audiovisual experiments

Media 300 | Fall 2019
MDIA-300-F001

Mondays 1 – 3:50 and 4:30 – 7:20 in room D1320/22.
We will spend time in the 1th floor computer lab (D1122) and D1390 as well.

pbussigel@ecuad.ca
office hours by appointment, sign up here.

course website: http://blogs.eciad.ca/mdia-300-f001-2019/ (you are here)
download this syllabus (pdf)

 

Overview

This is a studio course focused on experimental and collective approaches to audiovisual composition and time-based new media. Over the course of the semester we will create fixed video pieces, interactive & real-time audiovisual projects, and experiment with collective approaches to combining sound and light. Readings and examples help to frame our discussion while projects and workshops provide opportunities to experiment with new concepts and techniques. Experience with sound, music, animation, video editing, and/or image processing is expected.

 

Projects

This is an advanced production course and the projects are generally very open-ended, letting you push towards work that you find personally resonant. You will be expected to develop ideas and take initiative in learning techniques to complete your projects. I will be available to work with you if you are stuck, but given the range of possibilities, I will never have all of the answers. Learning from each other is another exciting aspect of an advanced production course.

There are four primary projects over the course of the semester. Read the project descriptions carefully before you start each project so you know what is expected, including when and how it is due. Instead of a final project, there is a durational “practice project” that you work on individually throughout the semester and present at the end. The remaining three projects may be completed individually or in a group of 3 or less. For project details, click on the links below or find them under the “projects” tab above.

1 | Audiovisual Practice
2 | Audiovisual Composition
3 | Audiovisual Environments
4 | Audiovisual Interactions

I encourage you to engage constructively with each project’s constraints and expectations. Interesting discoveries often occur at points of friction, when there is something to contend with or push against. Constraints also provide common reference points during discussion and critique. In general, you should expect to spend around 5 hours a week working on projects (a very fuzzy guideline).

Learning Objectives

  • Navigate a history of audiovisual practices through readings, listenings, screenings, and online media.
  • Make a series of pieces that explore a range of technical and conceptual approaches.
  • Develop your technical understanding of sound & light and the tools used to capture and process them.
  • Take risks. Try new ways of making and new artistic identities.

 

Structure

We meet on Mondays from 1 to 3:50 and from 4:30 to 7:20. Each session half will include a short break. We have three primary classrooms, the Sound Studios (1320/22), a modular critique space with a grid (D1390), and a computer lab (B1122). As part of MDIA Core you will also have access to the WIP lab and other media spaces.

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Weekly Materials

This website will be home for all of our course materials. The dates listed above correspond to our class meetings. Each week there will be a set of materials to engage with before class. Materials might be short readings, links, tutorials, and/or examples (videos, sounds, documentation, etc) and everything will be available through the course website. By Sunday at midnight, add questions, thoughts, and comments for discussion at the bottom of the week’s page. Expect that the weekly materials, including comments, will take between 1-3 hours each week. Engaging with the weekly materials is part of your participation grade.

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Lessons & Workshops

Some weeks, there will be a lesson or workshop. These times are opportunities to explore different ways of working. If you have experience in a particular area, push yourself and try a new angle. If you are having difficulty with something, don’t worry — no one approach is for everyone. Stay focused. Ask lots of questions.

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Assessment

Participation (48 points)

Each week, you receive 4 points for being present, prepared, and engaged, for a total of 4×12=48 points.

Participation includes online engagement and in-class work. If you spend time on the weekly materials, add thoughtful comments and/or questions on the course website, and are an active participant in class discussions and workshops, you will receive 4 points each week. If you really hate talking in class, let me know and work to contribute more to the website discussion.

Texting, talking over people, being disrespectful, demonstrative negativity, and a clear lack of engagement will affect your participation grade.

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Projects (45 points)

There will be four projects that correspond with the different modes of audiovisual work. All projects should include a short reflection describing the idea, techniques, and process for the piece, just one paragraph is fine. Each project page contains detailed information and a rubric. If you have questions about a project or how it will be graded, let me know.

Audiovisual Practice (15 points)
Audiovisual Composition (10 points)
Audiovisual Environment (10 points)
Audiovisual Interactions (10 points)
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Documentation / Reflection (10 Points)

Documentation is a complicated but important part of new media and audiovisual practices. As you work, record notes & media, and use whatever documentation methods seem appropriate to reflect on your process.

At the end of the semester, email your documentation as a pdf with links to other media (if applicable). The final documentation / reflection should include images (if possible) with a brief statement about each of your projects and a general reflection on your current practice and perspectives around new media and sound.

Your documentation pdf should be about 3-5 pages with links or embedded media when useful. Documentation portfolios are due by midnight on December 15th.

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Grading (103 total points)

You can earn a total of 103 points in this course. I will be following the grading scale set by ECU.

Note that all official Emily Carr policies still apply, including the attendance policy which states that “more than three unexcused absences in a class will result in failure of the course.”

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Acknowledgement

I would like to acknowledge that the land on which we gather is the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, Stó:lo and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. It is with gratitude that I am here as a visitor on these traditional territories, where we live and on which our work is based.

I have recently moved to BC from the US and am learning what it means to be a visitor here on unceded territory. I encourage us as a class and as a community to work together to think through what decolonization means and how we are implicated in colonial structures. Sound, Film, New Media, and Audiovisual culture have complicated histories. Technology is sometimes used to control and oppress. It has also been used to amplify and support marginalized voices. Let’s hold this time and space to attend to our implicit bias and the systems of power we live and work within.

 

Accessibility & Learning Environment

I am committed to making course materials and assignments as accessible as possible. If you have particular concerns or needs regarding course materials or assignments, do not hesitate to reach out to me at any point during the semester.

Additionally, being marginalized based on gender, sexuality, race, class, nationality, or religion can negatively impact students’ learning. In order to facilitate the learning of all students, we will not tolerate discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, class, age, ability, or any other form of discrimination against groups or peers. I recognize that we are all learning and will make mistakes. If you make a mistake, please do not get defensive if you are corrected. If I make a mistake, please tell me so that I can address it. We are all learning and discomfort at the gaps in our knowledge and our lack of insight into others’ experiences will at times be part of that. What should not be part of learning is producing, advancing, or tolerating harmful biases, stereotypes, or assumptions about each other.

 

Technology

This course engages with electronic and digital media and while our latest electronic and digital tools provide access to seemingly infinite potential, they can also overwhelm and distract from making meaningful work. Attend to the feedback loops between tools and ideas. Consider the ways in which the techniques you employ affect the work you produce.

Some of us enter with lots of experience with sound and/or technology, and for some of us this is very new. You are welcome to assist your fellow classmates through explanation or demonstration, but first ask if they want your help. Everyone learns differently, try not to make assumptions about your peers.

“Cybernated art is very important, but art for cybernated life is more important, and the latter need not be cybernated.”
~ Nam June Paik

 

Schedule Overview

The official schedule is listed above.

This is a new course. Expect the schedule to shift a bit as we move through the semester. I will not make changes to the upcoming week’s session/page without sending an email to the class. Those changes will be for clarification or to reduce the materials for the week. If I add anything within the week of a session, it will be listed as recommended and will not be required as part of your participation grade.