RISD Summer Programs course: Projection: An Exploration of Light and Optics

Projection: An Exploration of Light and Optics

Projection is a tool increasingly used by artists to create and present work in myriad ways including transforming architectural facades, conveying political commentary, and installations at micro and macro scale. This experimental glass course will introduce students to the field of optics (specifically projection) through the study of optical devices and optical phenomena. Students gain an in-depth knowledge of the history of projection and how basic projection devices work, and an understanding of the use of projection in contemporary art. Beginning with the study of pre-cinematic devices (anamorphic cylinders, thaumatropes, zoetropes, magic lanterns, etc.) students then work towards subverting and redefining 20th and 21st century projection technology. Students discover and create alternative projection methods using basic and common materials and adapting them into alternative projection devices.

Students produce an online “sketchbook” documenting experiments and recorded effects. Emphasis is placed on bringing documentation of both found and created optical phenomena into the digital classroom, where observations and research will act as foundational driving factors in the students’ art-making practices. Weekly lectures, demonstrations, group discussions and critiques will foster an atmosphere of experimentation and exploration that challenges students to reconsider the role that light and space play in the art world and their own practice. The class culminates in the creation of an alternative projection device based on one or more observed and recorded optical phenomena.

Artwork and photo by Katie Bullock

RISD degree students: This course offers 3 transfer credits with pre-approval from your department head using the Prior Approval for Transfer Credit Form. Submit the signed form to the Registrar’s office and then complete the online course registration.

Course #9101
Katie Bullock

Schedule A
June 21–July 27, 2021 (no class July 5)
Mondays + Tuesdays, 10 am–1 pm ET
Online, Live

Tuition $2,300
3 Credits


Katie Bullock

Katie Bullock catalogues and works with observed “everyday” moments and phenomena, driven by the complexity of truth that simply taking note can reveal. Through her investigation of these moments and her research focusing on the nature of knowledge accumulation and its applications, Bullock’s work champions the continual reach for the unknown and the often surprising moments of wonder and humility that come with it. Bullock received her MFA from the Glass department at RISD and her BFA from Ohio State University. Upcoming and recent exhibitions include Somewhere in the Sequence, Real Art Ways (October 2019); Life in Velocity Gradients, Outside Gallery (2017); and Throwing the End Inwards (Again), Sol Koffler Gallery (2016). Recent publications include Wonder: 50 Years RISD Glass, RISD (2017) and Explode Everyday: An Inquiry Into the Phenomenon of Wonder, Mass MoCA (2016). Bullock currently lives and works in Providence, RI.