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 www.confectious.net.

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: http://www.ambriente.com/

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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.


http://www.geowall.org (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. http://snurb.info/

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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 Turbulence.org, 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 acute.cc, 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 / www.artmuseum.net), 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 (www.usdat.us) 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.
Website: www.zakros.com

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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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