Anti-Perspective (DRW4402.01)

Farhad Mirza

“One could even compare the function of Renaissance perspective with that of critical philosophy… The result was a translation of psychophysiological space into mathematical space; in other words, an objectification of the subjective.”

— Erwin Panofsky, Perspective as Symbolic Form

This course is about how an image might represent a codified or systematic way of thinking. We will study the differences between one-point perspective, parallel projection, non-perspectival representation, and the problem of depth in these representational modes. Weekly drawing exercises will be paired with readings to elaborate on various ‘rules’ for creating space in a picture. Students may work digitally, or on graph paper to explore the characteristics of drawings that create spatial illusions. After a series of directed drawing assignments, students will work individually to further explore, untangle, or build on the drawing methods studied in the course.

Architect Massimo Scolari’s book of the same name will be used as a reader and to guide our investigations throughout the course. For their final projects, students will have the option of making original work, creating experiments to study a specific optical illusion or construction, or researching and writing about the use (and effects) of specific perspectival modes in an art work or body of work.


Learning Outcomes:
- Gaining tools to understand how a chosen perspective or 'point of view' creates meaning in an artwork
- A working knowledge of how various linear perspectival modes operate (1,2,3 point perspective)
- An understanding of the differences between linear perspective and parallel projection



Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: A brief statement expressing your interest in the course. At least one prior VA course in drawing, painting, photography, animation, or architecture and/or coursework in another subject that is related to perspective, pictures, seeing, and points of view. Students of the sciences, art history, literature, and media studies are also encouraged to apply.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
M 8:30AM - 12:10PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 12
Course Frequency: Once a year

Categories: All courses , Digital Arts , Drawing , Fully In-Person
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