Elective Courses

Wintersession 2016 (more coming soon!)



Intensive 10 day workshop at Brown University’s Granoff Center For The Creative Arts: January 6-16th 2016

Credits: 3.00

A Cross-Disciplinary Workshop of Visual Artists, Theatre Artists and Designers addressing Identity within the Promise and Perils of Connectivity in the 21st Century. On day 6 of the workshop, Brown students will join RISD students for the remaining 5 days. The workshop will explore the vocabulary, technique, opportunities and challenges of interdisciplinary collaboration as an active creative process. The specific focus and application during this intensive will be the question of how we relate to the world around us—as it represents itself in sensory and tactile form—as well as the virtual world of the internet. While the focus of this course is contemplation of our relationship to technology in various modes, the work will resonate within a larger context of the convergence of Technology, Design and the Performing Arts. The hope is that new ideas and vocabulary will emerge from the engagement of artists in process-oriented disciplines rather than the goal of a finished product. The collaboratively intensive course will use both the iterative/prototyping methods of art and the rehearsal based narrative explorations of Drama in new experimental methods. Both in creation and performance, we will attempt to reflect, juxtapose and critically investigate the way the “real” and “virtual” world shape our perceptions. This course will:

• Apply performance principles to art-based work.
• Apply art principles to performance.
• Create theatrical installations, performance art, and video.

The above may include work of Fine Artists, Design Technologists, Conceptual Artists, Game Designers, Animators, Fashion Designers, Architects, Fabricators, Actors, Writers, Directors, and Filmmaker/Videographers.

Fall 2015

CASTING STUDIO: Chris Sancombe

Friday 1.10-6.10pm: Metcalf 114

Credits: 3.00

This course is designed to build upon the fundamental principles of mold making and casting while exploring more complex concepts, materials, and techniques. The transformative process of casting can embody the signs of growth or decay, of evolution and metamorphosis. From cellular multiplicity to large scale sculptures, casting skills enable the artist to control the sensation of the finished work through a spectrum of materials and processes.
Through demonstrations then hands-on exploration, students will pursue individual projects that reflect upon themes in sculpture that utilize casting for its unique versatility. Students will have extensive exposure to a variety of traditional and nontraditional materials. Processes will include multi-part shell molds, gypsum and composite materials for shell construction, urethane and silicone rubber, castable plastics, cold cast metals, and material specific release agents. We will review the possible health hazards associated with casting, and learn safe working methods, as well as have in-class discussions about concept and craft, various fabrication and finishing methods, and uses for molds in the making sculpture.
Junior and above
Elective, non-majors by permission of instructor.



Monday 1-4pm

Credits: 3.00

The content of this course will be influenced by the sculpture department’s visiting lecture series and artists invited into the class for projects and performances. Therefore fall and spring courses will be based upon these variables. Students should also expect to encounter accompanying readings and seminar scale discussions native to these discrete experiences.
TRESPASS: sculpture writes performance is a experimental laboratory for thinking and making across the disciplines of sculpture and performance that uses writing as a critical choreographic tool. We trespass from sculpture to science fiction, cinema to landscape, punk rock to theory, dance to poetics, sound to insomnia, history to holodeck. These encounters-conceptual and material-engage a constellation of ideas surrounding critical writing and art-making processes.
To think, to construct, to write within such a surround invites a precarious approach to process and to concept untethering syntax (materially, linguistically, theoretically) from its rational grounds. From here we consider questions of improvisation, correspondence, movement, gesture, repetition, timing, our relationships to history (personal and cultural), utopia and dream.
Structured as a series of workshops, the laboratory unfolds through individual and collaborative projects, critiques, readings and discussions of artists’ writings and theoretical texts. Readings will include Walter Benjamin, Anne Carson, W.G. Sebald, Paul Virilio, Shelley Jackson, Mike Kelley, Jorge Luis Borges, Sigmund Freud, Samuel Delany, Kelly Nipper, Douglas Gordon, Giles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Avital Ronell, Ralph Lemon, Michel Foucault, Stephen Parrino, Kim Gordon, among others. Each semester two Visiting Artists, working along the edges of sculpture/performance/writing, will present their own work and develop a collaborative practice with the group.
Estimated Material Cost: $100.00
Junior and above
Elective, non-majors by permission of instructor.



Wednesday 1.10-6.10pm: Metcalf 301

Credits: 3.00

This course will explore digital design and fabrication within the context of contemporary art, design, and architecture. Through a series of technical demonstrations, students will make connections between CAD/CAM software, digital fabrication technologies and the physical world. Students will become familiar with digital fabrication as it relates to traditional sculptural processes such as mold making/casting, metalworking and woodworking.
Students will undertake a series of projects exploring 3D model creation using various CAD applications, 3D scanning technologies, and experimental approaches to digital model generation. Simultaneously, digital models will be made physical through additive and subtractive fabrication technologies including 3D printing, CNC milling, and laser cutting.
The course will culminate with an ambitious final project encouraging students to blend digital fabrication technologies with their existing studio practice and/or research interest.
The class will use Rhino3d as the primary CAD tool and students will need their own laptop with Rhino installed. The Mac version of Rhino is currently a free download and the Windows version is available at student pricing through rhino3d.com.
Sophomore and above
Elective, non-majors by permission of instructor.



Monday 1.10-6.10pm: Metcalf 320

Credits: 3.00

We will create a unique learning environment where a classroom space is dedicated solely to the making and the display of the course work for the duration of the semester. This approach will encourage the participants to generate work that cannot be “carted in and carted out for a critique”. The opportunity creates a unique format for interacting and making work within RISD’s academic and facility structure. The explorations in this course are based on the fact that absolutely everything is a material and that everything can be manipulated using conditional approaches, responses and skills.
We will start with fundamental skills that use; contextual influences, site specific analysis and behavioral observations. The emphasis will always be on making. You must be willing to adapt the way you work and collaborate with one another during the development and fabrication of every exploration. There will be occasions when you are used as material to be worked with.
After a series of investigations and assignments, studio participants will generate work that is connected to their own interests. Together we will also create an environment within the room that supports the optimum display for all of the individual works. Everyone will be required to document their individual process and contribute to a final class compilation. This course supports the exploration and engagement of interdisciplinary and experiential learning.
Major Elective, Junior and Above
Open to non-majors by permission of department
Course not available via web registration



Monday 1.10-6.10pm: Metcalf 301

Credits: 3.00

Students learn the basics of electricity and electronics while focusing on how to use microcontrollers (one chip computers) in conjunction with sensors, lights, motors, switchers, audio signals, and basic mechanics in works of art. Projects include timekeepers, simple robots, and interactive environments. Readings and slide/video lectures encompass artist-built machines and sculpture from 1900 to the present. Students can expect to spend time outside of class reading and programming, as well as designing and constructing. No previouis experience with electronics is required. Students should have taken a basic computer art course and, ideally, a sculpture course. Computer programming and machine shop skills are definitely a plus.
Elective, non-majors by permission of instructor.