Topics in Media Art: Visual Vocabulary
is an NYU undergraduate-level Interactive Media Arts course I teach along with motion designer and illustrator Shira Seri Levi
. Part-theory part-practice, it surveys visuals and texts in different fields. It takes students from ideation to execution with a strong bias toward placing one's work in context. Course Description and Sample Assignments
Once representing well-being in ancient Egypt, the eye now calls to mind surveillance and big tech. How do visual symbols evolve overtime? The coat hanger serves as a reminder of a time when women were compelled to seek out illegal abortions. Is it still effective, despite the reality that pills are used today? Should
symbols reflect reality? How do we choose effective metaphors?
This class combines theory and practice. We will examine the visual lexicon of media – its importance, motifs, constructions, and disparate meanings – and invite students to reimagine (or re-image) social and political issues, given the ethical considerations that surround it. This will provide a deeper understanding of how their work will continue to live on in the world.
Read: Black Papers
Read: How Long Has This Been Going On? Harper's Bazaar, Funny Face, and the Construction of the Modernist Woman
View: Counternarratives, Alexandra Bell
Watch: Reading the Pictures