Media and Culture
AM - 3:00 PM
Media and Culture is a broad overview of the tools, aesthetics,
and cultural paradigms brought about through the application and integration
of electronic media with art and design. Students will be introduced
to an array of multimedia tools and techniques used in the production
and authoring of graphics, text, animation, video and sound. The goal
of the course is to develop practical and critical skills vital to the
creation and interpretation of digital and electronic art forms.
of course objectives, assignments, and projects.
of the history of art and technology: Multimedia:
From Wagner to Virtual Reality
to media types: image, text, sound, video and animation. The course
will cover basic techniques in working with the
essential components of digital production, understanding their unique
processes, methods of editing and manipulation, and strategies
Digital Imaging We will overview basic techniques in digital
imaging in Photoshop: digitalization through various input processes
including scanning and digital photography; resolution; sizing and
positioning; and file formats. Glossary of
basics - The Macintosh operating system as it is used in digital production:
file management; file and directory naming; directory paths; saving
and backing up. Desktop example.
#1 : Media Transformations - The history of technology can be
viewed as a continuous transformation of our culture and the way we
interact in society. Communications technologies, media technologies,
information technologies, machine technologies have all had impact
on the quality and nature of our daily existence.
assignment is to capture those transformations resulting from electronic
media as a composite of photographic images. Over the next two weeks,
we will collect images that reveal transformations resulting from
media that are taking place all around us. These images can be of
people, places, broadcast media, billboards, etc. The only requirement
is that each image reveal how the electronic media has altered some
aspect of the human or social condition as a result of its implementation
Digital Imaging We will continue
with more advanced techniques in digital imaging including: layers
and layer properties; moving images, adjusting color and light values;
cloning and touchup; flattening and saving.
to Virtual Reality collage
#1 : Media Transformations - The second part of the assignment
is to take your collection of images and create a collage, sequence
or juxtaposition. It is up to you to decide how you want to layout
your composite: the number of images, size, orientation, configuration,
etc. It is important though that the result articulate your perspective
on the transformative nature of technology. Utopian? Dystopian? Optimistic?
Future as Blade Runner? This is your observation.
Hershman - Phantom
June Paik - Electronic
Holzer - Truisms
William Gibson - Neuromancer
up with Rhizome.org
List, a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1996 to provide
an online platform for the global new media art community. The Rhizome.org
community is geographically dispersed, and includes artists, curators,
writers, designers, programmers, students, educators and new media
Gibson, Academy Leader, pgs 247 - 251. Write a brief summary.
Digital Imaging We will continue
techniques in digital imaging including: adjusting color and light
values; cloning and touchup; flattening and saving.
of Mac Basics.
and William Gibson's Academy Leader.
#1 : Media Transformations - Work on projects: critique and presentation
of completed works.
Text Introduction to text manipulation
in Adobe Illustrator. Illustrator's vector graphics capability allows
the manipulation of text as a graphic object, while retaining the
ability to scale the object without loss or degradation (as is the
case in Photoshop's rasterized imaging). We will cover the creation
of text objects, paths and text aligning, transforming techniques,
file formats, etc.
#2 : Media Avant-garde - During the early 20th century, the avant-garde,
most notably such movements and schools as the Futurists,
Dadaists, Constructivists, Bauhaus,
de Stijl, and Surrealists, were interested in treating text as a graphic
object to be manipulated, not limited to its literary connotation.
In particular, El Lissitzky spoke of the potential for representing
text as a dynamic medium, with the speed, movement and intensity of
the modern age.
with such advanced tools as Illustrator, we have unprecedented control
over text elements as expressions of meaning and dynamic shape. The
assignment is to write a text as your own statement of revolutionary
thought pertaining to digital media and how it is advancing artistic
expression. Your design should reflect how you might imagine the representation
of the digital medium through text elements: it's speed, virtuality,
changeability, interactivity, and immersive qualities. The result
is to be a printed poster "advertising" digital media as
a revolutionary new medium for artists and designers.
texts and graphics.
Amerika - Grammatron,
Plumb Design - Visual
Vuk Cosik - ASCII
Text We will discuss outputting
Illustrator files for print: color, resolution,
#2 : Media Avant-garde - Completion of posters.
Marinetti, "Futurist Cinema," pgs 10 - 15. Write a brief
Sound Introduction to sound production
in SoundEdit 16. We will overview basic techniques in recording, digitizing,
editing, processing, and mixing digital audio.
10/21 - Assignment #3 : Sound Habitat - Such artists and composers
as the Futurists,
and John Cage
introduced the idea in the early 20th century that any sound could
be used for compositional purposes, not just traditional ones played
by musical instruments. They introduced percussion sounds, noises
played by instruments, recorded sounds, and electronically generated
this assignment we will collect found "sound" objects, collected
in your apartment or house and its surroundings. Any sound that you
think might be interesting in the sonic reconstruction of where you
live. No musical instruments or recorded music! Just those that you
record, such as: ambient sounds (traffic out the window, people talking
in the next room, someone cooking in the kitchen, etc.); sounds that
you compose (such as banging a pan, vocal sounds, walking, running,
etc.). The resulting composition should be a portrait of your everyday
life and habitat through sound.
10/21 - Reading: John
Cage, "Diary: Audience 1966," pgs 91 - 94. Write a brief
10/21 - Listening: " Luigi Russolo (Futurists), "Risveglio
di una Citta; Edgard Varèse; Poéme
Électronique; John Cage, Cartridge
Music. Write a brief summary explaining how these composers
have transformed noises and electronic sounds into musical composition.
Sound Advanced techniques in sound
production including: special effects, filtering, changing tempo,
of Cage reading.
#3 : Sound Habitat - Complete sound compositions.
Critique Present your sound project and Rhizome Net Art
Midterm Critique Present your sound project and Rhizome
Net Art News presentation.
Hypermedia We will cover
the essential techniques for constructing hypermedia environments
in Dreamweaver: layout, integrating text and graphics, hyperlinks,
#4 : Media & War
War is upon us again.
foundation of a free society is its ability to receive information
that is honest and unbiased. However,
in this age of instant
and global media, when wars are staged for the media, the information
we receive is becoming increasingly filtered by the networks
and their corporate sponsors and ownership.
assignment is intended as a critique of the media through the use
of the new
media. We will employ the Web to stage our
own unique, individual response in the form of a Web Log
is an on-line medium that challenges the broadcast paradigm as
an alternative form of sending and receiving
based on the many-to-many rather than the one-to-many broadcast
paradigm. This allows individuals to communicate information
directly to one another around the globe, bypassing the
broadcast media all together.
will keep an ongoing journal over the next five weeks reflecting
on the war and the way in which the media is filtering information
and affecting our perspective and judgment.
assignment will involve the formation of a direct response to the
War in Iraq as it unfolds
over the coming
will view the network news media, including CNN, MSNBC,
and Fox; we
will view coverage in the on-line news media, including:
York Times On-line
we will also look at alternative news sites such as:
our responses we will incorporate images, sound, video to present
our own unique
view and perspective of the
War in Iraq.
We will construct our blog in Dreamweaver, learning
authoring and interactive techniques specific to the medium of
Media & War Work on projects.
4. Media & War Work
Is it possible to better understand cultural differences through
the information we receive from the media? Is filtered information
can artistic and creative expression and critique fill this gap,
bring us together, allow us to better understand the world and
Sites to look at:
Campus Anti-War Network
preparing graphics in Photoshop; pop-up windows, nested tables
and split rows and columns; horizontal rule.
Galloway, "Hacking Multi-Player Games" Tuesday,
April 8, 7 pm, S3.
4. Media & War Work
Hershman, "Fantasy Beyond Control," pgs 299 - 305. Write
a brief summary.
4. Media & War Work
Media & War Final Critique
the final Critique, we will prepare the following:
your Media & War project
a 250 word brief summary about your project and how it uses the
tools and processes of new media to comment on contemporary issues
a brief Q & A discussion with the class
Readings and Discussion
(on time) is mandatory and will be incorporated into the grade. Each
student is required to participate in class discussion focusing on
readings and lectures.
projects will be assigned focusing on the application of digital tools
project will consist of a hypermedia work that integrates all the
media through the Web.
: From Wagner to Virtual Reality, edited by Randall Packer and
Ken Jordan, W.W. Norton, 2001.
student is required to store their work on zip cartridges or firewire
is required to have an e-mail account. All written assignments will
be handed in electronically by e-mail. Each student also has individual
Web space for on-line assignments.