This course combines critical theory and art history in developing a basic understanding of media art. It provides an overview of the social context, aims and forms of contemporary art, with a strong emphasis on experimental film and video art, installation, performance, interactive and intermedia work, and modes of computational thinking in art practices. The main focus will be on how media technologies are used in contemporary art practices. Beginning with a media archeological approach and tracing developments in recording and presentation technologies, the course examines how media adds meaning and innovation to making art. The course also examines the conceptual threads of both media and art, and how media art making is part of a social practice contingent to a larger social-cultural-technological framework. Students are encouraged to explore media technology as an ever-changing variable that is open for scrutiny, recycling, transformation and subversion.
Key questions to be discussed pertain to the nature of artistic media, the interaction between art and technology, the ecology of information technologies, the social and political aspects of avant-garde art, the nature of experimentation, the meaning of interactivity, etc., all of which will be illustrated by key works from around the world. The course will also examine how the merging of art with science has occurred in various art movements over the past century and how the two are being linked today.