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An Arts Education is a Media Education

November 23rd, 2009 by Liesl received Comments Off on An Arts Education is a Media Education

Some of my favourite classes in university were:

  • Intermedia: An Art History course on performance/video art, experimental music, and the art scene throughout the 20th Century. I read Kurzweil for the first time and wondered what Socrates would think of mobile devices, given that Plato claimed in Phaedrus that he thought literacy alone would wreck our memories.
  • The History of Early Film: If you’re thinking silent era, that’s what I thought too. But no, the era we covered looked at pre-silent era film (before 1915). As in “man gets hit over head by mongoose.” It’s a little like grainy YouTube before the evolution of shot-countershot. Reading about an infant medium spreading its wings (and taking down institutions in its wake: goodbye magic lanterns!) brings so many ideas to the fore on art in the age of digital reproduction…
  • The History of Communications – Pre-Electronic & Post-Electronic: Why wouldn’t newspapers suffer in an age of web 2.0 community-building when part of their rise was in capitalizing on nationalistic “imagined communities”? The internet renders your audience if not “real” then, at the very least, not quite as imaginary. Also, learning Bell wanted “Ahoy hoy” to be the official telephonic greeting finally made me understand why Mr. Burns uses it to answer his calls (he is awfully old).
  • CyberReligion – Technology, The Internet & Religion: Religious studies course for which we were told to “use the internet as [our] primary text” (well, that and our 400-page reader). More Kurzweil, Baudrillard, McLuhan, it was all about researching the experiential phenomenon of a new medium rising in our midst. From religious ideation similar to when people equated hearing a disembodied voice over the phone to a quasi-religious experience (almost like listening to God himself) to inevitable and gradual mundanification.

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Posted under: Advertising, Career, Mythology, The Arts, Theatre


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