Friday, September 7, 2007

Let's Share Links!

If you'd like to share something with the class, please bookmark it in with the tag "itp_mediachange." Tagged items can be seen here.


In this class, we’ll be reading a variety of theoretical & historical texts. Additional reading suggestions (non-required reading) will be presented in class. We will also look closely at art projects that relate to these themes and URLs / documentation of these works will be distributed in advance of class discussion. This schedule is subject to change.

Roland Barthes, "Toys," Mythologies
Umberto Eco, "The Multiplication of the Media," Travels in Hyper Reality

Attend Conflux Events (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
3:00- 3:45pm, RĂ©gine Debatty, We Make Money Not Art, We Like to Peep; 4-6pm, Visit installation and workshop at The Change You Want to See

Recommended Reading: Louis Althusser, "Ideology & Ideological State Apparatuses"

Marshall McLuhan, "The Medium is the Message," Understanding Media; Vilem Flusser, "The Apparatus," Towards a Philosophy of Photography (Reader)

David Thorburn and Henry Jenkins, Toward an Aesthetics of Transition, Rethinking Media Change

Week of Oct 1-5: Screening of 8-Bit (TBD)

PROPOSALS DUE: First projects (must be emailed prior to the beginning of class)
Christiane Paul, Introduction, Digital Art (Reader); Marcin Ramocki, DIY: The Militant Embrace of Technology; Recommended Reading: Alexander Galloway, Social Realism in Gaming, Game Studies

Read excerpts from Permanence Through Change: The Variable Media Approach: Sterling (11-22); Ippolito (47-53 and 108-114); Recommended Reading: Bruce Sterling, "Dead Media Manifesto" & "Dead Media Working Notes"

Guest Lecture: Mona Jimenez, Associate Director,
Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program, NYU

10.19......First Round Presentations
10.26......First Round Presentations, Cont.

Carolyn Marvin, "Introduction," and "Inventing the Expert," When Old Technologies Were New; Recommended Reading: Lisa Gitelman, "Media as Historical Subjects," Always Already New (Both in Reader)

Jean Baudrillard, Requiem for the Media, For a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign; Guy Debord, "Time and History," Society of the Spectacle (Reader)

PROPOSALS DUE: Second projects (must be emailed prior to the beginning of class)
Critical Art Ensemble, Utopian Plagiarism, Hypertextuality, and Electronic Cultural Production, The Electronic Disturbance; William Gibson, "God's Little Toys: Confessions of a Cut & Paste Artist," Wired, July 2005; Recommended Reading: Rosalind Krauss, The Originality of the Avant-Garde, Modernist Myths

11.23......Thanksgiving Break

Matthew Fuller, "How This Becomes That," Media Ecologies (Reader); Martha Burkle Bonecchi, "Technology Has Forgotten Them: Developing-World Women and New Information Technologies," Women, Art, and Technology (Reader); Donna Harraway, A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century, in Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature

12.7......Second Round Presentations
12.14......Second Round Presentations, Cont. (Final Class Session)


In this course, we will consider the "evolution" of technology. This consideration will necessitate a problematizing of our definitions of "technology" and "media," constant reflection on the nature of change, and an engagement with the challenges of media historiography. On the primary level, we will consider the cultural and political forces behind shifts in media, and the impacts that these developments have on our liberties, bodies, relationships, environment, networks, perception, and expression--including but not limited to art practice. We will look at art objects, films, manifestos, and theoretical texts that respond to these changes, and students will ultimately create two art projects that address the questions of media change.


Attendance is mandatory for all class sessions. Lateness is unacceptable. Students with two or more absences, or who fail to complete and turn-in all writing assignments on-time, will not pass the class. Assigned readings should be brought to every class. Writing assignments are due in-class, at the beginning of the session on the specified due dates. No late or e-mailed papers will be accepted, and all papers must be typed and proofread, with numbered and stapled pages.

A Note on Classroom Conduct:
If all goes as planned, this will be a very fun class with a lot of lively discussion. Students are expected to participate in class, not only by showing up but also by paying attention and contributing to discussions. While educated debate is encouraged, students are expected to be respectful of each others' work and ideas, to contribute constructive criticism as appropriate, and to generally contribute to the class by keeping up with the readings and assignments.

Students may not use portable devices at any time (including, but not limited to, cell phone conversations, text messaging, mp3 players, gameboys, gps devices, speak and spell, etch-a-sketch, etc). Students who are found to be sleeping or using their laptops to surf the internet, check email, or update their Facebook profiles, during class time, will be expelled from the classroom. In all seriousness, this class will be an opportunity to read some intriguing texts, review some great art, and to have very smart, engaging discussions about them. The atmosphere of the class will be that of a workshop in which we are all learning from each other. This will require your complete commitment.

A Note on Plagiarism & Academic Dishonesty:
Plagiarism will not be tolerated, under any circumstances. Students who plagiarize will automatically fail the class and it will be at the instructor's discretion to report the student to the university. There is no such thing as "only plagiarizing a little." Plagiarism includes stealing paper /project topics and the ideas of others, as well as specific language. If you have any questions as to what constitutes plagiarism or how to properly cite your colleagues or reference resources, see me and/or turn to these helpful online resources:


Attendance and class participation will constitute 25% of your grade. The remaining 75% will be determined according to your performance in each of the following assignments.

Readings: Students will be assigned readings and creative projects to review. All students should be prepared to discuss all readings and projects, every week. Insightful discussion of these assignments is included in evaluation of participation.

Reading Response Paper & Presentation (25% of grade): At the beginning of the semester, students will select one assigned reading on which to lead a 20-30 minute discussion. On the day of this oral presentation, students must also turn in an 8-page (double-spaced, typed) paper written in response to the reading and in preparation for the presentation. The papers and presentations should identify the author(s)' key arguments, the rhetorical strategies used in making those arguments, and issues raised by the work, in relation to other readings and artworks covered in class. The oral presentations should not simply be a reading of the 8-page paper, but should allow for discussion among participants in the class. Note that regurgitation of an essay's main points is inappropriate for this assignment. All students will have completed the reading. Presenters must bring critical insight to the discussion, which should be informed by additional historical research and analysis.

In-class writing exercises: Occasional in-class response papers will be assigned in relationship to readings and artworks. These assignments must be handed-in at the end of the class session. Performance on these assignments is included in evaluation of participation.

Two art projects (25% each): Students will complete two art projects this semester. The first will be a device for the instigation of change. The second will be a device for the halt or reversal of change. Students will be expected to turn in advanced proposals for each project (see course schedule), and to make in-class presentations of the work. The projects must be complete to receive credit. Proposals or incomplete projects will not suffice. Additional instructions for these assignments will be distributed prior to the proposal deadlines.

Grading Scale:
A = Excellent. High level of engagement with assignment and sustained effort to bring insight to readings and projects.
B = Good. Engaged with the materials, with a slightly lesser level of original criticism.
C = Average/ meets minimum requirements. Completes assignments with minimal original contributions.
D = Below Average, unacceptable. Lack of regard for course goals or policies; lack of effort.
F = Complete Failure. Student does not complete all assignments, or completes very poor work. Student does not recognize course goals or policies.