Fri 10:30 – 1:20
It is hard to overestimate the impact of systems theory and the related field of cybernetics on all aspects of human endeavor, from diverse academic disciplines to politics and industry to the arts. Indeed, systems thinking became so engrained in contemporary thought as to be redundant, if not invisible. A variety of factors, including the advent of complexity theory, network culture, and climate change, have sparked renewed interest in systems theory and cybernetics, with respect to both their interdisciplinary histories and their potential to inform current and future practices. DX598 Systems provides an overview of historical and emerging ideas pertaining to systems in the arts, framed in a broader context of the interdisciplinary intellectual history of systems theory and the epistemic shifts entailed by it. Dr. Shanken’s, Systems, a collection of essays proposed for the Whitechapel/MIT Documents of Contemporary Art series, will serve as an intellectual foundation for this course. Seminar participants will immerse themselves in both historical and emerging modes of systems thinking from diverse fields. The goal of the seminar is to provide a forum for participants to immerse themselves in systems theoretical approaches in order to deepen and expand their own critical practices.
Course Website (requires login)
· Reading responses: Short written responses to weekly readings on course Blog
· Presentations: presentations in class as assigned.
· Mid-term: 20 minute presentation of proposed final project
· Final: 5000-6000 word essay or equivalent project with written historical/theoretical framework
Grading of all assignments will be based upon the quality of concept, experimentation, work ethic and realization. The overall class grade will be broken down approximately as follows:
· In-class Participation: 15%
· Online Participation: 15%
· Mid-term: 25% (Feb 26, 20 min. in-class presentations)
· Final: 45% (due 10:20am Mar 16)
· Attend all classes. If you have to miss class due to emergency, illness or due to an established religious holiday, then you must notify the instructor directly and in advance. You will be expected to make up any missed sessions.
· Students are expected to come to class on time, ready to start promptly. Please bring any required materials, homework and notetaking equipment.
· Complete class exercises and/or reading homework.
· Participate in class discussions.
· Complete all assigned presentations and submit written feedback on presentations by others: late work will not be accepted.
· Complete a final project and presentation: late work will not be accepted.
· Creative experimentation is required and expected: attempt the impossible; use your imagination to stretch the boundaries of any and all assignments.
No smoking, eating or drinking in the laboratory, classroom or building. Back up your data. No excuses for losing papers, web documents, images, etc. Keep at least three copies of everything: one on your hard drive, one on a CD, and one somewhere else just in case. If you have a disability that you think may impact your participation in this class, please contact Disabled Student Services. Every effort will be made to accommodate your needs.