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NOTE: the text within square brackets [like this] is the material which I intended but ultimately (mostly for reason of time) did not inlude into the actual class. 

VIS237 Graduate Studies in Art Spring 1998

Topic: Theories of New Media

Instructor: Dr. Lev Manovich
phone: 822-1012
office hours: Monday 5-6, Visual Arts facility, #553

Course Description
While the serious theoretical work on new media began to appear only within the last decade, it already produced a number of "classic" texts and arguments which are essential knowledge for anybody who wants to enter these debates. This seminar aims to introduce the students to some of the key figures and arguments in this rapidly developing field. The subjects to be discussed are: writing the history of computer culture, interface, digital image, interactivity and simulation, digital cinema, digital space, digital media, virtual body, cybespace, online identity, collective intelligence, practice and criticism of The authors to be read are Paul Virilio, Sadie Plant, Gert Lovink, Pierre Levy, Seiegfried Zielinski, Stone Allucquere Rosanne, Slavoi Zizek, Arthur Kroker and others. The readings from the required books will be supplemented by texts drawn from the leading Web sites for new media theory such as CTHEORY, TELEPOLIS and NETTIME. We will also view a number of videotapes, CD-ROMs and Web sites which represent historical and current work in new media. We will also follow and enter ongoing theoretical debates online. The instructor will introduce the topics and also present a number of lectures on course topics.

Class requirement
1. A research paper between 2,000 and 3,000 words.
2. You are expected to be spending regular time online to familiarise yourself with current critical debates and artistic practice on the Net.

Required books
All books are available at Groundworks bookstore on campus. (Check for cheaper prices).
1. Timothy Druckrey, editor. Electronic Culture: Technology & Visual Representation. New York: Aperture, 1997. ISBN: 0893816787
2. Pierre Levy. Collective Intelligence : Mankind's Emerging World in Cyberspace. New York: Plenum Press, 1997. ISBN: 0306456354
3. Sadie Plant. Zeros + Ones : Digital Women + the New Technoculture. New York: Doubleday, 1997.

Recommended Web sites for new media criticism and theory:

    Journals / Collections:
NETTIME's ZKP colections ZKP4
Proceedings of ISEA (International Symposium on Electronic Art) conferences (some online)

    Ongoing discussion and news:

Other links:
VIS40 Introduction to Computing in the Arts. Winter 1998, UCSD. Instructor: Manovich
VIS40 Introduction to Computing in the Arts. Fall 1998, UCSD. Instructor: Bookchin
Digital Revolution? Bookchin's class at Cal Arts
American Express group

Recommended books (classics and recent):

Turkle, Sherry. Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet.Touchstone Books, 1997. ISBN: 0684833484
Agre, Philip E. Computation and Human Experience (Learning in Doing). Cambridge Univ Pr, 1997.ISBN: 0521386039
Stone, Allucquere Rosanne. The War of Desire and Technology at the Close of the Mechanical Age. MIT Press, 1996. ISBN: 0262691892
Kroker, Arthur (Editor) and Kroker, Marilouise, editors. Digital Delirium. St. Martin's Press, June 1997. ISBN: 0312172370
Murray, Janet H. Hamlet on the Holodeck : The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace. Free Press, 1997. ISBN: 0684827239
Edwards, Paul. The Closed World: Computers and the Politics of Discourse in Cold War America. The MIT Press, 1996.
Hertz, J.C. Joystick Nation. Little, Brown and Company, 1997.
Negroponte, Nicholas. Being Digital. Alfred A. Knopf, 1995.
Benedict, Michael, editor. Cyberspace: First Steps. The MIT Press, 1991.
Eames, Charles. A Computer Perspective: Background to the Computer Age. Harward University Press, 1990.
Johnson. Interface Culture: How New Technology Transforms the Way we Create and Communicate. HarperCollins, 1997.

SYLLABUS (definitely subject to change!):

1. Class introduction.

2. Origins: writing the history of computer culture.
Cultural effects of computerisation.

    [Culture and Computerisation]
   [From the Avant-Garde to Software]

    Hayles, "Virtual Bodies and Flickering Signifiers" (in Druckery)
    Hakim Bay, "The Information War" (in Druckery)
    Bill Nichols, "The Work of Culture in the Age of Cybernetic Systems" (in Druckery)
    Alex Galloway, "What is Digital Studies?" 
    Plant, Zeros + Onces (start).

    look up "cybernetics," "computerisation," "automation," "information theory," "Turing" in Encyclopedia Britannica online
    Heidegger, Martin. "The Age of the World Picture." (In Druckery).

    Episodes of The Machine That Changed the World
    Lynn Hershman, "Discovering Ada."

3. Human-Computer Interface.

    "Cinema as a Cultural Interface"

    Kittler, "There is no Software" (in Druckery)
    Zielinski, "Thinking the Border and the Boundary" (in Druckery)
    Galloway, "New Interfaces, New Softwares, New Networks"
   Plant, Zeros + Onces (continue).

    Bush, "As We May Think." (In Druckery)
    J.C.Licklider, "Man-Computer Symbiosis," in IRE Transactions on Human Factors in Electronics, vol. HFE-1, March, 1960.
    Douglas Engelbart, "A Conceptual Framework for Augmenting Man's Intellect." In Vistas in Information-Handling, vol. 1, 1963.
    Ivan Sutherland, "The Ultimate Display," Proceedings of the IFIP Congress, 1965.
    Laurel, Brenda. Computers as Theatre. Addison-Wesley, 1991.
    Laurel, Breand, ed. The Art of Human-Computer Interface. Addison-Wesley, 1990.

  a documentary on MIT Media Lab
    Tamas Walitzky, computer films 1992-1997
  ART+COM, "The Invisible Shape of Things to Come"
    BlindRom CD-ROM, 1993 (Web site)

(May 4) 4. What is new media?
Digital Image

  "Cinema and Digital Media."
  Bellour, "The Double Helix" (in Druckery).    
  Plant, Zeros + Onces (continue).
    William J. Mitchell, "Intention and Artifice" (ch. 3 of The Reconfigured Eye)
    William J. Mitchell, "How To do Things with Pictures" (ch. 9 of The Reconfgured Eye)
    Manovich, "The Paradoxes of Digital Photography"
    Tomas, "From the Photograph to Postphotographic Practice" (in Druckery)
    Robins, "The Virtual Unconscious in Postphotography" (in Druckery)
    Veltman, "Eletronic Media: the Rebirth of Perspective and the Fragementation of Illusion" (in Druckery)
   Manovich, "The Automation of Sight: From Photography to Computer Vision" (in Druckery)
    William Mitchell. The Reconfigured Eye: Visual Truth in the Post-Photographic Era. The MIT Press, 1992.
    Nicholas Negroponte. Being Digital. Alfred A. Knopf, 1995.
    Photography After Photography, edited by v. Amelunxen, Stefan Iglhaut, Florian Rötzer. Münhen: Verlag der Kunst, 1995.

  David Blair (USA). "WaxWeb." 1994 --
  [aerial surveillance]
  [computer vision and AI[

(May 11) 5. Interactivity, Virtuality, Immersion, Simulation
    "Archeology of a Computer Screen."

disscussion of Plant, Zeros + Onces

  Weibel, "The World as Interface" (in Druckery)  
  Graham Weinbren, "In the Ocean of Streams of Story"  
  Soke Dinkla, "The History of the Interface in Interactive Art" (In ISEA94)
    Alexei Shulgin, Art, Power and Communication
    Manovich, On Totalitarian Interactivity
    Flusser, "Digital Apparition" (in Druckery)
  Comolli, "Machines of the Visible" (in Druckery)
  Huhtamo, Erkki. "Encapsulated Bodies in Motion: Simulators and the Quest for Total Immersion," in Simon Penny, editor, Critical Issues in
        Electronic Media, SUNY Press, 1995.
  Jean Baudrillard. Simulations. Semiotext(e), 1983.
     Hypermedia & Interactive Theory Links
   [Piere Levy on actuality vs. virtuality in Ars Electronica '95 procedings *** ]
  [Huhtamo on archeology of interactivity ***]

    documentary on SAGE
    Sutherland's Sketchapad, 1962
    Sutherland's VR system, 1968
    Flight simulators
    Douglas Trumpball - motion rides
    Char Davies, "Osmose" documentation
    Agnes Hegedus, "Handsight," documentation of the intallation
    Computer games: Petz [or Creatures], Warcraft II [or Dungeon Keeper], Journeyman 3, [Quake 2, Raven]

(May 18) 6. Digital Cinema and Media Archeology. 

    "What is Digital Cinema?"
    "Potemkin's Villages, Cinema and Telepresence."

    Huhtamo, "From Kaleidoscomaniac to Cybernerd" (in Druckery).
    Cameron, Andy. "Dissimulations: Illusions of Interactivity"
    Telepolis, special issue on Digital Film (1997): Weinbren and Bolter

    Levy, Collective Intelligence (start).

       Huhtamo, Phantasmagoria: Pre-cinema to Virtuality (museum exhibition)
       Telepolis, special issue on Digital Film (1997): Sobchack, Oki, interview with Greenway, Klein
      Millennium Film Journal no. 26, special issue on Interactivities (Spring  95)
       McLuhan, Understanding Media.
       Kittler, Discourse Networks, 1800-1900
       Freedberg, Window Shopping: Cinema and the Post-Modern.

    images for "What is Digital Cinema" paper
    [1920s avant-grade films]
    ["Film before Film"]
    Computer Games / CD-ROMs: Myst [Raven], Voyer, [Blade Runner], Bad Day on the Midway, The Dark Eye, Jean-Louis Boissier's Flora petrinsularis (1993, published on Artinact I CD-ROM)

(May 25) 7. Digital Space.

    "The Aesthetics of Virtual Spaces."
    "Distance and Aura"
Readings: (look at crutch and other projects)
  Paul Virilio, "Speed and Information: Cyberspace Alarm!" in CTHEORY
    Marcos Novak, "TransTerraFirma: After Territory"
    Marcos Novak, "Transmitting Architecture: The Transphysical City"
     David Blair, "Metavirtue and Subreality" (in Druckery)
    Norman Klein, "Special Effects Environments: from the Renaissance to
the Present" and "The Monitor and the Labyrinth" 

Levy, Collective Intelligence (continue).


    "Cyberway, God and Television: Interview with Paul Virilio" (in Druckery)
    Florian Rotzer, "Between Nodes and Data Packets" (in Druckery)
    Margaret Morse, Virtualities : Television, Media Art, and Cyberculture. 1998.
    links at Marcos Novak's site

    Jeffrew Shaw, "Modalities of Interactivity and Virtuality," recording of a lecture  
    Chrstian Moller, "Intelligent Architecture" (PAL)

[dropped for the lack of time] 8. New Langauge for New Media: Database and Multimedia Essay.

The Art of the Database: Introduction to New Media through Dziga Vertov.
Jump over Proust.
Levy, Collective Intelligence (continue).
Marker, "The Last Bolshevik"
Farocki, "Images of the World and the Inscription of War"
Vertov, "A Man with a Movie Camera"

(June 1) 9. Cyberspace: identity and the collective. Politics of the Net.

    "Detour to the East."

discussion of Levy's Collective Intelligence.

- Identity:
    Turkle, Sherry. "Construction and Reconstruction of the Self in Virtual Reality" (in Druckery)
    Zizek, Slavoj. "From Virtual Reality to the Virtualization of Reality" (in Druckery) 
    Lovink, Geert. "The Data Dandy and Sovereign Media" (in ISEA94)
    Stone, Sandy. Will the Real Body Please Stand Up? (1991)
- Politics:
      Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron, The Californian Ideology  (1994)
    Louis Rossetto (Editor & Publisher of Wired), Response
    Arthur Kroker and Michael A. Weinstein's The Theory of the Virtual Class (1994)
    David Garcia and Geert Lovink, The ABC of Tactical Media (1997)


(Dropped for the lack of time) 10.  Practice and criticism of

        "Reading Media Art"

    [Kroeckers (from CTHEORY) ]
    [netttime statements]
   [key statements on net art ]
   [history of the net ]