R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe Teaching NYU Art Class About the Internet's 'Reckless Cynicism'

Andy Kropa/Invision/AP

The title of this week's session: "Invisible Information-ation-ation"

Michael Stipe continues to find inspiring projects after three decades spent fronting R.E.M. — for example, he's doubling as an artist and a teacher in a fall residency with NYU’s Steinhardt Department of Art and Art Professions.

Actually, Stipe's love of visual art predates his time as a famous musician. He has been an avid photographer since his teenage years, before he left for the University of Georgia to study art. So now he’s returning to the art world in a formal way, leading a project called New Sights, New Noise with co-producer Jonathan Berger.

The NYU space at 80 WSE Gallery is being utilized as a “studio, classroom, and laboratory” through Nov. 8. Each week, Stipe and a guest artist/cultural figure will give the class of 18 students a prompt, to which each will generate 100 images and gifs.

The theme is one most internet dwellers can relate to: “the glut and onslaught of information made available by the internet, often without context or authorship; the disproportionate and impulsive reactions that it provokes, and the reckless cynicism of a 24-hour news cycle.”

Specifically, this week’s title is “Invisible Information-ation-ation.” Here’s to hoping the gifs flow freely. Visitors will get to see what comes out of the Stipe-led sessions.

Check out R.E.M.’s website for a more detailed take on Stipe’s life in art and the NYU project.

This article first appeared on Billboard.com.

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