Research-oriented project course on Postdigital Strategies [in Art and Design]
Mondays, 2:30pm-7pm, Start 9 April
The starting point for this project course is the postdigital observation that algorithms and data have already permeated society. Our relationship to the social and material world is increasingly mediated by digital representations, while the complexities of their technological constitution have become invisible. Against this backdrop, contemporary art and design practices engage with digital methods and call for a critical reflection of digitization processes. Facing the rise of artificial intelligence, automatization and algorithmic decision-making, there is a growing need to devise strategies, techniques and theories which address the challenges and contradictions of the postdigital condition.
Conceptualized as a practical, yet research-oriented design course, the class starts with an introduction to digital and interactive art and design practices. Along theoretical texts, together we will try to define the 'postdigital' itself, as well as the role of digital culture within our contemporary society. We will learn about relevant techniques and fields to the subject such as virtual reality and 360° video, creative coding, non-linear and sensor driven storytelling, physical computing, machine learning and AI. On different examples we will take a closer look on their implementation and acquire our own practical skills through project assignments.
In this process we will discuss questions like How we can evoke emotions through the use of technology in order to engage the audience?, How we can substantiate our message, the core of a story, a specific feeling, through the use of sensors?, Is it possible to experience unique perspectives on social issues through virtual reality? What are the strengths and weaknesses of such new technologies?
We will talk about immersive experiences and installations, the power of participation and how tech should never be the driver of a project.
The seminar is structured into input sessions and academic readings at the beginning of the semester, an overview of the common tools for production, and three assignments of different length and intensity. First alone and later in teams, the assignments are carried out with increasing scope and ambition throughout the semester. In class, we will jointly discuss the results and give feedback on technological, conceptual, and aesthetic aspects of the assignments.
The class will be taught in English. All communication during the seminars as well as literature and auxiliary materials will be in English.