Systems Aesthetics: Art, Architecture, Institutions (Wadsworth as Container)

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: The Arts

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students (with Restrictions)
Systems Aesthetics
Spring 2024
Taught By: Alan Ruiz
Section: A

CRN: 12307

Credits: 4

What is a system? This course will examine questions of inputs and outputs, parts to whole, object, and environment. As our primary site, we will explore the Wadsworth Atheneum, the oldest public art museum in the United States, through its archive, collection, and staff. Toggling between form and content, we will explore a range of art historical and architectural sites in which the interaction between two or more parts produces outcomes and alternatives that are not the parts themselves. Building on Jack Bunnham’s seminal 1968 essay, objects of inquiry will range from conceptual art, and institutional critique to new media, dance, theories of management, and systems psychodynamics. We will explore an array of work including John Chamberlain’s engagement with the RAND Corporation, Adrian Piper’s experiments with social transit systems, and Maria Eichorn’s reconfiguration of economic and legal structures. Yet, alongside these inquiries, we will also bridge the space between systems thinking and other forms of critique that interrogate the institutional norms that seek to condition social and subjective life. What might reading aesthetic theory through the framework of Kimberlé Crenshaw’s notion of intersectionality offer both contemporary and historical understandings of artistic practice? How might we consider efforts to redistribute social infrastructures beyond carceral logic toward other forms of social organization? Engaging the class as a temporary institution, students will work collaboratively in groups to develop a semester-long creative project. The course also fulfills the LVIS 3250 Practicing Curating requirement for Visual Studies majors/minors and Curatorial & Museum Studies minors.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: The Arts (ART)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: February 4, 2024 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 16, 2024 (Tuesday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 2:50am EDT 6/17/2024

Meeting Info:
Days: Tuesday, Thursday
Times: 10:00am - 11:40am
Building: Eugene Lang 65 W11th
Room: 465
Date Range: 1/23/2024 - 5/9/2024