Let’s Talk About Art

Due March 22

Worth 15 Homework Points

In short: For this project, you can work alone or with a partner. I would like you to choose (at least) one work of art for your focus. You will explore different modes of communication as you compose a narrative that charts your own and another person’s encounter with this artwork.

Step 1: Choose a work of art. In order for something to qualify as “art” it must involve the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination. Beyond this qualifier, it is up to you, but please remember that you will have to explain why you consider your choice to be “art.”

Step 2: Encounter the work of art. No matter what primary mode of communication you choose (video, podcast, or text-and-photo/audio essay) you will need to analyze and reflect on this encounter, so please take notes. This encounter should include your feelings about the artwork, but please also include your most rigorous analytical thoughts. What do you associate with the artwork? How is this artwork relevant to your life? How is this artwork relevant to the greater world?

TIP: We will treat this artwork as a text, and you can make the same text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world connections that we can make with any other text.

MULTIMODAL REQUIREMENT: Please use at least 2 modes of communication to describe the work of art (i.e. if you are working with video, you may use your voice or if you are working with audio, consider using music or sound that expresses something about the piece.)

Step 3: Find someone else to encounter your choice art and interview them about the encounter. It is better to choose someone with a different perspective—for example, someone outside of our classroom or outside of your age bracket.

TIP: Try to ask questions that get at the heart of the encounter. For example, you could ask: What stands out to you about the artwork? Why? Does the artwork motivate you? What emotions do you associate with this artwork? Please also don’t forget the power of “why?” Make sure to ask the person about their personal history with art. What does this person consider to be art? Ask the person if they feel that this particular piece of artwork matters—on a larger scale. Why? Why not?

Your final product must include at least 3 direct quotes from this interview (and hopefully more!). If you are working with alphabetic text, make sure that you record the interview or take meticulous notes so that you can quote your interviewee with confidence.

Step 4: Reencounter the work of art. Your analysis should include your initial reaction, but please also include the full arc of your encounter. This arc may span a week or possibly the entire month it takes you to complete this assignment. It’s possible your reflections have influenced your feelings about the artwork. It’s possible that your interview sheds new light on the artwork. Consider how this experience has influenced your experience with the artwork and art, in general. Please make sure to communicate or describe the full trajectory of your encounter with the artwork.

Step 5: Choose a medium and tell your narrative. Your choice mediums:

  • a 7-12 minute podcast
  • a 7-12 minute video
  • or a 500 word essay with photos and/or audio

Consider (1) the artwork, itself, (2) the trajectory of your encounter with the artwork, and (3) your interview as three separate texts (or events) that you will synthesize into a narrative, but this is the only requirement. How your story unfolds is up to you. Your narrative may be subtle, centered on the academic study of a work of art. Your narrative may be dramatic, filled with emotion or a changing perspective.

TIP: Your Little Seagull Handbook offers helpful tips for outlining narratives (page 58-61) such as: 1) The heart of your narrative must answer the question “What happened?” 2) Use vivid details to describe your encounter and the people involved 3) Indicate why your narrative matters, and 4) You don’t necessarily have to start at the beginning. You can, for example, begin at the end:

Start with how the story ends up; introduce the topic  -> Go back to the beginning of the story, telling what happens chronologically, describing the setting and the people -> Conclude by saying something about the story’s significance.

Your narrative should include: Your personal history of encounters with this art form and your analysis of how relevant this art form is to your life, your community, and your world.

Include your finished product as a page on your website. We will share these projects at the end of March and use them as texts in our final major writing project.

Visit Digispace for all help digital:

Located in Decary 051

Daytime: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm, except Wednesdays 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Evening: 5:00 –  8:30 pm Monday-Thursday

Weekends: 2:00 – 8:30 pm Sunday

For help with podcasts and other audio: Audacity: https://uneportfolio.org/help/audacity/

For help with all things film: iMovie: https://uneportfolio.org/help/imovie/

*Digispace has a Green Screen if you are interested!