Fall 2012

Shilina-Conte :: M/W 11-12:50 :: CFA 232
Reg #22999 Grad

This course will guide you through the maze of “pre-” and “post-,” “-isms” and “-ships” in film studies, including the theories of authorship and spectatorship, realism, formalism, cognitive criticism, semiotics, psychoanalysis, post-structuralism, feminism and post-feminist studies, as well as the theory of the senses. The assigned readings will include excerpts and articles by Bazin, Eisenstein, Vertov, Baudry, Metz, Balasz, Gunning, Arnheim, Mulvey, Bordwell, Deleuze, Marks, Sobchack, and Naficy, among others. Following Thomas Elsaesser’s enticing approach and focusing on the role of the spectator in cinema, we will study classical and contemporary film theories through the interaction between Moving Image, Senses, Body and Mind as well as such metaphors of filmic experience as Window and Frame, Door and Screen, Mirror and Face. Watching such films as Persona by Bergman, Onibaba by Shindo, Woman in the Dunes by Tashigahara, Stalker by Tarkovsky, The Scent of Green Papaya by Anh Hung Tran, The Hand by Wong Kar Wai and animations by Jan Svankmajer, we will interpret not only the ways we “see” and “hear” films, but also explore them through our senses of touch, smell and even taste. In addition, we will talk about puzzle films, mind-game films (Elsaesser), and forking path films (Bordwell), embracing Gilles Deleuze’s statement of “the brain as the screen”. As Elsaesser points out, “film and spectator are like parasite and host, each occupying the other and being in turn occupied.” This unique approach of confrontation and conflation with the screen through our mind, body and senses will open for us new modes of knowing and representing the world through film and media.

E. Conrad :: Friday 11:00am – 2:40pm :: CFA 246
Reg#23976 Grad only

This production course explores the expressive potential of soft circuitry and wearable media. We will explore the materials and construction techniques of “soft computing” (conductive fabrics, yarns, etc.) to create expressive objects and interactive fashions. Technologies are not merely exterior aids, but interior changes of consciousness. They affect how we understand ourselves by co-structuring possibilities of thought. The focus of this course will be the interaction and interrelationship between soft technologies and bodies. There are no prerequisites – introductory electronics and sewing techniques will be reviewed. $100 Lab Fee.

Sarlin :: T/TH 11-12:50 :: CFA 232
Reg# 24541

From Hollywood blockbusters to the re-packaging of old films in new formats, practices of re-making have been crucial to the history of moving images since the first cinematic experiments with found footage in the 1920s. This course will focus on processes of revision and reinterpretation as we explore the variety of ways in which repetition can be used to create difference. Beginning with found footage exercises, students will complete three short assignments and a longer final project over the course of the semester. Students will be encouraged to experiment with narrative and non-narrative material. Special attention will be given to the ways in which presenting the same material in different formats provides an opportunity to address different audiences. Students who are interested in re-working previous pieces are encouraged to take this course as we will think about how remaking provides a model for critical practice.
Open to Graduate Students and advanced undergraduates by permission of the instructor.

Pape :: MW 11-12:50 :: CFA 242
Reg #24561

More programming for media art – this time programming and the web. PHP & Python. Databases. User-driven websites. Mashups. Twitter/Flickr/Facebook/Cosm/etc. A production course involving coding a variety of projects; some previous programming experience is expected. Lab fee $100.

Elder :: T/TH 11-12:50 :: CFA 235
Reg# 14778

This course examines popular American documentary films looking at diverse representations of American culture. We explore independent award-winning contemporary works with themes of gender, ethnicity, popular music, sexual orientation, murder, justice, rock stars, racism, disability and history. Particular focus is on the curious relationship between the images of reality and reality itself, and on America’s love affair with reality media. Emphasis is placed on understanding the thin shifting line between fiction and non-fiction and challenging the notion of documentary “truth.” Students develop analytical and interpretive media skills that are applicable to all film and video. Students learn non-fiction critical theory including Nichols, Winston, Ruby, and Renov and analyze artistic elements of non-fiction film and video including visual narrativity, storytelling, spontaneous camera work, editing, audio, and common elements for artistic and commercial success. The class explores different documentary styles including experimental docs, cinema verite, fake docs, diary and reflexive docs, collaborative making and cutting edge contemporary work. We address the ethical and artistic considerations of filming real people and real communities. Works of Wiseman, Pennebaker, Kopple, Maysles, Freidrich, O’Rourke, Riggs, Morris, and more. Attendance is required as well as two papers and a take-home exam. Be prepared to see a lot of great films

Pape :: MW 11:00am – 12:50pm :: CFA 242

This production course will introduce students to the concepts and practice of programming 3D computer graphics and audio using OpenGL and other libraries. The major focus will be on creating interactive art or games experiences by programming both graphics and sound. The course has three goals: to demystify computer code – we get behind the Graphic User Interface to the machine below; to explore the potential of programming – writing our own code means we can create customized computer tools as well as customized visuals; and to teach the fundamentals of graphics programming. Prerequisites are experience in a programming language such as Python, C, C++, or Java (DMS 121, CSE 113/4/5 or equivalent).

Permission of Instructor required. Lab fee $100. Contact: dave.pape@acm.org

Sarlin :: TH 2-5 :: CFA 232
Reg# 24542

How does documentary practice change in relation to different modes of production and formats for exhibition and distribution? This course will examine the history of documentary studies and practice in light of recent challenges posed to the basic assumptions about image production that takes “the real” as its object. Topics will include: the proliferation of documentary forms on the Internet, digital technology’s role in the creation of new forms of witnessing and surveillance, shifts in notions of “the real” and medium specificity, the function of documentary guarantees, and the prevalence of documentary forms in the gallery and museums. New media and documentary theory as well as recent considerations of the cinematic in contemporary art will be central to this course. Course requirements will include a 10-page mid-term paper and a final project or paper.

Rueb :: R 6pm-9pm :: CFA 235

In this course we will strive for a self-reflective, creative
setting that allows for critique and well-informed debate of your
work. We will investigate media art with both, the due euphoria and
the necessary critical perspective. The course will emphasize the
professional presentation of work for each respective genre. We will
focus on framing your artistic vision and your critical discourse,
articulated through writing projects and iterative critique. As
preparatory to your thesis work and your continuing practice in the
field, the course culminates in the second year exhibition.

Shilina-Conte :: M/W 1:00-2:50 p.m. :: 232 CFA
Reg# 24490

The recent exhibition Wish You Were Here at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery provided yet another reminder of the celebrated history of the Department of Media Study at Buffalo, represented by the likes of Paul Sharits, Hollis Frampton, Tony Conrad, and Steina and Woody Vasulka. In this class we will place these and many other names in the colorful tapestry of avant-garde and experimental cinema development. Topics for discussion will range from pure and surrealist cinema, abstract film and absolute film, structural film and flickers, paracinema and cameraless films to haptic imagery, synesthesia and liquid perception. Any education in film and media studies would be incomplete without engaging these essential and provocative fields of artistic inquiry. Works by Hans Richter, Walter Ruttmann, Oskar Fischinger, Germaine Dulac, Dimitri Kirsanoff, Maya Deren, George Landow, Ken Jacobs, Stan Brakhage, Su Friedrich, Peter Greenaway, Jean-Luc Godard, Jan Svankmajer, Bill Viola and Ron Fricke will be considered. This course fulfills the Advanced Analysis, Media and Culture orMedia Study electives.

staff :: M W 6:00 PM – 7:50 PM :: CFA 244
Reg## 22881

New Media I addresses the practice and cultural questions surrounding the production of new media. This course introduces more advanced practices of web design (ActionScript, JQuery, Search Engine Optimization) as well as newly developed content management systems (Joomla). This course compels students to develop a critical framework for discussing the current state of networked culture and require students to actively participate on current social media platforms (including Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and blogs) in order to become more acquainted with the practices, theories, and histories related to new media. Students are expected to engage in and discuss class readings/projects concerning current issues of new media. Lab fee $100.
Not for MFA credit

Shepard :: W 11-2:40 :: CFA 246

MediaRobotics I: Physical Computing is the first in a series of courses that exposes students to concepts and techniques that enable them to begin appreciating, designing, constructing and programming behaving artifacts for complex environments. This course introduces basic concepts and techniques for creating objects, spaces and media that sense and respond to their physical surroundings and the actions and events that transpire there. Moving beyond the interface paradigm of screen, keyboard and mouse, physical computing enables alternate models for interaction with (and through) computers that afford more subtle and complex relations between a range of human and non-human actors. Combining readings, presentations and discussions on the theory of computer enabled art forms with a series of hands-on technical workshops in computing methods and techniques, the course provides a critical context for emerging forms of experimental practice. Topics include fundamental ideas in computing (languages, representation of thought), embodied interaction (situated actions, responsive systems), practical aspects of hardware design (electricity, electronics, microprocessors, components, sensors and actuators), functional programming (variables, datatypes, control structures, functions, objects, communication protocols), and various material fabrication techniques (wood, metal, plastics, elastomers, fabrics). This is an introductory course open to artists, architects, engineers and all other media makers. No prior expertise in computing required. Curiosity about how things work is a must.

Anstey :: T/TH 1-2:50 :: CFA 235
REG# 23972

The goal of this advanced theory course is to provide you with analytical tools and a background in readings to address the history, design, cultures, and theory of games and gaming. Taking games as a broad category describing a variety of design, production, and play practices, we will examine analog games, digital and computer games, as well as other, more experimental forms, through lenses varying from art history to economics to philosophy to computer science. This course will provide a strong foundation for students interested in the history of games, game design for artists, play as activism, and contemporary media cultures.
Students will engage in independent research and develop their own ideas around games and gaming. We will provide you with support – both theoretical and technical – to expand your research, writing, and rhetorical skills. The broad base of topics we will address will guarantee that you will find something that piques your interest.

Tony Conrad :: Wednesday, 6:00 – 8:50 :: CFA 278
By permission of the instructor

This production course will explore the use of video as a vehicle for cultural community development, using social media to outreach with avant-garde or experimental cultural activities. We will test new approaches to documenting performance for the camera – in studio, gallery, seminar, and field locations, where subjects may be speakers, dancers, artists, musicians, poets, performers, or media makers. Material produced in the course will be published via YouTube or other channels. Assignments, some collective among the class, may incorporate performance, and will include production, postproduction, and distribution activities. There will be class meetings using remote communications, in class critical review of assignments, outside assigned events and activities, and a limited amount of auxiliary readings. Since participants will be both in front of and behind the camera, each student must be prepared to sign a blanket model release form. Attendance at the regularly scheduled class meetings is mandatory. Lab fee: $100.

Staff :: T/TH 6-750 :: CFA 244

What does social media look like after the recent world events? How will the advent of Google+ and emerging social media change the landscape of the social web? What comes after social media? How will you use it? What will you create? This class combines analysis of web media in terms of participation and community formation with practical skills needed to shape the future of social media. We will examine social networking sites, blogging, peer-to-peer networks, reputation economies, mobile communication technologies, activism, and surveillance while developing a critical framework for discussing the state of networked culture. We will also gain a practical understanding of New Media through the use and creation of our own social web tools

Anstey :: M/W 11-12:50 CFA 235
REG# 23973

Interactive stories set in immersive 3D virtual worlds are a staple of science fiction. Devices that allow people to inhabit personalized stories and interact with computer characters are described in Neuromancer, Star Trek, and Ray Bradbury’s short story, The Vveldt. In the 1980s and 1990s industry insiders believed that a marriage between video games and Hollywood movies was imminent. Meanwhile, writers were excited by the non-linear and interactive potential of hypertext, but killer interactive fiction has not emerged. This course will examine interactive narrative in theory and practice. We will look at the reasons why interactive fiction is so difficult to create and study. Encourages students to create their own interactive fiction.

Rueb :: Th 1-4:40 :: CFA 244

This production course addresses technical, aesthetic and theoretical issues in locative media and landscape-scale or environmentally themed projects. The title of the course implies that technological, biological, social and information networks are inter-related at the scale of landscape and, therefore should be designed from an ecological perspective. Emphasis will be placed on critical and experimental approaches to designing ”network landscapes“ with a range of media from mobile phone and wireless network media, to geo-spatial information systems (GPS, Google Earth Pro, ArcView, satellite photography, etc.), sound, radio, photography, installation, performance, film and video. Specific instruction in the design of locative media and site-based projects will open onto a broader critical inquiry into the cultural construction and representation of landscape across a variety of media from film, video, photography and sound, to mobile media and geospatial information systems.

Bouquard :: F 12-3:40 :: CFA 278
REG# 23922

This graduate level course explores the media of film, video, and audio through a series of short projects geared toward providing an overview of production methods and establishing a basic proficiency in the ever-changing field of media production. Improvement of technical skills is emphasized and creativity encouraged. Primarily aimed at incoming Media Study MFA students, the course also offers an introduction to the array of equipment and facilities available in the Media Study Department. Students are given specific, hands-on instruction in production, post-production and distribution. A lab fee of $100 is assessed for this course.

Permission of Instructor
A student may enroll for this course after completing course requirements and while working on the thesis project. This course is for non-written projects only. One to six credits of the “project supervision” may be applied toward the MAH degree. Course syllabus form should be prepared prior to semester start and one copy should be on file in the Media Study office. Lab fee: $100. For registration information, see Dean Sanborn in 231 CFA.

Permission of Instructor
See Dean Sanborn in 231 CFA.

Permission of Instructor
A student may enroll for this course after completing course requirements and while working on the thesis project. This course is for non-written projects only. One to six credits of the “project supervision” may be applied toward the MAH degree. Course syllabus form should be prepared prior to semester start and one copy should be on file in the Media Study office. Lab fee: $100. For registration information, see Dean Sanborn in 231 CFA.

Glazier :: T 3-6:40 :: CFA 232
Reg#23924 Grad only

This seminar, with a distinct focus each semester, pursues the simple goal of invigorating your work as a graduate student in concert with individual objectives and goals. It aims to move you forward: stimulate your practice and writing projects and deepen your mindful participation in the field. This course can be considered as both theory and as production, where close reading is considered as creative and as intimate as production, and where writing/making is considered as self-reflective and as thoughtful as close reading. Importantly, receiving meaningful and constructive collective peer input by the seminar on your production projects and on your own writing is a priority. Such suggestions and reflections, as well as the ways of reading undertaken in this seminar, have been highly successful in past semesters.

This seminar will consist of two principle parts — reading and the project.

I. Reading will focus on close reading of crucial texts to media poetics. In a normal semester, we read two texts side-by-side, one that is an indispensible pearl of theoretic-thought-as-language masterpiece, and a second text TBA that is either a foundational work in critical thinking, a work of literary thinking, a milestone in philosophy/science, or a work on emerging media (usually digital literatures) uniquely applicable to the event of the seminar. For Fall, 2012, we will read Vilem Flusser’s Into the Universe of Technical Images (Electronic Mediations). I have yet to decide on the second text; a final decision will depend on consideration of books issued immediately as classes begin and further investigations on my part this summer. (Considerations will possibly include my own, Digital Poetics, a general introduction to digital poeisis, presently under close re-reading due to the present preparation of its Spanish language edition.) My method is to read as closely as if you were writing the course text yourself. Thus, the goal is to both fine-tune reading habits as writing practice, reading in a direct and approachable manner, while discovering ways to freshen the strengths of your own techniques for the writing of your thesis.

II. Project will largely consist of work on your own (creative or critical) with the group as a committed and engaged sounding board, with opportunities for earnest, thoughtful, and supportive input into the development of your ideas. This will include an early semester presentation of your project idea, a mid-semester feedback event, and a final presentation of the stage your project has moved to at the time. The project will not be work on during class time, except on indicated occasional days, and will rely on a system of group commentary and individual self-motivation for successful completion.

Other seminar activities include, when available, guest artists and theorists. I usually try to include such visits to help students connect with major figures in the “real world” of digital media. See their works in progress, provide opportunities to dialog, and open possibilities for emerging future professional relationships. Additionally, as possible, opportunities may exist for graduate student participation in the organization of arts and academic events hosted by the Electronic Poetry Center, such as the forthcoming, E-Poetry International Festival to take place at an international venue in May, 2013.

For Media Study graduate students, this seminar will be undertaken in full cognizance of general discussions by faculty in your First Year Review, and your general goals in the program.

Bohlen :: M/W 3-450 :: CFA 246
Lab REG# 22938
Lecture REG# 17243

The internet is producing data on unprecedented scales while data mining and data visualization methods struggle to manage the increasing data deluge. This seminar will investigate data, underlying numeric representations, numbering systems and numeric protocols in order to better understand how our relationship to numbers and numbering practices is changing in the wake of Big Data. The seminar will include an overview of significant milestones in the development of numbering practices and attempt to show how even numerical procedures can be subject to cultural forces, and how cultural vectors in turn are altered in the wake of new numeric opportunities. The seminar will also include programming exercises that will allow students to experiment with numerical procedures and encourage them to become comfortable with the lingua franca of the 21^st century.

Jackson :: TBA :: TBA
REG# 24055

This is a seminar for people documenting aspects of ordinary life in
visual media. It is not a class for people learning how to use their
hardware; it’s for people who know how to use the hardware and who
are engaging or who are ready to engage the quotidian with it.
Participants will be expected to define a project, to show work in
progress and to talk with other members of the seminar about it and
listen to their responses to it, and to have, at the end of the
semester, a body of work worth showing to other people.

We’ll spend our first meeting discussing what “documentary” is and
is not—why, for example, Susan Meseilas is a documentary
photographer and Jeff Wall, whose large images look perfectly real, is
not. We’ll talk about why Walker Evans, who is generally considered
one of the two or three most important documentary photographers in
the most influential documentary project ever undertaken (the FSA
project headed in the 1930s by Roy Stryker) consistently resisted
having the word “documentary” applied to his work. We’ll talk about
what we take the word to mean or the style to be. At our second
meeting, every participant will describe in some detail the project he
or she will undertake or has already begun. From the third meeting on,
we’ll be looking at and discussing the work. As we go along,
participants will also do a presentation for other members of the
seminar about the work of a documentary artist chosen from a list I
will provide or agreed on by us.
My ideal final session would be one open and public in which everyone
showed something finished and edited or something in progress that is
nonetheless interesting.

Staff *** :: ARR, ARR – ARR

Permission of Instructor
This course permits a student to do independent reading in an area where no course may be given. The instructor will set the guidelines for the course on an individual basis. Course syllabus form should be prepared prior to semester start and one copy should be on file in the Media Study office. For registration info, see Dean Sanborn in 231 CFA.

Contact the Media Study Department for registration.

Staff *** :: ARR, ARR-ARR :: CFA ARR
Contact the department for registration.

Staff *** :: Permission of Instructor :: ARR, ARR – ARR :: CFA ARR
A student may enroll in this course after completing course requirements and while writing the thesis. This course is for the written thesis only. One to six credits of  Thesis Guidance may be applied toward an MAH degree. Permission of the instructor is required. Course syllabus form should be completed before the semester s start, and one copy should be on file with the department. For registration info, see Luann Zak in 231 CFA.