Full course description
Media extend our senses and our engagement with the world—as Marshall McLuhan, the father of media studies, famously said. In this process media do not leave things untouched, but transform how we experience our environment and how we act in it. With webcams we access the world online from wherever we are. Our cellphones help us to keep our friends with us anywhere we go. Artificial assistants serve us and provide new forms of companionship. In these processes, of online experience and action becomes inextricably entangled. This course reﬂects on this emerging culture of ‘real virtuality’. Students will be introduced to two main philosophers that have dealt with the changing relationship between ‘the real’ and ‘the virtual’ (W. Benjamin, J. Baudrillard). The issues they address in relationship to older media such as photography, ﬁlm and television will be related to new media practices, such as telepresence and augmented reality, and evaluated in the light of these. The methodology introduced is (post)phenomenology. Where the thinkers mentioned above take an overarching approach, Donhde’s phenomenology focuses on concrete sets of perceptual relations between users, media and the world and helps to make more nuanced analyses, based on empirical data. During the course students will discuss diﬀerent media applications and work towards their own analysis of an application and layers of reality and virtuality involved.
Introduction to three relevant philosophical positions and hands on introduction to the phenomenological analysis of experiencing (through) media.
See course book for required and recommended reading.