Tuesday, January 29, 2008


DUE: T 2/19
CRITIQUE: T 2/19, TH 2/21

So much of Filipino-American history is buried, or invisible. Making visual work returns events to visibility. This is a warm-up project: its function is to focus on seeing, telling, imagining.

Please find an image (or multiple images, if you prefer) that you associate with Filipino/Filipino-American culture and/or history. The images can be family snapshots, friends, historical photos, food, sports, you name it. Go to the library. Use Google. Print/photocopy the images, ponder them a bit. You do not have to possess a deep knowledge of the image you choose, but it must compel you visually in some way. You are not expected to know everything about the image: making art is often an excuse to simply investigate a subject. This is about inquiry, and imagination.

This project is due in 3 weeks, and as such, you’re expected to invest about that much time outside of class on it. This will probably look like about 12-15 hours of work, including the time you take finding your images, and time to write a brief artist statement. It may take more, or less, but either way, your work should look resolved by its due date. As you still have a substantial amount of reading that you’re also accountable for, it would be prudent to scale this project to a manageable size and to not wait until the night before it’s due to start. If you are confused about this project, please set up a meeting with me (I’m generally available either before or after class on Tuesdays and Thursdays), and also peruse the examples from last year’s course blog at worldsincollision.vox.com.

This is a 2-dimensional project on paper.
It should include some elements of drawing and hand-made elements (but it is not required to be entirely drawn.)
Scale, and number of sheets (1 is fine, some may want more) is up to you.


  • Evidence of emotional/intellectual engagement with the subject/image
  • Incorporation of hand-drawn elements into your piece
  • 3 weeks of effort and investment
  • complex investment in idea, theme and execution
  • written reflection/artist statement


“Care” is a word to keep in mind, as a maker and a viewer. How do you care about this, and how might you make us care, as well? Have you chosen an image/images that compel you? Have you genuinely engaged with the image, and made meaning of it? How is this evident in your artwork?

It doesn’t matter what style or materials you work with. Criteria for success is whether you are invested, and how this manifests. This is not about traditional technical skill. It’s about curiosity, investigation, and follow-through. Have you challenged yourself to move beyond your personal comfort zone/skill-set, and take new risks?

Some realizations simply won’t come to you until well after you’ve finished a piece, but it’s important to reflect on what you’ve made in some conscious way. This does not have to be formal academic analysis. It can be poetry, short fiction, diaristic: whatever seems appropriate. How you choose to write about your work is up to you. 1 page, typed, double-spaced, preferably.

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