This subject is concerned with the representation and reality of future cultures and the way they have been imagined in the past and the present. We are going to be exploring and examining the tension between the different ways the future has been conceptualised and its actual lived experience.
The primary purpose of the subject is to consider the relationship between media and communication technologies, practices and industries in terms of how they contribute to the way we think about and plan for the future.
Students in this subject will pursue an independent research task investigating issues related to the presence and use of computers and networks in all aspects of contemporary social life, including communication, education, business, art and entertainment.
Through their research students will develop advanced knowledge of the history and current conditions of cyberculture and the rise of new technologies, from 3D printing and virtual reality to robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence, and consider what these developments mean for the media and communication industries.
This research will be materialised in the form of a digital artefact. A digital artefact is a project that is student driven and entirely defined and decided upon by you. The project can take many forms from a series of video essays to a robot, a VR simulation or a podcast.
The formal Learning Outcomes for the subject are:
1. Be able to critically analyse and discuss the implications of the texts, technologies and practices relevant to the digital environment using an appropriate theoretical framework;
2. Express clearly, in digital and oral form, a sophisticated analysis of the issues related to the future of digital technologies while drawing on primary and secondary sources;
3. Demonstrate advanced digital literacies in the preparation and delivery of a digital artefact on a topic inspired by issues raised in the subject.
“Digital refers not just to the effects and possibilities of a particular technology. It defines and encompasses the ways of thinking and doing that are embodied within that technology, and which make its development possible. These include abstraction, codification, self-regulation, virtualization and programming. These qualities are concomitant with writing and, indeed, with language more generally, and, inasmuch as language, written or spoken, is digital in that it deals with discrete elements, then almost all human culture may be said to be digital.”
Charlie Gere Digital Culture 2002, 17-18.