In 2014 calling anything ‘digital media’ is an oxymoron. This is a subject about relations.
It is a big subject. Well, reasonably big. At least in terms of numbers. About 130 students. However, we teach it like a studio or a lab. It is not a place where we wheelbarrow content to the sitting masses, rake it over a bit in a tutorial, repeat. We make stuff. We look at it. We think about it, and then we try to learn how to think with it.
The subject is about, in no particular order: interactive online video, multilinear narrative, multilinear non-narrative, network literacy, reflective practice, poetics of the everyday, digital poetics, autoethnography, pattern making, pattern languages, interaction, media making, networks, relational media, documentary, nonfiction, ethics, noticing, observational media, posthumanism, material media studies, new materialism.
What we actually do is make individual sketch films using Korsakow, which is the prelude to a more complex group project that is also a Korsakow film, with an accompanying essay. More or less a project + exegesis model of making as thinking.
The way we approach a subject like this, even with these numbers, is to think of it as investigating a particular idea. That way the subject becomes a proposition in its own right, a site of practice and not merely a reporting back of the already known.
The proposition come idea we are investigating in 2014 is ‘relations’. Media as a relational thing. And ourselves. This, I suspect, is an important trope of a post-digital networked world.