Art & Law

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: The Arts

Art & Law
Fall 2020
Taught By: David Birkin
Section: AX

Course Reference Number: 9021

Credits: 4

It is often said that justice must not only be done, but be seen to be done. This class will focus on the practice of artists, activists, photographers, scholars, and attorneys working at the intersection of visual culture and jurisprudence. At its core is a concern for varying notions of justice — whether it be legal, social, economic, or restorative — and the often divergent discourses that define those terms. Together, we will explore questions such as where does the site of justice reside? Who does it serve? For whom has legislation been drafted? Which communities are excluded? What happens when the law fails? Do alternative forms of recourse exist for individuals who live outside the jurisdiction of the nation state? Or for those who lie within it but have been systemically and structurally disenfranchised? Special emphasis will be given to the work of human rights lawyers and civil liberties organizations using creative strategies to circumvent more conservative readings of the law, as well as debates that have arisen at the edges and liminal spaces between legal frameworks: for example, when international and domestic law conflicts; or when judicial processes have their spatial and temporal limits tested. From free speech and hate speech to fair use and copyright, debates will be framed around questions of ethics, efficacy, advocacy, and activism, and how cultural practitioners can create meaningful interventions into public space while working together to make justice visible. This course will meet once each week synchronously via Zoom, and employ asynchronous methods in place of a second weekly meeting. Students will have the option to work on a creative project in addition to a written component, both of which will count towards their final grade.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: The Arts (LARS)

Campus: Online (DL)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 21