This advanced studio course is offered in conjunction with a Gray Center collaboration between D. N. Rodowick and Victor Burgin. We will investigate how creative practice can engage specific architectural sites and explore the erased or disappeared cultural histories, real and/or imagined, inscribed in those spaces. Our focus will be the history of “The Mecca” apartment building. Despite great protest, The Mecca was demolished in 1952 as part of the expansion of the Illinois Institute of Design under the plan of Mies van der Rohe. This site and its Bronzeville environs thus present a variety of opportunities for exploring themes of displaced architectures, competing visions of modernism and utopia, and conflicts in popular and cultural memory. Students are expected to propose and pursue individual projects around this theme and to work experimentally with strategies of research and writing together with still and/or moving image production. Field trips required.
Pre-requisite(s): Prior coursework and/or experience with a camera-based practice (photography, film, video, 3D modelling) is required. Admission to this course is by application and with consent of the instructors.