INPUT (1st year)

The aim of the first year is to provide intensive input from labs, seminars, artist’s visits and
workshops. Through this integrated mix, you master knowledge and techniques that will prepare you to plan and execute art projects in a rapidly changing environment. The INPUT year is designed to let you explore, expand, and communicate the substance of your work. The outcome of this first year is your process portfolio and your research proposal. The proposal gives a clear and realistic picture of your project(s). You can define its format, design, look, size and content yourself. The ‘Research Studies’ seminars provide the input needed to produce this proposal. The ‘Transmedia Studies’ seminars present the necessary literature to give substance to the content.

01 Individual Practice

01.1. Your work
Your work is your basic point of reference throughout the Transmedia program. These self-initiated projects are art/design work(s) defined in terms of its scope, realization and development by you, and in possible relation with other students, external organisations or practitioners. In this process you can rely on a dialogue about the theoretical, practical and technical dimensions of the work with lab and seminar teachers and the lab manager. Whilst your self-initiated projects can be of a purely experimental or speculative nature, you may also wish to establish some kind of connection with outside agencies, such as competitions, exhibitions, community groups, etc. in order to produce work. Their relationship to the work might be configured as a client, collaborator, commissioner and so on. You are encouraged to make such arrangements, include them in your web-log and share information about possibilities for them with other students.

01.2. Tutorials
Student participation and shared responsibility are important elements throughout the Transmedia
program. It is crucial for the effective day to day running as well as the assessment of your trajectory that teachers and students take part in dialogue and exchange of views relative to your work. The communication channel for critical and evaluative views and opinions to be voiced is the individual meeting with lab and seminar leaders and lab manager. During these tutorials, you have the opportunity to critically review your personal presentation skills, methods of research, ways of producing, and both form and content of your projects.

01.3. Labs
These labs are designed to take a closer look at the problems and possibilities that arise when you develop a work of art. They help you achieve your artistic intentions by understanding the achievements of others. They let you understand the strategies and tactics as well as knowledges and skills involved in the production of art work. Your individual practice is your basic point of reference: a continuous and independent art practice that seeks for a dialogue with similar practices from other disciplines. In this process you can rely on a dialogue about the work’s practical and technical dimensions as well as about content matter with teachers and the lab manager. You are invited to submerge yourself in these labs that can take on the form of workshops, talks, concerts, screenings, and any other public intervention. The idea is to bring the outside world into the Transmedia program through visits to exhibitions and symposia as well as through intensive periods of hands-on coursework that are intended to investigate specific tools and procedures initiated on a student project or transmedia project basis. Last year’s labs included: Cimatics festival, Sonic Acts festival, Transmediale, ShapeShifters, digital sound & image workshop, video-editing workshop, Reactable workshop, Isadora workshop.

02. Transmedia Studies

The course focusses on the conceptual understanding and insights you will need to produce thoughtful, engaging and professional artwork. You will learn from internationally recognized teachers and visiting artists who are actively shaping the direction of thinking and practice in the rapidly evolving transmedia field.

02.1. Transmedia Culture
This seminar offers a gateway to the history of new media forms, pushing these out of isolation towards their relevant epistemologies in cinema, software development, programming languages, writing, and communication theory. It maps out the trajectories that film, tv and computer screens have traced upon our cultural imaginary. This analysis of old and new media includes an impassioned discussion – informed by the discourses of technology, aesthetics, and cultural theory – of the digital artists, designers and filmmakers who matter most. By questioning exaggerated and superficial claims about the novelty of art and design in the age of new digital technologies, this course offers instead an overview of the relationships between new media and their predecessors. You learn how to place transmedia art within the histories of visual and media cultures of the last few centuries. For explaining the continuities with the past, enables us to argue for the qualities of new media that are truly new.

02.2. Visiting artists
The visiting artists series includes practicing electronic media artists, industry professionals, as well as critics and theorists. The wide range of visiting artists is drawn from international leaders in all of these areas; they offer valuable insight through their breadth of knowledge and experience. This lecture series explores the unprecedented convergence of the arts and media in today’s technologically rich culture, and offers an insight into ways of working and the creative and professional paths of individual artists. Some of the visiting artists will comment on your work during individual meetings.
Past visits and lectures by artists included: see Staff.

03. Research Studies

These seminars are designed to inspire your critical thinking and stimulate your imagination. They help you achieve your artistic intentions by understanding the achievements of others. They let you understand the context in culture and history out of which art, media and technology spring, and encourage you to think clearly, communicate accurately, write effectively, and develop a flexible mind informed by a strong sense of aesthetics and ethics. The seminars explicitily provide you with the necessary tools for both your first year research proposal
and your graduation project.

03.1. Methods of Research
Regardless of the subject or form, the prime criterion is that your graduation project contributes
to new insights or a new understanding of the creative, artistic use of transmedia art. In concrete terms this means that you must develop into an independent researcher by developing an analytic language testing the artistic content of your work against contemporary aesthetic, social, cultural and professional frames of reference. Since the interpretation of ‘knowledge’ and ‘understanding’ in art and design is subject to continuous debate, and the research method may develop in parallel with the project itself, it is essential to define an initial method for your artistic research. How are practical experiments to be noted down and interpreted? How should your own artistic work be evaluated in relation to the original objective and the overall aims? What are these overall aims?

03.2. Ways of Producing
What are the production structures best suited to the individual interests and needs of the artist? Does new transmedia art need alternative ways of production or will the present models do? Or maybe transmedia art provides in itself a new model for independent production and distribution and for sharing experiences between artists and visitors? How can this potential for independence and exchange be used in an autonomous context (projects which are developed by the artist) or institutionalized context (projects which are developed and co-produced in an institution)? And can research time and production planning be combined? Practice-oriented seminars and workshops will introduce you to these current issues in the contemporary exhibition circuit. You learn how to position yourself in a broader context while reflecting on the various practical and organizational aspects of showing your work.

03.3. Process Portfolio
Your personal web-log is part of www.transmedians.be and is (partially) accessible to your fellow students, teachers and staff. You determine its size and content yourself. The purpose of this text-based log is to provide an accurate and up-to-date outline of your path through the Transmedia program. It is the story of your work and work methods. For your fellow students it is an ongoing means of communication regarding the development of your artistic activities. For the lecturers and members of staff it is a reservoir of ‘snapshots’ that make a significant contribution to your intermediate and final assessments. For yourself it is a means of recording and archiving, communication and reflection on the genesis of your work and work in progress. You can make use of this web-log to present personal information, to publish text on projects and work-in-progress, to construct statements and make links.

03.4. Research Proposal
Your first-year research proposal gives a clear and realistic picture of your Transmedia trajectory. You can define its format, design, look, size and content yourself. The proposal comprises an English text in which you explain your motives, intentions, methods, content and form of your individual practice as well as outline the context of your future work. The ‘Transmedia Studies’ and ‘Research Studies’ seminars provide the input needed to produce this research proposal.