The Art X program at The University of Georgia today is quite different from the structure envisioned in either the original show or the subsequent classes.

It could use a career video artist to teach the special skills the modern communication requires. The school should re-constitute their freshman curriculum even if it isn’t fully automated, graduate students directly supervised by tenured professors is the ideal arrangement. The senior year of B.F.A. candidates should include a thesis project in their last semester and thesis paper which discusses a lesson they experienced as a student. Ideally, it would include a program to mentor a freshman/sophomore. It should establish a workshop approach as a supplement to the existing curriculum using visiting artists, lectures, and graduate students. This special opportunity would attract talent, a perpetual advisory board would continually refresh their methods and by including the director for continuity the school’s authority would be maintained. A return to the so-called pioneer spirit is possible by a new focus on publishable research.

What is needed in a contemporary fine art curriculum is not the same as it was yesterday.

While the eternal aspects of art and art making have been duly addressed so far the much discussed forms of new media are critical to a contemporary art practice. This situation is twofold because new media is useful to teaching, but the means of designing new media is also in much demand.

The eternal aspects of art are duly addressed, but the special vocational skills required of today's pioneering artists could be better aided. Concept and form are a mind within a body.When the new media discipline at The Universtiy of Georgia was renamed from "Digital Media" to "Art X: Expanded Forms," Then department head Michael Oliveri originally asked for the name to be, “Experimental Art.” Oliveri laments that the program inadvertently attracts students looking for vocational training in digital media as in computer science. While traditional art concepts are critical, some "vocational school" skills are necessary as the craft cannot be seperated from the connoisseurship.

This Art X program needs instruction in: video, cinematography, theatre, audio recording, and web design. Naturally, the program will use a career video artist, one that deals with the problems peculiar to this technique. These include an awareness of tools, how to compress video, how to manage and store media in a productive way, and the means of distribution.

The school should reinstitute their historic freshman curriculum even if it isn’t fully automated at first. The now traditional approach would have graduate students instruct under the supervision of tenured Professor, a type of teaching apprenticship. The senior year of graduating B.F.A candidates should include a thesis project in their last semester which generates a Art X package. Additionally, seniors should be made to mentor a freshman/sophomore student who will communicate the practical flow of their work spaces. This increase in social capital will produce dividends in understanding and in the sharing of resources.

Using the good example of so many past teachers, a workshop approach should supplement the hard planned curriculum enlisiting visiting artists, lectures, and graduate students this would attract talent. A workshop studio reinforces the learning by doing approach with real stakes. A perpetual advisory board including a director for continuity, provides a plan for continued renewal and external validation.

A renewal with the history of UGA in mind, begins with a revamping of the Art X course load. This should combine with the implementation of a new series of Art X style workshops which would supplement the current curriculum- This will pave the way for institutions of an Art X laboratory providing similar arrangements like at Harvard or MIT and reinvigorate the whole school both in productivity and new financial resources. Finally, a new permanent education fund devoted to the art program would allow it to perform in ways it can only now imagine.


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