Unless stated otherwise, for each project you are to submit JPEGs of each of your final, edited photographs.

Please submit these JPEGs via the Dropbox link on the main class page.

Each file submitted must follow these guidelines:

  • .JPEG or .JPG file extension

  • fit within a container of 2000px x 2000px

  • 150 DPI/PPI resolution

  • less than 4MB in size

Please name the files accordingly for each assignment:




PROJECT #3: research of what you just made

To better understand and be able to speak to underlying and overt aspects of the project you just made (PROJECT #2: self directed) and your practice as a whole. 

1. Download THIS DOCUMENT and plug in all of your images from your most recent project.

2. In the cell below the image, write about each of the images. This writing should be descriptive, interpretive, theoretical, metaphoric, etc. and start to give you insight into deeper meanings to the image/s.

3. After writing about each of the images, I (Robert) will print out the 15 pages for you to have physical copies of each series of notes corresponding to each image.

4. You will then highlight key / notable aspects to what you wrote. This will be the basis for your library research.

5. Based on your highlighted sections, handwrite (on the document with your images + notes + highlights) as many keyword searches that you can think of. This will assist in your research at the library.

6. At the NIU library you will be identifying sources that relate to your notes. You will be looking for the following:  

^^^^ how to change the existing picture in MS WORD document to your own image

^^^^ how to change the existing picture in MS WORD document to your own image

7. First, identify three exhibitions that heavily incorporate photography or exclusively photography that you believe your most recent project would fit into. These exhibitions must have taken place within the past 15 years, have been staged at a museum, and must have an accompanying exhibition catalog.

8. Stemming from this research of three exhibitions, find the one exhibition that best suits your interests and check out the exhibition catalog at NIU's library (or within the I-SHARE) and check this book out. 

9. Find the exhibition essay and read it. 

10. Make notes on the essay's content, the artists involved, and begin to make notes using THIS DOCUMENT.

11. From your notes and keywords, find an essay in a scholarly art magazine that relates to your research of the exhibition essay (and your practice). 

12. Make a PDF of this essay, as well as a print version. Make notes all over this document.

13. Stemming from both essays (exhibition essay / statement + art magazine essay), find a multimedia lecture by one of the artists in the exhibition. 

14. Watch / listen to this lecture, and take notes.

15. Using this lecture (and possibly other lectures, if you wish) and your notes of it, identify how the artist's work relates to yours.

16. Create a presentation that incorporates image of works by the artists in the exhibition you are putting your work into, installation photographs of that exhibition, as well as your own works. Please caption each photo of your presentation in MLA format. You must have a minimum of 15 works of art by other photographic artists included in your presentation.

17. Your presentation must speak to what the exhibition consists of, why you saw your work fitting into it, what conversations your work has with the other artist's works, what you learned from the essays you researched. 



This is an assignment aimed at getting you to broaden your research into contemporary photographers / artists, and for you to share that research with the class. You will be culling the internet and NIU library to find new photographers / artists that use photography as a main fixture or motif within their artistic practice.

Here are the guidelines:

  • You will be submitting 20 images total
  • You must select 10 artists, providing 2 images per photographer/artist that best describes their practice (or that you find most interesting)
  • At least 2 of the photographers/artists must be found in the physical copy of Aperture Magazine (located at NIU Library)
  • At least 2 of the photographer/artists must be found in either Art Forum, Art In America, or Art Review (located at NIU Library)
  • The artist must be represented by a gallery, or must have had a substantial solo presentations at a various galleries nationally and/or internationally
  • You must be able to speak to the photographer/artist's work you are selecting (i.e. what drew you to their work? what is it about the specific images that interests you?)
  • Here are some websites worth checking out when searching for artists:
  • Here is the information you must provide for each image: 
  1. Photographer/Artist Name
  2. Title of Photograph/Artwork 
  3. Year of Photograph/Artwork
  4. Medium of Photograph/Artwork
  5. Gallery that represents Photographer/Artist (for this you will need to do some sleuthing)



Luke Fowler Location Recording, Norfolk (from project, 'Two-Frame Films') 2007 Giclee print Represented by: The Modern Institute (Glasgow); Galerie Gisela Capitain (Cologne); among others

Luke Fowler
Location Recording, Norfolk (from project, 'Two-Frame Films')
Giclee print
Represented by: The Modern Institute (Glasgow); Galerie Gisela Capitain (Cologne); among others

This information along with the images must be typed-up and submitted as a single PDF file via our class Dropbox link. Please be sure to number the entries and have the images clearly correspond with the artwork information. 

Also submit a .ZIP with all the JPEGs of the works to the Dropbox. Thanks!!!

Here's our class Dropbox link, in case you need it again:


You will be submitting the following to the class Dropbox link:

  • Your original print-out of images + notes + highlights + keywords (this will be returned to you, as it is useful for your practice)
  • PDF identifying your sources: 
    • x3 initial exhibitions 
    • x1 exhibition you are putting your work into
    • MLA formatted exhibition catalog source information
    • MLA formatted art magazine source information
    • MLA formatted multimedia source information
    • MLA formatted work of art source information for the 15 works included in your presentation
  • PowerPoint (or Google Slide; or Prezi) presentation 


PROJECT #1: dérive w/ me

“In a dérive one or more persons during a certain period drop their usual motives for movement and action, their relations, their work and leisure activities, and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there… But the dérive includes both this letting go and its necessary contradiction: the domination of psychogeographical variations by the knowledge and calculation of their possibilities.” - Guy Debord

This project is an attempt to get in a new mindset for making photographs this semester. You will be walking (and driving) aimlessly, without purpose, and, in doing so, embodying the “psychogeographic” mindset. Psychogeography, according to Guy Debord, is “the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals.” By examining the practices of the Situationist International and contemporary artists that use location and place to create their work, you will be cultivating a greater awareness of your surroundings and how you see and feel about them. Integral to this project of the dérive is your own experimentations and approaches of how you use photography to both document and enact the creation of your “work”.

Dérive #1: IRL

  • Formulate a strategy of how you will be enacting your IRL dérive. Be imaginative, and be sure to leave things open to new possibilities.
  • Set aside a fair amount of time to enact your dérive. 
  • Take photographs along the way of things that are striking to you, confusing to you, etc. Take photographs of the people, places, things, and feelings along the journey. Tap into the ineffable.
  • Proceeding your dérive: select, edit, and print the most significant / compelling images. 
  • Write a reflection of the dérive (half a page in length). Speak to how your dérive relates to Guy Debord’s theory. 
  • In the same document with your reflection writing, articulate the strategy that you / your group decided on prior to your dérive.

Dérive #2: Virtual

  • Decide where you wish to begin your virtual dérive (via Google Maps). This can be anywhere in the world.
  • Begin “walking” around and looking at things, much like you did IRL. 
  • Screenshot (Mac: Command + Shift + 3) scenes and things in the same manner that you did when photographing IRL. 
  • Write a reflection of the dérive (half a page in length). Articulate how this dérive compares to the IRL version.

Collaborate with one or two other people from our class and go on a photographic dérive. As a class we will be discussing what a dérive is and what a dérive can accomplish. Ultimately, each group will embark on thier own dérive and will be expected to articulate where they went and some general sense of what was learned / accomplished by doing so.


  • Walk aimlessly as a methodology for making new photographs and experiencing new things. 

  • Learn about Situationist International Movement and it relationship to mapping and making art. 

  • Locate nexus between mapping and art in the work of contemporary psychogeography. 

  • Experiment with how you approach making images while on your dérive. You are only limited by the reaches of your own imagination.

at least (x10) 8x10 prints per person

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

PROJECT #2: self-directed


- Substantial sketches / notes / plans / etc.

- Research (i.e. other artist's work, art historical works, exhibitions of influence, etc.)

- Robert must see at least 5 of your finished works prior to your critique

- You must have at least two individual meetings prior to your critique: one initial meeting, another follow-up meeting to check your progress

- You must show proof of you looking up suggested artists / art movements / exhibitions. My suggestions for your are tailored to you and are intended to assist your own art practice and research.   

~ 15 (or more) prints; size contingent on image content
~ 2 paragraph project statement [pdf ~ submitted via Dropbox] [printed for class]
~ 1 page of corresponding titles to each work [pdf ~ submitted via Dropbox] [printed for class]


Tuesday, February 28

6-6:45PM, Hayley
7-7:45PM, Amy L.
8-8:45PM, Amy S.

Thursday, March 2

6-6:45PM, Kathleen
7-7:45PM, Kinga

*** You must have your work printed and up on the wall at the start of each critique day.
*** NOTE: Your work is due only on the day you are critiquing. 

Create an original series of work that addresses your interests both formally and conceptually. 


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