Spring 2022 - CA 235 D100

Experimental Film and Video (3)

Class Number: 7722

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 5:30 PM – 8:20 PM
    GCA 4955, GOLDCORP

  • Prerequisites:

    One of CA (or FPA) 117 (or 167), 118 (or 168), 135, 136 or 137 or 30 units.



A survey of the key works and ideas that have informed contemporary moving image art practice nationally and internationally. Beginning with antecedents in painting and photography, the course will move forward from the early European avant-garde to the lyrical and structural works of the seventies, the issue-based work of the eighties, and finally the gallery-based practices of the present day. Intended for all students with an interest in the moving image as an art form. Students with credit for FPA 235 may not take this course for further credit.


This course will expose students to a range of experimental and artist-made films from the 1940’s to the contemporary era, drawing as much from newer voices as from “the canon” of experimental film. Structured through a framework that is thematic rather than chronological, the course will emphasize works that have crossed and transcended categories, created new forms and genres, and expressed subjectivities, voices and histories that were historically unseen in mainstream film.  It is my hope that the works we view together will both move and challenge us, pushing us to collectively remap the possibilities of the moving image while exploring ways to locate ourselves and our histories in relation to these complex works. Because of the limited time we have together, this course will necessarily be limited in scope. For the majority of the course, we will look at films made since the 1960’s, with particular attention on films made in the last few decades. In doing so, this course aims to revisit canonical works while bringing them in conversation with more contemporary voices, particularly female, queer and BIPOC artists.


  • Gain a deeper appreciation of the wide-ranging forms and possibilities of film and video
  • Learn to analyze experimental film in terms of form, content, and context. 
  • Gain an interdisciplinary understanding of how experimental films engage with and respond to other avant-garde movements
  • Explore the relationships between past and present experimental media forms and practices.


  • Participation 10%
  • Assignments 60%
  • Final Project 30%

Registrar Notes:


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Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.