The Phantom Limb,
Transformational identity and the art of sculptural prosthetics

Carnegie Mellon University School of Art

Times: Location: MW 8:30am – 11:20am Doherty Hall D200

Contacts:  Joshua Reiman, Visiting Assistant Professor  Terry Hritz – Technician, Carl Bajandas, Graduate Assistant,

Office Hours: D312, Tuesdays 2 – 5pm


This course will cover various techniques involved in the art of transformational identity, makeup, costuming, and sculptural objects relating to the body. Our task will be to author visual stories resulting in thoughtful, articulate, and compelling objects, photographs, and films or videos.

Shape shifting, misunderstood injuries, rapid aging, unidentified missing limbs, horrific imagery, gory details, gender politics, mystical healing, window to the unknown, heroes & villains, monsters & aliens, creatures from…, hybrid forms, part man part animal, body extensions, cabinets of curiosities, are a only a few ways of approaching this topic as an artist.

The primary objective for this course is to develop the skills needed to interpret and articulate contemporary modes for the creation of sculpture that students will encounter as professional artists and creative problem solvers.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this course you should be able to:
•Demonstrate skills in sculpting, mold making, casting, assemblage, and alternative processes, while preparing for final articulation and exhibition of your work.
• Explain the history of prosthetics and related artworks with the understanding of the content and materials.
• Critically analyze technical applications and theoretical issues within the production of prosthetic related contemporary works of art.
• Exhibit professionalism in our field by meeting deadlines for projects and participating in a rigorous articulate dialog within meetings.

Semester Overview/ Assignments & Dates:

Each week we will work in the studio on a variety of material demonstrations, have class discussions on assigned readings, go on field trips, enjoy lectures, watch videos, and have plenty of studio time for your own work with professional instruction. You will be expected to show in-progress drawings, models, and artwork throughout the semester. I will tell you at least one week in advance what your homework assignments will be, and make you aware of any changes in regards to due dates. Furthermore, weekly readings and short written descriptions of your work will be assigned.

#1 The Analog Document –
Wednesday August 28th (in class 3 hour project)
Project will be completed in class. Based on the assignment that Josh will have

published this Fall in, The Foundation Course in Art and Design: A History Uncovered, A Future Imagined. 2013 Paris College of Art Press

#2 Reenactment vs. Reincarnation –
Due: Monday September 23, 2013
You will choose an individual or several characters from the past to reimagine, reenact, or reincarnate within an artwork. The results of which may be sculptural, performance, installation, or documentation of your own choosing. You must construct objects or props that are part of the final project. Think of being a sculptural DJ of some sorts, where mashing together two or more disparate characters creates new meaning for your work. Worth 10% of your final grade.

#3 Alternate Realities/ Evolutionary Body Systems (sculpture and paper) –
Due: Monday October 14, 2013
You will create a stand-alone prosthetic sculptural object and corresponding 3-5-page paper explaining your interests and content, both technically and conceptually. This may be a body extension or a singular object. I expect research and citations within the paper. Both the object and the paper are due at the same time. Worth 10% of your final grade.

#4 Prosthetic Makeup and Identity (image sequencing photo/video) –
Due: Monday November 11, 2013
You will sculpt and then cast cold foam or latex appliances, and then use makeup in creating a 1⁄2 or full face multiple piece prosthetic as part of your project and documentation. Please take in-process images. Worth 15% of your final grade.

#5 Final (open project) –
Due: During finals week, Date/Time/Location TBD by class poll.
This project is whatever you like. The final presentation and medium is completely up to your discretion. Each project must include a finished piece that will be critiqued and a written description of the work. Worth 25% of your final grade.

#6 Documentation-

Due: TBD – 3 days after the final critique

You must document each project (photo and/or video) and at the end of the

semester give me a CD or DVD of this documentation. We will discuss the proper techniques and output in class. We will also keep a class blog that you will add content to over the semester. Worth 10% of your final grade.

Required Lecture:

Yasumasa Morimura Lecture – Thursday, Oct 3 at 5:00pm – McConomy Auditorium

Grading and Attendance:

Success is effort.

As stated in the assignment section, each project will be graded and worth a percentage of your final grade. No project will be accepted late, unless you have a medical or family emergency. Assignments are worth 70% of your grade and class participation/ attendance is worth 30%. If you miss a class, you lose out on critical information, and most likely will not be able to complete your assignment.

Three unexcused class absences equal a letter grade dropped from your total grade awarded, four or more will result in a D or an R.

Do not show up late and interrupt the class. Coming in late interrupts the class and will be counted as an unexcused absence anyway (over 15 min). We will not critique late work and you should expect that your grade for that section would be automatically lowered. There will be no extra credit work allowed. After each assignment I will give you an evaluation on your project, helpful suggestions, and an explanation of your status in the class.

In determining a grade I utilize the following grading scale criteria for factorable grades: A – Excellent
B – Good
C – Satisfactory (All course requirements have been met and assignments completed)

D – Passing

R – Failure

X – Conditional Failure (can only be replaced by an R or a D)


Your positive attitude and willingness to participate is a must.

The class meets twice a week (3 hour periods) for a total of 6 hours of instruction and studio time per week. Students are expected to complete the majority of work on their projects outside of class time.

Appropriate attire is required: closed toed shoes, long pants and long sleeve shirts, hair must be tied back. Your clothes will get dirty, so please wear work clothing.

Field Trips/ Demos:

September 11 – The Tom Savini School of Prosthetic Make-up – Monessen, PA

St Anthony’s Reliquary
Pitt Prosthetic lab
Smooth-On in studio Demo


Critique is a constructive platform for discussion. Critiques will be held on the day when assignments are due. Only completed projects will be critiqued. Incomplete and/or late projects will really impact your final grade. You may be asked to rework your project. If this happens, please do so in a timely fashion.

During critiques you will need to have prepared your artwork and a clear and concise verbal explanation of your project. Please respect others by participating and being fully engaged in the work. When possible, we will have visiting artists and professors sitting in on the discussion.

Shop Hours:

The studio will be open during monitor hours at night and on the weekends. Hours TBA. Please look for hours posted on the door to the sculpture studios and online on the School of Art webpage.

Storage and lockers:

There will be space in D200 for in process works. If you have completed your project, please move it to your studio or another appropriate location away from the classroom. Lockers are in the hallway and are available on a first come first serve basis.


There is a Materials Fee associated with this class of $175.

The Sculpture studio will provide as many of the materials for personal and group projects as possible. As individual projects vary, it is difficult to anticipate the material demands of your projects, so you will need to purchase many additional materials as necessary for each project.

Some materials that you will need to buy include a sketchbook, waxes, plastics, foams, books, gloves, sandpaper, buckets/pails, modeling tools and work clothing.

Protective gear and clothing is required when working in the sculpture studio and with toxic materials. If you have allergic reactions to any of these materials while we are working with them, inform me immediately! I will be discussing and posting material safety data sheets on all materials used in class. If you have allergies or health concerns, I ask that you make them know as soon as possible!

No prior skills are required for taking this course. Proper safety, environmental concerns and use of materials in all forms will be covered.

Cleaning up after yourself is REQUIRED and expected at all times, especially after each class and during lab hours. This is very important since this is a shared studio, and keeping it cleaner than you found it is a must!

Suppliers include, but are not limited to:,,,

Required Textbooks:

ŸPhantom Limb Reader – distributed in class.

The Prosthetic Impulse, from a posthuman present to a biocultural future, editors Marquard Smith and Joanne Morra, 2006 MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-19530-5

Techniques of Three-Dimensional Makeup, Lee Baygan 1982 Watson-Guptill Publisher – ISBN 0-8230-5261-3 pdk.

Other Books of Interest (in Josh’s office):

Ancestral Images – The Iconography of Human Origins, Stephanie Moser 1998 Cornell University Press
Modeling the Head in Clay, Bruno Lucchesi, 1979 Watson-Guptill Publishers Uniform, Order and Disorder, Francesco Bonami, 2000 Edizioni Charta

The Death and Resurrection Show, Rogan Taylor, 1985 Anthony Blond Publisher
The Hero With A Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell 1972 Princeton/Bollingen Printing Simple & Cheap recipes for Puppetmaking, Bread and Puppet Press 1997
Visions of Excess, selected writings (1927-1939), Georges Bataille 1985 University of Minnesota Press
Making Faces/Playing God, Thomas Morawetz 2001 University of Texas Press
Alloy of Love, Dario Robleto, Elizabeth Dunbar 2008 Skidmore College
Gillian Wearing, Russell Ferguson 1999 Phaidon
Robert Gober, Paul Schimmel 1997 MCA Los Angeles
David Altmejd, Louise Dery 2007 Galerie de l’UQAM
Rashid Johnson, Message to Our Folks, 2012 MCAC
Keith Edmier, 1997 University of South Florida
Icelandic Love Corporation, 2007 Reykjavik Art Museum
Stelarc, The Monograph, 2005 MIT Press
& Episode 1, Keith Edmier, 2008 SUNY Albany
The Immeasurable Distance, Matthew Day Jackson, 2009 MIT

Video Reference (in Josh’s office):

Art 21 Season One, Disc one – Place, Spirituality, Identity, and consumption Cremaster 4 – Matthew Barney 1995, Conspirators of Pleasure – Jan Sveankmajer 1996, The People – Joshua Reiman 2009, Prosthetics Instructional Video, Tape 2 – Bob Kelly 1990, PolyTek liquid rubber and plastic – Moldmaking and casting 2006 Smooth-On Making a brush on rubber mold 2003

Videos to watch outside of class: l
(Orlan) –
(Stelarc) –

Recommended Films:

Cremaster Series – Matthew Barney, Paul McCarthy- Painter and Bossy Burger, EXistenZ by David Cronenberg, AI Stephen Spielberg, The Exorcist William Friedkin, Pans Labyrinth Guillermo del Toro, Holy Motors Leos Carax, The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad Nathan H. Juran, Clash of the Titans (1981) Alan Dean Foster, Flash Gordon (1980), Mike Hodges, Star Wars George Lucas, Friday the 13th Sean S. Cunningham, Night of the living Dead George A. Romero, Un Chein Andalou Luis Bunuel

List of Artists to research (in no particular order):

Gillian Wearing, Tim Hawkinson, Rebecca Horn, Kalup Linzey, Yasumasa Morimura (coming to CMU!), Charles Fréger, Urs Fischer, Olaf Breuning, Andy Goldsworthy (rain pieces), Nam June Paik, Katie Paterson, Michael Joo, Duane Hanson, Ryan Trecartin, Liz Magor, Sarah Lucas, Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Chapman Brothers, Judy Chicago, Louise Bourgeois, Wim Delvoye, Lee Bonteque, Marsha Pells, Antony Gormley, Cindy Sherman, Hans Belmar, Dali, Hermann Nitsch, Piero Manzoni, Carolee Schneemann, Matthew Day Jackson, Tony Matteli, Marc Swanson, Sam Jinks, Yinke Shonibare, Edward Keinholtz, Matthew Barney, Keith Edmier, Dick Smith, Rick Baker, Tom Savini, Rob Pruitt, Komar and Melamid, Dario Robleto, Bruce Nauman, Shoplifter, Ragnar Kjartansson, Icelandic Love Corporation, David Herbert, David Altmejd, Banks Violette, Maurizio Cattelan, Sophie Calle, Santiago Sierra, Paul McCarthy, Vito Acconci, E.V. Day, Jeff Koons (Banality and Made in Heaven), Janine Antoni, Charles Ray, Marc Quinn, Corin Hewitt, Kiki Smith, Roxy Paine, Ron Mueck, Andrea Zittel, Roni Horn, Ashley Bickerton, Takashi Murakami, Katharina Fritsch, Joep van Lieshout, Tom Sachs, Felix Gonzales Torres, Joseph Beuys


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s