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<nettime> sondheim-o-gram x2 re: Perhaps a way of teaching media
Alan Sondheim on Sun, 16 Dec 2007 21:46:27 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> sondheim-o-gram x2 re: Perhaps a way of teaching media


               [digested  {AT}  nettime -- mod (tb)]

~Subject: Re: <nettime> Perhaps a way of teaching media
     From: Alan Sondheim <sondheim {AT} panix.com>

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Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2007 11:54:13 -0500 (EST)
From: Alan Sondheim <sondheim {AT} panix.com>
Subject: Re: nettime-l Digest, Vol 3, Issue 12

> Message: 1
> Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2007 09:34:02 -0600
> From: Lismore <villageoflonging {AT} gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: <nettime> Perhaps a way of teaching media
> To: nettime-l {AT} kein.org
> Message-ID: <mailman.6.1197716405.95967.nettime-l {AT} kein.org>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>
> To foster the potential of impressionable gray matter, such as my own and my
> "peers," around the pastiche of popular culture is not disengaging from its
> hypnosis. The promise of distributed knowledge only goes as far as the
> classroom walls, thus feeding the informatics of domination, repopulating
> the vectors of knowledge. Learning peer to peer, instructor to student, is
> not an expanded knowledge base. Instead it is incestuous, insular, and
> perpetuates the formation of margins.

This isn't true, but then you don't know the histories of the students 
after they leave, do you? I don't know where the "pastiche of popular 
culture"comes into play since that's not what happens either. The idea of 
peer to peer is incestuous is insulting to students who, at least where 
I've taught (and this isn't just Brown) have done a lot in the community; 
they're hardly involved in "perpetuating the formation of margins." But 
then again you wouldn't know, although apparently you want to pass 
judgement.

> In other words, Brown is a product (although it is not the only one), in
> which its goods are a heightened fear of failure, bombardment of confusion
> (displacing many American graduates in a type of labor-less mire of office
> work and information mongering), and reinforcement of academic superiority
> over members of the middle and lower-class. A product, indeed, one that we
> strive for; one of legitimation; one that bolsters the small sense of pride
> that we have left; one that I wish i could contain.

This is just ridiculous; I've taught the same at NSCAD and a host of other 
schools where the population has primarily been working-class. As far as 
"goods are a heightened fear of failure," again you have no idea about the 
students I work with. Askevold taught at NSCAD, Lutz at the Tasmanian 
School of Art; both had economically poor populations. The students I had 
at ACA were hardly wealthy.

And in film/video/media, legitimation comes from the work, not from the 
school, which is why it's necessary to stress working and showing outside 
the school, any school.

> Self-referentiality. Noise. Pity-parties. An Unconvincing hypothesis. Over
> generalizations. Defensiveness. Buzz-words. Nonsense. Other ragingly
> hypocritical critiques.

Insulting.

> With more respect than you know.

None. Your reply itself is hegemonic, judging people you don't know from on
high with a bit too many cant words.

"These sentiments of tutelage are still comprised of hegemonic" ... etc.
"Tugelage"? Whose?

> L][X4

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Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2007 12:13:04 -0500 (EST)
From: Alan Sondheim <sondheim {AT} panix.com>
Subject: Re: nettime-l Digest, Vol 3, Issue 12

I agree so much with the below - there are always financial issues, espec- 
ially with filmmaking (video is fairly cheap - most schools have camcor- 
ders and FCP at the least), even painting, sculpture. Some places (Brown 
among them) have grants for students who can't afford materials; most 
don't, I think. One thing I've emphasized is available technology and 
collaboration - you can do a whole lot with very little (most of the 
equipment I use is second-hand etc. etc.). Collaboration can mean ordering 
stuff in bulk as well. But the problem remains - when I was teaching at 
UCLA I saw students in the motion picture / tv department spending huge 
amounts of money for the final projects, really going into debt.

In relation to what you say below and the other reply, I think what 
carries things is the atmosphere in the studio or classroom. You can't get 
rid of authority - it's there, and you're paid by and for it of course - 
but most places grades etc. can be set aside. This works in practice, just 
as Summerhill worked in practice (at least to some extent).

Learning tools seems a disaster-street - What's the answer? If you can use 
available tech there's no problem, but if you're going into "the/an indus- 
try" you have to keep up - if you don't know the latest CS keyboard short- 
cuts, you're going to be cut out yourself. Even faculty I know (elsewhere) 
have had breakdowns over constantly re-inventing themselves and their 
knowledge (for example Maya) in order to keep up. And people I know 
working in the entertainment industries can't afford to take a break - 
they'll return outdated. So that pressure is there. Luckily, that wasn't 
the case at Brown and often isn't the case at art schools or some other 
universities that create more open environments.

The football coach thing is a disaster; some of the state schools I'm 
familiar with pay their coaches in the millions and the physical plant 
costs a great deal more. I keep hearing sports bring money into schools as 
a whole, but what I've seen is real poverty in the arts and so-called 
liberal arts - on top of that the whole sports culture holds the school 
hostage. At one place, football players were getting away with beating up 
other students - it was part of the culture.

I like your year breakdown!

By the way in relation to the language here - at least in my initial post 
- yes, it's formal, but no, it's not the language of control. I've found 
myself always walking uneasy lines between students and university author- 
ity, not always succeeding. Administrations increasingly expect "results" 
and - at least in one case I'm more than familiar with - art/media/etc. 
departments to pay for themselves, which again veers the whole atmosphere 
towards corporate/production.

- Alan

> From: Julian Bleecker <julian {AT} techkwondo.com>
> Subject: Re: <nettime> Perhaps a way of teaching media
>
> Regarding this nuggets of teaching practice for new media, I whole-
 <...>

=======================================================================
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Webpage directory http://www.alansondheim.org . Email: sondheim {AT} panix.com.
http://clc.as.wvu.edu:8080/clc/Members/sondheim for theory; also check WVU
Zwiki, Google for recent. Write for info on books, cds, performance, dvds,
etc. =============================================================

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