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Media, Art, Theory


Admission requirements



The main purpose of the course is to explore the various meanings, forms and functions of the ‘media apparatus’ during the twentieth en twenty-first century. We will focus on the question of media critique: What modes of autonomy, intervention, resistance or affirmation have been fashioned within the visual arts and independent cinema in relation to the field of mass media? We shall explore the complex institutional and genealogical ties between media practices, both experimental and mainstream, by performing close readings of key texts on photography, cinema, television, video, and new media by critics and scholars, such as Walter Benjamin, Marshall McLuhan, Roland Barthes, Guy Debord, Friedrich Kittler, Gilles Deleuze, and many others. Moreover, we will discuss these texts in the context of the media practice of artists and film-makeers, such as Jean-Luc Godard, Dan Graham, Harun Farocki and Hito Steyerl.

Course objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student

  • has mastered a critical purchase on the notions of medium, mediality and transmediality and the impact of mass media and new image technologies on the visual arts during the modern period and beyond;

  • has acquainted themselves with classical and current debates within the field of media theory and media (art) history;

  • has developed prior knowledge and skills acquired during the bachelor phase concerning the field of media arts (film, photography, video) on a more theoretical and methodological level by dealing with a series of specialized topics;

  • has acquired a basic set of methodological and theoretical tools and concepts that allows them to carry out research in the field of media art and theory independently;

  • is able to demonstrate their knowledges and advanced analytical and writing skills in a series of (collaborative) assignments.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • 12 lectures (three hours) in first semester.

Assessment method


  • class assignments (including paper proposal) and presentation

  • final paper


  • class assignments (including paper proposal) and presentation (20 %)

  • final paper (80%)


In the case of a fail you are entitled to rewrite the essay.

Inspection and feedback

How and when a paper review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the paper results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the paper results, an paper review will have to be organised.

Reading list

Literature will be announced in Brightspace before the beginning of the course.


Enrollment trough uSis is mandatory. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, email:

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Dr. P. Hesselberth

Coordinator of Studies Media Studies