Lecture 11 New Materialism and Media Art

So far we have been explore media artworks as devices of wonder/ machines, through automation/ movement, and as immersive architectural systems. We have also looked at how the medium of computing provides a way to mediate experiences.

In week 11’s lecture, we will drill down with the question of the material quality of electronic media technologies. In particular, we will re-visit the question of how can one work with the intangibility of digital and electronic media? What kind of experiences can digital/ electronic materials produce? And how do these experiences manifest in the physical world?

We will use the theory of new materialism as departure to examine a range of contemporary media art works in thinking through physical materials are used and mediated.

Download slides: MEDA202_lecture11_slides

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

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)

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.

Week 4 Excursion

Stuart Ringholt, Untitled (Clock), 2014

Stuart Ringholt, Untitled (Clock), 2014 at the MCA collection exhibition

In week 4, you can choose to visit to the Library’s Makerspace on campus as or go on an excursion to the Today, Tomorrow, Yesterday exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. Please respond below which visit you would like to participate in so that we can work out the numbers for each visits.

MCA Excursion

Please meet Jo at the foyer of the Museum of Contemporary Art at 1.30pm.

One of the purposes of this excursion is to physically encounter contemporary art and media works exhibited in an art space. We will look at and discuss these works together. The context will be set by the subject’s first assignment: Research Essay. Please ensure you have read the assessment outline.

Also, This is a Voice is now opened at the Powerhouse Museum. Student general entry fee is $8. You are welcome to visit this exhibition before or after our excursion to the MCA. You will find that there are many different types of interactive exhibits in the museum which may be of interests. Powerhouse Museum is near UTS, a short train train ride from Circular Quay to Central.

Library Makerspace

Please meet Etienne and Travis outside the library on main campus at 2.30pm. The purpose of this visit is to show you the facilities and equipment available to you at the new UOW Makerspace. This will be useful in terms of researching the possibilities of these new tools as well as what skills and knowledge you will require to make use these technologies.

Lecture 3 Electronics and Kinetics

In week 3s lecture, we approach the concept of wonder from a different direction. We put forward the idea that motion is a central captivating force that provides fascination. As humans, our attraction to movement may be instinctual but our attitudes towards different types of motions suggest a more culturally nuanced way of making sense of movements through associated meanings.

This lecture looks at the history and context of capturing movement in art. We examine how movement is used in a range of object-based artworks from the modern period to contemporary times. We focus on the affects of movement and kinetics on audience experience.

Lecture 2 Mediation and Interactivity: Contemporary Media Arts

This lecture explores the concept of mediation through examining a range of contemporary media art works. We examine the parameters of interaction by considering how we participate in interactive media art works and engage in interactive experience. What does this interaction tell us about our relationship with media technologies? And importantly, what does our behaviour tell us about our relationship with the world? How can the different ideas embodied in the act of interaction apply to the production of meaningful experiences? 

Download MEDA202_lecture02_slides (as pdf).

Lecture 01 Devices of Wonder and the History of Interactive Media and Technology

The first lecture introduces the learning objectives of this subject. We look at how we may approach the aesthetics of interaction by interrogating conceptual issues surrounding ‘system, play and interaction’.

The lecture provides an overview of interactive experiences with a focus on how technologies function as a creative tool and medium in the context of art. We examine the fascination humans have with machines. We also investigate wonderment and curiosity as a key to audience engagement and experience.

Specifically, we explore the wonderment of technological objects embodied by ‘devices of wonder’. We ask: What do these technological objects do? Why are they wonder-ful? 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.This lecture establishes the grounds on which you explore the subject’s major project.

Download MEDA202_lecture01_slides (5.1Mb)
Lecture recording is available via ECHO360 centre on Moodle.