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Media Arts in Australia

Unit code: HAM415

Credit points12.5 Credit Points
Duration1 Semester
Contact hours3 Hours per Week
CampusHawthorn
PrerequisitesNil
CorequisitesNil

Related course(s)

 
NB: HAM415 will not be available from 2008 onwards. Plese refer to HAM434 Media Arts which now replaces HAM415.
 

Aims and objectives

This unit of study presents a comprehensive overview of the development of media arts in Australia. Students will be introduced to a variety of media arts forms, from animation and interactive narrative, to immersive, virtual environments and Net art. Representing the work of established and emerging Australian media artists, the unit seeks to generate informed discussion about the very idea of a media arts culture – where it fits in relation to existing practices and modes of exhibition, aesthetic values of appreciation and reception, as well as its development out of a longer history of experimentation in the arts. In this context, the unit encourages critical examination of the impact of digital technologies on existing media arts practices, as well as discussion of the ways in which media artists explore the social and cultural implications of living in the digital age.

Central to this theme are the following objectives:

  • Active engagement of students with a broad range of media arts works.
  • Familiarity with critical writings on media arts and the prominent debates in the field.
  • Understanding of the place of media arts in contemporary society.
  • Attention to the issues involved in creating a media arts audience.

Teaching methods

Lectures and Tutorials

Assessment

Major essay (2500 words) or Project 60%, Media arts review (1000 words) 40%

Generic skills outcomes

  • Active engagement of students with a broad range of media arts works.
  • Familiarity with critical writings on media arts and the prominent debates in the field.
  • Understanding of the place of media arts in contemporary society.
  • Attention to the issues involved in creating a media arts audience.

Content

The curriculum will address the following themes:

  • Media arts have become the most public and accessible form of inquiry into the interface between society, culture and technology.
  • The impact of digital technologies, in particular, has been profound and media artists are at the forefront of this inquiry in both their use of new media and their aesthetic exploration of its effects as subject matter.
  • How, though, do we make sense of these practices and in what contexts do we get access to the work of media artists?
  • How do media arts fit in the context of the traditional museum and gallery?
  • What critical languages have been developed to describe and evaluate media arts?
  • And what, anyway, makes media art?


Some of the artists that will be studied during this unit include: Troy Innocent, Justine Cooper, VNS Matrix, Ian Haig, Martine Corompt, Stelarc and Garth Paine. Students will also undertake site visits to media arts organisations like the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Centre for Contemporary Photography and Experimedia at the State Library of Victoria.

Reading materials

Dixon, R, Other Spaces: The Marketing, Distribution and Exhibition of Interactive Art, Australian Film Commission, Sydney, 1997.
Manovich, L, The Language of New Media, Cambridge, MIT Press, MA, 2001.
Murphie, A & Potts, J, Culture & Technology, Houndmills, Palgrave, 2002.
Tofts, D, Parallax: Essays on Art, Culture and Technology, Interface, Sydney, 1999.
Zurbrugg, N, Electronic arts in Australia, Continuum, 1994..