IMD 520 Topics in Media Production 2017-12-01T22:55:54+00:00

Here are some of the specific topics course we have offered under this designator.

IMD 520 Conceptual Drawing

During the 1960s and 1970s, when drawing was part of the development of “conceptual art,” artists were interested in drawing as process, as experimentation, the idea as important as the resulting object, almost documentation of the artists’ concepts. Contemporary artists, who likewise have been exploring line as an investigation of ideas, have been practicing drawing with labor-intensive processes, and pushing drawing to new forms and to include other media. Conceptual Drawing explores (through discussion and practice) drawing in the sense of that which is not necessarily drawing from life or for the sake of drawing, but rather drawing to support or explore ideas

[thoughts, opinions, plans, or purposes] and concepts [general ideas derived from specific instances]. The drawing explored might also be process-oriented, performative, experimental, collaborative, use traditional tools and surfaces, untraditional tools and surfaces, and/or incorporate other media such as photography, installation, video, and sound. Work discussed includes that of: Marcel Duchamp, Gyula Kosice, Robert Rauschenberg, Mel Bochner, Piero Manzoni, Fred Sandback, Joseph Beuys, Lygia Clark, Agnes Martin, Hanne Darboven, Trisha Brown, Bruce Nauman, Sol LeWitt, Rebecca Horn, Richard Long, Mark Lombardi, Dan Perjovschi, and Roman Ondák.


IMD 530 Interactive Multimedia Tablet

This class will explore innovative approaches to digital publishing using interactive tablet devices such as the Apple iPad by aggregating, editing and formatting narratives created by students in New Media multimedia documentary courses and other sources.  Students in this class will collaborate with students enrolled in IMD 530 / NMD 430 Physical Hypermedia, who will develop code that implements these approaches.


IMD 520 Creative Networks

Tired of klunky Web sites, constipated messageboards, or lawsuit-laden file sharing networks? Then build your own creative network! This course helps students design new ways to share creativity, focusing on JavaScript as the connective tissue that holds together everything Web 2.0 and beyond.

In recent years JavaScript has become the most practical language in the media landscape, operating behind the scenes in environments as varied as AJaX, Max/MSP, and Photoshop. While such innovations continue to inspire new technical and economic models, the legal departments of mainstream media have done their best to obliterate these new methods for sharing online. As background for their creative work, students in this class will learn more about the legal and social issues surrounding today’s creative networks.

On the creative and technical side, the class will cover the fundamentals of JavaScript along with HTML and Cascading Stylesheets (CSS). That said, students will be encouraged to think beyond conventional Web design. Client-side coding will enable students to scrape Web pages, change the style and structure of third-party sites, to move news and other content “off the page” into mobile and desktop applications, and in general to take control of media that others consume passively.


IMD 540 The Century of the Self

Documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis describes the co-opting of Freudian psychoanalysis by market forces in the 20th century as constructing the “Century of the Self” in his powerful and thought-provoking 2002 documentary series of the same name. This course will examine in detail the ideas and arguments at the heart of this documentary, which attempts to draw together the streams of capitalism, democracy and the media spectacle as a grand collusion in contemporary Western culture. Using this examination as a starting point, students will respond by creating research projects relative to their individual course of study that further extrapolate on Curtis’ thesis in whole or in part. These projects can be in forms ranging from artwork to essay and may deal with a variety of ideas from the semiotics of the hyperreal to techniques of the contemporary documentarian and anything in between.


IMD 530 Rapid Practices — Public Practices

This is a class that will develop collective urban research and intervention strategies via extended techniques of psychogeographic drift. The class will utilize Detroit as both a site and a model. We will spend a week in Detroit undertaking a serious major collective experiment in interventionist practice. The class will consist of 3 video lectures, 3 skype discussions and 3 assignments in advance of meeting in Detroit, one intensive week in Detroit, and individual project and extended work for the remainder of the semester. Students taking this class must be strong collaborators and independent researchers.

IMD 520 Pop Culture/Low-end Aesthetics

The course will integrate the study of popular culture into the creation and examination of intermedia work.  We will investigate a variety of expressions of popular culture and low-end aesthetics within 20th century art, as well as various theoretical and practical approaches to an individualís creative practice in intermedia.  There will be a thorough analysis of the pervasive issues in media production and art making in our contemporary postmodern world, and we will take an interdisciplinary approach to intermedia art making. Varying artistic approaches and delivery systems will be discussed with reference to examples from pop culture including, but not limited to, content from advertisements, television, music videos, movies, literature, music and the internet.


IMD 530  Purpose and Practice without Place

An interdiscilinary course which focuses on writing as a primary artistic practice,

with the on-line experience considered “the” viewing place. (Photography, drawing, sound and video can also be used in tandem with the writing component.) This course asks students to use their writing as a tool for creating work by examining and reflecting upon current events and world conditions. Students will develop their own language and visual documents to amplify life as it is “now” and to look for ways to extend the personal (experience) to the public (world condition) and with a sense of purpose (bridging the two).

Part seminar, part studio, this course highlights the works of Ai Wei Wei. Readings and discussions of other artists and authors will also be woven into the course material. As an extension/reflection of this research, students will create an active, collaborative, on-line presence, which takes into consideration and reflects upon our contemporary cultural climate.

IMD 520 Transforming Spaces: Intermedia Installation

Marcel Duchamp and the Surrealists began using installation as a means to expand the boundaries of art and engage the viewer within a space and practitioners have been pushing this concept ever since. What has this brought us to and what is the potential for it today? Through class discussions and production, this course will explore Intermedial modes of installation that push the traditional and develop student’s research and ideas into presentation of work. We will also look at examples of installation work through readings, media, field trips and in class dialogue on topics that include, but are not limited to immersive spaces, temporality, site specificity, video, sound, interactivity and performative installation to provide background to move forward. This course will involve hands on production and, as with the nature of installation, students will be encouraged to seek out spaces that work best for their projects, however, we will also work together on finding locations. There may be an option for collaboration with the IMD 561 Research Studio II: Projects in Collaborative Production course as it develops for students that are interested.


IMD 520 The Audio Lab: An Evolving Seminar in Composing with Sound

Sound as a material for composing has undergone radical transformation, particularly since the mid-20th century, and so too have the ideas of how it is composed. With the advent of recording and reproduction technologies, Music has been reconfigured and sound is now Art. This seminar is designed as a student-driven forum that can be used to address any and all aspects of composing with sound, including sound art and audio installations, electronic music composition, contemporary and experimental music composition, audio systems technology and design, sound design, or anything else in the realm of creative audio. It is also an opportunity to delve into the current and historical artists and ideas that are influential today.

The Audio Lab is primarily project oriented. Students interested in working with sound can bring projects currently under way, create new projects, or critically investigate the ideas and artists working in the field. Each term will be guided by the critical aims of the individual projects and the collective focus of the group as a whole. The Audio Lab will also actively reach out to the University community at large, and beyond, and try to bring a greater presence and understanding of this very broad-ranging and contemporary art form through performances, art and research projects, student and guest lectures and demonstrations, and a heightened local media presence.


IMD 530 Making Ideas Evident: from Concept to Documentation

Part symposium, part studio, geared toward rapid prototyping for the conceptual artist. When ideas come quickly, we need to respond quickly, holding onto as much of the essence of an idea as possible. This class encourages students to engage in spontaneous forms of research and production, allowing for ideas to move from the idea stage to the production stage in rapid succession. Students will be given a structure for developing ideas and will be required to move through a variety of media within the semester, developing a diverse body of work.


IMD 540 Constructing Reality

This course is an exploration of the contemporary processes by which things are made to appear as real, given a presence, and made to seem believable or truthful. The class will explore how artists, corporations, and governments use processes to make the world in which we exist: how the personal becomes fact, how truth and reality are not necessarily consistent or even relevant and how, what once might have been considered fictitional, can become real.

The Class will use all aspects of media from design, video, audio, social networks, physical objects, promotional materials, and even personal letters to create narratives, to give them meaning and to create a foundation for a sense of reality. Throughout the semester the class will research and make a new product, create new people, find new science, and make them all real. We will look into the psychology of social acceptance, and how it is used in everyday life. Finally, we will explore how to fold fictional ideas into reality using the metrics set forth by the advertising industry. The stories and products produced in class will be fundamental instruments for your future endeavors.


IMD 530 Professional Film Production

The mastery of technical skills and the application of artistic intent are both at the core of video storytelling. We have more access to the tools of video production than ever before, but a high level of technical knowledge (and in many instances, a large team) is required for professional results. This course provides students with the opportunity to work on large scale video projects as part of a trained and driven team. Skill building and hands on application of technique will be an essential part of the learning process for this course. In addition to technical development, the art of film making will be emphasized. Students will screen and discuss historical and contemporary work to improve their understanding of the creative, emotive and cultural processes essential in successful video production. All aspects of film production will be covered, including storytelling, script development, pre-production logistics, shooting, editing, sound recording, score composition and color correction. Students will learn production specific skills with regard to cameras, lighting, and sound and then put those skills to use in the creation of group projects.

IMD 540 Exchanges in the Uncanny

“This is the fact that an uncanny effect often arises when the boundary between

fantasy and reality is blurred, when we are faced with the reality of something

that we have until now considered imaginary, when a symbol takes on the full

function and significance of what it symbolizes, and so forth.”

-Sigmund Freud


This course will explore the idea of the uncanny and the strangely familiar through readings, in class discussions and the viewing of various media of examples of work relating to the concept of the uncanny to provide background of the idea to provide means to move forward with it. In particular we will focus on Freud’s The Uncanny, in combination of other psychological, philosophical and creative representations of the uncanny, including art work, film and writing. It will require students to apply these concepts of the uncanny, and their own interpretation of them, to completed projects that will relate to student’s own Intermedial research and practice


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