Sampling: Art & Popular Culture
View Additional Course Information:

Including faculty, schedule, credits, CRN and location.

Level: Undergraduate
Division: Parsons The New School for Design
School: School of Art and Design History and Theory
Department: Art and Design History
Course Number: PLVS 4016
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Visual Culture
Artwork that samples and manipulates popular culture first emerges with the Dadaists in the early twentieth century. “Sampling” acquires different meanings in the 1960s, and again in the 1980s, with the arrival of postmodernism as work by, for example, Sherrie Levine, Louise Lawler and Cindy Sherman attests. The additional possibilities put forward by manipulating time-based media—slowing down, speeding up, splicing—results in work where the sampled material is no longer primary. The recontextualizations realized by, for example, Dara Birnbaum’s Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman (1978-79), Douglas Gordon's Through a Looking Glass (1999) and Christian Marclay’s The Clock (2010) supersede the original films and television shows from which they are drawn. They all extend the conceptual boundaries of sampling by emphasizing its intermedial dimensions. Sampling is currently produced in a cultural landscape marked, as Nicholas Bourriaud observed, “by the twin figures of the DJ and the [computer] programmer, both of whom have the task of selecting cultural objects and inserting them into new contexts”. This course will consider the variations permutations and consequences of artwork that samples popular culture from the early twentieth century to the present.
Course Open to: Degree Students
Course Pre/Co-requisites:
Open to: All university undergraduate degree students. Pre-requisite(s): first-year university writing course and at least two prior history or methods course in art, media, film, or visual culture. One of these courses should be 3000-level.


Open to Undergraduate students.