2017-2018 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jun 20, 2021  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Art Video, BFA

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Tom Sherman, Department of Transmedia
102 Shaffer Art Building, 315-443-1033, twsherma@syr.edu


Cooper Battersby, Boryana Dragoeva, Tom Sherman, Emily Vey Duke


The art video degree program addresses video as a medium for making contemporary art and culture. This B.F.A. degree major emphasizes conceptual development and video message design skills grounded in advanced production and post-production studio work. Within the context of the Department of Transmedia, the art video major focuses on the power of digital video as an interdisciplinary art form. Although collaboration with other disciplines is encouraged, it is often not necessary. Contemporary video technology and the networked digital environment permits the art video student to work effectively as an individual, in the manner of the visual artist or composer of music. Varied required and elective coursework provides opportunities for students to interact with fellow students majoring in art photography, computer art, and film. Art video majors are immersed in the history and theory of moving image/sound relationships so that their work is informed and strengthened throughout their degree path. Advanced media literacy is a primary goal of the Art Video program of study.

Students investigate the many ways video and related technology are used creatively today: as single channel works challenging the conventions of narrative and documentary form; as a visual art form integrating computer-generated images, music video and audio experimentation, and performance art; as a sculptural medium used in site-specific installations; and as a primary source of creative content for the World Wide Web. Beginning courses examine technical principles, and assignments introduce students to the video medium’s complex nature and potential power. At first, students develop ideas with their instructors, but in the junior and senior years, their work becomes increasingly self-directed. The goal is the emergence of independent, personally motivated work.

The program is supported by digital video and audio facilities. Production is executed with DSLRs and high-end digital camcorders and necessary peripherals (tripods, mics, lights, etc.). Dedicated lighting and green screen studios are available for production. Post-production is done on state-of-the-art, digital non-linear systems, including a discrete multi-track digital audio studio. Multiple flat screens and HD projectors are provided for installations and exhibitions.

This major is designed to prepare students for interdisciplinary careers in video and media art and culture. Advanced literacy and accomplishment in digital video art is financially rewarded in the television and film industries, in music video, advertising, the fashion industry, corporate communications, video journalism, Web streaming and publishing, visual anthropology and ethnography, surveillance and forensic video, curatorial work, non-profit arts administration, video post-production and editing, and of course video art, performance art and video poetics of myriad variations.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Appraise works of other artists (from an aesthetic analysis of content/form relationships) with proficiency and literacy developed through the coursework and projects

2. Employ the video medium as a process-based tool for the theoretical and practical exploration of any number of ideas or issues

3. Through the progressive refinement of aesthetics explore the integrated relationship of content and form

4. Identify the range of possibilities in video and media art (single channel recordings/files, multi-channel installation, extended media treatment of concepts involving media translation, interactivity, live performance)

5. Demonstrate and evaluate media literacy across the student’s portfolio

Program Requirements

Studies in Culture: 21 credits

Courses classified as Studies in Culture are, in general, classes related to art history and cultural studies but also include Foreign Languages, Anthropology and World Literature. You can find a comprehensive list of approved studies in culture electives here.

Academic Electives: 30 credits

Academic electives are most courses offered outside of art, design, or transmedia (for example, courses offered in CRS, Arts and Sciences, Whitman, and other colleges outside of SU:VPA). These academic courses usually have non-art-related content, such as math, natural sciences, astronomy, global history, political science, psychology, and entrepreneurship, and languages at the 100-level, among others. You can find a comprehensive list of approved academic electives here.

Studio Electives: 24 credits

Studio electives are courses usually offered in VPA through art, design, or transmedia.  The content of the courses directly relates to the preparation of students for professional careers in art, design, and transmedia. The course content includes, but is not limited to, conceptualization, process, product, and critique of creative work in studio practice. These courses meet for a much longer time, for a minimum of four hours per week for the duration of the semester. Usual meeting patterns are: the class meets once per week for four+ hours, or the class meets twice per week, usually for two or more hours each. You can find a comprehensive list of courses that count as studio electives here.

Total Credits Required: 129

Degree Awarded: BFA in Art Video

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