Introduction to WebCamTalk 1.0

WebCamTalk 1.0  is a guest speaker series designed to invite dialogue and the sharing of ideas in this field leading to the Share, Share Widely conference. Trebor Scholz, The Institute for Distributed Creativity (iDC) invited some twenty artists, experienced new-media educators and technologists who pioneered educational initiatives and tools in this field to introduce their specific projects and reflections.

The series features twenty guest speakers until April 2005. These  webcam presentations are hosted by the Department of Media Study, SUNY at Buffalo. The talks are archived and short transcripts are made available on the iDC mailinglist to invite discussion.

In collaboration with The Graduate Center (City University of New York) the Institute for Distributed Creativity  organizes a conference on new-media art education for May 6th, 2005.

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01.19 Christoph Spehr

Free Cooperation in New Media Art Education

  • Introduction:

Traditionally, political concepts and goals of emancipation were based either on objectivism or formalism. Most often it was 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. Of course, objectivism is a highly problematic concept itself now, 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.

About Christoph Spehr:

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.

Video (German)

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01.26 Elizabeth Goodman, Nathalie Jeremijenko

Avocational Training: Teaching New Media In Old Institutions

  • Introduction:

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.

Liz_goodman_1About 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 New York University'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 (download course bibliography, .pdf) . More examples of Elizabeth's work in urban gaming and cellphone interfaces can be found at

Schmedagogy: Changing Structures of Participation In New Media Education

  • Introduction:

What opportunities do new technologies provide to transform and improve pedagogy, particularly in the context of digital and technology based curricula? I will discuss four experiments in two distinct arenas.
Firstly in the realm of internet-based, or asynchronous and cumulative learning context I will present two projects-- SCAPE: a friendster/ napster hybrid that facilitates file-sharing through social networks; and HSIM: a wiki-based visual encyclopedia that  documents labor conditions and manufacturing processes. The former focuses on group forming and, the latter builds interaction between industry and academia. Both develop evidence that the way we structure participation changes what information is produced, who produces it, and how it circulates. Both provide material to question what these changes may mean for learning.
In the 2nd realm I will discuss the opportunity presented by synchronous and co-present contexts. In two projects I explore the potential of a) computer labs and b) outdoor public space for effective participation in interpretive learning. Computer lab spaces are still new spaces, the first to have appeared in educational institutions in decades. They present the opportunity to facilitate the sort of learning that is under achieved in other institutionalized learning spaces (lecture hall, classrooms, bench labs, library). In the last 15 years many different computer lab designs have been implemented, in particular in engineering and new media education, and in institutions of informal learning (museums and galleries). These have produced some insights in how physical and social resources effect interactions therein--and I will present empirical results from an extensive ethnographic analysis and design propositions. In contrast to lab space inside institutions, taking and facilitate learning into outdoor public space can also change who participates in the learning activity. Using mobile computational platforms 'in the wild' provides a study of how people exchange information and interpret results that are rendered for the diverse participants that come with public sites.
Each of these projects suggest that the structure of participation is a primary pedagogical effect that can be changed, and potentially improved with the introduction of computation.


  • About Natalie Jeremijenko:

Natalie Jeremijenko, is an Assistant Professor in Visual Art, UCSD, the McPherson Visiting Professor in the Public Understanding of Science at Michigan State University, and the 2005 holder of the Mildred C. Brinn Endowed Chair at Skowhegan. She is known to work with the Bureau of Inverse Technology.

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02.02 Megan Boler

Politics in the New Media Classroom

  • Introduction:

Thinking about educators some may argue that there is no room for the personal politics of the professor in the classroom. We disagree. The Greek word "professore" means " to proclaim." It does not mean "say nothing, look the other side when hundreds of people die in Iraq, when our civil liberties vanish under the Patriot Act, academic freedom of speech is questioned, or when the International Monetary Fund ruins yet another Jamaica.

Megan_bolerAbout Megan Boler:

Knowledge, Media, Design Institute (KMDI)
Megan Boler is Associate Professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, and works in the area of new media and cyberculture studies. See her website Critical Media Literacy in Times of War. 

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02.09 Ricardo Miranda Zuniga

Open Source Edu Tool Box

  • Introduction:

The ever-changing nature of the Web, creates a highly disparate teaching environment. After years of presenting Macromedia products in Web courses, it has become clear that these products are insufficient and are contrary to the most exciting innovations of the Web, those of the Open Source movement.  A shift of focus from corporate products to utilizing Source Forge projects and other open source technologies will be discussed, such as: jEdit, Movable Type, PHP...

Ricardo_zunigaAbout Ricardo Miranda Zuniga:

Since receiving his MFA from Carnegie Mellon University in 1999, Ricardo has been teaching digital arts at the College level, currently at The College of New Jersey. As an artist, the principle behind Ricardo's work is communication as a creative process.  Documentation of his work is available at:

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02.16 Patrick Lichty

A Culture of Cooperation

  • Introduction:

The distributed social structure of the Internet created an environment in which collective action and collaborative projects can flourish.  Net art, blogging, RSS aggregators, open source, tele-performance, WIKI, netconferencing, and other movements allow a culture of cooperation which is unique to this period in time.  How have these technologies changed previous paradigms of collaboration?  Furthermore, how can distributed forms of interaction be used to create models of education that respond fluidly to the rapidly changing technoculture, and to place students in the presence of leading practitioners in any given field?

Patricklichty2_1About Patrick Lichty:

Patrick Lichty is a technologically-based conceptual artist, writer, independent curator, and Executive Editor of Intelligent Agent Magazine. He has also collaborated as part of numerous collectives, including Terminal Time, The Yes Men, Haymarket Riot, ScreenSavers, and others. (a networked visualization system will be discussed)

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02.23 John Hopkins

Dialogue, Networks, and Creative Action

  • Introduction:

This momentary presence will be a drift through topics relevant to the situation arising from this particular network convocation.

John_hopkinsAbout John Hopkins:

As an active network-builder with a background in engineering, hard science, and the arts, Hopkins has taught workshops in 15 countries and currently works with live/online streaming media performance and network collaboration. He was recently artist-in-residence at the Sibelius Academy's Center for Music and Technology in Helsinki, Finland. Further information may be found at his extensive webspace

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03.02 Axel Bruns


  • Introduction:

Peer-to-peer (p2p) communication is currently a major driver of online content development. In addition to some of the better-known p2p communication forms such as filesharing, however, we are now also witnessing the emergence of a wide range of p2p publishing models. These range from solitary, diary-style weblogs (blogs) to communal blogspaces which place individual blogs within elaborate interconnecting extrastructures, and beyond this to increasingly sophisticated websites for the open publishing and discussion of special interest news. This form of communal publishing replaces traditional journalistic gatekeeping approaches with a new gatewatching model, and (implicitly or explicitly) applies the philosophy of the open source software development movement to news reporting and publishing, leading to what can be described as open news.

Axelbruns_1About Axel Bruns:

Media & Communication Discipline, Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology (Brisbane, Australia) On collective authorship, and peer-to-peer publishing. Bruns is part of the Fibreculture team and teaches at Queensland University of Technology. He is general editor of M/C - Media and Culture. Bruns's research interests are in online publishing, virtual communities, creative industries, creative hypertext writing, and popular music studies. His book Gatewatching: Collaborative Online News Production will be published by Peter Lang in 2005.

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03.09 Lily Diaz

Doctorate Programs in New Media, Helsinki- a Case Study

  • Introduction:

The Doctor of Arts degree (in Art and Design) offers the prospective student an opportunity to engage and complete advanced research in a multidisciplinary environment, from the point of view of art and design. The degree, which focuses on the creation of a research-based dissertation, should not be confused with the teaching-oriented Doctor of Arts awarded in the United States or with other practice-based studio arts degrees.

The Media Lab is the school of Digital Design at the University of Art and Design Helsinki. The lab provides education and research frameworks for studying digital media contents and technologies, their design, development and the effect they have on society. Our work is characterized by the collaboration of people from a wide variety of disciplines and cultures.

About Doctor of Arts studies at the University of Art and Design

Frequently asked questions about University of Art and Design dissertations

List of dissertations completed at University of Art and Design

About the Media Lab

Doctoral Studies at the Media Lab

  • About Lily Diaz-Kommonen:

Lily Díaz-Kommonen holds degrees in the arts (MFA in computer art, School of Visual Arts; Doctor of Art, University of Art and Design Helsinki, Media Lab) and in the humanities (BA in cultural anthropology, Brandeis University). Her research interests include digital design and its implementation in the cultural heritage sector; visualization and knowledge production; and Cultural Historical Activity Theory as a theoretical framework for art and design practices.

Prior to engaging in an academic career, she was a successful designer and consultant in New York City working in the financial services sector. Currently she is Acting Professor in Systems of Representation & Digital Cultural Heritage at the Media Lab of the University of Art and Design Helsinki, Finland.

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03.16 Eduardo Navas, Randall Packer

Case Study: Diary of a Star and Net Art Review

  • Introduction:

A question that often arises about blogs is how they affect cultures around the globe.  In relation to this I am interested in how blogs can play a role in the dissemination of knowledge and how they are affecting the development of new knowledge.

In my presentation, I will consider the dichotomy of the individual blog vs. the group blog as tools for dissemination.  I will explain how I see Net Art Review functioning as a multi-faceted group blog that can be used for educational purposes which extend outside the classroom and is more of a service to many online communities.  I will also talk about Diary of a Star which is a critical take on blogging that appropriates selections from the Andy Warhol Diaries; a project that  uses blogging as a tool for art discourse.

  • About Eduardo Navas:

Eduardo Navas is active as an interdisciplinary artist currently doing research as a Ph.D. Graduate Fellow in the Art History, Theory and Criticism program at the University of California, San Diego.  His work has been featured at MACAY, Merida, Yucatan,MX; Centro de Diseno, Cine y Television, Mexico City, MX; Whitney Museum's Artport, NYC; and, NYC among other spaces.  He has lectured and presented his works and ideas at Rufino Tamayo Museum, Mexico City; Fundación Telefónica, Buenos Aires as well as Museum of Modern Art, Buenos Aires.  He is founder and contributing editor of Net Art Review, and is co-founding member of, an international network of artists and academics who organize international events and publications periodically.

Freedom of Discourse: Political Consciousness in the Classroom

  • Introduction:

Since 9/11, the classroom has increasingly become an environment for discourse focused on a world in crisis, particularly the cultural, political and religious clash between East & West. The War in Iraq only heightened the need to use the academic setting as a platform for exploring issues that have emerged from the conflict. However, there has been pressure on professors and teachers to censor this type of discussion for fear it might oppose the political views of students, or force certain views on the student. This, in my opinion, flies in the face of the very core of education, in which a variety of views are discussed and debated, freely and openly. This talk will focus on freedom of speech, and freedom of topic in the classroom: should professors be able to incorporate political events and issues into their teaching without censor, particularly in the arts, where contemporary issues and their critique are a vital component of art practice.


Randall Packer is internationally recognized as a pioneering artist, composer, educator, and scholar in the field of multimedia. His work has been exhibited at museums and galleries throughout the world including Europe, Asia, and North America. He is Assistant Professor of Multimedia at American University in Washington, DC. His book and accompanying Web site, Multimedia: From Wagner to Virtual Reality (W.W. Norton 2001 /, has been adopted internationally as one of the leading educational texts in the field. Packer is concerned with the aesthetic, philosophical, and socio-cultural impact of new media in an increasingly technological society. Since moving to Washington, DC in 2000, his work has explored the critique of the role of the artist in society and politics. He founded the virtual government agency US Department of Art and Technology ( in 2001, which proposes and supports the idealized definition of the artist as one whose reflections, ideas, aesthetics, sensibilities, and abilities can have significant and transformative impact on the world stage.

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03.23 Joline Blais, Jon Ippolito

Evaluating Collaborative Work, Interauthorship, Open Content

  • Introduction:

Evaluating Collaborative Work: Tenure Processes in New Media How can collaborative work and publishing on blogs, and mailinglists be evaluated? What are criteria to evaluate new media practioners?
Ippolito and writer Joline Blais are currently at work on a book entitled "The Edge of Art" and recently co-founded the Still Water program for network art and culture at the University of Maine. At Still Water, Ippolito, also Associate Curator of Media Arts at the Guggenheim Museum, is at work on three projects -- the Variable Media Network, the Open Art Network, and an exhibition called Mind Sets -- that aim to expand the art world beyond its traditional confines. Both are faculty at The University of Maine.

Ipolito_blais_1About Jon Ippolito, Joline Blais:
Jon Ippolito is an artist, Guggenheim curator, and co-founder of the Still Water program for network art and culture at the University of Maine where he is an Assistant Professor of new media.
Fiction writer Joline Blais pioneered the development of the Media Studies program in SCPD at New York University. She has a background in history and comparative literature at Harvard and University of Pennsylvania.

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03.30 Wolfgang Münch

New Media Education in Singapore

  • Introduction:

Decentralization has always been regarded as one of the advantages of new technologies. But it might have come to a slight surprise for the old centers that a few places in between newyorkberlintokyo took this notion literally and started their own business. Blessed with an amazing economic growth, Asia has added itself onto the globe of art and media: China, India, Indonesia, and Thailand  are about to make their move. And strategically  placed in the center of South-East Asia, Singapore has started to re-invest a serious portion of its surplus in creative industries. Media art schools are delighted about new funding options while expectations for the return value are high. This is a time full of opportunities for a new generation of media artists on this side of the universe. And a challenge to new media education: will all this add some local flavor to our globalized artware-software-hardware world?

Wolfgang_muenchAbout Wolfgang Münch:

Wolfgang Studied fine arts in a pre-computer era, worked at ZKM, was teaching interactive media in stuttgart, hongkong and singapore, has been artist in residence in ZKM, AEC and IAMAS, and is currently dean of media arts at LASALLE-SIA in Singapore.

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04.06 Lisa Gye

Approaches to Technology in Australia

  • Introduction:

Vocational Imperative vs. Responsible Education transfer of "just-in-time knowledge" versus a broad education

How do we stretch a vision between the Futurist narratives of progress with all their techno-optimism and the technophobia often encountered in more traditional cultural theorists? What can we do about anti-intellectualism and boredom in the undergraduate classroom? Concrete examples of useful assignments and ways in which to teach theory or tech (ie. How could the role plays proposed by Augusto Boal's "Games for Actors and Non-actors" be applied to the teaching theatre?)

Lisa_gyeAbout Lisa Gye (Australia):

Lisa Gye teaches new media theory and production at Swinburne University of Technology (Victoria, Australia).


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04.13 Adriene Jenik/ William Grishold, Simon Penny

Explorations In Community-Oriented Ubiquitous Computing

ActiveCampus, A Case Study

  • Introduction

The ActiveCampus project aims to provide location-based services for educational networks and understand how such systems are used. ActiveClass enables collaboration between students and professors by serving as a visual moderator for classroom interaction. ActiveCampus Explorer uses a person's context, like location, to help engage them in campus life.

Adriene_jenikAbout Adriene Jenik:

Adriene Jenik is a telecommunications media artist who has been working for over 15 years as an artist, educator, curator, administrator, and engineer.  Her works, including EL NAFTAZTECA (w/Guillermo Gomez-Pena), MAUVE DESERT: A CD-ROM Translation and DESKTOP THEATER (w/Lisa Brenneis and the DT troupe), use the collision of "high" technology and human desire to propose new forms of literature, cinema, and performance. Jenik is currently serving as Associate Professor of Computer & Media Arts in the Visual Arts Department at University of California, San Diego.  Her recent works (the ActiveCampus Explorientation and SPEC-FLIC) instigate large-scale public art events over community-wide wireless networks.

  • About William Grishold:

William Griswold is Director of the ActiveCampus project and a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego.  He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Washington in 1991, and his BA in Mathematics from the University of Arizona in 1985.  His research interests include ubiquitous computing, educational technology, software evolution and design, software tools and visualization, and program analysis.  He is Program Co-Chair for the 2005 International Conference on Software Engineering.  He is a principal of the UCSD division of Cal-(IT)2, the UCSD/UCI California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology.

Interdisciplinarity and Critical Technical Practices.

  • Introduction

As computer automated cultural artifacts emerge, an aesthetics of interaction between people and machine systems presents itself as a novel new field of aesthetics, a poetics of interaction opposing or complementing the instrumentality of some aspects of human computer interaction. Such practices have only been viable since the availability of real-time computing technologies and techniques. This work is both technically and theoretically rigorous, as developing such systems adds aesthetic, theoretical and philosophical considerations seldom engaged in digital technology design. It is quintessentially interdisciplinary, drawing upon diverse intellectual resources, including robotics, cultural studies, human computer interaction, art practice, interaction design, art history and cognitive science. In engaging these diverse fields, it thus demands reconciliation of often antithetical positions in the history of ideas in the west.

Simon_pennyAbout Simon Penny:

Simon Penny is an Australian artist, theorist and teacher in the field of Digital Cultural Practices and Computer Automated Cultural Artifacts. He has been making interactive installations, utilising custom sensors and robotic technologies, since the mid 1980s. His more recent works have focused on the development of custom multi-camera machine vision systems for unencumbered embodied interaction. His works have been exhibited in the US, Australia and Europe. He has published essays since 1987 on Culture and Technology and Electronic Media Art have been translated into seven languages. He edited the anthology Critical Issues in Electronic Media (SUNY Press 1995). He curated and produced Machine Culture (arguably the first international survey exhibition of interactive art) at SIGGRAPH '93 in Anaheim CA. He was instrumental in the formulation of the guidelines for new media art teaching and employment adopted by CAA, ISEA and ACM Siggraph in 1993.
Penny is Professor of Arts and Engineering at University of California Irvine. He is architect and director of the graduate program in Arts, Computation and Engineering (ACE), established 2003. He is Layer Leader for the Arts in the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, CAL(IT)2 and director of the ACTION lab, a research lab which focuses on performative technologies and embodied interaction. He established the Electronic Intermedia Program at the University of Florida in 1990. as Professor of art and Robotics, he headed the new Electronic and Timebased Media Program in the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon from 1993 and established the field of Robotic Art there. He was European Professor of Interactive Environments in 2000-01.

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04.20 Warren Sack

New Tools and Theories for Understanding ELearning on the Internet

  • Introduction:

In this presentation we will briefly review the history of computers in learning and education from circa 1970 to the present. We describe how the growth of the Internet has created the possibility for the design of new learning environments and new forms of learning and education. It will be argued that many of these new, Internet-based learning environments are strongly dependent upon the exchange of email between teachers and learners. We will demonstrate a prototype system for visualizing and summarizing large volumes of email, the Conversation Map system, and consider its possible use in the evaluation of these new learning environments. We further explore how new work environments for networked, collaborative production -- like the tools used by the Open Source Software (OSS) communities -- can also be conceptualized as learning environments akin to pre-industrial, "workshops" where "apprentices" learn by assisting more experienced "craftsmen" (where "craftsmen" in this context are programmers and software designers). Automatically generated isualizations of these work-environments-as-learning environments will illustrate the final portion of the presentation.


About Warren Sack:

Warren Sack is a software designer and media theorist whose work explores theories and designs for online public space and public discussion.

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04.27 Anna Munster, Molly Krause

Web Designer or Web Author?

  • Introduction:

When new media arts and design departments in art schools began teaching students how to make websites a few years ago, the terms and practices of design theory and culture were implemented as the unquestioned pedagogical platform. Now we have moved into a phase of direct-to-web publishing, should we be questioning the usefulness of this platform?  Are issues concerning information literacy, the ability to be an information researcher, content management, intellectual property, copyright and copyleft becoming more important for students working in and with the web?  What does it mean to be a web author rather than a web designer? Can we teach critical web design and  informed web authoring? What might sites look like if we were able to combine both of these?

  • About Anna Munster:

Anna Munster is a writer, artist and educator. She teaches at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales. She is a facilitator of the online project 'fibreculture' ( Currently she is completing a book for the University of New England Press on new media aesthetics and bodies - Materializing New Media - due for publication later this year.

Case Study: H20 Project

  • Introduction:

H2O is an innovative open-source platform for education that freely provides syllabi and other scholarly content to teachers and students across the globe, while also linking them in networks, communities and valuable discussions around common or associated resources and academic goals. Although networks and digital technologies can now be found in schoolsand universities around the world, their potential to transform education has not yet been achieved. Current tools -- email, websearches, digital syllabi and message boards -- are useful, but they merely project the stand alone classroom model online. Using H2O, the best of what is in each classroom can be brought to every other: one teacher’s good idea for how to teach a topic can be shared with and built upon by another; a curious searcher can be matched with others exploring the same idea; an interesting discussion among classmates can become a powerful discussion among and across entire classrooms, each approaching the subject from a distinct social perspective. H2O is determined to transform education by developing tools that enable true interaction across classrooms and by providing an online home for their use that connects educators and learners together.

We look forward to soliciting feedback on both our technical changes and organizational plans from participants and leaders of this WebCamTalk 1.0 Series.

H2O Presenter
Molly serves as project coordinator for the Berkman Center’s H2O Project. Her duties include leading the platform’s non-technical uses and applications, fundraising, marketing and resource management. She also participates in high-level technical design and evaluation and researches the evolving relationship of technology and education. Prior to the Berkman Center, Molly worked for IBM in its Strategic Consulting Services division, where she worked with its large corporate clients to build information technology environments that would achieve their business needs and goals. Molly received her B.A. from Harvard University in Engineering Sciences (within the electrical engineering & computer science tract).

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Institutes, Centers, and Departments engaged with New Media Arts Education

The research of the Institute for Distributed Creativity (iDC) focuses on collaboration in media art, technology, and theory with an emphasis on social contexts.


Resources, References 

Reading Lists

Essays, Interviews

Distributed Learning Projects

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Where can I find the transcripts?

Transcripts appear under the introduction of each weekly entry.
Click links there to read transcripts.

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Many new-media educators point to a widespread tension between vocational training and a critical solid education. There is no stable "new-media industry" for which a static skill set would prepare the graduate for his or her professional future in today's post-dotcom era. Some departments follow a techno-deterministic approach that overlooks the fact that "we" should educate artists regardless of which media they use. Between Futurist narratives of progress with all their techno-optimism and the technophobia often encountered in more traditional cultural theorists-- how do we educate students to be equally familiar with technical concepts, theory, and art? How can new-media theory be activated as a wake-up call for students leading to radical sea change? Which educational structure proves more effective-- theme-based groups or media-based departments? Does the current new-media art curriculum allow for play, experiment and failure?

How can we introduce free software into the new-media classroom when businesses still hardly make use of open source or free software? How can we break out of the isolating walls of the university lab? This series will introduce concrete examples of meaningful linkages between media production in the university and cultural institutions as well as technology businesses. Guest speakers will also address ways in which they introduce politics into the new-media lab.

Between flattened sing-along hierarchies and the traditional models of top-down education, speakers will give examples based on their experiences that offer a middle-ground between these extremes. Further questions address anti-intellectualism in the classroom and the high demands on educators in this area in which technology and theory are with little precedence and rapidly change. As a response to the latter question several distributed learning tools will be presented that internationally link up new-media educators to share code, theory, and art in real time.

A book is planned as a result of WebCamTalk 1.0 and the conference in May.

WebCamTalk 1.0 is organized by Trebor Scholz, iDC.
The conference is a collaboration between The Graduate Center at CUNY and the iDC.


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New Media Education and Its Discontents
Conference- Friday, May 6th, 2005
The Graduate Center, CUNY

Call for Participation
(Submission Deadline March 21, 2005)

This conference is organized by the Institute for Distributed Creativity in collaboration with The Graduate Center, CUNY.

The Graduate Center
Elebash Recital Hall
City University of New York
365 Fifth Avenue, New York City

Join us for an intensive one day conference about new media education. Connect with other new media researchers and educators, present and discuss urgent topics in new media education, exchange syllabi or swap resources.The conference will be podcast and live blogged. Bring your USB memory keyand laptop.

Many educators point to a widespread tension between vocational training anda critical solid education. There is no stable "new media industry" forwhich a static skill set would prepare the graduate for his or her professional future in today's post-dotcom era.  Between Futurist narratives of progress with all their techno-optimism and the technophobia often encountered in more traditional narratives-- how do we educate students to be equally familiar with technical concepts, theory, history, and art?

How can new media theory be activated as a wake-up call for students leading to radical change? Which educational structure proves more effective: cross-disciplinary, theme-based research groups or media-based departments? Does the current new media art curriculum allow for play, failure, and experiment? How can we introduce free software into the new media classroom when businesses still hardly make use of open source or free software? How can we break out of the self-contained university lab?

Developed out of the WebCamTalk 1.0 speaker series this conference will introduce concrete examples of meaningful connections between media production in the university and cultural institutions as well as technology businesses. Guest speakers will also address ways in which they introduce politics into the new media lab.

Between imagined flat hierarchies and the traditional models of top-down education, participants will give examples based on their experiences thatoffer a middle-ground between these extremes. Further questions address anti-intellectualism in the classroom and the high demands on educators in this area in which technology and theory have few precedents and changerapidly. In response to this-- several distributed learning tools will be presented that link up new-media educators to share code, theory, and art in real time.

Possible Topics:

  • Vocational training versus solid critical education
  • Creation of meaningful connections between art, theory, technology, history
  • Education of politics, politics in education
  • Shaping core curriculum
  • Educational blogs
  • Distributed learning tools: empowering for the knowledge commons (organizing academic knowledge and connecting new media educators)
  • Intellectual property issues in academia
  • Use of wifi devices to connect people on campus and in the classroom

  • Uses of social software in the classroom (wikis, and weblogs, voice over IP,, IM, and Flickr)
  • Battles over the wireless commons
  • Models for connecting university lab with outside institutions and non-profit organizations.

We are looking for proposals for presentations and demonstrations. Presentations will be limited to 20 minutes. Demonstrations of open source or free software should not exceed 10 minutes. Collaborative presentations are encouraged. Suggest a format for your presentation that would maximize dialogue and exchange.

Please mail submissions for consideration by March 21
to Trebor Scholz:
idc [at]

Send a short summary of your presentation (500 words), a brief biography,name, affiliation, email address. Feel free to include media material with your proposal. Texts presented at the conference will be considered for publication in a planned book.

Please do not hesitate to contact Trebor Scholz at
idc [@] if you have any questions.

Conference Committee:

Stephen Brier (The Graduate Center, CUNY)
Timothy Druckrey (media critic, NYC)
Richard Maxwell (Queens College, CUNY)
Trebor Scholz (Institute for Distributed Creativity, SUNY at Buffalo)

Post-Conference PARTY:

May 6th, 9pm 

The Thing.
459 W. 19th St 
New York, NY

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