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<nettime> A Current Student Profile
Ger J Z Zielinski on Sun, 28 Nov 1999 02:00:44 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> A Current Student Profile

Autumnal Greetings, Nettimers!

A few weekends ago at the Toronto Goethe Institut I participated on an
exciting panel bravely titled "Tranformative Aspects of New Media" as part
of a special exhibition of video art, websites, and CD-ROM works by artists
from Germany and Canada, organized by the Institut's Doina Popescu.
Co-panelists were German installation/video artist Bjoern Melhus and
Canadian video artist Lisa Steele, with electronic media art curator Nina
Czegledy as the moderator.  I being the sole academic type on the panel was
asked politely to set things in motion, so I began by reading from the
following list below.  It attempts to characterize the most recent  wave of
undergraduate students, and in so doing makes reference to a fascinating
array of facts, some dryly technological, others political....  How
tellingly situated!  Bonne lecture!

1. They do not remember Trudeau, the bombings and kidnappings in Quebec in
the 1970s, the Montreal Olympics, or the Calgary Winter Olympics.
2. They do not remember the Reagan era, and they do not know he was ever shot.
3. They have known only one Pope.
4. They were 11 when the Soviet Union broke apart, and they do not remember
the Cold War (references to the Iron Curtain and CCCP are unfamiliar to
5. They have never feared nuclear war and they only have known one Germany.
6. They are too young to remember the Challenger space shuttle disaster or
Tienammen Square.
7. They have never had a polio shot, but their lifetime has always included
8. They have never played PacMan and have never heard of Pong.
9. They have never seen a live telecast of a human walking on the moon.
10. They are unimpressed by the special effects in the original Star Wars
11. The compact disc was introduced when they were two years old.
12. Their world has always included answering machines, cable television,
VCRs, ATMs, and microwave ovens.
13. They never took a swim and thought about Jaws, or took a shower and
thought about Psycho.
14. They were born the year after the Walkman was introduced by Sony.
15. They have never seen a black-and-white TV, cannot imagine having only
13 channels, nor can they imagine life with a remote control.

(UTS Newsletter, University of Manitoba,  September, 1999.  "This profile
was compiled from a variety of sources, and was distributed via listserv
last year by the Professional and Organizational Development Network in
Higher Education (POD)).)

Besides being somewhat shocked and sobered by all these facts read at once,
one fact seemed to be missing, namely  that

16.  They are also the first wave of the Internet/WWWeb generation.


Ger J. Z. Zielinski,
B.Sc., M.A., M.F.A., (D.A.A.D. Stip.)
Assistant Professor of Film and New Media

t: 416.979.5000 x7587              School of Image Arts
f: 416.979.5139                    Ryerson Polytechnic University
o: R253B, 122 Bond Street          350 Victoria Street
u: http://imagearts.ryerson.ca     Toronto, ON CANADA M5B 2K3

Our knowledge will take its revenge on us. -- Friedrich Nietzsche

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