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ARTH 262 Aspects of the History of Drawing: The Performative Line

  • Mondays & Wednesdays, 2:45pm-5:15pm
  • VA 114 
  • Instructor: Dr. Andrew Forster

This course is about wild drawing in regulated space. If a video game generates a rational geometric play-space, then the performative line that our player-imagination ‘draws' through that space is a fugitive, subverting and bending the rules of space (as does a skateboarder’s imagined trajectory through the geometry of the city). Representation of space through Renaissance linear perspective is a version of Euclid’s geometric space (later made calculable by Descartes and reinforced by the camera). The course examines how this coherent coordinate space has both influenced drawing and how drawing in turn has proposed to escape its bounds ­‐ to perform space differently. Drawing is taken to be any practice that explores the performance of space, including visual mark-making and dance. Key theoretical texts include Erwin Panofsky Perspective as Symbolic Form (about Renaissance perspective), Hito Steyerl’s writing on falling in digital space and David Summers who says art is 'spatial' not 'visual'. Tangible examples/artists' work and writing include Uccello’s Battle of San Romano, Atari’s Battlezone, William Forsythe, Hito Steyerl, Steve McQueen, Trisha Brown/Babette Mangolte, Agnes Martin, Cy Twombly, Paul Klee. This course will examine how drawing through linear perspective has come to represent ‘real’ space and how this ‘drawn’ notion of space has come to influence our lived reality through the camera and the screen. THEN we look at how the line can become fugitive, how drawing can escape in order to reinvent a wild space. To investigate this drawing-out of fugitive spaces we will look at drawing both as conventionally defined (as mark-making and representation on a flat surface) and in a broader sense where drawing of space can become drawing making its own space (through performance and dance). We will take examples from a wide range of twentieth century visual and performing artists.

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