DMA 172 - Topics in Video and Animation
Winter 2019

Location Of Violence And Construction Of Time

INSTRUCTOR Gelare Khoshgozaran
OFFICE HOURS Tues/Thurs 1-2pm, Broad 4251B
OFFICE HOURS Thurs 1-2pm, Broad 4240

From the militarized origins of most contemporary image-making technologies, to the simulation of time and creation of temporalities, the histories of both images and time are entangled with violence. The recognition of different forms of violence relies, not on a singular depiction based on a universal aesthetics, but an understanding of power and the way it materializes. This course examines a variety of time-based practices—including but not limited to video, film, animation, and performance—studying violence in different (abstract) forms. Both images and the notion of time will be re-considered as materials with histories, genealogies and futures, while time-based works will be analyzed through class, race, gender, disability, queer theory and other critical lenses. Throughout the course students will be required to work on a time-based project and engage in research about their themes, materials and mediums. Class time will be divided between studio time, screening, reading, writing, presentation, exhibition and critique.


Week 1

Tues, Jan 8

Introduction and overview of the syllabus
Screening: The Black Power Mixtape
In-class Reading & Discussion: “the Master’s Tool Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House”

Thu, Jan 10

Lecture: Chris Marker
Screening: La Jetée
Studio time: Project A Introduction
Required Reading: “In Defense of the Poor Image”

Week 2

Tues, Jan 15

Lecture: Hito Steyerl
Screening: November (2004), How Not to be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File (2013)
Studio time: Project Proposals Check-in
Required Reading

Thu, Jan 17

Lecture: Patty Chang (short videos)
Studio time
Project A Proposals Due

Week 3

Tues, Jan 22

Lecture: Harun Farocki
Required Reading Future War: a discussion with Paul Virilio
Further Reading: A Magical Imitation of Reality, Harun Farocki and Hito steyerl
In-class reading and discussion: Public Emotion from The Original Accident, Paul Virilio

Thu, Jan 24

Lecture: Morehshin Allahyari
Studio time
Required Reading: Dark Matters: Morehshin Allahyari in conversation with Hannah Gregory

Week 4

Tues, Jan 29

Lecture: Zach Blas
Studio time
Required Reading: Contra-Internet, Zack Blass, Beyond the Internet and All Control Diagrams, The New Inquiry
Project B Introduction

Thu, Jan 31

Lecture: Forensic Architecture, Eyal Weizman
Studio time: individual meetings
Required Reading TBD

Week 5

Tues, Feb 5

Lecture: Theresa Hak Kyung Cha + An-My Lê
Studio time
Required Reading TBD

Thu, Feb 7

Lecture: Bruce and Norman Yonemoto
Studio time
Required Reading

Week 6

Tues, Feb 12

Project A Progress Review
Project B Presentations Due

Thu, Feb 14

Project A Progress Review
Project B Presentations Due

Week 7

Tues, Feb 19

Studio time: Project C Introduction
Bring Your Artist Statement to Class Day!
Your artists statement must be between 250-500 words only: typed on google docs.
Required Reading

Thu, Feb 21

Lecture: Xandra Ibarra
Studio time
Required Reading

Week 8

Tues, Feb 26

Tentative: artist talk by Jennifer Moon
Project C Second Draft Due

Thu, Feb 28

Individual Meetings

Week 9

Tues, Mar 5

Lecture: Angela Washko
Studio time
Required Reading

Thu, Mar 7

Lecture: The Atlas Group, Walid Raad
Studio time
Required Reading

Week 10

Tues, Mar 12

Individual meetings
Project C Final Draft Due
Project A Artist Project Due

Thu, Mar 14

Individual meetings
Project C Final Draft Due
Project A Artist Project Due

Week 11

Field Trips





notebook, pen, computer or tablet


  • A = 4
  • A- = 3.7
  • B+ = 3.3
  • B = 3
  • B- = 2.7
  • C+ = 2.3
  • C = 2.
  • C- = 1.7
  • D = 1
  • F = 0


  • Project A: 20%--will be graded on: your choice of prompt/theme as it relates to the course description and the materials we review in class, the originality of your ideas, your choice of sources of research, your choice of medium for the project, the quality of your work based on aesthetics as well as the critique it offers, demonstration of progress and reflexivity in the different versions of your work based on the feedback provided to you by the instructor, the TA or your peers.
  • Project C: 20%--will be graded on: your ability to write about your project, being able to communicate your thoughts and ideas through writing, your research and (art) historical references, the progress you demonstrate through your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd drafts.
  • Project B: 10%--will be graded on: your ability to present your work in spoken format, your ability to choose the right images to accompany your presentation, your ability to convey your ideas through examples and references, timekeeping and coherence in speech.
  • Participation & Attendance: 50% (see below)


Participation constitutes a major part of your grade, as it demonstrates your investment in this class and your engagement with the topics, themes and works discussed. Class participation is also your best opportunity to support your peers by providing feedback and criticism, and to reciprocally receive them. The videos, films, and performance documentations we watch in this class are not for entertainment purposes but close study. There will be screenings of feature films (some B&W, occasionally silent or with very little dialog) in class that will take patience and close attention. You are expected to pay close attention to any screening or presentation during the lecture time either by the instructor and TA or by other students. Taking notes, reflecting and participation in class discussions are a major part of your grade. Additionally writing and reading are important components of this class, either in short form, in class, or longer writing formats for final projects, you are expected to write and improve your writing through editing or peer-editing processes. Being on your phone, and looking distracted in class for any reason not priorly discussed with your TA and your instructor will lower your grade by affecting your participation in a negative way.


Unexcused Absences

Unexcused absences will lower your grade. For example: if your work earned a B+ grade, absences will affect your final grade as follows:

  • 1 unexcused absence will lower the final grade by a fraction (a B+ becomes a B)
  • 2 unexcused absences lower the final grade by 2 fractions (a B+ becomes a B-)
  • 3 unexcused absences lower the final grade by a full letter (a B+ becomes a C)
  • 4+ unexcused absences lower the final grade to an F.

Excused Absences:

Excused absences must be accompanied by a doctor’s note unless priorly discussed with the instructor.

Total Absences:

A total of 6 or more absences of any kind will result in an Failing grade for the class. Certain extenuating circumstances (such as a prolonged illness) that prevent completion of a final project may result in an Incomplete grade.


There will be a 5 minute grace period after the starting time of the class.

For example: If the class starts at 9:00AM you will be marked late if you arrive between 9:05-9:15 AM. You will be marked absent If you arrive after 9:15AM.

Two late marks equate to one absence.


Projects are due on the dates specified in the syllabus. Late work will result in a lower grade, and if submitted with a delay of more than a week, it will not be accepted and you will not get the points for it. All special circumstances such as illness or emergencies must be discussed either prior to the fact or immediately after with your instructor.


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.

*Statement adopted from voidLab


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. When possible, students should contact the CAE within the first two weeks of the term as reasonable notice is needed to coordinate accommodations. For more information visit


As a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, depression, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. These mental health concerns or stressful events may lead to diminished academic performance or reduce a student's ability to participate in daily activities. UCLA offers services to assist you with addressing these and other concerns you may be experiencing. If you or someone you know are suffering from any of the aforementioned conditions, consider utilizing the confidential mental health services available on campus. I encourage you to reach out to the Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) for support. For more information visit: Phone: (310) 825-0768. An after-hours clinician is available 24/7.


**Assignments are due on the dates specified in the syllabus.

Project: A

Artist Project

For your first project you are expected to create a time-based piece that addresses a form of violence. You may rely on personal experience or choose any other types of violence you witness in the world. Remember, the first step is to identify violence and the form in which in manifests. Then you need to think about your position towards the subject: how does it make you feel? How do you want to analyze it? How do you want your audience to interact with your work, or experience it? How are you critiquing the violence you identify?

The medium you choose for your work and all of its parameters and aesthetic decisions must be based on the subject and concept of your work. For example: you may not just choose 3D animation because you are comfortable with it. If you are choosing 3D animation for the format of this project you will need to have convincing reasons why that is the right medium for your project. You need to be reflecting on the history of the medium you choose. If you choose performance, you need to spend time and research artists who have addressed your topic of choice in the history of performance art, and demonstrate how your work reflects on them.

You need to have at least 3 art historical references for any medium you choose to make your work in. You need to be able to distinguish your work from them: how is your approach different or similar? How is your process different or similar? How is your position different or similar? While the duration and scale of the piece are up to you, you need to be realistic about the amount of time and resources you have to complete the project for presentation, discussion and grading.

Project B

Artist Presentation

As an artist you should be able to speak about your work, both with individuals in studio visits or in front of an audience. This skill, like any other may only be gained through practice and repetition. Your project B requires you to prepare a short presentation in the form of an artist lecture where you:

introduce your project, share your research, share your references and citations, communicate your goals with the project and discuss your process. Timekeeping and organization skills are key to a good presentation. Your lecture may not be longer than 10 minutes but it can be any format (digital, analog, site-specific, etc).

Project C

Artist Statement

You are expected to take notes, document your process and collect your references/sources of writing and imagery since the beginning of your project. You are also expected to reflect on the artists and topics introduced in class, take notes and complete short writing assignments. The practice of continuous writing will help you create a concise artist statement. The first draft of your statement may be longer and narrative, listing your interests, processes, overall scope of your practice and medium. You will then refine your writing through a second draft which reflects upon your Project A. Your third and final draft will be your artist statement of 250-500 words.