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ART 100 JB - Understanding Visual Culture

Campus: Urbana-Champaign


Interdisciplinary methods in recognizing and understanding meaning of a wide range of visual messages in the arts, design, and culture, with emphasis on critical thinking and analysis. Topics include: visual perception, visual persuasion, the visual interpretation of time and space, humor. Contemporary art and design are explored through the use of semiotics and historical, cultural and ethical aesthetic and technical perspectives.

Special Instructions:

Online. ART 100 gives students the means to understand, analyze, and enjoy a wide variety of visual forms, from traditional fine arts like painting, drawing, and architecture to imagery such as folk art, graffiti, and fashion photography. Objects as simple as a potato peeler and as complex as a contemporary sculpture installation are examined to evaluate both their specific formal qualities and their wider cultural meanings. We study the places and spaces of the contemporary world from the suburbs to the city, from the crooked city streets of old Paris to the carefully constructed environments of Disneyland and Chicago public housing. Although the objects we consider are quite diverse, we use the same core methods of formal, semiotic, and contextual analysis to create a durable framework for understanding visual culture.

Option 1

Number of Required Visit(s): 0

Course Level: Undergraduate

Credit: 3

Term(s): Fall , Spring , Summer


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