A Possible Future Lab

A Possible Future Lab…

– Introduction by Morten Søndergaard

The semester of the Erasmus Master in Media Arts Cultures in Aalborg engages the students in the study of media art from a design perspective: as a field of cultural experience and production in a post-digital culture of ubiquitous computing and implied producers.

Here, ‘design’ is operational both as a situation of constructing (an archeology of) knowledge (and the representations of that knowledge) and the act of framing and producing cultural experiences that may be shared by others (users).

Based on a survey of design theories (experience design, critical design, design fiction) and media art theories (Media archaeology, media art history, post-digital studies), the students have studied key theoretical discourses of the digital and post-digital design field, and have been asked to engage actively in the interplay between art, design, science and technology. They have been asked to combine practice/design-based methods and academic reflection and writing.

In dialogue with some of the best practitioners and theoreticians in the field (visiting professors: Chris Salter, Ken Rinaldo, Laura Beloff and Christa Sommerer), the students have been developing their own theoretical and critical discourses based upon which they are analysing design processes and operationalizing design-based methodologies to address problems within the field of media arts cultures; furthermore, students have been engaging in choosing and constructing their own design processes, whereby the acquisition of imaginative and visionary competencies are in focus; How to make judgment calls and choose relevant strategies of conceptualizing ideas, testing and sketching them towards actual production.

The semester projects are based on problems set in the cultural field of media arts identified in the first semester (in Krems) or during the second semester in Aalborg and are pointing towards both the third semester (in Hong Kong or Poland) and the thesis semester (Krems, Poland or Aalborg).

As demonstrated on this site, the students are asked to survey and identify a problem in the contexts of media arts and its theoretical / historical / future landscape, analyse the particular content, contexts and complexities of the problem-setting from different angles, and use design methodologies and technologies to sketch and produce experience designs/artifacts to discuss these.

If you ask yourself what alternative future the cultural sector and indeed the humanities might have in a post-digital society, you may begin in the possible future lab. Welcome to the Føreign Objects Exhibition!

Morten Søndergaard – Consortium coordinator of the second semester Erasmus in Media Arts Cultures in Aalborg.