Spring 2019
MW 2pm—4:50pm



Sarah Rara (

Office hours

Monday by appointment
12:00-1:00pm or 5:30-6:30 pm on request, email instructor


Julian Stein (

TA Office hours

Monday 12:00-1:00 pm

Course Description

Senior Projects provides a capstone experience for the major, culminating in the senior show in June. You will work closely with faculty to focus on a project defined by your individual skills and professional interests. Each project will develop from in-depth research, conceptual development, prototype development, refinement, and production. You will work closely with other students, engaging in the critical analysis and review of each other’s works.

This course emphasizes the intersections between various video and animation practices, encouraging interdisciplinary research. You are free to explore any of the skills and interests developed in your time at DMA toward the creation of your final project. Work in all media will be considered. Video is a machine for thinking, moving freely across various modalities of research: sociological, semiotic, environmental, anthropological, technological, geopolitical…

At each stage of the process we will consider audience, accessibility, reception, and distribution of the work. We will consider the way each work interacts with other works in the context of a group show. We will consider a range of approaches for documentation of time-based work. Alongside each project, each artist will develop a plan for documenting and communicating their work after the piece is de-installed.

Goals of this course

  1. Develop both a theoretical and practical knowledge of video/animation, grounding production techniques in formal and conceptual practices
  2. Develop an original body of work / research
  3. Provide comprehensive examples of historical and contemporary video/animation practices
  4. Explore issues surrounding audience, viewership, accessibility, and distribution


50% Final Project
30% Participation and engagement (contribution to critique and discussion)
20% Process and project documentation

Participation in critique and analysis of screenings will be emphasized in this course.
Traditional letter grades, including plus/minus, will be assigned at the end of the semester based on a holistic evaluation of the quality of each student’s work and degree of technical, formal, and conceptual growth over the term.

Attendance is mandatory. Absences require instructor notification and permission. Class begins at 2pm if you are 15 minutes late you will receive a tardy. 3 tardies will turn into 1 absence. Every unexcused absence equals 1 full grade down (A to B), 3 unexcused absences results in failing grade.

If there is an emergency and you will be late or absent, please email instructor.

Excused absences must be accompanied by a doctor’s note.

Punctuality, focus, articulation of concepts, and contribution to class instructions are all part of class participation.

Participation and risk-taking are essential parts of this course; please come ready to experiment, work hard, and share generously with your fellow students. Students will be required to present their own work and to thoughtfully analyze, discuss, and critique the work of their classmates.

Managing Media

Make a backup of all media. Render / Export well in advance of any deadline.


You must have the explicit consent of any person appearing within your work.

Academic Accomodations

Students needing academic accommodations based on a disability should contact the Center for Accessible Education (CAE) at (310)825-1501 or in person at Murphy Hall A255. In order to ensure accommodations, students need to contact the CAE within the first two weeks of the term.

Commitment to Diversity and Safer Spaces

We understand the classroom as a space for practicing freedom; where one may challenge psychic, social, and cultural borders and create meaningful artistic expressions. To do so we must acknowledge and embrace the different identities and backgrounds we inhabit. This means that we will use preferred pronouns, respect self-identifications, and be mindful of special needs. Disagreement is encouraged and supported, however our differences affect our conceptualization and experience of reality, and it is extremely important to remember that certain gender, race, sex, and class identities are more privileged while others are undermined and marginalized. Consequently, this makes some people feel more protected or vulnerable during debates and discussions. A collaborative effort between the students, TA, and instructor is needed to create a supportive learning environment. While everyone should feel free to experiment creatively and conceptually, if a class member points out that something you have said or shared with the group is offensive, avoid being defensive; instead approach the discussion as a valuable opportunity for us to grow and learn from one another. Alternatively if you feel that something said in discussion or included in a piece of work is harmful, you are encouraged to speak with the instructor or TA.