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  • New Genres: Media Practice
    Instructor: Justin Hoffman

    Class Description

    New Genres: Media Practice will focus on video screenings, readings, field trips, visiting artist presentations, and discussions as a way to examine this era of video production. Through critical frameworks, contemporary ideologies, and various modes of production and distribution, we will look at how current media practices complicate the idea of accessibility, narrative, authorship, identity, and aesthetics. Most important, as media makers and media readers, we will define the shape of contemporary media and examine how it reflects today’s cultural landscape.

    Goals and Objectives

    Through A focus on contemporary Media Practice, students will have an opportunity for exposure and interaction with the work of current media artists, while learning how their practice connects to a larger media history. Guest presentations, Video Pieces, and literature written by the artists will be the launching point for larger themes and ides in current media practice.


    Twelve 1-2 page reaction papers to the readings. In addition to your thoughts and review of the readings in your paper, there should also be an area for questions that the reading has brought up for you and points you have found interesting, contrite, argumentative, inspiring, etc.

    *Students may miss no more than two classes during the semester without a note from the doctor. More than two missed classes will result in a non-passing grade. Coming late will also reduce the student’s grade in the class by a third or a letter grade each missed class.

    *Weekly presentations from discussion groups. After we have viewed each session, the class will break into smaller groups and share their take on the readings and how these readings relate to the material we have just viewed in class. After the smaller group discussion, each group will present on a connection between the readings and viewings. All members must be active in the smaller group discussions.

    *Completion of 4-5 page mid-term (Due in class, no exceptions, on TBA) paper and 4-5 page final paper (Due in class, no exceptions, on TBA). In each of these papers, students will draw on 2 or 3 of the presentations and screened materials and investigate how these various artist’s practices can be scene in dialogue, oppositional, or tangential to each other or cultural currents.

    Response Papers 40%
    Attendance and participation 30%
    Mid Term Paper 15%
    Final Paper 15%

    Visiting Artists and Screenings

    Some of the material in this class may be challenging to taste, common sense, and aesthetics. The material and screening is never selected in order to offend, instead it is selected on its artistic and intellectual merits. Liking all material screened isn’t necessary, but it is necessary to be open to all material presented in this class.

    Class 1, 1/24

    Powerpoint Link

    No Readings Due

    Class 2, 1/31

    Readings Due:

    Manny Farber, “White Elephant Art Versus Termite Art”, Negative Space. (New York: De Capo Press, 1998.) Pp 134-144

    Follow Link Here for Pdf. of article

    Follow Link Here for Zip of article

    *response paper due

    Class 3, 2/7

    In class Exercise: Stop Motion Appropriation

    Students will bring found objects, cut outs, and other materials to class for a Lab where the class will break off into groups and create short stop motion animations. Animations created through a video camera technique, will aim to present the items brought to class in a new light provoking the principles of Appropriation, Abstraction, or Personal Narratives. The entire project is created through the usage of the camera, with a final copy presented to the class, in the form of a DV tape.

    Class 4, 2/14

    Readings Due:

    Deidre Boyle, “Subject to Change: Guerilla Television Revised” Art Journal: Video the Reflexive Medium (No. Fall 1985).

    Class 5, 2/21

    Visiting Artist: Brian Bress

    Reading Due:

    Robert Bresson, Notes on the Cinematographer, (Quartet Books, London, 1986). Pp. 84-99. Sophie Calle, Exquisite Pain. (Thames and Hudson: New York, 2003). Pp. 12-27 & 270-275.

    *response paper due

    Class 6, 2/28

    Off-site or Visiting Presentation: Mark Allen and Machine Project (Los Angeles).

    Reading Due:

    Trebor Scholz, “The Participatory Challenge” Curating Immateriality. (Autonomedia:New York, 2006).

    *response paper due

    Class 7, 3/6

    In Class Exercise: Sodering Sound Curcuits. Thanks to Machine Project, we will create little soldering boards in class that emit sound and can be used as musical instruments.

    Class 8, 3/13

    Visiting Artist: Black Maria Film Festival

    Reading Due: (In-Class Film Festival, Readings, TBA)

    *response paper due/Midterm Paper Due

    Spring Break

    Class 9, 3/27

    In Class Exercise: Class will break off into groups to create monologues similar to that of Artists represented in class. In class we will illustrate the processes of story boarding a script, misé en scene, and lighting decisions. The class will break off into groups to create their monologues.

    Class 10, 4/3

    Ryan Trecatin — I Be- Area, 2007
    A Family Finds Entertainment, 2004
    Jack Smith, Flaming Creatures, 1963
    Paul McCarthy

    Reading Due:

    Holland Cotter, “Video Art Things Big: That’s Showbiz'” New York Times, (January 6, 2008).

    Class 11, 4/10

    Visiting Artist: Anne Bray will discuss Freewaves and the class will view the documentary for her current project at LAX.

    In Class Exercise: The class will discuss ideas and propose projects for the creation of art in a public space. Anne and myself will present current projects available within the City of Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. Students will focus on ideas exhibited in public, and we will discuss the scope and considerations inherent in such projects.

    Class 12, 4/17


    Kamau Patton
    Sara Takahasi

    Reading Due:
    Bill Nichols, “Embodied Knowledge and the Politics of Location: An Evocation”, Blurred Boundaries, (Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 1994) pp 1-17.

    *response paper due

    Class 13, 4/24

    Visiting Artist: Dana Maiden will present her elaborate collage works made out of photo paper.

    In Class Exercise: Students will come to class with printed out pictures in color, black and white, or appropriated materials from magazines and will break off into groups in order to create sculptural objects by the collage of these materials.

    Reading Due: Please visit for understanding of her current work and the work that we will attempting to create in the class lab, please come with images and ideas to generate for class.

    Class 14, 5/1

    Offsite or Video Compilation Viewable for Class (Depending on Class Transportation Availability): Hadrian Belove and the Silent Movie Theatre (Los Angeles)

    Reading Due:

    Andy Klein, “Reviving the Revival House”, L.A. City Beat, (11.29.07)

    Class 15, 5/7

    End of the Semester Screening — Final Papers Due