As water—through floods and droughts alike—continues to reshape the geography of the world around us, this course will look at waterscapes as written by women: Rachel Carson’s The Edge of the Sea, Annie Dillard’s A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, and Terry Tempest Williams’s Refuge. Science, poetry, and ideas of conservation converge here. As a marine biologist, Carson wrote with exactitude and lyricism of the liminal environment, while Dillard’s evocative personal essays offer a glimpse into how the natural world can inform the human spirit. Williams offers a more elegiac account of landscape and family. The sensibilities and convictions of these women offer views to environmental literature that bring a different dimension to a genre of expression often associated with male adventure and audacity.
Vandercook Proofing Presses were once a vital aspect of the printing industry and have been adopted widely by artists for letterpress printing and book arts. Bennington College is fortunate to possess three Vandercooks, housed in the Word and Image Lab.
Using type-high plywood blocks, oil-based and non-toxic, water-soluble inks, we will examine different approaches to mark-making: from graphic and angular to painterly and gestural. We will cover color mixing, printing in multiple-colors and producing multiples/editions.
Students will learn image preparation and transfer methods, sharpening and care of tools, wood carving methods, ink and paper preparation, hand-inking and rolling techniques, printing on the Vandercook proofing press and by hand. Additional areas of experimentation may include using stencils, layering color and a variety of monotype techniques and embossment.
Experienced and beginning woodcutters/relief printmakers are welcome to join us.
This course will explore how different social movements have incorporated principles of ecological sustainability and social justice into their activism. We will examine how environmentalists (mainstream and radical), indigenous rights activists, feminists, immigrants’ rights activists, anti-immigrant groups, religious organizations, conservatives and labor unions
have conceptualized and fought for sustainability. We will then critically reflect on the similarities and differences between these various attempts to articulate connections between the ecological and the social. By the end of the course, you will have a strong understanding of the opportunities and barriers that exist in efforts to build the alliances necessary for the
(re)construction of societies that are both ecologically sustainable and socially just.
What is a more valuable piece of matter? Could it be something that will degrade in this art world and be okay? String, cotton-balls and rubber bands may be what should be affixed to your unique prosthetic to complete a task given.
This course will cover information and techniques related to body casting, wire rope rigging, fabricating, building processes and encourage personal material resourcing. This is a project based performance course in which you will have problems set to define and complete. Your found solution will be evaluated on how thoroughly you analyzed the task, by way of experimentation of intent represented in prototyping and drawings, as well as showing a final function.
This class will introduce Isadora, a software designed for artists, designers and performers to add interactive media and video to their projects. Through a drag and drop node based interface you can control your media in real time, editing your video and audio on the fly or incorporating live video and audio feeds. Together we will learn the logic of the software and best practices for media management and equipment set up in pursuit of our creative ideas.
This course is designed for students of all disciplines who are interested in connecting their discrete creations (a poem, a drawing, an artwork, a product, an event) to larger systems, organizations, and possible art worlds. In this course, we will examine the ways in which every aspect of your production and distribution process — from sourcing materials to organizing your studio to licensing and acquisition — can deepen your work and remind people of your intentions as an artist. Through in-person meetings, guest presentations, group activities, and readings, you will be introduced to contemporary artists and designers who consider the entire life of their projects, and who develop ways for their projects to circulate in multiple art and design worlds. You will be exposed to a range of creations and systems, from networks of conceptual artists to solidarity co-ops, from alternative currency groups to online start-ups. Throughout the course, you will be challenged to identify art worlds that are appropriate to your work and to your concerns, drawing connections to a series of organizations, collectives and interconnected art and design worlds.
This introductory seminar will consider and juxtapose the 19th century British Romantic poet John Keats and the 20th century American modernist poet Wallace Stevens, both of whom were rigorous craftsmen, provocative thinkers, and aesthetic theorists who argued fervently for the supremacy of the imagination, the interconnectedness of truth and beauty, and the importance of mystery and uncertainty in poetry. Alternating between Keats and Stevens, we will consider the poetry and critical prose of both writers and look for common threads, both in their writing and artistic sensibility. We will write two short critical essays and together engage in intensive close readings of each poet’s work.