ASSIGNMENT IDEAS + STARTERS

Investigations into the following ideas should be done in series / groups. Remember, these prompts are designed to be very open ended. There is no right or wrong way to interpret them.


1. CONCEPTUAL SELF PORTRAITS - create a series of self portraits that communicate who you are using ideas. these can either be figurative or non-figurative.
2. AMBIGUITY - elude to a known thing but don't give it away - make the viewer work for the reward.
3. OPPOSITES ATTRACT - a marriage of opposites, create a work connecting seemingly opposite concepts.
4. MIRRORING - reflections, symmetry, duplication, double images. create a series using mirrors (literally) or simply borrow their effects.
5. GROWTH + DECAY - create a series based on this duality.
6. TIME ALTERING - freeze it, rewind it, fast forward it. Create a series that distorts our sense of time in some way.
7. FINDING THE TRUTH - what do you want to know? a good way to start this one is to ask unanswerable questions. then answer them.
8. MIND-MAPPING - set a timer to go off at irregular intervals for several days. keep a journal to write down your thoughts and the time of day. create a series of work that recreates your thoughts as a visual mind map.
9. SEQUENCE - inject a narrative into a sequence of consecutive images. (see the photo sequence + series page on this wiki)
10. WHAT HAUNTS YOU?
11. RUPTURING + REFOCUSING IMAGES OF OUR TIME - Using the work of a significant contemporary artist or photographer as a starting point, create a series of images that reinvents their ideas. Your work should not simply copy an existing artwork. Your task is to re-imagine it in a completely new light.
12. FOUND OBJECTS - for this prompt you will need to hunt for the discarded and abandoned. perhaps combine with #6 and/or #8 to map out a 'visual' record of your explorations.
13. MIRAGE / HALLUCINATION / IMAGINATION / DREAMS - pick one and produce a sequence or series in response to your choice.
14. CYCLES - lifecycles, lunar cycles,
15. EXPOSING THE UNSEEN - skeletal, microscopic / macroscopic, hidden worlds. how can you make the invisible visible?
16. SECRETS - Make a work about a secret you keep. Perhaps consider combining this with #2.
17. INVENTED MYTHOLOGY - create your own origin story about a natural phenomenon.



ENDURING IDEAS

These are ideas that are powerful, broad, and connect deeply to human experiences throughout time. For these reasons, they also happen to be ideas that artists often gravitate toward working with. They deal with the essential nature of what it means to be human.

observation/perception
communication
culture
power
place
belief systems
heroes
celebration
relationships
good/evil
change (transformation)
ritual
reality/fantasy
imagination
life/death (lifecycles)
humans/nature
spirituality
conflict
survival
power
identity
interdependence
rites of passage
memory


PHOTOGRAPHERS


Bernd + Hilla Becher
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Edward Burtynsky
Gregory Crewdson
William Eggleston
Elliot Erwitt
Nan Goldin
Andreas Gursky
André Kertész
Josef Koudelka
Saul Leiter
Sally Mann
Joel Meyerowitz
Martin Parr
Sebastiao Salgado
Jeff Wall