Monday, October 5, 2009

Class Syllabus

Topics in Art ARTA 3000-002, Mapping Charlotte (video/media Installation)

Instructor: Sonja Hinrichsen

Class meets at: Macy 107

Fall 2009, October 2 – November 19 Phone (studio): 704-332-5535 ext.57

Credit Hours: 2 Email (pref):

Class Schedule:

Friday October 2nd: full day workshop 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Friday October 9, 16, 23, 30: 10:00 am – 12:50 pm

November 9 – 19: production and installation period, several meetings will be scheduled

In addition students will be required to work independently on their projects outside the class meetings

Course Description: This class is an artist-student collaborative art/research project with the goal of creating an installation piece or series of pieces. We will be working with media such as video, sound and photography. The media/materials will be decided during the work process, and might in addition include more traditional materials, as they seem fit for the piece(s). Our work might also include intervention-/ performance-based events executed in situ at selected locations. The class will culminate in an exhibition at Rowe Gallery.

The project focuses on examining Charlotte in its present and past through exploring, mapping, and researching. We will address subject matters of Charlotte’s history, recent or historic events/people, city architecture, social/demographic structures and much more. Subject matters will be discussed in class and will be based on your as well as my interests and experiences. Exploring techniques can include video and photo mapping, recording sounds, journaling, sketching, interviewing…Students will be able to choose their preferred work methods while at the same time having opportunity to learn new approaches and techniques. Research can be conducted online, in libraries, photo archives, historical societies, local museums, or even through meetings with specialists like historians, architects, city planners etc. Decisions will be made in class as a group, through discussion. Students will then work collaboratively or individually on assigned fields of research and agreed examining/mapping/interviewing (etc) projects, in situ events as well as post-production (e.g. video, sound, photo)

Course Structure: regular group critiques will be held to discuss ideas, brainstorm on working methods and resources, and discuss the individual/group achievements in their progress. Open discussion and participation is expected of everyone. In addition students will offer presentations of acclaimed artists whose work is relevant to this class. Group trips to local research institutions /museums may be scheduled. Students are expected to work independently within the project, which includes conducting their own research and finding appropriate resources. Collaboration is strongly encouraged. Work outside the class meetings will be necessary to accomplish the class requirements. Prior skills in digital photography, video and video editing are of advantage, but not required. I will provide introductions in photo / video, image processing and video editing (such as Photoshop and Final Cut Pro). However, in addition, you will need to be inspired to experiment and learn on your own.


Video cameras, digital still cameras and sound recorders can be checked out from Atkins Library as well as other departments. You are welcome to use your own camera equipment if available.

Equipment such as video projectors will be available for the class meetings.

There will be a modest budget for additional materials. Materials might be unconventional and creativity might be necessary to determine how /where they can be acquired/found.

We will have access to computer Lab (Macy 106 A) for image processing, printing and video editing.

This course requires a great degree of autonomy in the use of technical equipment, materials and production. Be prepared to experiment.

Our final presentation will be an exhibition at Rowe Gallery. Students are required to participate in installation and de-installation of the show.


Process documentation will be an essential part of this project, since some our work will likely be temporary and transient. This is especially true for intervention- and performance-based events. It is important to document your participation/activity within the project with photographs/video. In some cases documentation might be our only record of our activity, and will therefore be of major importance for the creation of our final installation. You are encouraged to take photos of your work, activity, contributions at all times during the project.

Artists you may want to look up:

Sophie Calle

Allen Ruppersberg

Janet Cardiff

Bill Viola

Gary Hill

Shirin Neshat

Isaac Julien

Harun Farocki

The Atlas Group

Johan Grimonprez

Allan Sekula

Tracey Moffatt

Joan Jonas

Willie Doherty

Kim Stringfellow

Christian Boltanski

Suggested Periodicals:


frieze magazine

Sculpture Magazine

Art Papers

flash art

Art in America

Art Forum

any other art magazines

Useful Research Institutions:

Levine Museum of the New South

Charlotte Museum of History

Charlotte Public Library and Library Archives

The historic landmarks commission

Historic Charlotte, Inc.

Mecklenburg Historical Association

Charlotte Regional History Consortium


Class Etiquette

· No personal sound systems, radios etc. are to be brought to or played during class.

· Please switch off all cell phones during class.


Every attempt will be made to accommodate all qualified students with disabilities. If you are a student with a documented disability, please see me as early in the semester as possible to discuss the necessary accommodations and /or contact the disability services office.


Students must take the initiative in their own safety, as well as the safety of others. Students need to clean up after themselves, remove their works after class and store their projects/materials so they are not in the way for others using the facilities.



The UNCC Code of Student Academic Integrity – Please read the University catalog for further information or go to


Attendance during class hours is required. I expect you to come to class and to work to the best of your ability with a positive attitude. Beyond class hours you are expected to put in as many hours as it takes to fulfill your responsibilities within the project.

The following attendance schedule will be in effect for this class:

· Each student is allowed one excused absence during the semester.

· Additional absences because of illness must be accompanied by a doctor’s note.

· Lateness or leaving early from class: each time a student is more than 15 minutes late or leaves early, absence is recorded.


For this course there will be no grades, but only pass and fail. Your success will be determined by your overall participation in the project, your ability to fulfill project responsibilities assigned to you, your active and thoughtful participation in critique discussions, your in-class presentations, your ability and willingness in collaborative work, your technical achievements, your readiness for experimentation, your efforts in and outside the class meetings, your class attendance, and your positive attitude.

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