collage of Art110 Summer 2014 Counterfactual Identity images

Spring ’15 Syllabus

Banner for Art110, Spring 2015

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Format
  3. Points & Grades
  4. Other Details
  5. Activities
  6. Interviews

Subsections of Special Interest

Art 110: Introduction to the Visual Arts

■ Section 1: Class No.1040 – F2F Course
■ Instructor: Glenn Zucman

• Tuesday 11 – 12:15, UT-108
• Thursday 11 – 12:15, CSULB School of Art, Art Gallery Courtyard
• Final: Thursday, May 14, 10:15 – 12:15, Art Gallery Courtyard

• Tuesday 12:15 – 12:45, School of Art, Art Gallery Courtyard
• Thursday 12:15 – 12:45, School of Art, Art Gallery Courtyard
• By Appointment, FO4-267

1. F2F: Before Class, After Class, Office Hours
2. Group Chat:
3. 1-2-1 Chat: Telegram or WhatsApp: 415-203-5571
4. Comment on any page at
5. email:

In 1439 Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. In 1991 Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. 40 years ago Marshall McLuhan said that our classrooms were (I’m paraphrasing a bit) too Gutenberg and not enough Berners-Lee. For Fall 2014, Art110 will try to be a little less Gutenberg and a little more Berners-Lee.
This course will cover 3 million years of Art History: from a proto-human moment in a distant South African cave, to the autonomous, post-human, Images That Think out somewhere in cyber-space. Along this journey we will consider the constantly evolving nature of human consciousness and how our consciousness is revealed & redefined through art.

• None.

The purpose of this course is to familiarize the student with the practice, appreciation, and cultural interactions of art across the ages and across the globe. This course will survey the entire sweep of history from ancient art to the contemporary moment. Students will be introduced to the terms, principles, methods, theories and practices of art.

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:
• Describe some of the styles, ideas, and issues found in the Western canon.
• Understand and articulate some of the ways that art functions vis-a-vis human culture
• Build upon their direct, introductory experiences, in Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Photography, Animation, and Data Visualization in both Physical and Virtual worlds
• Articulate their understanding of the relationship between art and: culture, speech, creativity, expression.
• Describe the role of the artist in culture / society.

collage of Art110 Summer 2014 Counterfactual Identity images



Each week this course includes:
1. Art Activity
2. Conversation with a student artist at the CSULB School of Art, Art Gallery Courtyard
3. Conversation with an Art110 classmate

Each week you’ll make 3 blog posts on your website, 1 for each item.

Each week’s posts are due by 11:59pm on Sunday night.

On time Activity posts receive up to 30 points. Posts up to 1 week late, receive up to 20 points.
On time Interview posts receive up to 14 points. Posts up to 1 week late, receive up to 10 points.
Posts more than 1 week late are not accepted.
I don’t look for late posts. Be sure to message me if you want a late post looked at.

• Your Mobile Device

This is not a “textbook” course, but an experience course. If you don’t come to class, you haven’t done the course. Each Tuesday in class we’ll look at some of your best projects from last week and prepare for this week’s activities. Each Thursday we meet at the CSULB School of Art (SOA), Art Gallery Courtyard where you can have your Artist & Classmate Conversations. On Thursdays in the SOA Gallery Courtyard you can also prepare for, and sometimes complete, the week’s activity. (you can’t do activities like Spray Painting or Plaster Casting in the Gallery Courtyard)

Draw Your Student ID Card
Starting Week 2 I’ll be taking attendance via your ID Cards. You’ll turn in, not your physical ID card, but a drawing of it. Buy a package of 3×5 index cards. Unlined is better. Lined is OK. Draw your ID card. As long as your name is clearly legible, the rest is up to you. A simple copy of the card. A detailed self-portrait. A campus landscape. An alien world. Highly representational. Abstract. Every class it’s your choice.

I’ll have an envelope each day. On Tuesdays please give me your card at the end of class. On Thursdays any time during class is fine.


Missing 1 or 2 classes across the span of the semester should not be too detrimental to your final grade. If you need to miss more than that, you should see me immediately and most likely plan to take Art110 a different semester.


3. Points & Grades

• Attendance: 28 classes x 7 = 196 points
• Final: 52 points
• 12 Activities x 30 = 360 points
• 28 Interviews x 14 = 392 points

Course Total Possible = 1,000 points.

900 points = A
800 points = B
700 points = C
600 points = D
599 & below = F

Note that for some dumb reason, BeachBoard (aka “Desire to Learn” aka “D2L”) will show you your points, but not add them up for you. There are some fancy switches inside BeachBoard that I have to flip to get it to show you what all your individual points add up to (wacky, I know!) If someone reminds me near the beginning of the semester, then you can see totals all semester instead of waiting till the end.

We have 4 extra credit opportunities this semester, each worth +30 points. If you do all 4 that’s +120 or over a full letter grade of EC. I hope you don’t even need any EC, but if you do, here it is:

Wk 1: Domain Name
When you make your website on in Week 1, you can either use a free domain name like “” or you can pay about $18 for your own domain name, like “”. I think you are a lot better served by having your own domain name. If you do make an ePortfolio it’ll be easier and more professional for anyone: friends, family, and HR Directors, to get to your website. Also I think your own domain name gives you more of a sense of ownership of your website. Even though that’s what I think, it’s your choice. You can get full credit with any “” URL, or Double Credit, 30+30 points if you go ahead and buy “”. As for what “me” is, that’s up to you. I strongly encourage just getting your name. It’s probably the best in the long run. If you have a common name, you might use a middle initial or a nickname.

NOTE that this EC is ONLY AVAILABLE in Week 1! When you submit your URL, I’ll give EC to those who’ve bought names. This EC isn’t available later in the semester.

Wk 3: Kickstarter
This week we’re thinking about how art & creative projects are funded by making our own Kickstarter pitch videos. And lucky us, we can see some of the real results of Kickstarter this Friday night at the huge, free Kickstarter Film Festival in Griffith Park. If you go, take some pix and write up your experience.

Wk 7: Painting
The best place to paint is at the Venice Beach Legal Art Walls. Just about everyone who has ever gone has had a great time. Yes it’s far. Yes, I know you hate to drive. So instead of requiring you to go there, it’s your choice. You can paint on a piece of cardboard or plywood in your backyard or anyplace that’s legal for full credit. If you can make it out to Venice, I’ll give you double credit, 30+30.

Wk 13-14-15: ePortfolio
We’re making websites for 2 reasons: to have a place to “turn in” our work, but also to start building a personal ePortfolio to show off what we can do. During the last 3 Tuesdays you can do a 5-minute presentation of your ePortfolio to the class for +30 EC. Note that this is NOT for showing your Art110 Activities, but for showing YOUR ePortfolio. For most of you this will be about your major: your Aerospace Engineering, Business Marketing, Fashion Merchandising, Nursing or Marine Biology, etc. ePortfolio. But it can also be a personal passion like working on cars or cosplay or the Mainland Mermaids business you’re starting, or the website you’re creating for your new film or other project.

In addition to the +30 for presenting your ePortfolio, you might earn even more Bonus EC if your classmates vote for you as one of the top sites of the day!

RUBRIC: Activities
Each Activity starts off with a perfect 30, and points are deducted from that if necessary:
1. No Photos: -6
2. Poor Post Naming: -6
3. Too short: -6
4. Not analytic enough: -6

RUBRIC: Interviews
Each Interview starts off with a perfect 14, and points are deducted from that if necessary:
1. No Photos: -2
2. Poor Post Naming: -2
3. Too short: -2
4. Not analytic enough: -2
5. No Artist Tag: -7

Photos of what? For your Activities, document your process! For Classmate Interviews, a photo with your classmate would be great. For Artist Interviews, a photo of the artist, or their work would be ok. Photos of both would be great.

What is “good” post naming? Mostly something that makes it easy for me to know what I’m looking at. If you’ve working on a larger project with your website, your posts don’t have to have these exact names, as long as it’s easy for me to identify. Here are some examples of good post names:
Wk2 – Activity – Plaster Casting
Wk2 – Artist Interview – Brianna Allen
Wk2 – Classmate Interview – Geri Weckstein

anything in that form makes it easy to know what I’m looking at and will be great.

3 & 4 are a little subjective. But the idea here is that one paragraph that only states what the activity was or bare basics of the interviews is kind of short and not really analytic. 3-4 paragraphs each of decent length where you talk about your Activity Process, or Interview Conversations, and definitely try to analyze the ideas, is great!

By “analyze” I mean rather than restating facts, you try to make those ideas your own by seeing what truth you find in them, or alternative thoughts you have, or other artists that come to mind. Maybe this is art you’ve never even known about or thought about before: does it make sense? Does it expand your perspective on art and the practice of artists? Do you reject that this work even is art? Does it resonate with personal experiences in your own life or things you’ve seen in the world?

The CSULB School of Art, Student Artists, are being generous with us. They galleries normally open at Noon, so they’re opening an hour early to talk to Art110. And they’re dealing with a big class like ours coming through their carefully assembled exhibition. And answering lots of questions from us! So lets try to thank them for their hospitality and for sharing their work with us. One great way to do this is to TAG your post. This gives them a tag they can click on to see all the posts we’ve written about them. The tags for Spring 2015 are:

Each week when we visit the SOA Galleries, you’ll pick 1 of the shows for your Artist Conversation & Blog Post. This will almost always be in 1 of the 5 Galleries: Gatov West, Gatov East, Merlino Gallery, Werby Gallery or Dutzi Gallery. There may also be work installed or performed in the SOA Courtyard.

Another nice way to respect these artists is to try to have a real conversation with them about their work and their ideas first, and then ask to take a photo of them or their work. When 100 of us rush in with cell phones snapping all at once, the artists can start to feel like victims of paparazzi rather than appreciated artists.

photo of hands holding cell phones in the air to try to photograph the Mona Lisa at The Louvre in Paris
Instagram by @alycehaliday. You have to wonder if the masses at The Louvre actually like the Mona Lisa, or even care about what’s going on in the work, or if they’re just collecting a “badge” for their Facebook page? Let’s try to not be them!


[box type=”note”]
Pretty much, if you put up 3 posts a week with Pix, Good Titles, nice Analysis, and a TAG for the artist, you should totally ace this class.



The Art Department grants “incompletes” rarely and only for the most extreme conditions.

Withdrawal Deadlines

  • By MyCSULB – Feb 2 @10pm
  • w signature, Director, School of Art – Apr 17
  • w signature, Dean, College of the Arts – May 8

CSULB will make reasonable accommodations for any student who has a disability. It is the student’s responsibility to notify me in advance of the need for special accommodations. This course utilizes many activities and many tools. Most of you should have no trouble with any of this, however if anyone has challenges with any course aspect for any reason, please be in touch ASAP and we can work to find suitable alternatives. A sincere effort should result in real learning and a good grade, so never be afraid to ask for any accommodations you need, but do make a sincere effort.

If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong! Art is, or should be, a fun, interesting, exciting, and enjoyable subject. Art offers pleasure to the viewer, consolation to the distraught, and wisdom to the seeker. Art will enrich your leisure time, resonate with your life, and offer surprising relevance to almost any career field you choose!




5. Learning Objectives: Activities

Week 1: Web Design

screen cap of Samantha Focarino's website
Sami Focarino‘s website
This week we begin the ePortfolio (or “blog” or “website”) that I hope you’ll still be using long after you’ve left Art110. Not only Artists, but really all of the many different majors across the CSULB campus that take Art110 need a compelling online presence or ePortfolio in the 21st century. Whether you’re an Engineer, Scientist, Business Person, Social Scientist, Performing Artist, Communication Scientist, Journalist, Kinesiologist or Fashion Merchandiser, having your own website where you can present and control your public face is essential in the 21st century.

Week 2: Relational Aesthetics

Instagram screencap of a post by Kim KardashianThis week we’ll think about the new field of Relational Aesthetics: how artists create works that reflect on social relationships. We’ll think about it with an Instagram “group self-portrait”. Thursday of this week each of us will post 4 Instagram pix (or more) of whatever we’re doing during the 24 hours of the day. Well use the hashtag #art110fall14 and then look at the 600+ pix we’ve created together to see what commonalities and differences we can find in our group life.

Week 3: Arts Funding

photo of computer monitor on kickstarter websiteThis week we’ll think about Arts Funding. How does an artist earn a living? 5 centuries ago you might have had a wealthy patron like the Medici family. In some ways today isn’t that different, with Americans like Eli Broad or Europeans like Charles Saatchi using their fortunes to make powerful marks on our cultural rivers. In addition to the Gallery system, there are also funding organizations like the National Endowment for the Arts, and new Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter which launched in 2009. This week we’ll make another vlog, this one being a pitch video we might use for a Kickstarter project to pitch our ideas to friends, family, and other patrons.

Week 4: Sculpture

PlasterCastingThis week we’ll have our 3D Art, Sculpture Experience by making a Plaster Casting of your hand or foot at the beach. It’s a good excuse to go to the beach as part of your “school”, but it’s also a great way to use natural resources to come pretty close to the way “real” objects are fabricated. Normally casting uses finer sand than beach sand and a hinged mold so you can get the object out more cleanly, but we’ll do a pretty good approximation at a local beach.

Week 5: Identity Art

collage of Art110 Summer 2014 Counterfactual Identity imagesThis week we dive into Identity Art and maybe a bit of Performance Art by thinking about Counterfactual Identity. For one day you can dress up differently than you normally do and see how people react to you. What do they think your major is? What do they think your name might be?

Week 6: Drawing

Drawing-FrenchGirlsHuman beings have probably been drawing for as long as we’ve been on earth. What’s new in the 21st century? Mobile drawing! Drawing with your finger on a phone or tablet probably isn’t the best way to learn to draw, but it does echo some of the early ways we humans would have drawn with fingers and sticks. With the French Girls mobile app you can pick someone else’s selfie to draw and you can also see how other peeps draw you. In a full drawing course you could develop real skills, but here we’ll keep it light and just play a little with the possibilities of networked social drawing.

Week 7: Painting

Amanda's niece, Amanda & Siraj standing in-between Siraj's 2 pieces in English & Arabic.
Amanda’s niece, Amanda & Siraj standing in-between Siraj’s 2 pieces in English & Arabic.
Last week we tried drawing, and painting is just about as old a human artform. Spray paint is a lot newer. It’s amazing what talented artists can get out of a spray can. Most of you won’t be at that level, but you can give it a try and if you have the chance to go out to the Venice Beach Legal Art Walls you can see some impressive work from artists around Los Angeles.

This week Painting meets Street Art as we spray paint our names in Bubble Letters. You can use cardboard or plywood in your back yard, or if you can make it out to the Venice Beach Legal Art Walls, you can have another beach trip and soak in a lot of culture in the remarkable high-and-low culture capital of Venice. Plus get extra credit for going!

Week 8: ePortfolio

Display of the Responsive WordPress theme Vitrux showing how it looks on phone, table, and monitorThe 1st week of class we all made websites. A few of you already had websites, and since then a few of you have really made these sites awesome online portfolios of your work in Cinematography or Marine Biology or Fashion Merchandising etc. But for most of you these websites have mostly been “turn in my activities” websites. Now that you’ve had some time to get comfortable with the WordPress platform, it’s time to move your website from a “homework” website that really only helps you for 1 semester, to a Personal ePortfolio website that can help you get internships and jobs and launch your career. Your ePortfolio can be a website that not only helps you transition from CSULB to the next phase of your career, but can go with you through your career documenting and presenting your achievements as you make your way through the journey of life.

Week 9: Vlogging

photo of vlogger Natalie Tran of Community ChannelWe’ve started our ePortfolio and this week we’ll do a New Media vlog to best present our portfolio to the world. This is a short, look at your audience, 1st person video where you introduce yourself.

Week 10: Photography

detail of woman's body (simulating her demise) at the bottom of a college dorm atrium with a red plastic cup splattered beside her
Robina Borrero, Art 110, Fall ’12
In Week 6 we used photography or social media photography as part of our Relational Aesthetics activity. This week we’ll do somewhat more traditional 2D Photography. We’ll still have a bit of a twist as our photo project is to imagine our own demise and then photograph it in our Landscapes with a Corpse project.

Week 11: Your Turn

photo of denim cutoffs with a USA flag pattern and a "Made in China" label
photo from Geri Weckstein’s “Made Anywhere But Here” project, Sp ’14
In the past 10 weeks we’ve tried 10 different art media. Of course there are thousands of different media possibilities today. This week, You Pick! Pick any media you’d like to try: Yarn Bombing, Internet Hacktivism, Video, Installation, you name it!

Week 12: Teach One

photo of "student" teaching "teacher" with a tabletFinally, after doing 11 different art activities, it’s time to teach one! The best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else. Let’s wrap up our course experience by sharing something about art with others. You can make a video or use other media and teach any art idea or technique. You don’t have to be an expert, just communicate what you know as clearly as you can.


6. Learning Objectives: Interviews

Since so much of our time in Art110 is spent in conversations with School of Art artists, or Art110 classmates, the specific cultural ideas explored won’t be quite as defined as they would be in a course with 2-1/2 hours of lecture each week and an accompanying survey textbook to read. Still, many of the same ideas should be explored across the course of the semester.

Some of the many ideas you can expect to explore with artists & classmates this semester include:
• The 3-million-year impulse of our ancestors to make art and aesthetic experience.
• How art expresses who we are, our hopes and our fears.
• A consideration of art and life, and our human presence on this earth.
• Cave art and how the markings on cave walls have so much to say about who we are today.
• Classical Greece and Rome and how the art of those cultures influences Western and American culture today.
• The Middle Ages: culture, architecture, illuminated manuscripts.
• The Renaissance & The Baroque.
• The explosion of new ideas in the 19th century.
• Realism & Romanticism.
• The 20th century.
• Abstraction & Representation.
• Copyright & Intellectual Property.
• Free Culture, Creativity & the ability to Participate in Culture.
• Hacktivism & Street Art.

Beyond these overarching ideas, each artist and each classmate you have a conversation with will bring many unique ideas about art, culture, aesthetics, society, identity, media, and many other aspects of art, culture, and life in this world.

I know you always feel the pressure to “get the essential facts” so you can “finish this thing and get to lunch.” Try to slow down a little and have real conversations. Try to worry less about “the facts” and to learn something important from each person you speak with. Try to appreciate the depth and value of each person you have a chance to visit with.


2 responses to “Spring ’15 Syllabus”

  1. Edgar Bueno Avatar

    Hello Professor Zucman,
    I posted my Week 10 posts a bit late. I was wondering if you could please take a look at them?
    Thank you.

  2. Kasi Gibo Avatar
    Kasi Gibo

    Hello professor Zucman,
    On my grade for week 10 artist conversation its listed that I got 1 point out of 20. I was just wondering if you could explain why I only got 1 point I would really appreciate it! Thanks
    Kasi Gibo

Comments? Questions? What great art did you see, make, or experience today?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.