Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Avocational training: teaching new media in old institutions
Graduate and undergraduate art schools are beginning to include classes and programs focused on "new" media (getting older every day) as an accepted - not experimental - part of their curricula. Yet in the seeming absence of an established pedagogical tradition, these programs must negotiate an appropriate balance between skill development and conceptual exploration. The situation is complicated by the new emphasis on students-as-consumers and the financial pressures on both students and institutions. We cannot productively address these tensions (and defuse some common frustrations) without respecting the legitimate needs, concerns, and positions of the constituencies involved - students, administrators, and teachers alike.
* About Elizabeth Goodman:
Elizabeth Goodman's design, writing, and research focuses on critical thinking and creative exploration at the intersections of new digital technologies, social life and urban spaces. She has a master's degree from NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program and has spent this fall as a visiting lecturer on site specific art and wireless networks at the San Francisco Art Institute. For more information about the class, visit www.alisant.net/sitespecific. More examples of Elizabeth's work in urban gaming and cellphone interfaces can be found at www.confectious.net.
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Free Cooperation in New Media Art Education
Traditionally, political concepts and goals of emancipation were based either on objectivism or formalism, or, most often, a mixture of both. In the first case, there is supposedly an objective insight into truth, history, society, and human nature. Everything that is wrong is deducted. In the latter case, supposedly formal societal structures (or smaller cooperations) determine an outcome that can be labeled as freedom, equality, or control etc. Of course, objectivism is a highly problematic concept itself today, rightly under attack from postmodern critics. Political formalism mostly ignores that relationships of power that are in fact what determines the outcome. This is not an academic question; a lot of >emancipatory< politics turned out to be part of the problem rather than the solution.
The concept of >free cooperation< is an attempt to base emancipation, political theory and left politics once more on free negotiations and equal negotiating power. It can be applied to any kind of cooperation, from society at large to educational projects, from new media art to economy- it is an utopian guideline for progressive transformation.
Christoph Spehr is a German political and cultural theorist, author and video-maker. In 2001 he got the Rosa-Luxemburg-prize for his essay on Free Cooperation; an English translation will be available in 2005. Since 2000 he is the organizer of the conference series Out of this world which focuses on the relationships between popular culture, exp. Science-Fiction, utopian concepts and political emancipation. He works as an editor for the magazine Alaska and takes part in the Historical-Critical Dictionary of Marxism project. His video On Rules and Monsters was screened at the Networks, Art & Collaboration Conference, SUNY at Buffalo, 2004.
as part of
# 01.19 Christoph Spehr
# 01.26 Elizabeth Goodman
# 02.02 Megan Boler
# 02.09 Ricardo Miranda Zuniga
# 02.16 Patrick Lichty
# 02.23 John Hopkins
# 03.02 Axel Bruns
# 03.09 Lily Diaz
# 03.16 Eduardo Navas, Randall Packer
# 03.23 Joline Blais, Jon Ippolito
# 03.30 Wolfgang Münch
# 04.06 Lisa Gye
# 04.13 Ned Rossiter, Adriene Jenik/
# 04.20 Warren Sack
# 04.27 Anna Munster, Molly Krause