Radical Media Fall 12 - Outline

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Syllabus | Resources | Student Work | Production Two Manual | Mediography | Main Page of Mark's Wiki

MCM 1700P - Radical Media (CRN 16843)
Department of Modern Culture and Media, Brown University
Fall 2012


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 : by appointment
Campus Box : 1957
Web Site: http://www.marktribe.net

Course Description

Walter Benjamin wrote that in the age of mechanical reproduction art ceases to be based on ritual and "begins to be based on another practice--politics." What is the relation between art and politics in an age of digital distribution? This course explores the nexus of media production and political action from the films of Sergei Eisenstein to WikiLeaks. Students give research-based presentations and produce media art projects. Readings include Guy Debord, Michel de Certeau, Hakim Bey. Prerequisite: one MCM course.

Meeting Times and Location

Fridays 3-5:50 PM

Unless otherwise indicated, all course meetings take place in the Kooper Studio (N430) at the Granoff Center


  1. Investigate radical media practices and related media theory;
  2. Respond to this exploration by producing media projects that interrogate or extend key concepts and strategies of radical media;
  3. Develop skills of observation, analysis, interpretation, and oral and visual communication through peer critiques and presentations.


  • Select an example of radical media in consultation with the instructor;
  • Make a presentation using Google Docs and add it to the student work page on the wiki.
  • Your presentation should be no more than 20 minutes long and should:
    • Include not only detailed description but also interpretation and critical analysis of the work;
    • Make reference to relevant readings and other course materials.

Production Assignments

Nota BeneAssignments are not considered complete until they have been properly documented on the wiki and linked-to from the student work page and from your personal wiki page. Late assignments will not be accepted without prior permission from the instructor.

Poster, due October 5

  • Design, print, and distribute a radical poster.

Viral Video

  • Make a radical video and post it on YouTube. The video with the most views wins. 

Final Project

  • Make a radical media project that responds to what you've learned in the course. Your project may take any form, and you may collaborate with others.


Student performance will be assessed in three areas:

1.     Quality of production work;

2.     Relevance of production work to the concepts explored in the course;

3.     Participation in discussions and critiques;

Attendance and Punctuality

The highly participatory nature of this course makes attendance particularly important. Plan to attend all course meetings and to arrive on time. 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. Students with multiple unexcused absences and/or frequent lateness risk failing the course.

Syllabus |  Resources | Student Work | Production Two Manual | Mediography | Main Page of Mark's Wiki

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