Media Literacy 2010
From David Darts Wiki
Welcome to Media Literacy and Contemporary Art 2010. In this course, students will experiment with a variety of free and open source software and social media technologies and will be asked to assess them in relation to the creation, teaching and learning of art. Students will be challenged to critically and creatively analyze the roles that technology and digital media play within our contemporary society and will be encouraged to explore the implications of these roles for schooling.
Throughout the term, we will examine the related concepts of freedom, social practice, and DIY (or more precisely, Do-It-Ourselves). We'll get our hands dirty (figuratively at least) by playing with the tools, platforms, and processes of contemporary media and culture. Along the way, we'll skillshare, theorize, and even make stuff.
The class will be governed by one overarching principle inspired by the sage words of Bill and Ted: "Be excellent to each other."
A special emphasis will be placed on openness, collaboration, and sharing. Course technologies will be measured against the Maker's Bill of Rights (If you can't open it, you don't own it).
Throughout, we will attempt to establish a balance between Burning Man’s creed of radical self-reliance and BarCamp’s philosophy of openness and participation. This means that students will be expected to share information and skills and assume responsibility for their own and each other's learning. Students should first utilize the vast resources of the Internet before seeking additional support from others. Failure to do so may result in a Let Me Google That For You response. Ultimately, this course is intended to serve as a laboratory for creative experimentation, artistic exploration and critical reflection.
- David Darts
- Office: 3rd Floor Barney building
- Office Hours: Mondays & Thursdays 3:30–4:30 pm
- Note: Appointments can be made by emailing darts[at]nyu[dot]edu
Class Google Group
- Little Brother (2008) by Cory Doctorow (can be purchased here or downloaded for free here).
- Electronic Readings (.pdf) To be provided by the instructor (see Class Schedule below)
- Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age (2010) by Clay Shirky (can be purchased here)
- Program or Be Programmed (2010) by Douglas Rushkoff (can be purchased here)
- DIY Media (2010) by Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel (can be purchased here)
- Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology (2009) by Allan Collins and Richard Halverson (can be purchased here)
- Students should have a wifi-enabled laptop.
Classes will be held in the Digital Studio (Rm. 401) of NYU Steinhardt's Barney building.
Please note the class schedule and syllabus are subject to change. Students should check this site regularly for updates and modifications.
- Introductions to course, instructor and students.
- Special Assignment: Planning Session
- Homework: Read Peer Production and Sharing (Benkler) (Chapter 3) (pdf) and Free Software, Free Society (Stallman with intro by Lawrence Lessig) (pp. I – 32) (pdf). Identify one or more key passages from each reading and post a 2-3 paragraph response (before Saturday 9.18 @11:59pm) to: mediamind [at] googlegroups [dot] com. Respond to at least one class member's response(s) before Sunday 9.19 @11:59pm).
- Special Assignment: Plan and undertake a Park(ing) Day installation 10:30am-1:00pm
- Debrief Park(ing) Day assignment
- Inflatables - intro and planning session
- Homework: Install OpenOffice.org on your laptop and follow the instructions in this document (Note: you will need to open it using OpenOffice).
- Homework: Read Eric Raymond's The Cathedral & the Bazaar. More info about the essay here
- Homework: Memorize everyone's name
- Inflatables workshop
- Homework: Follow the instructions in this document (Note: you will need to open it using OpenOffice).
- Homework: Read Henry Jenkins' White Paper: Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century (pdf). Select two concepts that you feel are significant to you as an art educator and post a response before Saturday @11:59pm. Respond to at least one class member's response(s) before Sunday @11:59pm.
- NOTE: No class!
- Homework: Download GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) and follow the instructions in this document
- Homework: Watch Larry Lessig's talk from the 2007 TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conference on laws that strangle creativity. Note: Lessig is a professor of law at Harvard and also the founder of The Creative Commons.
- Homework: Attend the Conflux festival (Oct 8-10) and identify at least two important themes that run through the events you attended. What did you learn from the artists & projects that may inform your future work as an art educator? Post a 2-3 paragraph response before Sunday @11:59pm.
- NOTE: No class!
- Homework: View RiP: A Remix Manifesto
- Homework: Read the following sections from Remix by Lawrence Lessig (pdf).
- Homework: Read John Tehranian's Infringement Nation (pdf)
- Homework: Select one or more concepts discussed in the readings and/of film that you feel is significant to you as an artist and/or educator and post a response before Saturday @11:59pm. Respond to at least one class member's response(s) before Sunday @11:59pm.
- Due: Skillshare Proposals
- Lecture & Discussion: Free Open Source Software and Commons-based Peer Production.
- Homework: Read Chapters 1-8 (pp. 1-132) of Doctorow's Little Brother. Pull out one idea or theme from the reading and post a brief comment by Sunday at 11:59pm on how this idea or theme might inform/impact your curriculum & pedagogical practices as an art educator.
- Discussion: Little Brother
- Skillshare 1: Wordpress 101 (more info)
- Note: Bring your laptop
- Homework: Read Chapters 9-16 (pp. 133-266) of Doctorow's Little Brother.
- Homework: Download and install Audacity and SWITCH audio converter.
- Intro to Arduino and the Wave Shield Kit (for playing audio) Check out these DIY instructions for more info.
- Skillshare 2: Audio Collage - see this Google Doc for more info
- Note: Bring your laptop (and headphones)
- Homework: Read Chapters 17-Afterword (pp. 267-380) of Doctorow's Little Brother. Post a response outlining one or more key lessons you've learned from the book and how this will impact your future actions as an artist, teacher, etc.
- Skillshare 3: Video capture and manipulation
- Homework: Install the following free and open source software (designed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation): Tor and HTTPS Everywhere.
- Homework: Post a message to our Mediamind group by 11:59pm on Sunday (11.14) reflecting upon the issues of privacy, surveillance, censorship, and control (in relationship to schools, artists and society). Please also comment on your experiences using this software.
- Skillshare 4: Victorian Optical Toys
- Skillshare 5: Digital Photography and DIY Publishing
- Homework: Next week we will start the class with a quick introduction to the Ubuntu Live CD. Please download a copy (Ubuntu Desktop Edition 10.10 32-bit) and burn the .iso file to a CD. NOTE: Be sure to follow these instructions for burning Live CDs (select your Operating System and click the "Show me how" button" under heading 2).
- Skillshare 6: Stenciling and Screen Printing
- Note: Bring your laptop to class.
- Homework: Visit the New Museum's exhibit: Free
- Skillshare 7: Claymation and Stop-point animation
- Homework: TBA
- Skillshare 8: Book binding and DIY Publishing
40% (October 25 - December 13) Working in teams of 3, students will design and facilitate 2-hour skillsharing workshops on a topic inspired by the course ethos (openness, collaboration, and sharing) and connected to the course themes (freedom, social practice, and DIY). Team members will be responsible for all aspects of planning & instruction.
A. Practical Considerations
- Sign up: Please sign up for a skillshare on this Google site.
- Duration: Skillshare workshops should last a total of 2 hours. Team members are responsible for arriving early to set up and also staying at the end of class to ensure the studio is clean.
- Materials & Equipment: Skillshare teams are reponsible for all materials, supplies, and equipment required for the workshop. If participants require laptops for the workshop, they should be notified well in advance. If your skillshare requires software, you are strongly encouraged to use free and open source software (FOSS). This will ensure that all members of the group (regardless of computer type or operating system) will be able to participate. Open Source Mac and Open Source Windows are two great FOSS resources.
- Safety: Participant safety is of paramount importance. Please plan accordingly.
B. Specific Criteria
Skillshares should include the following elements:
- The Hook: Workshop facilitators should provide a compelling introduction to the topic that captures participants' attention and provides a basic overview of the topic and workshop agenda.
- Foundations: Workshop participants should be introduced to key skills and bodies of knowledge related to the skillshare topic. Hands on activities or exercises are strongly encouraged.
- Resources: Participants should be provided with a comprehensive listing (electronic) of links and resources that will support and extend the ideas and skills covered in the workshop. This listing should also include contemporary artists and projects directly connected to the skillshare topic.
2. Weekly Readings, Homework Assignments, Class Projects, and Personal Engagement
60% (Due: TBA) Throughout the semester, students will be required to complete exercises, projects, and homework assignments related to the course themes. Students will also be asked to critique and respond in writing to the readings and class activities. These reflections and critiques should be both critical and constructive — they will form part of the basis of our weekly discussions in class. Students will often be required to submit them to the class Google group for feedback and critique.
Students are expected to regularly attend class and actively engage in ALL discussions, exercises, and activities. The course carries a heavy reading load and students are expected to complete all of the weekly readings before the beginning of each class.
You will be evaluated based on successful completion of all course assignments and activities. The work you complete for this class should represent graduate quality scholarship and art making. It will be evaluated based on its intellectual rigor, originality, artistry, and craftsmanship. Final grades will be awarded according to the NYU Department of Art and Art Professions guidelines.
- A 95 to 100
- A- 90 to 94
- B+ 85 to 89
- B 80 to 84
- B- 79 to 75
- C+ 70 to 74
- C 69 to 65
- C- 60 to 64
- D 59 and below
Any student attending NYU who needs an accommodation due to a chronic, psychological, visual, mobility and/or learning disability, or is Deaf or Hard of Hearing should register with the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities at 212 998-4980, 240 Greene Street.
All students are responsible for understanding and complying with the NYU Steinhardt Statement on Academic Integrity. A copy is available here.
University Policy on Student Conduct
The relationship between students and faculty is the keystone of the educational experience at New York University. This relationship takes an honor code for granted. Mutual trust, respect and responsibility are foundational requirements. Thus, how you learn is as important as what you learn. A University graduate school education aims not only to produce high quality scholars, but to also cultivate honorable citizens. For specific details about the NYU University Policy on Student Conduct please download and refer to the NYU guide on student conduct.