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Mediaworks is an intensive program in film and video production, history, and theory. Our emphasis is on the nonfiction image, including documentary and experimental forms. We emphasize the linkages betweeen theory and practice, focussing on the development of critical perspectives in image making and viewing, and on work and theory that address the politics of representation.

Practice: Students in Mediaworks will learn skills in super-8 film production, analog video, photoshop, television production, installation, and performance. There will also be opportunities to learn 16mm filmmaking and electronic music composition, and to explore new possibilities for digital video production. The emphasis in both fall and winter is on collaborative work. In spring students will have the opportunity to develop individual projects in consultation with the faculty.

Theory: In 1996-97 we are focussing on documentary and activist film and video, experimental film, video art, and performance and installation art. We will also examine some of the interconnections between film, photography, and other art forms. Our exploration will include historical work, from surrealism and early documentary to the films of Maya Deren, and the innovations of John Cage and the Fluxus movement. We will also look at contemporary film, video, and mixed media artists, including Adrien Piper, Martha Rosler, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Juan Downey, Victor Masayesva, and Coco Fusco.

Specific themes we intend to explore in Mediaworks include: the critique of art as institution and commodity, the politics and ethics of documentary, community activism, feminist theory, appropriation, and representations of identity, difference, race, class, and gender.

The values informing this program include: willingness to experiment, ability to work collaboratively, rigorous attention to craft, and commitment to collectively create a supportive critical community of film/video makers and thinkers about media. We pay attention to the process as well as the product of media production, with emphasis on group discussion and critique, and on enabling all members of the community to develop their unique critical and aesthetic perspective.

In 1996-97 the faculty for the Mediaworks program will be Anne Fischel and Ju-Pong Lin.