Art and Ideas: What is visual language?
Time: 18:30 - 20:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: VB648
Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)
What is the course about?
This course explores communication and interpretation as key skills for developing and established artists, designers and makers, and supports you in developing skills and knowledge to see, analyse and interpret your own work and the work of others.
Through reading, exploring, discussing and applying ideas and theories including semiotics, communication theory, and reception theory, the course will help you in interpreting art and design, as well as help you in enhancing your own work's ability to communicate your ideas and concepts.
This course is designed for students or practitioners in the arts, and welcomes those engaged in any type of art, design or making, including painting and drawing, textiles, sculpture, print, photography, film, performance and beyond. The course supports you in building your critical and theoretical thinking, using the course themes, readings, discussions and debates to help inform and inspire your own work and development.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
Through tutor talks and presentations presentations, set readings, discussion and debate, this course will explore a wide range of themes from communication studies, semiotics, reception theory, art theory, philosophy, psychology and science to develop skills in interpreting visual imagery and art works. The course aims to enhance your ability to experiment and visually communicate through your own creative work. We will explore the visual world as a language, and develop skills in semiotic analysis to decode specific examples of visual culture.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Read, understand and discuss with greater confidence a range of critical ideas and texts related to theme of visual language and artistic communication
- Recognise and analyse creative art works using a range of methods;
- Draw on critical and conceptual ideas and texts to enhance your own creative, critical and artistic thinking and communication.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is primarily for those studying or developing their creative practice, whether in art, design, craft, creative writing, performing arts, and those working in the creative sectors such as art teachers, curators or arts professionals. Ideally, you will have some prior experience in one of these areas, or be actively involved in producing creative work through study or independently with a desire to extend the conceptual basis of your work. We also welcome those who may not be practicing themselves, but have a keen interest in the subject.
You will need a good handling of written and spoken English necessary to engage with set readings and for participation in paired and group discussion. Some experience in reading theoretical texts about art and culture would be beneficial, but a willingness to read and engage with theory and build your skills is essential.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
This course will be taught via Zoom, through a mixture of illustrated talks, paired and group discussion, sharing examples of your own work (if you wish), readings, videos, and visual analysis exercises. Each week you will be set a key reading to instigate discussion in class, along with a suggested reflective or creative activity.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You are encouraged to have a notebook, paper and pen to record notes from talks and discussions. You may wish to buy some of the books from the course reading list. All readings will be available digitally, however if you intend on printing the readings you will need to consider the printing costs.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You may be interested in other courses that support the exploration of art and ideas, including VB645 Art & Ideas: Identity & the self or VB653 Art & Ideas: Time & Memory.
You may also be interested in the wide range of courses available in Art History, Literature, Film Studies, Philosophy or Anthropology.
Ian is a cultural theorist and creative practitioner, with 15 years experience of teaching & managing in the areas of contemporary art, critical, cultural and communication theory, and art history. Ian has taught at City Lit for over 10 years, and has previously been Programme Manager for the Foundation Diploma in Art & Design and Art History departments. In addition to teaching, Ian is currently Head of School for the Humanities & Sciences. Ian's current interests include creative learning, radical andragogy, and transformative education; contemporary art and theory; wellbeing and mental health in relation to education and the arts; and the cultural and psychological implications of climate breakdown. Alongside his teaching and management work, Ian is a creative practioner and poet, and is currently completing his first poetry collection.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.