Students taking this as an option can choose the full 30 CAT module, or - with a minimum of 5 week's attendance - take it as a 15 CAT option.
This module looks at the intersection of theories of communication, perception and organization for a re-thinking of the concept of interactivity in the context of digital mediation – from photography to sound, from generative architecture to open source and viral networks. The module brings together philosophical, scientific, and aesthetic concepts to develop a trans-disciplinary discussion and approach to analyse the impact of software machines on modes of interactivity. This trans-disciplinary view implies a new engagement with software media focussed not exclusively on the analysis of new media within the context of dominant and classical critical approaches to media. The module rather poses an emphasis on the trans-disciplinary process of formation and production of key concepts in the field of software media insofar as such emerging field demands a novel design of thoughts.
The module draws on the transformations of media theories - from semiotic (Barthes) to postsemiotics (Pierce), from psychoanalysis (Lacan, Zizek) to schizoanalysis (Guattari), from radical media theories (from McLuhan to tactical media) to new media theories (F.A. Kittler, P. Weibel, L. Manovich, M. Hansen, P. Levy, V. Flusser). These theories are studied according to recent approaches developed in critical thought through the works of Deleuze and Guattari, Foucault, Serres, Stiegler, Badiou, Grosz, Irigaray, Stengers, Massumi, Negri and in conjunction with mathematical theories of information and computing (Shannon and Weaver, Wiener, Turing, Von Neumann, Chaitin), biological theories of self-organization and nonlinear evolution (Maturana, Varela, Bateson, Margulis and Sagan), physical theories of chaos and complexity (Prigogine, Thom).
The first part of the module will focus on the concept of interactivity by looking at the software nature of interactive media from the standpoint of cybernetics, information theory, autopoietic self-organization, nonlinear evolution to develop an ecological or machinic approach for a philosophical, aesthetic and technoscientific study of digital media. The second part of the module will examine digital aesthetics (from photography to virtual reality, digital games and sound) by discussing the difference between information and sensation, the virtual and the actual, movement and affect, visual and acoustic space, the analogical and the digital, the continual and the discrete. The third part of the module will look at media ecologies in terms of network environments as a way to examine generative architectures, peer 2 peer, free-scale and open source networks from the standpoint of algorithmic calculation, rhizomatic organizations, memetic culture and collective socialities. The module will discuss the philosophical, technoscientific and aesthetic dimensions of new media ecologies by analysing interactive artworks, online and off line installations, and digital artefacts as examples for discussion.
A-L Barabási, Linked: The New Science of Networks
H Bergson, Matter and Memory
G Deleuze and F Guattari A Thousand Plateaus. Capitalism & Schizophrenia
T Druckrey with A Electronica (eds), Ars Electronica: Facing the Future
F Guattari, “Machinic Heterogeneities”, in Reading Digital Culture, D Trend (ed)
V Flusser, “On the Theory of Communication”, Writings
M Fuller (ed) Software Studies
F Kittler, Literature, Media, Information Systems: Essays
P Levy, Becoming Virtual: Reality in the Digital Age
M McLuhan, Understanding Media, the Extensions of Man
R H. Maturana and J F. Varela, The Tree of Knowledge: the Biological Roots of Human Understanding
B Massumi, Parables for the Virtual. Movement, Affect, Sensation
Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort (eds), The New Media Reader
Lev Manovich, The Language of New Media.
I Prigogine, The End of Certainty. Time, Chaos, and the New Laws of Nature
M Serres, Hermes, Literature, Science, Philosophy
_____, The Parasite
C E Shannon. and W Weaver, The Mathematical Theory of Communication
Baruch Spinoza, The Ethics
N Wiener, The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society
Weibel Peter and Bruno Latour, Iconoclash.Beyond the Image Wars, in Science, Religion and Art.