Graduate Photography

Syllabus for Graduate Photography Professor Mark Amerika
Spring 2006
Tues/Thurs 5:00 - 7:30 PM
N274/N275 (EDAS)
email: Mark.Amerika@Colorado.Edu
What It Is As part of our goal to seek other perspectives that will help us explore these exciting areas of study, we will have a provocative mix of artists, philosophers, curators, and hactivists visiting the seminar throughout the semester.

Here is a tentative schedule of events:


  • January 17: Roll Call + Syllabus Reading
  • January 19: Review of initial blog entries + discussion of "Riot" + short overview of various methods and concepts


  • January 24: Screening and discussion of Tribulation 99 + introduction to Creative Commons, Free Culture, Copyleft, etc...
  • January 26: Screening: Sonic Outlaws
  • January 31: Screening and discussion: RTMARK / The Yes Men
  • February 2: Visiting artist: Andy Bichlbaum of The Yes Men CANCELLED (Lab Day + CU Museum opening)
  • February 7: Visiting artist: Paul Pfeiffer at 7 PM
  • February 9: Visiting artist: Paul Pfeiffer
  • February 14: LAB DAY
  • February 16: Paul Miller's Rhythm Science / Situationism / Cut-Ups / DJ/VJ Culture
  • February 21: Visiting Artist: Carol Flax at 7 PM + read Hacker Manifesto
  • February 23 Visiting philosopher/writer: Ken Wark
  • February 28: Visiting artists: Derek Holzer and Sara Kolster
  • March 2: LAB DAY
  • March 7: Visiting artist: Eleanor Antin at 7 PM
  • March 9: Visiting artist: Cory Archangel


  • March 14: Flickr Presentations
  • March 16: Screening and discussion: TBA
  • March 21: Screening and discussion: TBA
  • March 23: HD-DVD + bonus tracks + video iPod + pocket cinema + video ringtones + vogs (aka vlogs)
  • March 28: SPRING BREAK
  • March 30: SPRING BREAK


  • April 4: LAB DAY
  • April 6: Introduction to final collaborative project
  • April 11: DV/Net art and the exhibition context
  • April 13: DV/Net art - performance, mock-doc, situational improv, etc.
  • April 18: LAB DAY
  • April 20: DV/Net art - "going meta" with the our shared reality
  • April 25: LAB DAY
  • April 27 Visiting artist/curator: Marisa Olsen
  • May 2 Last day of class - Anime / Machinima "Red Vs. Blue"
  • Pocket Cinema Demo Party: date TBA

Sense Data  
Assignment #1
Bling Bling Blogging

Do a web search on the recent phenomenon known as "blogs" or web-logs. You are encouraged to be more experimental with your "blog" although popular spots like even let you start building and designing your own "blog" at their website if you want to do it the easy way.

Each week throughout the semester, compose a 250-500 word entry to your "blog" detailing your thoughts about the various readings, art works, artists, curators, events, and discussions you encounter over the course of the semester. Try and make at least two links to external sites from each of your main entries to help document your online research. Quote from these sites if possible. See how they do it here as an example.

Feel free to include digital images, sounds, Quicktime movies, and any other useful media in your "blogs" in addition to your writing. If you have the capability, or are interested in learning and experimenting with "moblogging," then make that a part of your research as well.

Keep in mind that these "blogs" should be both well-thought out subjective responses to various issues covered throughout the semester and, when possible, should come across as spontaneous theories that express your own personal writing style. Feel free to speculate and offer insights into how the work you are being exposed to this semester is starting to effect your own developing practice as an artist, theorist, interdisciplinary technologist, etc. You may want to ask yourself a lot of questions, right in the blog itself, and then set out to answer these questions as best you can.

Since these will be online, that means they are "always already published" and, as such, are open to the public. Keep that in mind!

Assignment #2
Our Friend Flickr
Keeping in mind the various issues that have come up in the Surf - Sample - Manipulate discussions, use the online Flickr photo album and tagging program to create an original work of art. Some possibilities include:

  • a photo narrative in slide-show format (consider using original photos, found photos, or some combination thereof as well as the captions box to help "textualize" the story - but make sure part of the work is appropriated)
  • a conceptual art work that disrupts or otherwise defamiliarizes the normalcy of this emerging form of e-folk art (for example, a Flickr hack)
  • a live performance that somehow incorporates a data projection of your Flickr site into its environment
  • a net art work that somehow utilizes the capabilities of the Internet to allow for a more collaborative, open work that experiments with "intersubjective metadata" and "open source lifestyle" and that possibly lends itself to the performance option above
  • an on-site installation that somehow incorporates a data projection of your Flickr site into its environment

This project is due on March 7th. Presentations that day too!
Pocket Cinema  
Assignment #3
Collaborative iBods
Create the pilot for an original "pocket cinema" series that you make available for free download over the Internet. The work should be composed for the new Video iPod as the final display medium. Since each episode will only be five minutes long, what's the hook? The storyline? The soundtrack? The humor? The information? The addictive style that makes us beg for more?

Collaborative teams will be chosen later in the semester.

Students with disabilities who qualify for academic accommodations must provide a letter from Disability Services (DS) and discuss specific needs with the professor, preferably during the first two weeks of class. DS determines accommodations based on documented disabilities (303-492-8671, Willard 322,