Workshop 11: Testing

 Christian Boltanski, Shadows from the Lesson of Darkness, 1987 Installation, Sculpture, 12 oxidized copper figures, candles

Christian Boltanski, Shadows from the Lesson of Darkness, 1987 | Installation, Sculpture, 12 oxidized copper figures, candles

It was exciting to see the working prototypes, and to hear the myriad of different approaches to the project’s brief in week 10’s presentation. It was encouraging to see how most technical challenges were confronted (and embraced!).

In this and the following 2 weeks, we will be focusing on the completion of your projects for final assessment in exam week 1 (week 15). Workshop times will be devoted to project development and extensive testing. We will also plan for the final presentation of the works. Please bring your projects and components to work on in class. Any suggestions on technical exercises, demo, and support in this period are welcome (please give your suggestions to your tutor).

You may also want to spend time to review artworks and theories that contextualise your project to develop your artist statements.

Continue reading

Week 11: How we organise ourselves

What Media Art does? Alva Noë argues that art shows up the way we organise ourselves.

Your media art project piece asks questions (your research question) about stuff you notice. Your work may show up the way we live our lives, how we use technologies, how we relate to each other, how we organise ourselves.

There are many ways to do this and a question may take different forms. For example, this may be a documentary, a short film, an installation, a photo series, an interactive experience.

Your work asks a question – it is not to solve a world’s problem – it simply draws our attention to that problem. Continue reading

Lecture 9 System and Transformation

Week 9’s lecture explores the possibility of media arts in creating systems that are capable of inspiring transformation. We survey a number of contemporary artists and designers in how they captivate audience interests through complex mediation of knowledge and experience.

We examine how the thoughtful use of space, technologies and materials in constructing systems, enable artists and designers to produce wonderful / wondrous experiences that engage us and transform our view of the world.

Download lecture slides: MEDA202_lecture09_notes

This is a Voice

The current exhibition This is a Voice at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, is a Wellcome Collection exhibition produced in collaboration with the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.

This unique exhibition investigates voice, sound, aural creation, perception and experience through objects, museum collections, and contemporary media artworks.

MEDA202 and MEDA302 students are particularly recommended to visit the exhibition to inform their research and project works.

More information can be found here.

Lecture 8 Architecture and Immersion

This week’s lecture shifts our focus to how we experience space. When we walk around a new building, we explore the interior spaces with our senses, we may chance upon entrances and exits, we may be guided by passages and corridors, we experience built spaces intuitively.  Architecture is movement in space and passage through time and there are no still moments. Inhabiting within architecture is a designed experience – it can be immersive.

What can we learn from architecture that can be transposed to creating meaningful and affective experiences using media technologies? In interactive online medium, how do we provide users with confidence  whilst navigating these intangible spaces. How do we engage an audience intuitively in an installation work?

Download lecture slides: MEDA202_lecture08_slides_upload (2.3MB)

Week 6 Iterative Practice and Critical Reflection

'Drawing for Arrow of Time (Unfinished Life)' - Tatsuo Miyajima

‘Drawing for Arrow of Time (Unfinished Life)’ – Tatsuo Miyajima

In week two we discussed the difference and relationship between art and craft. I argued that craft can be used as both a tool for suspending agency  – for giving over to process – and that experimental  practice can animate and extend the disciplinary and cultural limits that define a particular craft. We might also acknowledge that while art seems to require craft, craft doesn’t seem seem to require art.

Another way of positioning this fact of craft not needing art might be to suggest that an interesting media arts practice extends beyond craft, uses it mercilessly, but always in the service of moving things forward and differently – craft often serves art but rarely does the inverse apply.

Today we will hinge off this difference and relationship to explore what makes an interesting media arts practice and project.

Continue reading

Workshop 6: Rube Goldberg Machine 2/ Materials

No class has ever built a Rube-Goldberg Machine that runs from the beginning to end without stopping once. MEDA202 2017 class will be challenging for this title. We will launch our machine this year at 5.00 pm EST (UTC+10) on Tuesday 29 August.

“if ever a challenger wins…. he or she will gain the people’s ovation and fame forever.”

As well, there will also be awards for groups that built a section that:

  • takes the longest time to complete
  • provides the best visual spectacle
  • provides the best auditory spectacle
  • traverses the most vertical distance
  • has the most functional parts

Continue reading

Lecture 6 Cabinet and Collection

Fold-out engraving from Ferrante Imperato's Dell'Historia Naturale (Naples 1599), the earliest illustration of a natural history cabinet

Fold-out engraving from Ferrante Imperato’s Dell’Historia Naturale (Naples 1599), the earliest illustration of a natural history cabinet

In last lecture, we looked at how everyday objects can be used as an artistic medium, exploring the use of ‘ready-mades’ in modern art beginning with Marcel Duchamp, and in the contemporary period in the work of Jeff Koon. We also looked at how everyday objects also function symbolically in the works of Andy Warhol and how they are monumentalised in Damien Hirst’s works. Specifically, we examined how Sarah Sze and Ian Burns both use objects as the base materials of their works, albeit differently.

In this lecture, we keep our focus on objects, but instead of looking at objects as a class of things, we will examine found or collected objects specifically. We explore objects in collections: the wunderkammer, contemporary museums, and in artworks – how the display and presentation of material objects can shape the audience experience.We focus on the works of Joseph Cornell, Mark Dion, and Fiona Hall in interpreting the wunderkammer concept.

This lecture provides the relevant contexts for the major project of the subject – in addressing the theme of the ‘nature of curiosity’.

Lecture 5 The Way Things Go

Sarah Sze’s Triple Point (Planetarium) at The Bronx Museum of the Arts, 2014

This lecture focuses on how we can create interactive experiences using physical objects. We are physical beings inhabiting a physical world, our interactions are physical. So we ask: can everyday objects be considered as a medium? How do the material qualities of these objects offer sites of interaction?

We explore the role of objects in art by looking at a range of art practices and artworks including the use of ‘ready-mades’ by Marcel Duchamp, Jeff Koon’s incorporation of mass-produced products into his later works, the monumentalisation of everyday objects in the works of Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst. We also focus on how everyday items provide the basis for Sarah Sze’s installation, and the machines of Ian Burns. 

Download MEDA202_lecture05_slides as pdf.

Workshop 5: Rube Goldberg Machine 1

In weeks 5 and 6, we focus on the material quality of physical objects by building a Rube-Goldberg Machine (RGM). MEDA202’s tutorial classes will divide into 10 groups of 4 students, each create a component of the machine (in a chain reaction). The first group  will determine how the machine gets started. The last group will decide the function of machine.

Continue reading