This course lays the foundation for the core curriculum in media arts at Hampshire College in Film/Video, Photography, Performance and Installation art centering on the analysis and production of visual images. The Film/Photo/Video Program is committed to a "theory/practice" model of teaching and learning. Students are expected to learn to read visual images by focusing on the development of art forms and their relationship to their historical and cultural context. While mastering the specific skills for each form of image making are obviously crucial in producing works of art, so is a breadth and depth of understandings of the contexts (economic, historical, political, intellectual and artistic) from which they come. One component of the course will be guest visits from all the members of our media arts faculty. They will present their own work and/or other work with which they are engaged at the moment. Our faculty are all producers/artists as well as thinkers, writers, readers, historians, critics or theorists, committed to enriching their own work with a kind of friction with the larger world of ideas. We will explore and analyze primary works in Photography by such artists as: Louis Daguerre, Walker Evans and Carrie May Weems, in Film: Dziga Vertov, Maya Deren , Alfred Hitchcock, and Tomas Gutierrez Alea; in Video with pieces by Martha Rosler, Marlon Riggs and Tom Kalin, for example; in Installation: a founding figure, Josef Beuys, then, Ann Hamilton and Guillermo Gmez -Pea now and in Performance Art: The Dada Movement , then, in the 70's Carolee Schneeman, Suzanne Lacy et al, and today, Orlan and others. Readings will include such basic texts as: John Berger with "Ways of Seeing", Roland Barthes, on "The Death of the Author," Walter Benjamin on "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction;" Susan Sontag's "On Camp," and "On Photography; " Linda Nochlin's "Why Are There No Great Women Artists".