3-D Form (Foundations)

When I designed my 3-D Form course, I used the Foundations model curriculum at Michigan State University as a jumping-off point…and then I ran with it. When I taught this course in Fall 2015, I had the distinct pleasure of working with a group of fantastic, dedicated students who brought everything they had – and then some. Here is a selection of their work from each of our projects.

We began the semester working with inexpensive and easily available materials: paper and cardboard.

From there, we moved into individual Land Art projects, which students constructed and visited over several days, documenting changes to the artwork…

This was the semester I learned never to collectively decide the thematic parameters of a project by full consensus…unless you are willing to spend…a…very…long…time…in…discussion. It was an educational and compelling experience, and it led to my intense respect for groups which employ consensus decision-making. My students kept at it, presenting their ideas and working to persuade their colleagues across multiple class periods, despite frustrations and exhaustion. We did finally arrive at a compromise for our subtractive sculptures (transition between geometric and organic forms), and we used the two runner-up themes for our final two projects: Lies & Deception and TIME.

As we entered the second half of the semester, students began to expand from sculptural forms into time-based and interactive work as they deepened their conceptual explorations. These pieces represent our Lies & Deception project, in which students variously incorporated lighting, shadow, video, simple machines, camouflage, video, digital technology, and interactive components.

For our final project, TIME, students continued stretching their explorations of concept and media, resulting in such varied thematic interpretations as an alternate-space, stress-reduction time capsule; an experiential video projection with multiple audio elements hosted online, accessed via smartphones and earbuds; an interrogation of advertising and consumerism; and a hand-carved drum, from which drumbeats provided the soundtrack for a video exploring our pace as we move through the ordinary tasks of everyday life, as well as an interactive component when students took turns playing the drum during critique, drumming along with the video and recorded soundtrack.

These students comprised one of the top five most-dedicated and most-engaged groups with which I have ever had the honor to work – in any aspect of my life and career.

All images above document artworks made by the intensely dedicated students in my 3-D Form course at Michigan State University in Fall 2015. Their names are: Alex, Cat, Chensi, Cheyenne, Danielle, Dante, Demetrius, Eric, Greg, Hanhao, Holly, Kenia, Laryssa, Ming, and Roxy.