Practice of Art 23AC, 001 - Spring 2011
Source of these courses is UCBerkeley
Foundations of American Cyber-Culture. Here is the description. How do new media reinforce pre-existing social hierarchies and also offer possibilities for the transcendence of those very categories? Our course offers students an opportunity to think critically about, and engage in creative experiments in, the complex interactions between new media and perceptions and performances of embodiment, agency, citizenship, collective action, individual identity, time and spatiality. We pay particular attention to the categories of personhood that make up the UC Berkeley American Cultures requirements of race and ethnicity, as well as to gender, nationality, and disability.
New media—media which are defined through programs and structures rather than content—can be yet another means for dividing and disenfranchising and can be the conduit of violence and transnational dominance.
At the same time, new media have already begun to offer exciting creative, subversive, informational and organizational forms that liberate in beautiful and unexpected ways. We aim to explore both these strands as well as the surprising links between them.
Taught by a practitioner of creative media exploration and critical technical practice, the course capitalizes on the rapid deployment potential of new media, especially online media. Rapid deployment of new media content allows students to engage in mediated self-representation. Studying their peer's mediated performances as well as source texts, students analyze their own experiences as both content providers and consumers. Social networks emerging from these mediated performances serve as proving grounds for theories of mind and machine, embodiment, multiplicity of personal and collective identities, morphing among stereotypes, hybridization, privacy issues, and finally the digital divide.
We contextualize these media experiments with weekly assignments that address non-mediated, direct, concrete human experiences. These direct experiences connect the perceived fluidity of online identities with the troubling interactions between technology, race, and gender and allow students to investigate their own ethical and political multiplicity.