Suzanne Buchholz, Senior Reporter
Pierce College Puyallup offered a new art class this winter. ART 260 – 4D Design: Real and Recorded Time teaches students the concepts of creating art and producing media beyond three dimensions.
Professor Scott Aigner explained that two-dimensional art focuses on painting, drawing and photography while three-dimensional involves aspects such as ceramics and sculptures. Four-dimensional art, however, deals with time and can be broken into three separate categories, he said. These categories are audio, video and live performance.
“The class is designed to introduce students to this concept of dealing with time in an element of work because so much of what’s created and drawn in painting, other than the time you spent on it, it’s one moment of time right, one fragment, one millisecond, one capture of a still image,” Aigner said. “So automatically, there’s a shift in that you have to think differently about the idea that if you’re recording audio, recording video or doing something that’s sort of a live performance, that there’s a time element that’s always going to meet a place there.”
The class starts by familiarizing students with the idea of time involved in art and then expands into other areas from there. They learn the history behind audio, visual and performance by studying artists who’ve worked with these concepts before and how they originated. Students then experiment and start creating based on these concepts. The class will involve basic editing on computers as well as other technology-related concepts that Aigner said could be applied in other areas of life.
“They’re all kind of abstract concepts,” Aigner said. “It’s not a class in how to make music or how to shoot a movie, it’s how to make art based on audio or art based on video, so it’s sort of experimental uses of these things that already exist in other professional worlds.”
Aigner proposed the class based on his own interest in the field of working with 4D art. He had the opportunity to teach a similar class while earning his master of fine arts at Ohio State University and had been wanting the opportunity to teach another class like it ever since.
“Since I had an interest in it, the opportunity was given to me to teach that instead of drawing,” Aigner said. “So from there it was just something I carried around with me to all the other places I taught at, as someday I would love to do this again. Someday I would love to teach this again, it’s something I’m passionate about and care about.”
The class was intended to begin in fall quarter, but due to time and space constraints couldn’t be offered until winter. For the first class, 17 students out of 20 available spots registered. Aigner said he doubts it’ll be available every quarter, but as long as students show interest in the class, it could be offered more often.
Part of the proposal for the class was to order a television to display student work, so that others can see it and might consider enrolling in the class. If the proposal is accepted, the television will be installed in the Arts and Allied Health Building. This would help advertise the class and gain more interest, Aigner said.
Student Noah Hansen said that while he’s yet to take an art class at Pierce, he would consider taking this class as it would broaden his horizons.
“I don’t know much about the art of audio and visual,” Hansen said. “But I’m interested in general knowledge, and this would further my general knowledge.”
Student Miranda Teabo said she also hasn’t taken art classes at the college yet. She said she would consider taking this class, but was undecided as she prefers more traditional forms of art.
“I really enjoy art, but more like art on paper,” Teabo said.
Aigner said the class is beginning level and that students shouldn’t hesitate to sign up for it due to lack of experience or knowledge of technology. While he said being comfortable with using computers makes the class less difficult, it’s designed for anyone to be able to take regardless of skill level and without prerequisites.
“This stuff is becoming increasingly popular and students are increasingly having some of these skills anyway,” Aigner said. “There’s a lot of students out here that are already dabbling in audio and video and so why not just teach them more about it, and say like here’s even more applications of what you can do with the technology that’s kind of readily available to us anyway.”
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