Topics in Contemporary Arts Practice Research


What possibilities and pitfalls do emergent digital technologies create for live storytelling? How do the affordances of a given digital tool amplify or suppress aspects of a source story? What new insights into famous stories can we generate with digital tools? To engage these questions, this seminar blends traditional humanistic scholarship with critical making and agile development processes. Each week, we will analyze the origins, affordances, and reception spaces of a different emergent digital tool, and imagine how it might illuminate latent aspects of familiar stories. Topics include social media and selfie culture, video games, spatial computing/AR/VR/XR, wearables, big data, AI, and others. Additionally, this seminar utilizes "critical making" as an epistemology, wherein the site of knowledge creation is the process of devising an object, tool, performance, or installation, in conversation with critical literature. Accordingly, final projects will revolve around using a specific digital tool to generate new humanistic insights into a famous story, broadly construed. Importantly, technological skills are not required-students are encouraged to envision gloriously and scope effectively as they design a theoretical, hypothetical, or prototyped research project. As stories permeate every discipline, upper-division undergraduate and graduate students from across campus are welcome, with instructor permission.
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