[NetBehaviour] Bit of media history -

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Mon Mar 13 03:49:42 CET 2023

Bit of media history -

1994 Spring Course offered at The New School, NYC:



With public attention drawn to the 'information highway,'
camcorders, multimedia, and a host of other information
technologies, it is apparent that a revolution in communications
is underawy. We will examine this transformation, using
postmodernism and contemporary media theory. In so doing, we
will focus on both past and future, from the history of
television and radio to the 'transparent' virtual reality world
of the next millennium.

This course is a must for anyone interested in contemporary
modes of entertainment or communication. Everything from a brief
non-technical overview of the technologies involved, to the
actual content of these modes, will be presented, including the
new forms of subjectivity and personal communications (such as
computer bulletin boards) that are emerging. Issues of space and
time in virtual reality will also be considered.

Topics include digital vs. analog communications, the internet,
the 'new information order,' gender and communications,
postmodern geography and telecommunications, computer bulletin
boards, camcorder aesthetics (including issues of privacy,
sexuality, oral history, and personal expression), multi-media
at home and business, the emergence of new `languages' of
expression, ELECTRONIC SUBJECTIVITY,and an overview of recent
(1895-the present) communications history.

Reading Materials:

Because of the fast-changing media landscape, texts will be
chosen several weeks before the course. The following list of
references is tentative:

1. Mark Poster, Mode of Information
2. David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity
3. Thomas Docherty, ed. Postmodernism: A Reader
4. Geoffrey Reeves, Communications and the 'Third World'
5. Avital Ronell, The Telephone Book: Technology, Schizophrenia,
         Electric Speech
6. Alan Sondheim, ed. Future Culture issue, Art Papers,
(available as texts before 1995 publication)
7. Alan Sondheim, Internet Text in Perforations 7
8. Donna Haraway, Simians, Cyborgs, and Women
9. Downloaded texts from the Internet, including Jack Frost on
          cyberpoetics, and (with permission), material from
          Postmodern Culture magazine.
10. Magazines include: Mondo 2000, Wired, Perforations, and
Boardwatch and other computer magazines.


== One of the students was, if I remember correctly, the head of
the IEEE. That scared me. The course went off well, I think.
Some of the sources are still very relevant. Some, like Mondo
2000, are almost impossible to find. Perforations was a theory/
art/media publication out of Atlanta. There were an enormous
number of computer magazines. Postmodernism was still a concept
and I think, still relevant, extended into AI, the "carapaces"
of fake news, milbloggers, hackers, and the like. I would love
to teach a different/similar course today. Any takers? :-)  ==


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