In the fall 2009 semester, the students in Screen Arts and Cultures 401: Experimental Documentary were invited to create their own movies for the DialogTable — an exciting opportunity for student work to impact the visitor experience at the Museum. The assignment, created and developed by Professor Terri Sarris in collaboration with UMMA, yielded eight roughly two-minute documentaries that demonstrate distinctly individual ways of interacting with art.
Each student selected a piece on view at the Museum and “went to the root of the work,” Professor Sarris explained. “[It was wonderful] to give the students the opportunity to study new forms of art and to draw inspiration from a variety of disciplines.”
The resulting videos are sophisticated and idiosyncratic works of art in themselves. According to Sarris, “The students really pushed their limits in terms of the technology and equipment they used and the ways of thinking about how to tell their stories.”
Taken as a whole, these eight films offer all of us an opportunity to play with the idea that there is a single right way to look at art, to invest in our questions and to take delight in art that challenges us.