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Archived Course: Urban Media Archaeology

Graduate studio elective

Today‚Äôs city is layered with screens of all shapes and sizes and stitched¬†together with a web of wireless networks, but woven into these modern media spaces are¬†other, older urban media networks and infrastructures ‚Äď many of which have laid the¬†foundation for our newer media. This project-based course is dedicated to excavating and¬†mapping ‚Äď both theoretically and practically ‚Äď the layers of mediation that have shaped¬†urban forms and informed urban experiences through several key epochs in¬†communication history, from the oral culture of ancient Athens to the television age. Each¬†student, alone or in pairs, will conduct an urban media excavation ‚Äď exploring, for¬†example, how pneumatic tubes facilitated the delivery of mail in late-19th century New¬†York, how the rise of the film industry shaped early 20th-century Los Angeles, or how¬†television cables served as the nervous system of new mid-20th-century suburbs. Rather¬†than presenting this work as atomized individual projects, however, everyone will plot their¬†sites and networks, and post relevant archival media, to a collaboratively designed¬†interactive media map. Part of the class will be¬†devoted to designing the platform by analyzing which presentation format is best suited for¬†effectively displaying these layers of urban mediation and exploring the synergies¬†between individual students‚Äô projects. The class will lay historical and theoretical¬†groundwork for examining media and the urban environment, and also introduce students¬†to the fields of media archaeology and the digital humanities.¬† While students will¬†participate in the creation of interactive media maps, this hybrid course will have a strong¬†theory component.

Fall 2013: Syllabus | Course Website | Recap of Semester + Student Projects

Fall 2012: Syllabus | Course Website | Recap of Semester + Student Projects

Fall 2011: Syllabus | Course Website | Recap of Semester + Student Projects

Fall 2010: Syllabus | Student-Designed Syllabus for Final Eight Weeks | Course Website | Recap of Semester + Student Projects