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UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO SCARBOROUGH DEPARTMENT OF ARTS, CULTURE & MEDIA

MDSD01H3 Lec01

Winter, 2018 Monday, 3PM – 5PM IC328

Topics in Media and Arts: Sound, Digital Media, and the Arts

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Over the last 30 years or so, digital technology has contributed to significant transformations in the way people produce, distribute, and experience the sonic arts. These changes have affected aspects of sonic art ranging from political economy to aesthetics to cultural norms and expectations. The goal of this D-level seminar is to explore aspects of these transformations in an in-depth, student-led fashion.

The first part of this course will focus on transformations in the area of production. What new techniques have artists and musicians been able to develop thanks to new digital technologies? How have new forms of collaboration been facilitated? How do digital technologies allow artists to articulate their sense of self? The second part of the course considers questions of distribution. Key questions here are the implications of digital piracy and cloud-based music distribution. Lastly, the course explores how digital media are implicated in new forms of sonic presentation & experience. Key issues here are mobile audio listening, the idea of digital space, and new forms of performance.

COURSE FORMAT

This course is designed to take advantage of the small seminar format. Rather than lecture and response, this seminar is intended to be student-led and will demand your active participation every week. Each class will begin with a short discussion of the week’s topic based on an assigned background reading. From there, students will break into groups, conduct research and prepare an outline for a short essay/reading analysis related to the week’s topic. These in-class assignments will involve each group sourcing THREE relevant readings from the library’s E-Resource collection. I will be there to supervise and guide the in-class research process.

Each group will be responsible for:

1) Developing and explaining a significant research question related to the week’s topic 2) Finding two scholarly readings which discuss your group’s research question
3) Starting work on an outline for a short reading analysis/essay
4) Delivering a short minute presentation to the class on your findings

As a fourth-year seminar, I want to draw attention to the skills you’ve been developing throughout your undergraduate education, and to give you a sense of how these skills might be applied in professional settings after you graduate.

REQUIRED READINGS & RESOURCES

Course readings, where possible, have been drawn from UTSC’s e-Journals and e- Resources archive. Where available, certain readings will be made available on the course Blackboard page. When necessary, students are expected to access, download and print these readings on their own.

ASSIGNMENTS

60% 4 x 4 page group-written short essays based on in-class research assignments (each essay is worth 15% of final grade)
Due THROUGHOUT THE TERM

*** DIGITAL PROJECT OPTION ***
Students may also submit a 3 to 5min digital media work (e.g. audio podcast, video, media slideshow, etc.) instead of a written paper. If you choose this option, please discuss your ideas and proposed format with me beforehand. Each group may submit a maximum of TWO digital projects in lieu of paper assignments.

25% 6 – 7 page (not incl. headers and bibliography) Sound Artist/Electronic Composer profile paper
Due Week 11, MARCH 26

15% Participation

ASSIGNMENT FORMATS, DUE DATES AND LATENESS PENALTIES

All assignments are due AT THE BEGINNING of class. All assignments are expected to be legible (e.g. in dark ink, on white paper, NOT printed out with empty toner cartridges, etc.), properly identified and correctly stapled. All formal assignments must make consistent use of an accepted citation format (preferably APA style). For information about how to do this, please see http://ctl.utsc.utoronto.ca/twc/citations

There will be a penalty deduction of 2.5% per day (including weekends) for late assignments. To avoid extra late penalties, email a copy of the late assignment to me when completed, and bring a paper copy next class. We will NOT be responsible for printing out copies of assignments for students, stapling them, if your email file is corrupt or for your failure to attach the file. Failure to submit a paper copy after having submitted an email copy of any assignment will constitute failure to submit the assignment.

Deadline extensions will be granted only for a compelling reason and with authorized documentation. Such reasons include illness (documented with a Doctor’s note) or family emergency. Extensions will NOT be granted for reasons such as computer crashes or breakdowns, inability to print the file on time, or other such technical problems. ALWAYS MAKE SURE TO BACKUP YOUR FILES AS YOU WORK!

CLASSROOM CONDUCT AND COMPORTMENT

Students are expected to assist in maintaining a classroom environment that is conducive to learning. In order to assure that all students have an opportunity to gain from time spent in class, and unless otherwise approved by the instructor, silence your mobile phones and put them away at the beginning of every class and use your notebook computers for classroom purposes only. Inappropriate behavior, making offensive remarks, or engaging in any other form of distraction in the classroom shall result in, at the minimum, a request to leave.

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES AND ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of policies, procedures and deadlines that are in effect during their attendance at the University of Toronto. It is also the student’s responsibility to attend classes regularly, to keep their work up to date, and to complete assignments as required. Academic Integrity is essential to the pursuit of learning and scholarship, and breaches in the form of plagiarism and cheating are taken very seriously. All violations of the standards of integrity found in the university’s Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters will be reported. Please familiarize yourself with aspects of academic integrity and methods of proper citation:

How not to plagiarize:

http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/using-sources/how-not-to-plagiarize

How to use and cite sources:

http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/twc/using-and-citing-sources-0

Information regarding academic integrity:

http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/aacc/academic-integrity

CONTACTING PROFESSOR KAYE

I encourage you to contact me regarding issues involving the course, including questions about material covered and or your own progress. This is best done during my weekly office hours or, if those are not convenient, at another scheduled time. Email is not an option for questions where a proper answer requires a discussion. If you do send one, I will try to respond within 72 hours however this is not always possible. I am absolutely not available or accessible on weekends. When communicating with me via email you must use your U of T email account and address, use the course number (i.e. MDSD01) in the subject line, and clearly identify yourself in the main body of the message. Please address your message “Dear Dr. Kaye.” Please note it is my policy to not discuss grades over email.

CLASS SCHEDULE
Week 1, January 8 COURSE INTRODUCTION

PART 1 CONTEXTS OF PRODUCTION

Week 2, January 15 TECHNIQUE
Digital Audio Technology, Portability and Spaces of Production
Prior, Nick (2008) “OK COMPUTER: Mobility, software and the laptop musician”. Information, Communication & Society. 11(7), October, pp. 912-932.

OR

New Modes of Music Making

Magnusson, Thor (2011) “Algorithms as Scores: Coding Live Music”. Leonardo Music Journal. vol. 21, pp.19-23.

Week 3, January 22 IDENTITY
Race, Gender and Digital Audio Production
Choi, Grace Y. (2017) “‘Who Runs the Music? Girls!” Examining the Construction of Female Digital Musicians’ Online Presence”. Popular Music and Society. 40(4), pp.474- 487.

Week 4, January 29 AESTHETICS
Sampling, Remixing and IP Law
Schumacher, Thomas G. (1995) “‘This is a Sampling Sport’: digital sampling, rap music and the law in cultural production”. Media, Culture & Society. 17(2), April. pp.253-273.

OR

Glitch, Noise and The New Aesthetics of Digital Audio Production

Cascone, Kim (2000) “The Aesthetics of Failure: ‘Post-Digital’ Tendencies in Contemporary Computer Music”. Computer Music Journal. 24(4), pp.12-18.

Week 5, February 5 COLLABORATION
Digital Media and New Ways of Working Together
Barbosa, Álvaro (2003) “Displaced Soundscapes: A Survey of Network Systems for Music and Sonic Art Creation”. Leonardo Music Journal. vol. 13, pp.53-59.

PART 2 CONTEXTS OF DISTRIBUTION

Week 6, February 12 PIRACY
File Sharing, MP3 Blogging and Digital Music “Piracy”
Borschke, Margie (2014) ” The new romantics: Authenticity, participation and the aesthetics of piracy”. First Monday. 19(10), April. http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/5549

OR

The Creative Implications of Digital Music Accessibility

Reia, Jhessica (2014) “Napster and beyond: How online music can transform the dynamics of musical production and consumption in DIY subcultures”. First Monday. 19(10), April. http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/5552

February 19 NO CLASS, READING WEEK

Week 7, February 26 DIGITAL SOUND, DIGITAL SPACE
Digital Technology and How We Hear Space
Sobchack, Vivian (2005) “When the Ear Dreams: Dolby Digital and the Imagination of Sound”. Film Quarterly. 58(4), summer.

Week 8, March 5 THE “CLOUD”
Digital Music and “The Celestial Jukebox”
Burkart, Patrick (2014) “Music in the Cloud and the Digital Sublime”. Popular Music and Society. 37(4), pp.393-407.

PART 3 CONTEXTS OF PRESENTATION & EXPERIENCE

Week 9, March 12 CURATION

Field trip to “Hearing Video” exhibition
at Vtape
401 Richmond St W, suite 452 (in the 401Richmond Bldg, SE corner Richmond St W and Spadina Ave)

Week 10, March 19 PERFORMANCE
Issues in Digital Audio Performance
Whittam, Julian (2015) “Music, Multimedia and Spectacle: The one-man band and audience relationships in the digital age”. Organized Sound. 20(3), pp.349-356.

Week 11, March 26 LISTENING
Analog Technologies in the Digital Age
Bartmanski, Dominik and Woodward, Ian (2015) “The vinyl: The analogue medium in the age of digital reproduction”. Journal of Consumer Culture. 15(1), pp.3-27.

OR

Mobile Listening

Bull, Michael (2005) “No Dead Air!: The iPod and the Culture of Mobile Listening”. Leisure Studies. 24(4), pp.343-355.

Week 12, April 2 COURSE REVIEW