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Spring 2021︎︎︎ CUNY Queens College ︎︎︎ (ARTS241) Design 1

viewin’ ‘n’ chattin’:
Kate Bush The Sensual World


So our looks at work have been largely “art directorial”/prescriptive (you showing work and me providing a “prescription” for how to fix it). I think that this is okay, and it is not the worst thing for people to not know totally how to talk about work at this point. That being said we do need to talk about something. In the recent past I’ve had discussions about “famous” design essays and videos of “important” designers talking but I feel as though the discussions have been a bit tepid and prefunctory. 

Design is more than the designing of graphics, it is more than a viable career path; it is a way of interfacing with form, history, the future and culture. In practical terms, fitting into the “culture” of a workplace involves being able to talk about stuff, or you may find yourself, for example working on signage for a museum exhibit and having some intimacy or knowledge of the content you are working with will inform your work.

What “should” this discussion be then?

I want to hear, your opinions, hot takes, thoughts, confusions, and where those feelings are coming from. I do not want to talk about how the video is “nice” or “sounds good” or is simply “weird.” What is nice about it? What does it remind you of? Why? Did something someone else say give you a strong reaction? Where did it come from, what are you feeling? I’m looking to something closer to this:

And not this: 

Part of getting to that state is you. You have to prepare watch the content, absorb it, take notes, re-watch it, watch contextualizing material and be ready to talk about it. Please take the time to do this so that it can contribute to a fruitful and exciting discussion.

What do you have to watch

(Please note this is a the title track from an album of the same name, I’m just asking you to look at this video and the related song. )

Who is Kate Bush?︎

Above is the link to herWikipedia page, and then below is a ~1 hour documentary

Here are two of her other famous singles “Running up that Hill” and “Wuthering Heights”

Some supplemental material

This is mostly people talking about and reacting to Kate Bush’s work (which isn’t always the exact video for “The Sensual World”)


You must view (at the absolute minimum) the video and lyrics for “The Sensual World” and take notes (in a .txt, .docx or google drive file).

What does “taking notes” mean?

Taking notes means:
    • Writing down your reactions and observations
    • Writing down questions about what things might mean (words, images, costumes, sounds) or things that may be references
    • Subsequently looking up those things and adding your answers in.
    • Interpreting your reactions beyond simply saying you like or dislike something or proving you read or viewed something (this is not a book report)

Questions to think about:

    • Did you like or dislike the song? Were you indifferent? At what point did you make this decision and why?
    • What do you think about her dancing?
    • What do you think about the costume?
    • Have you heard Kate Bush’s music before? How do you feel it relates to other work of hers?
    • What other music does this remind you of and why?

Relevant Dates

    • 04/14/2021 ︎︎︎ Introduction 

    • 04/21/2021 ︎︎︎ Reminder + Q&A

    • I’ll just remind people in class that we are going to have a discussion. If anything comes up we can discuss any random questions that people have.
    • 04/28/2021 ︎︎︎ Discussion groups and notes are due.

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