Advanced SIS: Simulation and Perception

Carnegie Mellon University School of Art

Times:                  T TH 8:30am – 11:20am

Location:              Doherty Hall D200

Contacts:              Joshua Reiman, Visiting Assistant Professor of Art                     

Terry Hritz – Technician

Dakotah Konicek, GA –

Office Hours:        D312, Wednesdays 2 – 5pm


How do we experience sculpture? How can an artist affect the way we experience real objects in real space? What does it mean to create, and how do you develop space for viewing your work? This course aims to answer these questions while exploring various modes of perceptual experience dealing with light, space, presence, illusion, site, installation, storytelling, myth, language, and the senses. Through a series of group and individual projects, students will research, discuss, and produce work in a variety of conditions including a large-scale temporary exhibition. This interdisciplinary studio course requires collaborative engagement within a sculptural lab environment.

We will investigate materials, methods, and concepts that serve as the foundation for creating three-dimensional objects and spaces. Through assignments, lectures, demonstrations, and discussions we will explore traditional and experimental approaches to the theory and practice involved in making sculpture.

The primary objective for this course is to develop the skills needed to interpret and articulate contemporary modes for the creation of sculpture that students will encounter as professional artists and creative problem solvers.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • ·Demonstrate skills in sculpture, installation, and site work, while preparing for final articulation and exhibition of your work.
  • · Explain the history of simulation and perception within the context of art history and related works with an understanding of the content and materials.
  • · Critically analyze technical applications and theoretical issues within the production of sensorial artworks.
  • · Exhibit professionalism by meeting deadlines for projects and participating in a rigorous articulate dialog within meetings.

Semester Overview – Assignments & Dates:

Each week we will work in the studio, have class discussions on assigned readings, go on field trips, enjoy lectures, watch videos, and have plenty of studio time for your own work with professional instruction. You will be expected to show in-progress drawings, models, and renderings throughout the semester. I will tell you at least one week in advance what your homework assignments will be, and make you aware of any changes in regards to due dates. Furthermore, weekly readings and short written descriptions of your work will be assigned.

#1 Due: Tuesday January 28, 2014

The Unseen – group project Site action/installation dealing with the unseen. Highlight something that is often overlooked or unnoticed. (project space reserved 26-28)

#2 – Due: Tuesday February 11, 2014

Light – individual or group project – by only using light to express your ideas, build, mask, design, create a tool, installation, optic, whatever you or your group comes up with to change our ideas of perception and space. (project space reserved 10-11)

#3 – Due: Thursday March 20, 2014

Nostalgia and The Object – choose a story from history and build a simulated object or environment to bring it into the present. (project space reserved 19-20) use shops- welding, woodshop, physical computing, etc.

#4 – Due: Tuesday April 8, 2014

5 – 7 Page Paper

Choose a topic from the assigned readings and your own personal interests to research and relate to your own work. Footnotes and citations required! Please feel free to work with me on this outside of class time. Please also consider using the CMU writing lab. –

#5 – Due: Friday May 2, 2014 Final (date may change)

Outdoor Show – Mobile installation – each student will get a rental truck to install in -open theme.

#6 – Due: Wednesday May 7, 2014 @ 5pm

         Documentation- (if handed in late you will loose a letter grade)

You must document each project (photo and/or video) and at the end of the

semester give me a CD or DVD of this documentation. This will serve as your portfolio from this class. These images will prove to be useful as part of your artist portfolio and/or on your personal website. I will also accept USB drive files dumped onto my computer or digital dropbox with link.

Grading and Attendance:

Success is effort.

Each project will be graded and worth a percentage of your final grade. No project will be accepted late unless you have a medical or family emergency. Assignments are worth 70% of your grade and class participation/ attendance is worth 30%. If you miss a class, you lose out on critical information, and most likely will not be able to complete your assignment.

Three unexcused class absences equal a letter grade dropped from your total grade awarded, four or more will result in a D or an R.

Please do not show up late and interrupt the class. Coming in late interrupts the class and will be counted as an unexcused absence anyway (over 10 min). We will not critique late work and you should expect that your grade for that section would be automatically lowered. After each assignment I will give you an evaluation on your project, helpful suggestions, and an explanation of your status in the class.

In determining a grade I utilize the following grading scale criteria for factorable grades:

A – Excellent

      (Excelling in all areas of the work, both in production and participation)

B – Good (work is above average, but can improve in suggested areas)

C – Satisfactory

      (All course requirements have been met and assignments completed)

D – Passing

R – Failure

X – Conditional Failure (can only be replaced by an R or a D)


Your positive attitude and willingness to participate is a must.

The class meets twice a week (3 hour periods) for a total of 6 hours of instruction and studio time per week. Students are expected to complete the majority of work on their projects outside of class time. Class time is a lab for making and discussing work.

Appropriate attire is required: closed toed shoes (no flip flops or high heels), long pants and long sleeve shirts, hair must be tied back. Your clothes will get dirty, so please wear work clothing.

Field Trips: You may be asked to pay your own entrance fee for each trip if required

Bayernhoff Museum – $10

Thorsten Brinkman’s – La Huette Royal -free

Mattress Factory – free with CMU ID

Wood Street Art Gallery –free – Structures of Time and Space ERWIN REDL 1/24/2014 – 4/6/2014 Gallery Crawl: January 24, 2014 – 5:30-11pm


Critique is a constructive platform for discussion. Critiques will be held on the day when assignments are due. Only completed projects will be critiqued. Please consider that the way you set up your work is one of the most important decisions you will make as an artist.

During critiques you will need to have prepared your artwork and a clear and concise verbal explanation of your project. Please respect others by participating and fully engaging the group critique. When possible, we will have visiting artists and professors sitting in on the discussion.

It is possible that you may be asked to rework your project. If this happens, please do so in a timely fashion.

Shop Hours:

The studio will be open during monitor hours at night and on the weekends. Hours TBA. Please look for hours posted on the door to the sculpture studios and on the CMU and ArtFab website.

Storage and lockers:

There will be space in D200 for in process works. If you have completed your project, please move it to your studio or another appropriate location away from the classroom. There are shelves for finished works in the hallway near D316a. Lockers are in the hallway and are available on a first come first serve basis. Please remove your work after finals by the date that is announced in class. Failure to do so may result in a lowered grade.


There is a Materials Fee associated with this class of around $80 (this may be a little more of less depending on costs incurred).

The Sculpture studio will provide as many of the materials for personal and group projects as possible. As individual projects vary, it is difficult to anticipate the material demands of your projects, so you will need to purchase many additional materials as necessary for each project.

Protective gear and clothing is required when working in the sculpture studio and with toxic materials. If you have allergic reactions to any of these materials while we are working with them, inform me immediately! I will be discussing and posting material safety data sheets on all materials used in class. If you have allergies or health concerns, I ask that you make them know as soon as possible!

No prior skills are required for taking this course. Proper safety, environmental concerns and use of materials in all forms will be covered.

Cleaning up is REQUIRED and expected at all times, especially after each class and during lab hours. This is very important since this is a shared studio, and keeping it cleaner than you found it is a must!

Required Text:

Simulation and Perception Reader– distributed in class (paid from material fee)

Suggested Textbook:

Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing that One Sees – Robert Irwin and Lawrence Weschler – purchase online

List of Artists to research (in no particular order):

Ann Hamilton, Robert Irwin, James Turrell, Olafur Eliasson, Bruce Naumen, Woody and Steina Vasulka, Andrea Fraser, Duke Riley, Alan Sonifist, Dan Graham, Michael Jones McKean, Robert Smithson, Marcel Duchamp, Daniel Buren, Mike Kelley, Simon Starling, Thomas Hirshorn, Theaster Gates, Tino Sehgal, Richard Serra, Otto Piene, Susan Kaiser Vogel, Tim Hawkinson, Rebecca Horn, Urs Fischer, Andy Goldsworthy, Nam June Paik, Katie Paterson, Michael Joo, Sarah Lucas, Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Chapman Brothers, Judy Chicago, Louise Bourgeois, Wim Delvoye, Matthew Day Jackson, Tony Matelli, Yinke Shonibare, Edward Keinholtz, Matthew Barney, Keith Edmier, Rob Pruitt, Komar and Melamid, Dario Robleto, Shoplifter, Ragnar Kjartansson, David Herbert, David Altmejd, Banks Violette, Maurizio Cattelan, Sophie Calle, Santiago Sierra, Paul McCarthy, Janine Antoni, Charles Ray, Corin Hewitt, Kiki Smith, Roxy Paine, Dewaine Valentine, Andrea Zittel, Roni Horn, Ashley Bickerton, Takashi Murakami, Katharina Fritsch, Joep van Lieshout, Tom Sachs, Felix Gonzales Torres, Joseph Beuys, Yayoi Kusama, Mark Allen, Lucas Samaras, Jennifer Steinkamp, Kelly Richardson

“Just because nobody understands you doesn’t mean you’re an artist.”

David Lee Roth


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