For: Research Master Students
Dates: Second Semester (Feb-April)
Organizer: Ginette Verstraete
This course, which is part of the Research Master Visual Arts, Media & Architecture at the Free University Amsterdam, focuses on processes of commercialization and globalization in the areas of art, media and architecture — or what in the mid-20th century the philosophers Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer scathingly referred to as the ‘culture industry’. At the dawn of the 21st century, does the culture industry still present a threat? If so, to what or whom exactly? Or have the so-called cultural industries themselves changed enormously, forcing us to reconsider old concepts, functions and practices in/of art, media, and architecture?
Locating Media, Mediating Place: Between Power and Play.
This year our seminar addresses the entanglements of space, place and media from a variety of perspectives. Starting point is the spatial turn in media studies as this runs parallel to the increasing importance of location-based mobile media in diverse fields of application: in advertising, Google navigation, on-site social networking such as Foursquare, but also in artistic projects, urban games and in the context of social activism. We will ask how to interpret these current media developments in theory and practice as these are situated in the tensions between power and play. We will learn that location-based media practices have a genealogy of their own (involving different kinds of media) and that the academic reflections on them have a long history that can be traced back to 20th-century French thought and (post)Marxist geography.
Along with the increasing mobility of goods, money, and people and the rise of networks through digital (mobile) media – both known as globalization – issues of space and place have been on the agenda in various disciplines and cultural practices. As if the so-called placelessness (the famous “abolition of space”) that comes with globalization has paradoxically called forth a renewed attention to what gets lost. This does not mean that place and space in those discussions and practices simply refer back to rootedness, as opposed to movement. Rather, spatiality often gets redefined in relation to the physical and virtual (also imaginary) mobilities through which it is reshaped. Interestingly, addressing such new questions about space and place in media, art and cultural theory also has far-reaching effects for ourselves since it enables us to take the objects of our research beyond their presumed autonomy – beyond the screen or frame so to speak – and into the streets.
Research Master Students in Visual Arts, Media and Architecture. RMA students from NICA and/or RMeS
A Bachelor’s or one-year-Master’s degree in Art History, Architectural History, Media or Cultural Studies or related disciplines with a grade-point average of 8 or more.
Final grades will be based on participation in class (20%), performance as leader of the discussion (30%), and final essay (50%). Final essays are 5000 words.
Format of the Class:
Seminars of 4 hours consisting of lectures (first half of each class), followed by students’ discussions (second half of the class). Guest lectures may be provided.