History of Audiovisual Theory 1

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Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
373DFT1 ZK 3 2T Czech winter

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Name of lecturer(s)


Learning outcomes of the course unit

The student, upon completion of the course will be able to understand the development of thinking about audio-visual art of the second half of the 20th century, assign individual authorities and their texts to the appropriate direction and define the address of their considerations in contemporary artistic practice and theory review. As well, the student will adopt the ability to abstract the basic thesis from theory texts and critically interpret them in relation to not only their period but also their current social and political context. Finally the student will be able to more thoughtfully understand and conceptualize their own artistic creation.

Mode of study

Lectures through two course in which there is discussion over theory texts. There are several lecturers.

Prerequisites and co-requisites

These lectures are intended for 1st year Bachelor Audio-visual studies students but is also open to interested students from other depts.

Course contents

This course focuses on the basic concepts and figures in audio-visual theory, primarily of the second half of the 20th century and early 21st (Walter Benjamin, Marshall McLuhan, Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, Laura Mulvey, Lev Manovic, Harun Farocki) in a historical perspective. The course is comprised of lectures which arranges given theoreticians and their concepts into a period context and outlines further movements in connection to theory conisderations. The course includes classes in close readings of selected texts or audio-visual matieral which characterizes the given theoretician or direction.

7. 10. - Marshall McLuhan: How to understand the media (David Kořínek - lecture)

McLuhan's classification of media, medium as an extension, media content, bitter/cold media, importance for new media theory.

14. 10. - Marshall McLuhan: How to understand the media - (David Kořínek - seminář)

Required text: McLuhan, Marshall: How to understand the media, Odeon 1991.

secondary literature:

Horrocks, Christopher: Marshall McLuhan a virtualita, Triton 2002.

Levinson, Paul: Digital McLuhan, Routledge 2001.

21. 10. - The age of technical reproducibility: Introduction to the thinking of Walter Benjamin (Lukáš Likavčan - lecture)

Introductory lecture to the works of Walter Benjamin will touch on, in particular, his work - social and technological changes in the first half of the 20th century, Marxism and historical materialism. Lectures will also cover an analogy of Benjamin's period with the second decade of the 21st century, in his works we will be able to read from the position of contemporary thought (ex: using Erika Balsom).

28. 10. - State holiday

4. 11. - The Age of technical reproducibility: Introduction to the thinking of Walter Benjamin (Lukáš Likavčan - class)

Required textt: Walter Benjamin, “Umělecké dílo ve věku své technické reprodukovatelnosti”, Dílo a jeho zdroj (Odeon, 1979), s. 17-47.

Secondary literature:

Erica Balsom, After Uniqueness: A History of Film and Video Art in Circulation (Columbia University Press, 2017)

Alžběta Bačíková - Anna Remešová, “Rozhovor s Erikou Balsom”, Politika pravdy II: Observace (FaVU / etc. galerie, 2017), s. 14-27.

11. 11. - Post-structuralism (Roland Barthes+Michel Foucault) - Dita Malečková (lecture)

French structuralism, its relation to semiotics, phenomology and its post-structuralistic continuation.

Derride's deconstruction. Mythology and Ideology (R. Barthes). Thought and power (M. Foucault).

Structuralism, semiotics and new media.

18. 11. - Post-structuralism (Roland Barthes+Michel Foucault) - Dita Malečková (class)

Required text:

Roland Barthes: Death of the author, available online: https://monoskop.org/images/d/de/Barthes_Roland_1968_2006_Smrt_autora.pdf

Michel Foucalt: Workds and Things - preface, available online: https://monoskop.org/images/9/95/Foucault_Michel_Slova_a_veci.pdf

25. 11. - Psychoanalysis and Feminism (Hana Janečková - lecture)

This section, in connecting to the previous lecture, we attempt to critically analyse the ideology of the image and technological mediation. How the the influence of psychoanalysis, so called, small gazes or denaturalization of technology which began at the beginning ofthe 1970s and have great relevance in the contemporary context of visual culture and art. Discussed texts and perspectives will be devoted to key question is the issue of gender, sexuality, race and class in the field of media and culture theory.

2. 12. - Psychoanalysis and Feminism (Hana Janečková, class)

Required text: Mulvey, Laura. “Vizuální slast a narativní film.” Iluminace 5, 1993, č. 3, s. 43-52.

secondary literature:

Amelia Jones Self/Image: Technology, Representation and the Contemporary Subject. Routledge (2006)

Jacqueline Rose, ‘Femininity and Its Discontents’, in Sexuality in the Field of Vision. Verso, 1991.

Schulamitz Firestone, Dialectics of sex.

Donna Haraway, Cyborg Manifesto.

9. 12. - Lev Manovich: Language of new media (David Kořínek - lecture)

Five characteristics of new media and digital cinematography.

16. 12. - Lev Manovich: Language of new media - (David Kořínek - class)

Required text: Manovich, Lev. Jazyk nových médií. Praha: Karolinum 2018.

Recommended or required reading

Benjamin, Walter. „Umělecké dílo ve věku své technické reprodukovatelnosti.“ Dílo a jeho zdroj. Přel. Věra Saudková. Praha: Odeon, 1979. 17–47.

Manovich, Lev. Jazyk nových médií. Praha: Karolinum, 2018.

McLuhan, Marshall. Jak rozumět médiím. Praha: Odeon, 1991.

Mulvey, Laura. „Vizuální slast a narativní film.“ Iluminace 5, 1993, č. 3, s. 43-52.

Elsaesser, Thomas (ed.). Harun Farocki: Working on the Sight-Lines. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2004.

Assessment methods and criteria

Students receive for each lecture texts or audio-visual material for study at home to be subsequently discussed with the instructor in class. Attendance at these classes is required with a maximum of 2 abscenses per semester. The course is concluded with an oral exam which apart from the material covered in lectures confirms knowledge of the assigned texts.

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This course takes place once every two years. It is set for the 2019-2020 school year.

Further information

This course is an elective for all students of this school

Schedule for winter semester 2019/2020:

room 344
Room No. 7

(Lažanský palác)
(lecture parallel1)
Date Day Time Tutor Location Notes No. of paralel
Mon 12:20–13:55 Veronika KLUSÁKOVÁ Room No. 7
Lažanský palác
lecture parallel1

Schedule for summer semester 2019/2020:

The schedule has not yet been prepared

The subject is a part of the following study plans