Weekly Readings / Screenings
Students are required to complete the assigned readings, screenings, and research each week according to the syllabus. Please be prepared to participate, summarize, and engage in critical discussion using these texts.
Weekly Writing / Presentation Assignments
Students should be prepared to present and discuss their completed weekly writing assignments in class. Based on these individual presentations, the class will discuss critical issues, applying the cumulative readings to the analysis. Below is an example of a workshop from Session 4.
'Practice' Concept and Media
Please prepare a presentation of media-based prototype that directly accesses practices of unmanageability—the tactics that negotiate controlled reality and formalisms of discursive practices in your particular field or research interest.
Begin with the unit of the individual / self / body in thinking of a practice and its associated media that can bring your practice into an intersubjective and social register / context. Use Certeau's approach to everyday practice as a backdrop (i.e., dwelling, walking, spelling, reading, shopping, cooking) and starting point. All media (including immaterial) are possible:
- Actions / Gestures
- Graphic design
- Bodily Activity
Drawing from the midterm class discussion on practice as an active art (techne) of existence central to the critical politics of unmanagement with the individual as primary unit, class participants will be given 20 minutes to present their specific "practice" project in development and its corresponding media.
Critical practices are relational and respond to established orders of the world and present its limits and possibilities beyond. Therefore, it is crucial to locate and develop these practices with a rigorous understanding and description of the 'field' in which your practice exists.
- 20 minutes
- State clearly what your practice project seeks to address.
- Presentation must a rigorous description and analysis of the 'order of things' in the field and how your practice project responds to this existing order. (i.e., What is / are the fields? What are the formalisms? What is being managed in this order?).
- Describe the in detail what constitutes the practice and how you have developed it over the weeks.
- The practice must have at least 4 attempts / trials and must be accompanied by a written explanation that will serve as introduction to the practice.
- Explain the media you chose to correspond with the practice project.
- Students must accompany practice by at least two specific research references or inspirations. This material can be works of art, videos, texts, and other work by students.
- Students are expected to map out their practice project until the end of the semester and beyond and clearly explain their tactic for emancipatory praxis of the self.
- Students must also map out how this practice can be socialized or communicated to a wider audience and the impact their technique can have on others.
- All participants are required to act as reviewers.
Final Project: Infinite Display
The final project for this course follows the contour of creating an individual practice (taking the individual as the primary unit) and then projecting this practice into the realm of the social. How can an individual practice make the transit into the social? How can this practice be communicated and consider the other? Can this practice be scaled with fidelity—what is gained and lost in the transit? What are the productive tensions between the particular and the universal in this context? How can we make an individual practice outward facing? Can it maintain the ethics and criticality specific to the individual in this transit?
For the final assignment, each participant in class will be tasked to create an image that will be presented on the MIT Infinite Display Digital Signage system, which is comprised by a network of public digital screens located inside the corridors of MIT buildings, student centers, transit stops, and medical buildings. Each image will be scheduled to appear for a single day, cycled among other digital images / notices contributed by other MIT groups. The class will reserve an entire week of display time to present images.
The image should attempt to represent and communicate your individual practice in some form and the class discussions accumulated throughout the semester, using the elements, possibilities, and constraints of a still image hosted on a public digital screen. The image can contain text, photography, or anything native to a digital still file. Consider the context of this image / information and your individual practice when creating this specific image.