Syllabus

Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 3 hours / session

Through The Lens: Exploring The Department Of Brain And Cognitive Sciences

This course provides practical instruction in fundamentals of analog and digital SLR and medium/large format camera operation, film exposure and development, black and white darkroom techniques, digital imaging, and studio lighting.

This semester we will explore the MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences for our theme- and site-specific term project, which provides opportunities to develop technical skills and experimental photographic techniques, and for personal artistic exploration. Final projects will be presented on site in exhibition format.

Work in progress is continuously presented and discussed in a critical forum. Lectures, readings, visiting professionals, group discussions, and site visits encourage aesthetic appreciation of the medium, as well as a critical awareness of how images in our culture are produced and constructed.

The following proposal was submitted to the MIT Council for the Arts, and may also be of interest (PDF).

Readings

Buy at Amazon Mitchell, William J. "The Nascent Medium." In The Reconfigured Eye: Visual Truth in the Post-Photographic Era. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1992. ISBN: 9780262631600.

Buy at Amazon Sacks, Oliver. "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat." In The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales. 5th ed. New York, NY: Touchstone, 1998. ISBN: 9780684853949.

Buy at Amazon Elkins, James. "Just Looking." In The Object Stares Back: On the Nature of Seeing. Orlando, FL: Harcourt, 1997. ISBN: 9780156004978.

Hirsch, Robert. "Flexible Images: Handmade American Photography, 1969-2002." Exposure 36, no. 1 (2003): 23-42, and cover.

Buy at Amazon Horenstein, Henry. Black and White Photography: A Basic Manual (excerpts). New York, NY: Little, Brown, 1983. ISBN: 9780316373142.

Grading Criteria

ACTIVITIES PERCENTAGES
Final/midterm project 33%
Conceptual and technical development throughout semester 33%
Classroom contribution and engagement 33%

 

Attendance

Regular attendance and punctuality for class and workshops are mandatory. 3 unexcused absences will lower the final grade by one letter. 4 unexcused absences will result in automatically failing the class. It is your responsibility to catch up on missed content through the instructor, TA, or fellow students. Schedule an individual review if you miss a class review.