Instructor:
Thomas Stanley
tstanle1@gmu.edu

Office Hours: by appt.
School of Art Building AB2014

Critical
Theory

472.002 | Tue 12:00-1:15 | AB 1005 | Fall 2014 | 3 credits

This is a course about how we talk about art. It encompasses serious criticism of contemporary art and theoretical discussions of the ideas that explain and inform the production and reception of art. Seen through a variety of theoretical lenses, artistic activity will be shown to be an important contributor to the formation of social, cultural, economic, spiritual, and political meaning.

Updates
Tuesday, 8/26:
Welcome. Your syllabus is now available.


Sunday, 9/21:
Your second essay is now available. It is due on Thursday, 9/25.

Sunday, 10/5:
Please apply McLuhan's theories of media (as described in your reading and the resources made available in class) to the practice of unmanned aerial robotic warfare, i.e., predator drones. This is a link to the film we watched in class. Here is a set of McLuhan links: one, two, three. Before writing, please read the paragraph that begins on page 72 and ends on page 73 of Mark Fisher's Capitalist Realism>. This should be a well-developed essay and it is due on Thursday, 10/9.

Thursday, 10/16:
Guidelines for your Gallery Project are now available. (The link is fixed.) The new due date is 10/28. We will discuss it in class.

Thursday, 10/23:
Last week we watched a video featuring T.J. Clark in which he described a riot as a stage on which the social underclass can perform the depth of their alienation. This was not at all an endorsement of urban mayhem as a politically progressive act. Please right a short essay creatively answering the following question: In what ways (if any) can the contemporary artist working in a state of exception be seen as also performing their alienation from global capital and its associated political structures? If so, is this "performance" a progressive or reactionary approach to solving social problems? Remember, please to use appropriate definitions of reactionary and state of exception.


Wednesday, 10/29:
These are links to the notes I put on the board -- a crude attempt to abstract and highlight some of the ideas involved in Agustina Woodgate's practice. Image One. Image Two. Here is her webpage.






Readings

Format Guidelines

GMU Library writing-related InfoGuides

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