IMA Number: IMA 702.00 | 3 credits

Course Type: Analytical

Professor: Dylan Gauthier

This class meets THURS, 3:10PM- 6PM in HN 502

Full Course Description:

Course Description:

The term Emerging Media has been used to describe many themes, processes, trends and media and cultural developments that have arisen in our society over the past hundred-odd years. This course will introduce – and ask students to analyze and discuss – the central themes and debates in emerging media studies by looking at the key components of computer and/or digital culture (interactivity, cybernetics, hypertexts, memes, viral video, networks, databases) and placing them within a historical context in order to unpack and explain how these developments continue to construct the world around us. A particular stress will be placed on unpacking underrepresented and avant-garde histories of media/art, drawing on global traditions and on diverse communities here in the U.S.

In studying Emerging Media, we will rely heavily on examples of new forms of expression in art, literature and general culture as well as computer science by revisiting key digital artworks and new media artifacts since the turn of the last century. By nature of the term emergence, this is a volatile field of study. The course itself will be reactive and predictive – with student’s assistance we will continue to orient the course around the new, the cutting-edge, the groundbreaking, and the experimental in media studies.  Additional contemporary texts and current examples will be brought in over the course of the semester to supplement canonical readings. We will look at examples including such recent techno-social forms as memes, glitch art, online anonymity, data, surfing clubs, drones, electronic surveillance, affect, multitasking, trolls, the “robotic moment,” cyber libertarianism, etc., with an eye toward understanding these forms so that we can better approach and potentially harness (or challenge) them within our own artistic and media-based practices. Students are highly encouraged to make use of resources in the city around them, to visit, study and report back on new media art or innovative technologies they may find in what is in many ways still the capital of emerging media arts.


Students will come away from this course with a broader understanding of major themes and discussions in the field of emerging media studies. Students will gain knowledge of seminal “new media art” and artists and develop an appreciation for the way that technological developments, culture and society influence one another. This is an analytical course, and students will be provided with opportunities to develop critical thinking, close reading, research and note taking as well as critical writing skills.

Assignment/Course Structure:
Each week we’ll analyze relevant historic and recent works drawing on a range of practices in art, media, performance, and design, parallel with assigned readings. Students will be expected to present readings twice in the semester (and are encouraged to research and share works relevant to their reading), and to write a midterm art/culture review and a final paper.

Permissions: Cleared after advisement