IDMP F05 Course Outline

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MC0075 Introduction to Digital Media Production
Department of Modern Culture and Media, Brown University
Fall 2005

Course Outline

Instructor Information

Name Mark Tribe
Email Mark_Tribe AT brown DOT edu
Office phone 401 863-7886
Office Location 155 George Street, Room 101
Office Hours Tuesdays 2:00pm - 5:00pm
Campus Box 1957
Web Site

Course Meeting Times and Locations

Mondays 3:00-4:50pm, 135 Thayer Street, Room 102 (Production Two)
Wednesdays 10:00-11:50am, Grad Ctr. Tower E - 121 (Multimedia Lab)
Note First class meets on Wed. Sept. 7 in Production Two


Art, Collaboration, Creativity, Critical, Experimental, History, Interdisciplinary, Media, Technology, Theory

Course description

This course explores digital media as an experimental cultural practice, with an emphasis on critical approaches to art and technology. Experiments in online publishing, including blogging, moblogging, and Podcasting/Javacasting. In the first part of the course (Sept. 7 - Nov. 7), students produce independent digital media production projects. In the second part (Nov. 9 - Dec. 14), students break into three groups to collaborate on final projects. Monday meetings involve seminar-style discussions of readings and other materials and critiques of student work. Wednesday meetings involve tech workshops and production studios (sessions in which we brainstorm, research ideas, and work on projects). The course combines theory and practice toward five primary goals for students: 1) develop an understanding of the history and theory of digital media art; 2) apply this knowledge in digital media production projects; 3) find creative, intelligent solutions to art-making problems; 4) discover effective ways to realize ideas by developing new skills and collaborating with others who have complimentary skills; 5) learn to critique digital media projects through a three-step process of description, analysis, and evaluation.


At least one MC course. MC 23 recommended. Application required and should be obtained for MCM office. Enrollment limited to 12. Written permission required. S/NC.

A Note on Technical Skills

The emphasis in this course is not on technical mastery but on understanding digital media as tools and sites for art making. Some students will come to the course with extensive digital media experience, others with very little. Advanced digital media skills are not necessarily needed in order to make advanced digital media art. Keith Obadike's Blackness for Sale and Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries' work are two examples of successful and influential digital media art projects that required limited skills to produce. Digital technologies are so numerous and complex, and they are changing so quickly, that keeping up can become a sisyphean task. The most important tech skills you can learn are: how to teach yourself what you need to know to realize your ideas; how to find ways to realize your ideas given the skills and resources you reasonably can acquire; and how to partner or collaborate with others who have the skills you need. That said, there is no substitute for learning by doing. We will organize workshops on key skills, teach one another as we learn, and strive throughout to maintain a playful and experimental attitude toward the technologies we use.


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