New MA programmes in the School of Cultural & Innovation Studies University of East London.
MA Sonic Culture: Sound, Arts and Media in the Digital Age
Dr. Steve Goodman – firstname.lastname@example.org
This new and unique theory/practice MA programme attempts to compensate for the deep rooted visual bias of Western culture, and by implication, the lack of rigorous theoretical analysis of the field of Sonic Culture, the intersection between the soundscape and cybernetic society. With increasing online bandwidth, sound is attaining a more central role in the multimedia environment of contemporary culture. This MA deliberately focuses on the broad theme of Sonic Culture and away from the more limited concerns of the cultural study of music, in order to more insightfully delineate, and provide context to, the profound and unpredictable technological transformations which global music culture is currently undergoing. Digital media have generated an acoustic cyberspace and opened up previously unexplored microsonic dimensions of the audiosphere. A specific range of conceptual tools are required to critically engage and produce in this context. The core courses of the MA programme, are the theoretically oriented Sonic Culture (Semester A), and Audio-Vision which has a theory/practice option (Semester B).
The MA Sonic Culture takes an interdisciplinary approach, and aims to develop a critical understanding of the role of sound in digital culture providing a framework and production skills for digital sound design and analysis across a range of traditional and emergent media. Theoretically, the MA explores the emergent space and time of this acoustic cyberspace, and the relevance of concepts such as microsound, sonic affect, the audio-visual contract, the virtual, simulation, synesthesia, afrofuturism, remixology and digital accidents in relation to Sonic Culture in digital capitalism. To do this, we draw material from the histories of recorded sound in 20th century electronic music, theories of film sound, and frameworks from fiction, cultural theory, critical musicology, philosophy, digital aesthetics, cybernetics, acoustics, physiology, psychoacoustics, sciences of complexity and theories of power, gender and diaspora, in order to provide students with a conceptual basis for critical and creative sound analysis and production.
Students following a theory/practice route through the MA in Sonic Culture attain a grounding in recording, sampling, editing, manipulating, sequencing and synthesising sound using various digital audio software packages, encouraging specialisation in any of the following fields of sonic culture, including Electronic Music Production, Film & Video, Radio, the Internet, CD-ROMs, Computer Games and Sound Installations. Such students will get the opportunity to develop sound projects and media content in relation to any the key concepts explored in the course.
MA Cybernetic Culture: Media, Digital Arts, and the Body-machine
Dr. Luciana Parisi – email@example.com
This MA critically embraces debates about the relationship between culture and science, the body and the machine, the virtual and real, the natural and the artificial, control and power in the cybernetic era. The relevance of these relationships has become crucial to debates in both human and social sciences, in physics and philosophy, in biology and critical theory. It has had enormous resonance in the critical analysis of contemporary culture (Donna Haraway’s Cyborg) by providing new conceptual tools to study the cybernetic reconfiguration of the body in information science, digital arts and media. This MA draws on these debates to map the socio-cultural, desiring, economic and political changes that define the historical emergence and diffusion of cybernetics across disciplines – philosophy and physics, sociology and biology, economics and science, the arts and technologies of communication (from analogue to digital media) and reproduction (from prosthetics to cloning and artificial life). The MA applies an interdisciplinary method to engage with the themes of non linear time and space, simulation, affect and virtuality, viral culture and politics, the kinaesthetic body and digital perception, digital capitalism, artificial nature, collective intelligence, cybersex and prosthetic skin.
The MA brings together critical insights from Critical Theory, Cybernetic Theory, Cultural and Media Studies, Philosophy, Theory of Complexity, Human Computer Interaction, Feminist Theory, Film Theory, Theories of Evolution, Theories of Diaspora, Aesthetics, Theories of perception and memory. The MA also provides an option for students to combine this material with the development of critical skills for the production of digital video and sound, digital photography and film, CD-ROMs and Web sites.