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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