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Media, Art, Theory


Admission requirements



In our current media age the boundaries between artistic and (popular) media practices are no longer clear-cut. Photographic images, film projections, video installations, internet art: ‘new media objects’ have become embedded within the traditional domain of the studio, the gallery, and the museum, as well as on our streets, in shopping malls, and in our pockets. Increasingly, artistic practices move between different media supports, whereas cinema is becoming transformed into a museum object. The introduction of new technologies into the discourse, practice and institutions of the visual arts is a long and complex history, which begins in the 1920s with the period of the historical avant-garde, continues in the 1960s and 1970s with a resurgence of artists’ films and videos, and gathers momentum, once more, in the 1990s with the introduction of light projection and digital media.

The main purpose of the course is to explore the various meanings, forms and functions of the media apparatus during the twentieth and twenty-first century. We will focus on questions of media practice and theory: 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 of and on photography, cinema, television, video, and electronic and digital media, including readings of critics and scholars such as Jacques Rancière, Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Marshall McLuhan, Roland Barthes, Guy Debord, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, and many others. We will discuss these texts vis-à-vis the media practice of artists and film-makers, such as Dziga Vertov, Dan Graham, Martha Rossler, Walt Disney, Harun Farocki, Hito Steyerl, and David Rokeby (to name but a few).

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.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method


A successful conclusion of the course depends on the student’s regular attendance of the lectures, skillful note-taking and thorough study of all course material, plus additional material will be needed for writing the paper. The final grade will consist of a weighted average of :

  1. a participation dossier (weight 20%), including:
  • a paper proposal

  • a peerfeedback

  • a presentation report, and

  1. a final paper (weight 80%).


  • participation dossier (20%)

  • final paper (80%)


Only the final paper can be re-submitted if the first version received a failing grade and/or the weighted total is below average.

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.


Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Arsenaal