Lecture 5: Sensing Presence

This lecture explores how the concepts of presence and mediation have been manifested through interactive media technologies. We examine the parameters of interaction by revisiting the debates around the 1990s when accessible computer technologies presented novel ways of creating interactive experiences and media artworks.

From this basis, we will look at how micro-controller and consumer microelectronics provide the platform for developing what is some times known as “physical computing” –  acknowledging the limitation of computer/ screen-based interaction with non-tangible materials. We will explore practices of Scott Snibbe, Camille Utterback and  Daniel Rozin and how their works may have led to more sophisticated computerised interactions as well as how experiences of everyday encounter can be made complex in the works of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer.

Week 4: Excursion to the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences

Lindsay Kelley’s Ballistic Bundts (detailed)

In week 4, we will go on an excursion to the Powerhouse Museum (Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences) to visit three exhibitions:
Human non human
Spinning World
Common Good

We are collecting an entry fee of $6 in week 3’s class and this entry fee will allow you to visit all the exhibitions and spaces in the museum (apart from the ticketed exhibit Reigning Men).

On Tuesday 14 August, we will meet at the front of the Museum – Harris Street entrance at 11am. Direction to the museum is as follows:

The Powerhouse Museum
500 Harris Street, Ultimo

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Lecture 3: Exploring the Materiality of Sound 

In our third lecture, we move our focus to sound. What is the materiality of sound? How do we describe the different kinds of sound we hear or sense? We begin by revisiting sound’s place in media arts history from the early modernists to the New York avant-garde. The advent of electronic means of producing sound and music can be traced through musique concrete, the compositions of Karlheinz Stockhausen, to the works of Nam June Paik. This lecture highlights the turning points that consolidate sound as an expressive medium.

We will also examine the contemporary practices of Joyce Hinterding in her exploration of capturing the inaudible sound around us, and Peter Flemming in his experimentation with material resonance. Both Nigel Helyer’s and Katie Paterson’s works tell stories of environments through sounds of materials. We will explore the materiality of sound through this exploration.

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Lecture 2: Aesthetics, Affect, and Material Presence

What constitutes experience? How does our sensory perception translate the physicality of the outside world into information that we can make sense of?

In “‘Landscapism’ At the Speed of Light Darkness and Illumination in Motion”, Tim Edensor and Hayden Lorimer explore the embodied experience of darkness and illumination within landscapes. In analysing media art works that situate outside of gallery space, the authors locate “the ways in which this landscape-responsive event can sharpen the thinking about embodied experience of nocturnal landscapes and atmospheres.”

In multi-sensory artworks, artists and participants must negotiate amongst other material aspects, different types of sensory inputs. By denying the often dominant visual sense, artworks have the power to re-assert other senses and sensations.

In this lecture, we explore the established practices of James Turrell and Maya Lin in how they employ a multitude of senses to creative affective experiences. We will also examine the contemporary works of Scenocosme and Foo/Skou in how the use of electronic media is incorporated into art and design works with the aim to producing meaningful interactive experiences.

Download MEDA202_lecture02_slides.

Lecture 1: Devices of Wonder – Interactive Media Arts

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 and  investigate 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.

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Some of you who are interested in investigating these forms further may be interested in this lecture (show and tell) by Toshio Iwai: https://youtu.be/t8cI6GlyKqk