Carnegie Mellon University School of Art

Course:         60130 - Concept Studio III: Systems and Processes

Times:        T/TH 1.30pm - 4.20 pm

Location:         Dougherty Hall B302r

Facilities:         CMU ArtFab Doherty Hall (C200, D200, D315)

Digital Arts Studio @ Dougherty Hall

Contacts:        Instructor: Ali Momeni (


This the third class in the Concept Studio series. It focuses on issues of Systems and Processes. As with all concept studios, the main idea here is make artwork that is initially conceived from the vantage point of an idea, rather than from a medium. This means that whatever mediums you are comfortable with (painting, clay, weaving, video, stone-carving, robotics, topiary gardening…) may not be the most appropriate medium for the concept you are wrestling with. Therefore, you may have to learn something new in a medium you have never used before. You may find yourself operating well outside the comfortable working process that you have followed in the past. This is a good thing.


  1. Identify and apply methods and strategies to aid the development and technical execution of independent work.
  2. Integrate form and content in work via questioning, experimentation,problem solving and invention.
  3. Gather and integrate research and analysis to inform work.
  4. Communicate information, ideas and proposals effectively in visual, verbal and written forms.
  5. Indicate intended and/or potential future directions for your art work.


Class and laboratory hours for this course are complimented with a number of web-based communication and documentation tools including email, Blackboard, and a class blog.  Students are required to familiarize themselves with these systems, closely follow correspondences and contribute to discussions and documentation efforts.  Specifically, students must document all class projects with the specifications provided by the instructor (i.e. using text, photos, and accompanying digital files).


What to share (Feb 11, 2014): The Archive

READ (Due Jan 28, 2014): Chapter 2 of “On Longing”, “Radical Cartography
SUGGESTED VIEWING: “Inhaling the spor”, Center for Land Use Interpretation, Fred Wilson

What to share (Documentation due Mar 4, 2014): The Data
READ (Feb 27, 2014) : Critical Art Ensemble excerpts, “Critical Vehicles

SUGGESTED VIEWING: Pre-yes men Yes Men, “Abel Raises Cain”,

What to share (Documentation and Crit (Mar 18, 2014): Story/Script for Journet

Due: Week 9 Crits
SUGGESTED VIEWING: Janet Cardiff Alter Bahnhof, Tino Seghal


Consistent attendance is mandatory.  Students are allowed two unexcused absences; further unexcused absences will lower your grade for the session by one letter for each additional absence.  Attendance will be taken at the beginning of class.  If you arrive more than 15 minutes into the class period, you will be marked as absent for the day.  Three late arrivals of more than 5 minutes will amount to an absentee.

If you have a class or work schedule issue & anticipate being somewhat later on a regular basis, please see see the instructor during the first week of the semester.


This class requires a serious work ethic. You will be given a lot of creative freedom and will be expected to work extremely hard to make the most of this luxary. In a career without conventional structures, a strong internal system for productivity is one of the most important things an artist can learn.

Students are required to be attentive, active and fully present during class time.  Text message, phone calls, emails, facebook and other forms of digital social networking will result in an absentee mark for the day.

Student are required to participate in every aspect of class activity, during class time and online through the course blog; please see the grading section below for details.  Students are required to make at least one post onto the blog for each class (a total of 14 posts); these posts should convey the students research process, reveal what stages of the project occupies him/her, and trigger further discussion and interaction.  These posts can take shape in references to existing artists whose work relate to the class theme, references to existing works that address the miniature or interactive art, references to other courses addressing our topics of interest, references to relevant existing tools/technologies. Every post should contain at least one paragraph of prose the describes the author’s interest in the subject matter and how it relates to class topics and projects.


Attendance at critiques is essential.  Failure to attend will impact both your class participation grade and your project grade.  On critique days, all students are expected to be set-up & ready to participate at the beginning of the class period. Ci


Your final grade is calculated based entirely on your contributions to the class blog and to blackboard. Accordingly, the following markers of your participation and contribution to the course must all be posted to the blog:

The final grade for the course will be calculated based on the following formula:

Attendance:                         mandatory ( > 2 absences reduces your grade)

Class participation:                 20%

Projects 1-3                        30% (10% each)

Projects 4-5                        30% (15% each)

Sophomore Review                20% (10% in class presentations, 10% official review)

Class participation makes up 20% of the final grade; This portion of your grade is calculated based on your presence and attentiveness in class, as well as your contributions to class discussions and class-web-site references and discussions.

Each project is graded based on the following criteria:

Concept and Execution are separately graded on a scale of 0 to 2 (integers only):