Critical Theory: Here-Between-Elsewhere


Myles Lack-Zell

Mythical Elsewhere

Myles Lack-Zell
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The creatures living on Mars are carbon dioxide breathing humanoids. They evolved from the single cell organisms in the sodium perchlorate brine on the planet. On Mars, the people live in ten small cities around the planet but not in between them since there is not enough liquid flowing on the planet to sustain life all over the planet. Each of the ten cities are based around the sodium perchlorate brine rivers that run through Mars.

Week 1: Gestures

Ethan Wood

For my creative project this week I explored using cameras. I put our camera on manual exposure and made it so that the exposure lasted 20 seconds. With an iphone in my hand and the flashlight app on, I then wrote the words PHOTOGRAPH and GESTURE in the dark room so that only the words and a little background would show. In the final photo I drew music notes coming out in front of the piano but also changed the settings a bit. To make a "behind the scenes shot", in the middle of the notes, I quickly flashed the room lights on so that I would also be seen in the photo, unlike the other two shots.


Saba Ghole and Amber Vistein

This course will amplify and compliment various aspects of the Transportation theme of the Fall Term by examining critical perspectives on place, trade, and travel from the disciplines of sociology, philosophy, and critical theory. 

Each week will pivot around a different thematic question: How do we define where we are? What is a route versus a destination? What makes a place "other"? Can we be in more than one place at the same time?

Each question will be explored through weekly readings, written responses, and creative projects. Students will also have the opportunity to further refine their critical reading and writing skills during weekly "Writing Workshops". The course will culminate in a final presentation that deeply investigates a concept chosen by the student(s). 

By the end of this course, each student will posses a robust toolbox of conceptual and critical techniques for analyzing and interpreting complex ideas. The course will include the following focus skills: Critical Theory, English, Expository Writing, History, Philosophy, Sociology, and Design which will be reflected in NuVu's Student Studio Transcripts.

Week One (9/24): How do we define where we are?

Stillness - Movement - Paradoxes - GPS

Trevor Paglen: Experimental Geography
Henri Bergson: Excerpts from Matter and Memory

Creative Project:
Gesture Capture and Analysis

Week Two (10/1): What is an ‘elsewhere’?

The Imaginary - The Mythical - The Subterranean

Yifu Tuan: Mythical Space and Place (Ch.7 from Space and Place) 

Creative Project:
Modified Elsewheres

Week Three (10/8): Can we be in more than one place at the same time?

Enfolded Spaces - Memory - Imprint

Brandon LaBelle: Other: Maryanne Amacher
Christina Kubisch: About My Installations

Creative Project:
Sound Walk

Week Four (10/15): What is a route vs a destination?

As we travel and traverse, how do we characterize a route vs. a destination?
What makes something a destination? How do routes evolve?
How does being along the route to a destination change the identity of a place?


Creative Project:
Travel Log

Week Five (10/22): What travels?

Import/Export - Food/Objects/Ideas - Accessibility


Creative Project:
I Have Traveled A Long Way To Get To You

Week Six (10/29): Who travels?

What do we bring with us when we travel from one place to another?
What parts of ourselves (and our homes) to we deposit in new places along the way?

Gilles Deleuze: Excerpts from A Thousand Plateaus

Begin Final Projects

Week Seven (11/5): How do we experience time while traveling? How does time travel?

Time Travel - Time Zones - Time Dilation

Peter L. Galison, “The Refusal of Time”
Joshua Foer, “A Minor History of Time without Clocks”
Alan Lightman: Excerpts from “Einstein’s Dreams”

Complete Final Projects

Week Eight (11/12)

Final Presentations!