Sculpture III, Spring 2012

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

Laura Miller (llm2128), Kambui Olujimi (kow2104)

shop hours (TBA)

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.

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).

Tentative Class Schedule

Jan 20: Art and the spectacle, early photography and film; Intro to shops
Jan 27: Mechanisms; Woodshop work day
Feb 03: Wooden mechanism projects; Artificial life; Metal shop demos
Feb 10: Metal mechanism projects; Lathe & mill
Feb 17: ELECTROMAGNETISM!!!: electricity, switches, motors & power!!!
Feb 24: Switch projects; Pioneers: from DaVinci to Tinguely; Metal shop work day (Douglas gone)
Mar 02: Repurposing & reuse: Taking things apart; Sound/Light/Video
Mar 09: little improvised sculpture!
Mar 23: Big Improvised Sculpture!
Mar 30: SUPER NERD DAY!!! -- World's simplest oscillator; Arduino/Processing introduction (Jon gone)
Apr 06: Final project proposals; 1960-1970: 9 Evenings, E.A.T, Osaka Pavilion
Apr 13: shop work day
Apr 20: shop work day
Apr 27: shop work day
May 04: Final project presentations!

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

MFA Materials A-Z: where to get everything you need in NYC!

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

All Electronics: surplus electronics, small motors, batteries

McMaster-Carr: new mechanical components, tools