Filed under: Media Studies
In doing a masters in media studies I would like to refine my research abilities as well as develop my ideas as they relate to my artistic and professional practices. By the end of the program I hope that I will have been able to learn to think in ways and develop more effective practices that will aid me as a design educator at Parsons and perhaps other academic forums. I also would like my studies here to help influence my artistic development in various projects I have already started and perhaps help me to connect them to wider audiences.
In pursuit of these goals I hope to take a variety of media theory oriented courses which speak to these concerns. I am excited to take the Media studies teaching lab in the spring with Peter. I think a thesis track will be best suited for what I would like to pursue as design and media educator. Since I have an art school background, it seems that I would be able to benefit more from this track then the other, although I am looking forward to updating my skillset and being exposed to current practices in time based media.
As for classes I would like to take, Mashup Culture with Josephine Dorado, Projects in Experimental Media with Vinay Chowdhry, Projects in Motion Design with Diane Mitchell, Web Technologies for Media Projects with Woody Sullender, seem like very relevant and interesting production classes while I’d perhaps like to develop a sense of what is going on in the contemporary world as far as where advertising, media and design come together so Media Industry Perspectives: Digital Media with Kenneth Krushel, Information Technologies with Steven Hammersly and Media, Corporate Responsibility, & the Law with Lynn Oberlander. Seminar classes that I believe would help me Art after Deleuze: From Architecture to New Media with Sam Ishii-Gonzales, Art as Social Practice with Chris Mann, Digital Media Theory with Aras Ozgun, Electronic Media & Live Performance with Brian McCormick, Interactive Media Studies with Douglas Rushkoff, Media and Critical Theory and Media and American Modernity with Jaeho Kang, Media, Culture and Power in International Communication with Lauhona Ganguly, Social Media: Content, Communication and Culture with Robert Berkman, Urban Media Lab: Strangers with Jessica Blaustein.
My choice of classes is influenced by teachers that are both artists and theorists as well as educators with class content being that of how we communicate through art and personal connections in our personal spheres and in our increasingly global world. I am particularly interested in working more with Jaeho Kang, and developing more understanding of how Frankfurt school principals can work in our contemporary media age. I also am very interested in working with Douglas Rushkoff, Sam Ishii-Gonzales.
I plan on taking one to two courses a semester. I am usually teaching 3 courses at Parsons and run my own production company. I may consider adding more courses if my load drops to two or less (as it may, since things vary semester to semester.) Generally though I don’t think I’ll be able to do justice to my academic work and my students taking more then one class per semster, also with the way the faculty tuition credits work the taking one class per semester will minimize the taxable amount and take less out of my paycheck per pay period. Which, the economy being what it is these days and the amount of effort it takes to find and maintain working relationships.
I plan to try and get involved with grad student activities as much as possible like Rough Cuts and the Critical Themes conference. Last fall I went to several of the critical themes meetings and helped read and vote on abstracts for the final conference presenters. It was a good experience and probably the best way I’ve met people so far other then reaching out to people after class and trying to start conversations about class topics. I wasn’t able to participate in the CT planning this semester as I had a course conflict. As for other grad courses through the university there are a few which seem interesting in the Parsons MFA program, especially the summer boot camp program, but I know that the MFA program is structured a lot differently and not sure if it would be feasible to try to crossover with any of the courses. Besides these there are a few in NSSR’s sociology program and poli-sci programs which have been previously cross referenced with media studies (such as the Media Events class with Daniel Dayan) but I am not sure if these courses will be offered again in their previous forms. As for ways to navigate the course which are not currently available, I think maybe if we had more social mixers with more students which are further along in the program it could help newer students get a better feel for what is going to be expected and what courses are offered. This would be helpful, that and the presence of a grad student lounge, but I doubt that will happen any time soon with space at such a precious premium within The New School. I am really excited to be part of this program and look forward to seeing how this path unfolds as I take this journey.
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