Worlding: Building in Digital Space (MA4108.01)

Yifan Jiang

Unlike any other medium, animation provides unmatched suspicion of disbelief. Moreover, in digital space, one can exercise their imagination beyond material and physical limitations. The combination of the two provides the permissive space to live out our wildest reveries: utopias, dystopias, social experiments, psi-fic scenarios, or dollhouses for amphibians.

This class can be technically involved. The goal is to equip students with a survey of software such as Adobe CC( Photoshop, Premiere, Adobe After Effects), Blender, and data processing software like Touch Designer. Although the class is recommended to those who have experience working with computers or are digitally inclined. It is worth emphasizing, the teaching of these tools is in service of realizing your creative visions. Software mastery is not the end goal of the course.

The classes will be composed of software tutorials as well as presentations and discussions. We will begin with introductory examples of “worlding” in contemporary art practices (Pierre Huyghe, Ian Chang, Wong ping. etc). However, the aim is to go beyond the canon of western art and expose students to every facet of culture far beyond the museum context. One of the most important responsibilities that the students will take on is to expand our collective references by bringing in and presenting works that inspire and interest them.

Students will be asked to keep a sketchbook for the duration of the semester. This is where ideas, personal reflection, and research will live. It will help to anchor our conversation guide the production process. The semester is also punctuated by critiques, where look at the in-progress work and share a discussion. At the end of the semester, students will have completed their “world” by utilizing some of the tools we have learned throughout the semester. Whether it is a system, a narrative, a conceptual structure, an environment, or a model. By December, each student will have had the experience of building their personal world from scratch.


Learning Outcomes:
1. Students will become familiar with a number of programs and applications. (Adobe CC, Blender, and Data processing tools like Touch Designer.) But it is completely up to the individual students which one of the programs they choose to work with closely.
2. Students will become knowledgeable of the aesthetic possibilities within and between different programs.
3. Students will become familiar with contemporary artists that work within these contexts.
4. Students will also be introduced to a variety of art-making outside of the western art
Canon and the context of contemporary art.
5. By the end of this course, students will have produced and completed a “world” in the
digital space.
6. They will have gained the ability to manage, navigate and problem-solve their way
through a complex- multistep creative process.
7. Students will have thought about their practice critically and in relationship to a larger social-cultural context.




Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Please contact srees@bennington.edu with a statement of interest as well as relevant experience by 6th May and she will forward to Yifan Jiang. At least one class in animation.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
W 2:10PM - 5:50PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 12
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: All courses , Updates , Media Arts , Fully In-Person
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