January 21, 2003

the quavering "acquittal"

First day of the new semester. Four misses, two hits, I think.

Started it off with a visit to the section of Basic Drawing that I'd actually signed up for some weeks ago, before there'd been any public indication of who was teaching which section of it. I'm a little torn about taking a drawing class right now. What it's got going for it is that I would love to understand more how to draw, especially in conjunction with all the image/narrative stuff and visual-theory stuff I was studying last semester; what it's got against it is that I actually took a drawing class four or five years ago--I didn't get a lot out of it--and the drawing teacher who's supposed to be great, Archie Rand, is still on sabbatical. Also, this section conflicts with some classes I knew I wanted to take. Figured I'd go to the first meeting anyway, and was unthrilled.

I made the mistake of checking out two comp lit seminars at Barnard. I should have remembered: Barnard, as in undergraduate--very much undergraduate. Also as in a pronounced gender/age imbalance, i.e. a little voice in my head was going "15 Cokes and one ginger ale, 15 cole slaws and one baked potato..." I slipped out of both relatively quickly. Back at Columbia, the "Image/Time" seminar in the Art History department turned out to be entirely focused on Gilles Deleuze's ideas about cinema-not-film, and had a snore of a syllabus. But: the HITS!

Hit #1 is the new "Sound/Image" class: 11 students, grad and under-, who more or less bonded on the spot (they include a guy named Jake who it turns out had been corresponding with me for a while, the remarkable violinist Maja Cerar, and my new pal Ann), 5 faculty members, and overwhelming amounts of weapons-grade digital music tech at our disposal. I'm so there, even though the kind of equipment I'd ask for on my own to do a "sound and image" project would probably be something like "two sticks, please: one of them a little charred at the end so it can make a mark on things, and the other one hollow so it makes a sound when I tap it with the first one."

Hit #2 is Steven Feld's "Music of Oceania," which I figured out would be a 60-student crowd I could slip into unnoticed half an hour late; nope, I was student #9, two of the others had been in Hit #1 also, and Feld was so enthusiastic about the topic that I have to come back and hear more.

Posted by Douglas at January 21, 2003 10:59 PM

Those hits sound fantastic. Can you include the actual class descriptions, please? I want to hear more...

Posted by: Liz on January 22, 2003 11:35 AM
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