I’ve taught at The Evergreen State College since 1997, gradually developing strategies of incorporating animation into the teaching of a variety of disciplines including fine arts, sciences, history and literature and media studies. For information about my personal creative work including films, flipbooks and other animation toys, please visit Random Motion. To view my films, go to my Vimeo page.
I collaborate with several other faculty in the Media Arts and Studies Path of Study (formerly known as the Moving Image Group), to teach critical and experimental approaches to media history, theory and production. Every third year or so, I teach Mediaworks. The next time I teach that will be in 2020-2021.
I collaborated with two other faculty in planning two broadly interdisciplinary programs for 2019-20. In Arts of Urgency (fall and winter quarters), students explored the historical and cultural contexts of Latin American film, animation, and literature, beginning with Third Cinema in the 1960s and continuing into the present. They learned how to do close readings of literature and film, analyze social and political themes, and gained skills in visual and written storytelling and basic analog animation techniques. The program’s winter quarter welcomed students into the Latin American Cinema Series, a 2 credit offering that shared our Thursday afternoon screenings. I wrote “Two Moments: Experimental Animation and Interdisciplinary Pedagogy” about teaching this program for the animationstudies 2.0 blog.
In Animating the Sea: Motion, Light and Eyes (spring quarter), students gained introductions to marine biology and animation through an exploration of optics and how the eyes of both humans and various sea creatures affect their perceptions of the world around them. You can see what students produced, in spite of the pandemic and consequent remote learning, on the Animating the Sea WordPress site that we built together.
Highlights of my interdisciplinary teaching
In 2017-18, printmaking faculty, Lisa Sweet, and I taught Studio Projects: Outside the Lines, a variation on a program we taught together in 2009-10 called Drawing Outside the Lines. You can see what kind of work we did in that program here. In 2016-17, I co-taught CultureLab: Advanced Projects in Visual and Media Arts with Evan Blackwell. We began this year long program expanding our range of art skills. The Visual Arts students learned to animate, and the media arts students gained an introduction to ceramics. Students spent most of the rest of the year researching, developing and producing capstone arts projects as a culmination of their Evergreen education.
In 2015-16 I taught Visualizing Microbial Seascapes: An Introduction to Animation and Marine Biology (VMS) with Gerardo Chin-Leo. This was a fall/winter program that repeated in spring 2016 with new students. Students collaborated to produce two versions of The Monograph Project to demonstrate their understanding of marine microorganisms, a blog of animation, illustration and descriptions of many Puget Sound plankton species. I presented a paper on VMS as a case study at the 2019 Society for Animation Studies Conference in Lisbon.
In November 2013, I wrote an entry for the Animation Studies 2.0 blog “Protean Media: One Animator’s Perspective” for their focus on animation and technology.
In spring 2012, I co-taught “Animal Others in Image and Text” with Anne deMarcken. Working with Head of Instructional Media, Stephanie Zorn, and IT Specialist Amy Greene, we collaborated with students to create the eBestiary, a blog that compiled and presented each participant’s research and creative response to observations of animals during the quarter. In November, 2012, the eBestiary won the Northwest Academic Computing Consortium’s Award for Innovation in Educational Technologies. You can view a short documentary made for the awards presentation about the eBestiary below.