Friday, December 4, 2009


My students are having an exhibition of their work from my class..The Visual Culture of Hip Hop that I have been teaching this semester.  

It opens December 11th, 2009 at the Illini Student Union Art Gallery at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Primeridian will be performing along with members of the UC Hip Hop Congress. The time is: 5pm-7pm. Refreshments will be served. Be there!!


Here is the description of the course:

The portrayal of Hip Hop culture that is dominant in the mass media today is only a minute view of the entire meaning of the culture. The negative images that are proliferated stem from the mainstream popularity of the “Gangsta rap aesthetic”. Hip Hop is now a commodified image-centered culture which covets the idea of “representation”. However, the images that are seen and experienced are out of balance and focus primarily on repetitive videos and expressions that degrade and objectify women, promote violence, and hyper-consumerism.

The Art and Design course, (ARTD 299) the Visual Culture of Hip Hop, will deconstruct those images through decoding their origin and meaning. It will also examine Hip Hop’s effect on American and global culture through lecture/discussion, observation, critique and visual experimentation which will be afforded via the exercises and image-making problems assigned. The projects will deal with an intruiging array of topics that include the transience of identity and meaning, the ambiguity of historical perspectives, examination and remixing of spatial narratives, Hip Hop and social justices issues, the “sampling” of knowledge and culture, commodity culture and counter-bricolage, and examination of the idea of “authenticity".

The course expounds upon the power of the image in our culture and how it has helped to promote Hip Hop’s current status as a global culture. Analysis of visual culture is a focus of the course and also the discussion of the complex concepts around cultural production and its dissemination through various media.

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