MEDA202 Tangible Media uses the embedded framework of media arts history to explore human use of technologies, particularly how artists investigate, understand, and to engage with the world around us through evolving media technologies.
This first lecture introduces the general themes explored in the subject. We look at the how we may approach the aesthetics of interaction by examining technologies as “devices of wonder” that function as a creative tool and medium in the context of art. We explore the fascination humans have with machines andinvestigate wonderment and curiosity as a key to audience engagement and experience. We ask: what do these technological objects do? Why are they full of wonder? How do they continue to capture our attention and imagination?
We begin by surveying some of these technologies and their social and cultural contexts. We then look at more recent artworks that re-interpret these objects in a contemporary context.
In response to the works and themes explored in the first lecture, we will be building vision machines in the first workshop. You will explore the simple mechanics of two optical devices: zoetrope and phenakitscope. You will research the history of these devices, the optical mechanisms by which they operate as well as contemporary works that extend these forms. You will also creating a short animation using motorised devices. These exercises will lead discussion on how we may interact with technological devices, and importantly, what produces meaningful interactions? Continue reading →
The internationally acclaimed Ryoji Ikeda returns to Carriageworks with micro | macro. Developed during a residency at CERN, European Organisation for Nuclear Research in Switzerland, micro | macro is an immersive installation which sits at the intersection of art and quantum physics. Ikeda utilises the Planck Scale (which measures the smallest components of the universe – atoms) as a way to contrast our human scale to the microscopic and unobservable. Ikeda tests the limits of what is observable and knowable in our universe in an attempt to understand it, and make it visible to us all.
“My work is created by reducing sound, light and the world into sine waves, pixels and data… so that the world can be viewed once more at a different resolution.” Ryoji Ikeda
In the final workshop, we will review your major project. Please ensure you bring your work-in-progress to consult with your tutor. You can use the time for production and testing (equipment, set-up, and installation).
Spaces and equipment are in the final stages of being allocated. It is very important for all students who are doing installation works to check their allocated space and equipment. This is your last chance to confirm these details. If you were absent from last week, it is unlikely you would have been allocated space or equipment. Please ensure you contact your tutor immediately.
Final space and equipment allocations will be posted here shortly.
Through this lecture series, we frequently visited the question of medium specificity, namely, what is the materiality of the mediums and media we work with. What are the characteristics of each of these media? What are the textures of these technologies? Throughout this journey, we tease out points and events in history that come together to present a picture of experimental moving image practice. We argue that experimentation is the key to answering these questions and opening up new possibilities.
In this last lecture, we summarise the terrain covered in this subject, and asks, once again: what is the significance of experimental practice today? Specifically, with the power that remains with the moving image? What should screen media be used for? And how should it be used?
[Joana Moll, AZ: The Archive, 2011-4, installed view at ISEA 2016 Cultural R>evolution exhibition]
In this week’s workshop, we will aim to finalise all spatial requirements and allocate everyone a location for showing your works for assessment on Tuesday 14th June.
We will continue with the planning and testing we began in previous weeks: (production work flow, space allocation, equipment need, installation and final presentation). It’s also a chance to discuss with your tutor the progress of your work.
During this week’s workshop, do one or more of the following:
conduct testing relevant to your project (especially, projection works)
In week 11’s workshop, you will be given time to develop your major project. Use this time to discuss your work-in-progress with your tutor by showing them tests, edits, sketches and roughs. Remember: you need to be discussing actual work-in-progress and not just talk about ideas or plans.
Take the opportunity in class to make the work creating rough edits, making a proof-of-concepts/ prototypes or testing the gear using the available space and equipment. Continual material research (working with technical gear and materials) is a key part of project development. This is an iterative process through which the work will develop.
Throughout the lecture series, we examined types of screen media technologies: film, video, digital media, by breaking down them into ‘essential’ elements: light, dark, electronic signals, patterns, pixels and so on as basic units that make these media specific and unique. Experimenting with these elements allow their textures to emerge/ appear.
However, we have also moved away from Clement Greenburg’s argument that “It is by virtue of its medium that each art is unique and strictly itself. To restore the identity of an art the opacity of its medium must be emphasised.”
In this lecture, we continue with the proposition that screen has become an intermedia form. Its historical and contemporary practices harbour the potential to expand and create new possibilities and new cinematic forms. We will do so by exploring old media and new media.
In the final part of our lecture series, we speculate on the future of cinema. This lecture takes this inquiry into the concept of ‘the artist’s cinema’ – exploring the intersection between cinema and art. Based on the premise that wider accessibility of media technologies has enabled an intermedial mode of practice, we argue that screen media has the potential to open up conventional cinematic forms and introduces different possibilities. We will examine the return to the cinematic by looking at ‘the place of artist’s cinema’ in contemporary culture. We ask two pivotal questions: how does the moving image shape our experience of the personal? and what kind of power does the image possess?
In the week 10 workshop, you will present your concept for your major project to class. This will give you an opportunity to present your research and conceptual development. Use this forum to test out your ideas and solicit feedback. In particular, you will want to show the artwork/ practice that you are responding and your research materials. You may also want to bring other support material to show (sketches, diagrams etc) to talk through your ideas. Your presentation should be around 10 to 15 minutes including questions and feedback. Your presentation, while not assessable, will be taken into account in the final assessment of the major project.
Please read the project outline carefully to ensure what is required for the assignment.