Thinking Through Art and Design @Berkeley: Public Art and Belonging
Lauren Kroiz, Leigh Raiford
Tuesday, Thursday: 12:00-2:00pm
This course introduces students to key vocabularies, forms, and histories from the many arts and design disciplines represented at UC Berkeley. It is conceived each year around a central theme that responds to significant works and events on the campus, providing an introduction to the multitude of art and design resources available to students locally.
This semester’s theme focuses on “Public Art and Belonging.” With our local campus in mind and Chancellor Christ’s recent calls for “more art in public spaces that is representative of our diverse population,” we will consider the role of public art in civic life. We will explore relationships between art and belonging with a focus on race. How can art act as a tool to shape and reshape publics? For example, might more art remind us of the forgotten, excluded, and devalued contributions of marginalized people to Berkeley’s rich history or is public art merely a way to manage multiculturalism and silence dissent? How would our campus look if art and design were used to create spaces of care for relationships of justice and equity?
To answer these questions, students will explore a range of creative forms and visit a number of arts organizations, thinking about how their experience creates an understanding of publics, a sense of belonging or of exclusion. Through readings, discussions and visits to sites around campus and the Bay Area, we will investigate how publics might be represented by, formulated through, or critiqued in artworks. Students will hear from expert practitioners every Thursday in an open public lecture series that explores varied forms of public arts. Analyzing a wide range of public arts practices, the course will culminate in student teams proposing interventions on campus.