If art has always had a role to play in mediating relationships between human beings, what artistic and social possibilities are emerging with the new media in the mix — from internet art and interactive sound art, to fully immersive virtual realities and AI’s that dream? Do computer technologies and global networks promote the democratization of artistic production, distribution, and reception? Or do they reinforce or even amplify imbalances of power and of access to resources that already exist? Do present-day configurations of art, technology, and media culture allow us to gain empathy for and insight into the experiences of different people and communities? Or do they obscure differences by requiring us to conform to the logics of our tools and techniques? Do computers expand creative possibilities and transform what's possible in art? Or do they, instead, undermine the artist's imagination, originality, and artistry? After all, how do computers change art-making?
In this course, we will explore these questions and others through encounters with a variety of new media artworks and practices, made by people working in a variety of different cultures and social situations. We will use new media as a way to respond to course content — and to make new, propositional works.