Jesal Kapadia
Ryan Aasen
u 3-3-6 g 3-3-3
Lab Fee
$ 75
T 9:30am-12:30pm

From the Charles River just a few meters away from our campus to the Mississippi River basin across the country, the Nile delta, and the Narmada valley, the Seine, Ouse and Yangtze…what do these rivers embody? What revolutions have they seen, what has remained, what has disappeared? What sediments, feelings and memories do they carry, what forms of life do they reproduce? What can be learned and un-learned, cleaned and regenerated, restored and reclaimed through these flows, floods and the riverbanks?

This course is an invitation to examine the relations between photography, philosophy, ecology, feminism, material history, the commons and the care and reading of riverscapes that tell a story. Using both analog and digital image-making tools, it is an exploration of materiality and movement that is felt through invisible forces of the river as testimony: up-, middle- and down-streams of consciousness, mythology, fables and untold stories; migration, fugitive time, planeteriety and climate change; feminist waves of Ni Una Menos; and voices resonating with the sans papiers and anti-colonial struggles.

Each week, we will closely study works by artists, filmmakers and photographers who have experimented with commoning, poetic expression and empirical research that use aesthetic means to characterize the present epoch. Coursework will center on student-initiated projects and responses to the course topic, with an emphasis on theoretical, conceptual as well as technical development. We will follow an organic workflow to review and discuss project ideas, along with regular readings, collective exercises, critiques and local field trips. Artist visits and presentations will further acquaint students with contemporary art practices and the potential of mixed media and long-form photographic work.

Students are required to produce a final project at the end of the semester. 35 mm and digital SLRs, medium formats and more cameras will be available for checkout. Students from various disciplines are encouraged to enroll. Graduate and undergraduate workload and evaluation criteria vary accordingly. Lab fee: 75$. Limited enrollment based on portfolio.