Sculpture II, Spring 2011

F 10:00A-04:00P
313 Prentis Hall (125th st)
Prerequisites: Sculpture I or permission of instructor


Jon Kessler
Visual Arts
jk342 at columbia edu

Douglas Repetto
Computer Music Center
Office: 318 Prentis
douglas at music columbia edu


shop hours

Course Description

This course explores multi-media installation art methodologies, including digital and analog solutions for creating sound, light and mechanical components. We will use technology as a common theme as we explore contemporary and historical multi-media artworks and learn the tools and techniques needed to integrate the strategies into our own work. The projects are expected to have an engagement with technology that is physical, not purely virtual. We will cover theoretical and historical materials as well as practical, hands-on topics.

In addition to their own artwork, students will be asked to do several research presentations during the term.

Each class meeting will be divided into two parts: classroom meetings in the morning and shop work in the afternoon. Our classroom will be room 320H in Prentis Hall. The shops are the woodshop (3rd floor Prentis), metal shop (5th floor Prentiss), and electronics shop (313 Prentis).

Class Schedule

Jan 21: Art and the spectacle, early photography and film; Intro to shops
Jan 28: Mechanisms; Woodshop work day
Feb 04: Wooden mechanism projects; Metal shop demos
Feb 11: Artificial life; The Switch: electricity, switches, motors
Feb 18: Lathe, mill, welding demos; Metal and motors
Feb 25: Pioneers: from DaVinci to Tinguely; Metal shop work day
Mar 04: Repurposing & reuse: Taking things apart; Light & Sound
Mar 11: little improvised sculpture!
Mar 25: Big Improvised Sculpture!
Apr 01: Arduino/Processing introduction; World's simplest oscillator
Apr 08: Final project proposals; 1960-1970: 9 Evenings, E.A.T, Osaka Pavilion
Apr 15: TBA
Apr 22: TBA
Apr 29: TBA
May 05: Final project presentations! THURSDAY!!!

Physical Resources

CMC room 313 has electronics bench, basic tools & supplies for electronics, as well as lockers and a little room for storing projects and working. It's a shared space, so it can't be insane.

Students have normal access to wood & metal shops, with monitors for non-SoA MFAs.

Potential use of equipment (Video cameras, computers, flat screens, monitors, etc.) from the DMC.

Suggested Readings

Physical Computing by O'Sullivan & Igoe

Robot Builder's Bonanza by McComb and Predko

507 Mechanical Movements by Henry T. Brown

Machine Shop Essentials by Frank M. Marlow

Mechanisms and Mechanical Devices Sourcebook (3rd Edition) by Sclater, N., Chironis, N.P. (free PDF text!)

Welding Essentials by William L. Galvery

The Woodworkers Visual Handbook by Jon Arno

The Artist's Complete Health and Safety Guide by Monona Rossol

Web Resources

Herbach and Rademan: surplus motors, mechanical components, power supplies

All Electronics: surplus electronics, small motors, batteries

McMaster-Carr: new mechanical components, tools