Instructor: Christiane Paul
Office hours: Tues / Thurs, 1:30 - 3PM by appointment.
Course Description: This class will outline the history and theory of new media from aesthetic, cultural, and political perspectives. The course will explore notions of medium and use prominent theories of media archeology to illustrate how mediation in various forms has impacted perception and communication over time. Other topics to be discussed will include the logic of the database as a new cultural form and way of revealing patterns of knowledge, beliefs, and social behavior; as well as notions of software as a logical and inevitable consequence of the nature of the digital medium and the power of its structures and rules. Today's culture is to a large extent revolving around data flows that are an expression of processes that profoundly affect our economic, political, and social life. Data flows support the concept of a networked commons, which raises questions about agency, control, and governance. These political issues will be addressed within the framework of recent theories surrounding immaterial production. Through a series of lectures, reading assignments, and discussions, class members will position new media in this larger cultural context.
Course Objectives: The lecture seminar's goal is to provide a broader historical and theoretical background for new media production and practice. The class will map out cross-disciplinary theoretical approaches and allow students to discuss and apply them to new media and their impact on cultural production.
Attendance Policy: It is the policy of this department that students are expected to attend all classes regularly and punctually. Absences will be excused only by death in the immediate family or an illness verified by a written doctor's excuse.
Three absences will automatically result in lowering the final grade one full grade (e.g., from A to B, or B- to C-) and five absences in a grade of F, even if the work is otherwise satisfactory. Coming to class late three times will be considered equivalent to one absence.
Final Grades: Grades will be based on attendance and participation in class discussion; as well as the completed assignment.
Required Course Work:
Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort (Eds.), The New Media Reader, MIT Press, 2003
The following syllabus is subject to change.
Week 1 | What is New Media?
Introduction to course: topics and course work.
Wikipedia, Mass Media
Week 2 | What is New Media?
Week 3 | Media History / Media Archeology
Lecture | Wed 2/6Henry Jenkins, Combating the Participation Gap: Why New Media Literacy Matters
4:00pm-5:30pm, South Hall
Friedrich Kittler, European Graduate School EGS 2005
John Armitage, From Discourse Networks to Cultural Mathematics - An Interview with Friedrich A. Kittler
Week 4 | Media History / Media Archeology
New Media Reader: 16 | 231: Douglas Engelbart, William English "A Research Center for Augmenting Human Intellect / online information about the presentation
Week 5 | Media History / Media Archeology
History of Cybernetics
PacMan vs. K. C. Munchkin
Week 6 | Media History / Media Archeology
Claus Pias is Professor of Cognitive Theory and Philosophy of Digital Media in the Philosophy Department of the University of Vienna. He studied art history, German literature, and philosophy at the University of Bonn. From 1993-2000, he worked as a research assistant at the University of Weimar, where he also received his Ph.D. He worked as an associate professor at the University of Bochum from 2001-2003, and has held positions at the University of Essen and Karlsruhe's Institute of Design. His research areas include the history and theory of digital media, philosophy and the history of technology, and modern-day art.
Week 7 | Archive / Database / Code
Archive | Database:
Thurs 3/6Archive | Database:
Larry Wendt, "Narrative as Genealogy: Sound Sense in an Era of Hypertext": The Art of Memory / Giulio Camillo, Memory Theater
Week 8 | Archive / Database / Code
Digital Millennium Copyright Act: Summary / Wikipedia
Broadcast Flag (Wikipedia)
Digital Rights Management: Wikipedia entry / Berkeley conference / How Stuff Works
Net Neutrality: Save the Internet FAQ / Google / Business Week on Net Neutrality
Pierre Levy, The Collective Intelligence Game - A Project about Collective Learning and Understanding
Research Statement -Description of Levy's research project at the University of Ottawa
Week 9 | Archive / Database / Code
Thurs 3/20Bodies and Code:
An interview/dialogue with Albert Borgmann and N. Katherine Hayles on humans and machines
SPRING BREAK | 3/24 - 29
Week 10 | Networks
Networks | Code:
Resources / Further Readings:
Alexander R. Galloway, Protocol - How Control Exists after Decentralization:
Eugene Thacker, Foreword - Protocol Is as Protocol Does
Sample Chapter: Physical Media
Alexander R. Galloway and Eugene Thacker, The Exploit - A Theory of Networks
Thurs 4/3Networks | Social:
Week 11 | Networks
Networks | (Semantic) Filtering:
Thurs 4/10Networks | (Semantic) Filtering:
The Semantic Web: An Introduction
The semantic web - Start making sense (Economist.com, April 9, 2008)
Week 12 | Networks
Networks | Cultural Production:
Thurs 4/17Networks | Cultural Production:
Burak Arikan and Engin Erdogan, User Labor
Week 13 | Networks
Networks | Code:
Thurs 4/24Networks | Intellectual Property:
Berkman Center for Internet & Society
Week 14 | Networks
Networks | Urbanity:
Alison Sant, Redefining the Basemap
Arch-OS - Software for Buildings
Thurs 5/1Networks | Art+Culture:
Week 15 | Networks / Conclusion
Networks | Urbanity: