Apr 042013

Instructor: Shannon Mattern
Fall 2013 Graduate Seminar (advanced undergrads welcome)
CRN 6731
Tuesdays 4 – 5:50pm
2012 Course Website

*While this course is not explicitly about sound, students can tailor their projects to focus on audio archives, music libraries, or other sound-related topics.

“There has been more information produced in the last 30 years than during the previous 5000.” We have all heard some variation on this maxim. As U.S. publishers add 250,000 printed books and close to 300,000 print-on-demand books to our libraries each year; as we find ourselves wading through over 200 million websites; as we continue to add new media – from Tweets to Apps to geo-tagged maps – to our everyday media repertoires, we continually search for new ways to navigate this ever more treacherous sea of information. Throughout human history we have relied on various institutions and politico-intellectual architectures to organize, index, preserve, make sense of, and facilitate or control access to our stores of knowledge, our assemblages of media, our collections of information. This seminar looks at the past, present, and future of the library, the archive, and the database, and considers what logics, priorities, politics, audiences, contents, aesthetics, physical forms, etc., ally and differentiate these forms of data storage and filtering. We will examine what roles the library, archive, and the database play in democracy, in education, in everyday life, and in art. **This class is the first in a two-part series; in Spring 2014, we’ll be consulting with archivists, librarians, and designers to develop a  digital archive for The New School. Students are strongly encourage to enroll in both the Fall and Spring courses.

Image via — Wikimedia Commons

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