The course reflects on the link between subjectivity and individuality in the digital age. The course is designed to put forth and elaborate on current discourses concerning certain understandings of the “self” and the social personality within current technological infrastructures and contemporary capitalism. It will consider notions of self-presentation and social connection in the digital age, the relation between the self and the network.
The course is laid out to investigate and discuss theories on views of the subject and subjectification, and technologies of individuation. Readings will address current discourses concerning the self, identity and digital technologies in which we will consider theories around cognitive capitalism, algorithmic vision, surveillance, the self, and narrative. Current discourses will be brought together with relevant historical theories which address the notion of the individual as a form of subjectivity and theory of the subject. Readings will be accompanied by practical studies: exploring artworks, films, experimenting with current technical developments and tools. We will consider critical, artistic and cultural practices relating to quantification, tracking and digital traces, data scraping, self-doxing, affective networks and sentiment analysis.
This course is geared towards MFA1 and MFA2 students who are committed to following the entire course of the program.
This is a reading-intensive, discussion-based course. Therefore participation by students enrolling in the course is mandatory. This course is only as good as we make it together. Each session, we will focus on a text and several artworks or other examples that relate to the text. Using practical and theoretical examples, we will discuss, analyze and reflect on the “current current”; current discourse, the current world we live in, everyday life on the network. Students will work on a single assignment at the end of the course, using some of the techniques and ideas introduced throughout the semester. They will also be asked to search for and contribute different examples (artworks, contemporary events, technical platforms, personal experiences, etc.) that relate to themes introduced within the course, which will occur throughout the course and at the beginning of each session.
Attendance and participation are mandatory. Students enrolling in the course are required to attend each session. Students will be assessed by their presence, participation and contribution to the discussions.
[Image credit: People using phones: A decade spent documenting people's use of mobile phones / Timo Arnall]
Kunstakademiet i Trondheim
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)