1 Unit Ideas

Hi Karen!
On Thursday you asked me to think about a few 1 unit courses that might take successive 5 week slots in a semester.

ePortfolios for Artists

We've spoken about this before and I think it's a real priority. Since my students visit all the SOA Gallery shows and ask artists for their websites, I've been honestly shocked at how few SOA Artists have websites. If we can help get more artists presenting their work online, I think that could be very valuable.


You mentioned this might be a good idea, and I'd be happy to teach it. Years ago Photoshop was specialty "Art & Design software," but for a long time now it's been just a basic skill for anyone. The ability to prepare images and put together posters and web content, be it for your own show, or for any employer you might be working for, is basic and essential.

Avatars & Identity Art

You mentioned doing something with Second Life, which would be great. We do still have "CSULB Island" in SL. It's a 6.5 hectare island that can be built on, performed on, terraformed, etc. Instead of calling it a Second Life course specifically, we might think of something more open / inclusive like "Avatars & Identity Art" so that students could also work with avatars from many other platforms: World of Warcraft, America's Army, Grand Theft Auto, and on and on. There's a tremendous amount of work being done in these spaces and with forces like Facebook trampling the civil rights of not just avatars, but RL Drag Queens, Abuse Survivors, Dissident Bloggers, and many dozens of other groups that don't happen to fit Facebook's marketing models, this is a very ripe space for Political Art, Civil Rights Activism, Identity Art, Social Practice, Cyber-Relational Aesthetics, and more.

Blogging About Shows in The SOA Galleries

As you know, my Art110 students write about our SOA Student Exhibitions at a fairly basic level. It might be a nice idea to offer a similar opportunity to actual Art Majors. They could take this after ePortfolios, or just jump straight in if they liked. Either way, they could leverage their websites not just as ePortfolios, but also as places to talk about art on exhibition. We have the SOA Galleries, the UAM, and of course all the riches of Galleries & Museums here in Los Angeles. Writing about work on exhibition could be a fantastic experience, and could also help students learn to articulate their own ideas as well. Writing about SOA Artists could become a nice inner-SOA exchange opportunity.

Social Media

More than most of the above options, our SOA Students probably are already pretty good at Social Media. This might be a great reason to have a course! They already know the basics, but are they truly leveraging these incredibly powerful contemporary tools? In many fields today careers are built by the strength of Social Media presence. And I know of an illustrator who tried to move from one Hollywood movie studio to another, and didn't get the job not because of any weakness in his portfolio, but because he didn't have a big enough social media footprint to satisfy the new studio!

There's a few quick thoughts. Let me know what you think. And of course I'd be happy to brainstorm others.