MC75 - New Media Art Production, Fall 2006

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MC0075 New Media Art Production
Department of Modern Culture and Media, Brown University
Fall 2006

Syllabus | Resources | Student Work | Texts | Production Two Manual

Instructor Information

Name Mark Tribe
Title Assistant Professor
Department Modern Culture and Media
Email mark_tribe AT brown DOT edu
Office phone 401 863-7886
Office Location 155 George Street, Room 101
Office Hours Tuesdays 2:00pm - 4:00pm, or by appointment
Campus Box 1957
Web Site
Course Meeting Times and Location
Mondays 3:00-5:50pm
Tuesdays 5:00-7:00pm

Unless otherwise indicated, all course meetings take place at 135 Thayer Street, Room 102 (Production Two)

Course description

Explores emerging media technologies (blogs, camera phones, podcasts, social software, video blogs) as tools or platforms for artistic experimentation. Readings in the history and pre-history of New Media art, screenings, and online research inform independent and collaborative art projects. Prerequisites: at least one MC course; MC 23 recommended. Enrollment limited to 12. Written permission required. S/NC.

Course Goals

1. Develop an understanding of the history and theory of new media art.
2. Apply this knowledge in new media production projects.
3. Learn to critique art projects rigorously and constructively by applying the critical method described here.


1. Reinterpretation Project: Use new media to update, remake, or pay homage to a historical art project.
2. Curatorial Project: Curate a Rhizome Member-Curated Exhibition and present it in class. Each exhibition should include 5-7 works and should address one of the following themes:
1. Appropriation: Schuyler
2. Identity: Caitlin
3. Location: Dan
4. Narrative: Sophie
5. Open Source: Sebastian
6. Eavesdropping: Mara
7. Performance: Miya
8. Political Action: Mike
9. Surveillance: Harrison
10. Gaming: Zack
3. Group Project: Collaborate with a group of your peers on a collaborative final project. Groups should have 3-4 members. Projects may use any new media platform or technology and may address any theme, issue, or topic.

Note: assignments are considered complete when they have been documented on the wiki.

Attendance and Punctuality

Attendance and punctuality are simply required. Plan to attend all course meetings. Please contact me in advance if you won't be able to make it to a class due to an unavoidable conflict or medical emergency. Class starts on time, so please make every effort to arrive on time. Students with multiple unexcused absences and/or persistent lateness may not pass the course.


Available at the Brown Bookstore and on reserve at the Rock:

  • Tribe, Mark and Reena Jana. New Media Art. Cologne: Taschen, 2006. ISBN 3822830410
  • Waldrip-Fruin, Noah and Nick Montfort, Eds. The New Media Reader. MIT Press, 2003. ISBN 0262232278


Student performance will be assessed in four areas: 1) participation in class meetings; 2) demonstrated engagement with readings, screenings, art works, and other course material; 3) completion of assignments; 4) attendance and punctuality.

How To Prepare for a Class With Assigned Reading

1. Print the readings if they are distributed online.
2. Underline and/or take notes as you read.
3. Bring a copy of each reading to class and be prepared to quote from each reading during discussion.
4. Bring to class at least one written question or comment on each reading.

Each reading will be assigned to a different student, who will summarize it and then lead a discussion.

Assigned readings are required, and must be completed before class. It is your responsibility to demonstrate during class that you have done the reading and given it some thought.

A Note on Technical Skills

The emphasis in this course is not on technical mastery but on understanding new media technologies as tools and sites for creative cultural practice. Some students will come to the course with advanced new media production skills, others with very limited skills. This is OK! Advanced skills are not necessarily needed in order to make advanced art. Keith Obadike's Blackness for Sale and Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries' work are two examples of successful and influential new media art that required limited technological skill to produce. What makes these projects effective is, among other things, their conceptual deftness, the effectiveness with which they use relatively simple tools, and strength of their artistic voices.

New media technologies are so numerous and complex, and they are changing so quickly, that keeping up can be a sisyphean task. The most important tech skills you can learn are: how to teach yourself what you need to know in order 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 skills you need but don't have and don't want to acquire yourself. 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.

Syllabus | Resources | Student Work | Texts | Production Two Manual

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