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Media Art Politics


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

  • To provide 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;

  • To acquire a basic set of methodological and theoretical tools and concepts which will assist the student in researching and writing a master thesis;

  • To acquaint students with classical and current debates within the field of media theory and media (art) history;

  • To develop 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;

  • To practice advanced analytical and writing skills through collaborative assignments;


Weekly sessions of three hours.

Timetable on the website

Mode of instruction

12 lectures (three hours) in first semester.

Course Load

Total course load for the course: 10 EC = 280 hours.

  • Hours spent on attending lectures, seminars: 3 hours per week x 12 weeks = 36 hours

  • Time to prepare one short presentation: 6 hours

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature: 160 hours

  • Time to write paper and comments: 78 hours

Assessment method

  • essay (70 %)

  • assignments, presentations (30%)

The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average
In the case of a fail you are entitled to rewrite the essay.


Blackboard will be used to provide students with an overview of current affairs, as well as specific information about (components of) the course.

Reading list

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


Enrollment through uSis is mandatory. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, tel. 071 5272144 or mail:

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs NA

Contact details

Onderwijsadministratie Media Studies, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, kamer 102C. Tel. 071 5272144; mail:

Studiecoördinator: Mevr. S.J. de Kok, MA, P.N. van Eyckhof 3, room 1.01b.