AV Projects

Section I -- Dynamic Range
This course is organized around individual student-driven works in relation to three invited guest artists/ filmmakers, each of whom will be with us for three weeks. Dynamic range in cinema is used to refer to the difference between the darkest and lightest tones in an image—ostensibly pure black to pure white. These two absolute values are fugitive in most moving images, and the range between them can be affected by many factors— technological, phenomenological, historical, any many still to be explored. Throughout the semester, our readings, guest visits, discussions, and screenings will examine, break down, and at times, reform the ideologies underpinning those values that define dynamic range.

Section II -- Guest Artist Series: Bill Morrison. Discovered Footage
If all recordings in some way embody human thought, the moving image, accompanied by sound, is the perhaps best approximation of our consciousness. By extension, the storage of the moving image is a model of human memory taken to a societal level – a collective memory. Students will be encouraged to find existing media that in some way is in dialogue with their experience as sentient beings in the real world today. This can take many forms. They can source physical, analog films, or download digital imagery via the internet. They can access their family’s archives. They can seek out lost or “forgotten” moving images, and try to discover how it came to be marginalized, and what their role is in uncovering it anew. Each student is encouraged to evaluate their own history - personal, familial, cultural, political, or other – and to arrive as a way of reconciling that history with the world that they live in today.

Section IV -- Visiting Artist Paul Pfeiffer
Advanced projects class in audio-video post-production and the everyday. This class will explore the digital post-production studio as a space defining the limits of contemporary society and individual experience, technologically and ontologically. How are the handheld devices and apps we use daily like personal post-production studios? We will explore this. question through readings, screenings, discussions, field trips, and guest lectures, setting the stage for individual or group projects to be presented at semester’s end. Projects will be limited to whatever you can do on your smartphones, social media platforms, and other everyday-level apps and hardware. No advanced post-production skills required.


3 credits. One-semester course. Prerequisites: Video II or Film II or Animation II.

Course Code: FA 385A

Instructor(s): Lucy Raven

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.