Speculating Systems

3 credits

This studio course Blood in the Louvre, Butt in Vimeo explores dark humor within artistic context throughout history to understand its role and potential within artistic practice. In order to explore dark humor as an artistic methodology, we will start by questioning 'dark' imagination throughout history and the psychology behind it. The class will gain a deeper understanding of how dark humor has been used throughout history- from myths to memes; from the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch to the 'Hi Stranger' video. We will investigate how its usage varies between genres, traditions, time periods and cultures through class lectures, assigned readings, and guest speakers. The readings/viewing materials of broad range - from cognitive studies to contemporary web subculture; criminology studies to poems - will be provided for further discussion and exploration. The majority of this course will focus on multiple hands-on workshops such as material workshops and discomfort workshops, for further exploration related to the theme of this course. Students will present work regularly in class for critique. The work can take any form - students are encouraged to fold the topics and themes discussed in the course into their own practice. By the end of the course, students will be able to grasp the complex and changing symbology of elements of dark humor in relation to human experience, and comprehend their own place in that context in order to sharpen their critical capacity and sense of inquiry.