About our course

To compose in the latin componere means to put together, to make, to assemble, to create. This is a kind of affirmative making of work that can be put out publically in the world to possibly impact one person or another. This course, then, asks you to compose (create an affirmative something for the world) digitally, thoughtfully and creatively. In doing so, we will think about the relationality of our pieces in the world, the affect and emotion the pieces create and the aesthetic implications of color, words, image, sounds and video. I ask you to think of yourselves as media even as we compose media. What does it mean to work with / in / around these environments? Because media inhabits and interacts with our bodies and emotions, we will consider one emotion as the centering inquiry of the course. Take this emotion and the course objective seriously: what can you compose in terms of vulnerability for the world? What you make of vulnerability, or how you choose to define it, will be your own composition.

On the technical side, we will learn a range of critical media software for composing digitally and dynamically including web-authoring languages, text, sound editing, image editing, and video editing in proprietary and open-source software.

This class is fast-paced, and at times, very difficult. We take as our central pedagogy a DIY ethic, which means do-it-yourself. I will guide you through much of the software, but you will be responsible for advancing your knowledge, for making something worthwhile, and becoming an amateur digital composer.

With our emphasis on vulnerability, students will be asked to pick one facet, element or area relating to vulnerability and develop it throughout the semester, which means you will want to pick something interesting so you can stick with it for 15 weeks. Once you have your vulnerability project, we will begin the wild ride of researching, recording, editing, and presenting a range of original material.

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