachel Livedalen (MFA, Printmaking), “Spectre,” performance with audio recording, Fall 2012.

Play audio from this performance. Originally displayed through speakers hidden in the skirt of the knit garment.


Erica Blair (BFA, Intermedia), “Downstream,” 20-minute documentary video, Fall 2012.


Terry Quinn (BA, English), “It’s Lonely at the Top,” experimental digital animation, Fall 2012.


Ian Etter (MFA, Drawing), experimental animation using drawing techniques, Spring 2012.


Katie Hargrave (MFA, Intermedia), “My Ronald Reagan Collection,” 7-minute video essay, Fall 2011.

Brendan Wells

Brendan Wells (BFA, Intermedia), “Three Percussive Sounds,” chance-audio installation, Spring 2010.

Sample audio from “Three Percussive Sounds.” Snaps, claps, and stomps, each played on a different tape loop and amplified together on a stereo, occur in dissonance with gaps of silence and in chorus if recordings overlap.


Greg Soukup (BFA, Intermedia), “Datamosh Performance,” MAX/MSP performance on video game violence, Spring 2010.


Lisa Edwards (BFA, Intermedia), “Roller Derby: It’s Kind of a Big Deal,” 20-minute video documentary, Spring 2010.

Select Student Comments

“This class has been the most pertinent in developing my artistic awareness in the world around me and what I am doing as an artist. Thank you for helping me develop, Sarah.” (Fall 2014)

“I was encouraged to do something I always wanted to do. It is a good chance for me to know and show who I really am.” (Fall 2014)

“Sarah does an excellent job balancing learning of technical craft skills with conceptual, historical, and contemporary trends of video/sound art. I appreciate her knowledge of artists and art and weaves that info throughout the semester into both class group and individual work. I feel much more comfortable in media equipment and editing software now.” (Fall 2013)

“Your knowledge and passion for the craft is evident and inspired (inspiring) me to do my best!” (Fall 2013)

“This was a wonderful class. Not only did I learn the technical skills necessary for video/audio art, I also learned a lot about artists working in this way, and I was inspired by them. You did an excellent job of balancing course content/expectations for people with a lot of background in this and students with no background at all.” (Fall 2012)

“In comparison with some instructors, Sarah assumes a lot of work from the students; however, I’ve found that I try to be more creative because of it.” (Fall 2012)

“I really enjoyed the structure of the class. I was able to learn most of what I needed to begin quickly and really focus on what I wanted to do. I am planning on taking the course again next semester and hope to do a lot of independent research.” (Spring 2012)

“Professor Kanouse is incredibly smart and generous with her time. This class helped me a lot with my art work and both she and the rest of the class gave me great feedback. The class is challenging, much more so than other classes I have taken in the school of art. I would definitely take this class again. There was a good balance of theory and practical learning and service learning (with our class-curated exhibition). This is a great class.” (Spring 2012)

“The material in this course is super interesting but the class is really intense. Sarah is super smart and ambitious as an instructor.” (Fall 2011)

“This class was very challenging, technically and conceptually. The instructor has high expectations but it seems to make everyone work much harder. This was a great class.” (Fall 2011)

“Great class, well organized, very dedicated instructor.” (Fall 2010)

“I really enjoyed this course. It was often fast-paced, with introduction to several computer programs with projects/assignments due the following week. This made learning the programs a self-guided venture – I would have appreciated more time working on computers in class, though extremely detailed instructional handouts did help…Nevertheless, I learned and feel proficient with so much more than I previous was, and feel I can now work independently on similar audio and video projects, which is of great value to me.” (Fall 2010)

“Sarah is an extremely organized and well spoken teacher. She cares deeply about the course and her students at large. Sarah has been an exceptionally valuable part of my graduate studies and as a result I will be minoring in this area. I hope to continue working with her throughout my time here. Thank you Sarah for all of your help, support, and insight.” (Spring 2010)

“If I could give one piece of advice to entering graduate students, it would be to take a class with Sarah Kanouse. Her courses are engaging and she will inspire you to create your strongest work. Sarah clearly loves teaching and is committed to seeing students of all interests/ability levels succeed.” (Spring 2010)

Top Image: Brendan Wells (BFA, Intermedia), “Daisy Chain,” Media Art Lab – Spring 2010
Cover image: group project, Media Art Lab – Spring 2010