Topics and Perspectives in Emerging Media

Professor Wortzel



Each week you are required to

(a) Read and respond to the readings in the forum – 300 words
(b) FROM Week 3 on – Journal of research and development towards your final project.
(c) Post and otherwise execute any other assignments.

FORUM ASSIGNMENTS: It is everyone’s job to read the articles and respond to them; it is the lead responder’s job to read them and cull out questions of interest to him/her, or the main points, with commentary on them in order to lead the discussion. Others may introduce other points in addition, no holds barred but should respond to the points brought up by the lead responder.

NOTE: When you respond to questions put forward by the Lead Responder, your response must include discussion of the readings and references to them to highlight, support, or elucidate your responses. Puzzlement is fine; omitting the readings is not.

Week 1

Wednesday, January 30
Course Overview. Goals and Activities

Lecture and Discussion:  Is There Really Anything New Under the Sun?
Leaping between new and old technologies.

CNET Cutting Edge


27 Science Fictions That Became Science Facts In 2012

10 inventions inspired by science fiction

Center for Digital education

The Higher Education Short List of Emerging Technology

The Space Elevator:

Reading Assignment for Tuesday February 3:

Technology Transfer, The Cold War and the relationship of military technology to civilian use, NASA, ARPA,

1.. From Augmenting Human Intellect: a Conceptual Framework, Douglas Engelbart.

2.  Is Google Making Us Stupid?


Forum: Response and Associations to Readings –

Week 3

Wednesday, February 13

 Linkage-Hyptertextuality and Mind Mapping

Ted Nelson Demonstrates Xanadu space

Theodor Holm Nelson (born 1937) is an American sociologist, philosopher, and pioneer of information technology. He coined the term “hypertext” in 1963 and published it in 1965. He also is credited with first use of the words hypermedia, transclusion, virtuality, intertwingularity and teledildonics. The main thrust of his work has been to make computers easily accessible to ordinary people. His motto is: A user interface should be so simple that a beginner in an emergency can understand it within ten seconds. Ted Nelson promotes four maxims: “most people are fools, most authority is malignant, God does not exist, and everything is wrong”. (See chapter II, 3rd paragraph, 3rd and 4th sentence in: “The Curse of Xanadu”)

Intro to Neural Networks

The Miracle of the Brain


Inspiration- Free trials




[Scott McCloud – The Right Number]


Week 4

Wednesday, February 27

Hypermedia Projects Presented in Class

IMAGINE PROJECT ASSIGNED: Step 1.   See “Assignments   .”

Assignment for March 6: Wish list of single or combinatory conceptions for invention. See “Assignments.”

Telepresence, Surveillance

This is a photo from the 2009 Inauguration, In which you can see IN FOCUS
The face of each individual in the crowd !!! You can scan and zoom to any section of the crowd… wait a few seconds… and the focus adjusts. The picture was taken with a robotic camera at 1,474 megapixel. (295 times the standard 5 megapixel camera)


Telepresence: A computer-generated environment consisting of interactive simulations and computer graphics in which a human being experiences being present in a remote location.

Tiffany Holmes’ course:

The Truman Show:  – trailer

The Surveillance Camera Players:
The Telegarden:
The Mercury Project:
Ken Goldberg:
Eyes of Laura:
David Rokeby, Machine for Taking Time:
Privacy Lecture Series website and links:

Liverpool Station:
Watch this one first
THEN WATCH THIS ONE: It tells you how they did it.

(a total “aside”: DARE at

Reading Assignments:
Intro to “Robot in the Garden, ” – Chapter 1 – The Unique Phenomenon of a Distance at or
and Surveillance and Capture, Two Models of Privacy, no. 51 in your text, pp. 737-760

Forum: Response and Associations to Readings –
consider several aspects of telepresence and survelliance – privacy issues, are we all “actors”, and other issues emerging out of the readings.
Assignments – see “Assignments” section


Week 5

Wednesday, March 6

Wish list

Week 6

Wednesday, March 13

 Project Proposal Briefts

Open Source Technologies and their Capabilities.

Open Frameworks:
Make Magazine:
NYC Resistor:


Readings: Norbert Wiener, “Men, Machines, and the World About”, in The New Media Reader, no. 4, Donna Haraway, “The Cyborg Manifesto”, in The New Media Reader, no. 35, BBC: Robots and Ethics—

Forum: Response and Associations to Readings –
300 word minimum for Lead Responder; 200 word minimum for others

Week 7

Wednesday, March 20

Midterm paper due


Cyborgs and Robots: Ethical, political, and philosophical questions that are being raised by rapid advances in biotechnology.

PLay: BBC Recording

Readings: Content Development Video Games and Computer Holding Power, Sherry Turkle, pp. 499-513.

Week 8

Wednesday, April 3

Virtual worlds-Gaming, Massively Multiplayer Games (MMOs) – Second Life, Virtual Economies, Virtual Violence, virtual worlds and face-to-face culture

Multiplayer Games by Platform:

Playing the Plot!
Dramaturgical models for computer games as interactive and play-centric narratives

Game Developers Conference 2009

gamedevmap is a living map and catalog of game development organizations.

The Theater of Games (Childrens)

Pirates Assault

NASA Creating Multiplayer Game


Readings : From Computer Lib/ Dream Machines, Ted Nelson, pp. 301-338, Mythinformation, Langdon Winner, pp. 587-598

Week 9

Wednesday, April 10


Centralized vs decentralized control over information and technology development

Discussion of Readings
Presentation of List of Deliverables and Some Midterms


Readings: Nomadic Power and Cultural Resistance, #53, pp. 781-790;

Week 10

Wednesday, April 17

Electronic Privacy, Medical Privacy, Privacy Laws, Surveillance, Profiling, Data Mining, The Patriot Act

Q: What happens when (and if) the Computer is no longer outside of us, but integrated into our bodies? —when its not just “breaking out of the box” but its no longer “me” and “it”.

Critical Art Ensemble Bio tech –
Yes Men –
La Pocha Nostra –

Review of Deliverables

Readings for Tuesday April 21 : Theater of the Oppressed, Augusto Boal #22, pp.339-352 and Responsive Environments, #25, by Myron Krueger, pp. 377-389. Read through these two articles and take notes. Post your notes under your own sections and post your “responses” to the forum.


Deliverables Lab?


Week 11

Wednesday, April 24
Readings discussion and Augusto Boal- exercises in class

Divide into groups of 3.
Pick a story from or or or any other online news source. (20 mins) Assign roles and act it out, preferably in mime but sound effects (clapping, whistling, humming, fine). (20 mins average prep) It should have an event that builds up, has a crisis, and has a specific resolution of the crisis. Each group will act out their scenario with their particular situation, and then another group will “re-enact” it (re-enactments opened-ended) Keep in mind staging, imaginary props, etc.
deliverables lab.

Readings: The GNU Manifesto: pp. 545-550
examine “The Re-Making Project” –
post on forum about a play you would like to “re-make” whether it is because you would like to “re-write” it or “re-produce” it from a different perspective (updating it, changing the setting, time, environment, culture).

examine “Creative Commons” at – Comment on one of the articles there

Lead Respondent: Daryl

Week 12

Wednesday, May 1


Video Viewing and Discussion: Surveillance, Spin, Media, Communications, Ethics: SPIN by Brian Springer

Lab for Final Project

Week 13

Wednesday, May 8


A Tour of Possibilities and Research URLs
Lab for Final Project

Week 14

Wednesday, May 15

Lab for Final Project
Lab for Final Project

Week 15

Tuesday May 19: Final Presentations and Deliverables
Final Presentation and Deliverables


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