One of the crucial insights of media theory is the idea that a new medium is never bright new, but that it is always related to predecessors. The birth of cinema was not just an (accidental) consequence of developments with photography, but in turn, the arrival of film also had its impact on photography, painting, literature. Or to give another example, in his search for a language of new media, Lev Manovich reexamined the history of cinema presuming that cinema had left an important legacy for the digital era. In this course, we will introduce the term ‘remediation’, as it is used by Jay Bolter and Richard Grusin, as a basis for discussing the mutual influences between media. We will closeread texts on photography, cinema, radio, television, video, and new media by critics and scholars like Walter Benjamin, Bertolt Brecht, Marshall McLuhan, Mary Ann Doane, Thomas Elsaesser, Tania Modleski, Lev Manovich, Siegfried Zielinski, and others. Moreover, we will relate their ideas to primary material, such as the films sex, lies, and videotape (Steven Soderbergh, 1989), The Truman Show (Peter Weir, 1998), found footage used by Harun Farocki, and video art.
Course objectives will be made available on Blackboard at the start of the course.
12 lectures (two hours) in first semester from September to December. See the timetable
Written exam with essay questions (100%)
List of literature: to be announced (before classes start)