Course Requirements

“[E]xhibitions that don’t have an inventive display feature are doomed to oblivion.” — Hans Ulrich Obrist, 2007

Course Description
Curating is an authorial act. Curators select individual works in a way so that they make sense together; curators arrange them so that each is displayed to its advantage and encourages interaction between visitors and them and among the visitors in the physical space. The end result is an exhibit or archive that stands as a work itself.

This special topics course focuses on how to curate exhibits and archives for gallery shows and museum collections. You will learn both theory and practice as you develop exhibits for the new Game Changers video game exhibit to be held in downtown Vancouver, 4-27 March 2016 and the ELO 2016 Conference & Media Art Festival.

Projects and Methodology
Curating requires an understanding of theory and practice as well as excellent research skills. So the class activities are aimed to provide you with opportunities to learn theory through daily readings, participate in hands on activities with curating exhibits and archives, and experience exhibits and archives in which professional curators are involved. Our books include:

  • Ten Fundamental Questions of Curating, by Peter Eleey et al; $21
  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Curating, by Hans Ulrich Obrist; $15

You will be given a Word Press site for posting your work. Additionally, we will use Basecamp for communicating and sharing information via the teams for the two exhibits.

See Assignment Page.


  1. Exhibit Participation: (20% @ 2 exhibits = 40% of your overall grade
  2. Writing Activities: (5% @ 5 inventories = 25% + 15% @ 1 synthesis = 15%)
  3. Oral Presentation over a Chapter in One of the two Books: 10% of your overall grade
  4. You will also be graded on your class participation and attendance at 10% of your overall grade.

Items turned in late will be penalized a letter grade per day (not class day but each day) late. Final grades will be calculated in this way:

94-100 A
90-93 A-
84-89 B
80-83 B-
74-79 C
70-73 C-
>70 F

Attendance Policy
Unexcused absences in the Senior Seminar is unacceptable. Teams need all members’ input and you need the experience in developing a large-scale media project in order to be accepted into a digital media-oriented graduate program or to land a digital media-oriented job. Thus, more than two unexcused absences will result in a final grade being lowered by one letter grade. “Excused” absences are defined as absences due to documented illnesses or deaths of close family members. This means that vacations, scheduled doctor visits, family reunions, weeklong getaways, forgetting the semester has already begun, or that we are meeting for class, do not count as excused absences. You need to be in class on the days indicated in the Course Schedule. No exceptions. If you miss more than two weeks in a row, for any reason, you will be asked to withdrawal from the course and retake it when you are better able to participate.

University Policies
Academic integrity is the cornerstone of the university and will be strongly enforced in this course. Any student found in violation of the academic integrity policy will be given an “F” for the course and will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct. For additional information about WSU’s Academic Integrity policy/procedures please contact (360) 546-9573.

Disability Accommodations may be available if students need them in order to fully participate in this class because of a disability. Accommodations may take some time to implement so it is critical that students contact Disability Services as soon as possible. All accommodations must be approved through Disability Services, located in the Student Resource Center on the Lower Level of Student Services Center (360) 546-9138.

Emergency Notification System: WSU has made an emergency notification system available for faculty, students and staff. Please register at Zzusis with emergency contact information (cell, email, text, etc). Students may have been prompted to complete emergency contact information when registering for classes on RONet. In the event of a Building Evacuation, a map at each classroom entrance shows the evacuation point for each building. Please refer to it. Finally, in case of class cancellation campus-wide, please check local media, the WSU Vancouver web page and/or Individual class cancellations may be made at the discretion of the instructor. Each individual is expected to make the best decision for his or her personal circumstances, taking safety into account. Safety plan website –

Important Dates and Deadlines: Students are encouraged to refer to the academic calendar often to be aware of critical deadlines throughout the semester. The academic calendar can be found at Questions regarding the academic calendar can be directed to the Office of Student Affairs in VSSC 100 or call 360-546-9559.

Classroom and campus safety are of paramount importance at Washington State University, and are the shared responsibility of the entire campus population.  WSU urges students to follow the “Alert, Assess, Act” protocol for all types of emergencies and the “Run, Hide, Fight” response for an active shooter incident. Remain ALERT (through direct observation or emergency notification), ASSESS your specific situation, and ACT in the most appropriate way to assure your own safety (and the safety of others if you are able). Please sign up for emergency alerts on your account at MyWSU. For more information on this subject, campus safety, and related topics, please view the FBI’s Run, Hide, Fight video and visit the WSU safety portal.