Time: M 9a - 11:50a
Place: COMM 9E
Server Info: TBD
Equipment Info: mcma.siu.edu/checkout


Instructor: Deron Williams
Contact: dwill1@siu.edu
Office: MCMA 0012a
Office Hours: M 12:30 - 1:30p;
R 12:30 - 1:30p, and by appt.


Digital Technology has radically altered and expanded the creative possibilities for media artists. The implosion of media technologies has significantly blurred the line between previously disparate production practices (whether cinematic, photographic, literary, graphic, etc), and narrowed the gap between 'producer' and 'consumer'.

As a de-facto part of an ever-expanding network of digital immersion on the internet, the responsibility for young media artists is to develop a critical production practice that is both technical and conceptual. By engaging in discussions about the various possibilities of media creation, young artists separate themselves by the ingenuity of their creative solutions, as well as their ability to independently control the technical development of their projects. To that end, where apparent, students will be shown both the conceptual and commercial application of ideas that have their origin in experimental and alternative media production.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have developed a more nuanced vision of media creation that they can apply to new production skills in HD video workflow for television, internet, and traditional video distribution. Students will have applied this knowledge in Studio critiques, and in both collaborative and individual creative projects.


Each week, we will look at a different trend in alternative film, video, and/or media production through short lectures and, when possible, media examples in their entirety. On some weeks, this discussion will dovetail into a workshop session related to the topic, and others into more perfunctory HD video production skills to be covered in anticipation of weekly :30 - 1:00 video productions, and final project.

Each week, students will be required to produce short (~1 minute) video exercises that answer prompts given by the instructor. These prompts will be related to that week's readings, and will require students to begin applying in-class content to their productions. Regular critiques of these works will be scheduled (both in and out of class) throughout the semester.


Short Weekly Video Exercises - 20pts
Group Project Participation - 30pts
Final Project - 30pts
Attendance & Participation - 10pts
Film Fridays and Big Muddy Attendance - 10pts


[A: 90-100 B: 80-89 C: 70-79 D: 60-69 F: <60]


WEEKLY VIDEO EXERCISES - Students will weekly upload :30 - 1:00 videos to the class server created as an answer to a prompt given by the instructor. These prompts may be related in some ways to the readings, but students should not try to explain or define an argument for these readings in the video. These exercises are designed to challenge your skills and ideas about the nature and possibilities of producing moving images. Your ability to make insightful connections is key. Regular critiques of these videos will be scheduled in class.

Students will upload the video to the server by 11pm the night before the class they are due.

GROUP PROJECTS - During the semester, we will complete three group projects directly related to the topic we are discussing in class. These projects will have clear guidelines and will be used to demonstrate certain abstract concepts that are better taught through practice. Your participation in these projects constitutes the same weight as active attendance and participation in class workshops and discussions.

  • Project One: Appropriating Cultural Forms
    Cultural forms are the structure of our existence; we understand the bounds of our experience within culture more fully through somewhat arbitrary, but totally inextricable, nearly universal structures that bring us pleasure or help us live (e.g the market, the restaurant, the pharmacy, the gallery, the university, the stadium, the cathedral, The Pop Song, The Three Act Structure). This group project will take the idea of 'appropriation' out of the overly reductionist 'remix and re-upload' mode common in academic curriculum. We will appropriate a non-media based 'cultural form' and make a work of media art with it.

  • Project Two: Installations In Alien Territory
    This project will consider the place of the moving image in venues designed from antiquity to house either sequential, non-durational works of art (such as sculpture and paintings), or no art whatsoever. We will consider the role of a work's situation by considering how artists have played with the navigation of conventional and art-oriented spaces. We will generate a mountain of video during the first eight weeks of class. We will curate this mountain and install the work into a coherently designed multi-screen, multidimensional video installation that considers the role of viewer in the navigation spaces designed to display art.

  • Project Three: Long Live The New Flesh!
    For this project we will consider the place of the moving image in popular distribution outlets outside of the Cinema. We will design and produce a program for on-campus CCTV channel SPC TV. This program will show on a to-be-determined rotation for a period of a week near semester's end. Much of this program can be made up of students' final projects, but on the whole should contain some specific play with the bounds of the screen/viewer interface. It will only be as Videodrome-ey as y'all want to make it.

FINAL PROJECT - Students will propose and complete an involved media project of their choosing in the last half of the semester. Grading will be along the lines of effort and final synthesis, meaning an A will be reserved for those students who have put a considerable effort into developing a project that finds new intersections between the work shown in class and their own developing production practice. This project is hopefully related to the topics presented in the course, but external influences are always welcomed. You may choose to use one of the weekly video exercises as a starting point, or begin making connections and synthesizing your own project. A brief artist statement will be due along with the final project during the last week of classes. Individual meetings with the instructor will clarify your ideas.

ATTENDANCE + PARTICIPATION - It should always go without saying, but attendance is key to success, not just for University, but for life in general. This said, I will take attendance from time to time, but it is upon you to be responsible for your own attendance and interaction with course material.

FILM FRIDAYS + BIG MUDDY ATTENDANCE - The Dpeartment of Cinema and Photography, along with the Undergraduate Fine Arts Activity Fee, sponsors a yearly screening series of independent and avant garde films at the Varsity Theater. Students will be required to attend three of these programs and write a 1-2 page summary of the program, connecting it to the work you've been doing in the class, and the material presented. The summary is due the class period following the screening.


01/16/12: WEEK 1. MLK JR Holiday, No Class


Duration and Time as evidence in moving image practice.

Film v. Video; Toward object-oriented art practices

Lecture Readings:
Moving Pictures by Sylvia Martin [PDF HERE]
Shedding The Utopian Moment by Martha Rosler [PDF HERE]

In-Class Viewings:
Zen For Film by Nam Jun Paik
Selections from Timecode by Mike Figgis

Marking pure duration. Multiplicity of POV.

01/30/12: WEEK 3. NARRATION

Lecture Readings:
A Pentagram For Conjuring The Narrative by Hollis Frampton [PDF HERE]
Deciderization 2007 by David Foster Wallace [PDF HERE]

In-Class Viewings:
Semiotics of the Kitchen by Martha Rosler
Getting Stronger Everyday by Miranda July
Jollies by Sadie Benning
O Superman by Lauire Anderson

Workshop: HD video production workflow for digital distribution.

02/06/12: WEEK 4. DOCUMENTATION (Relational)

Lecture Readings:
Relational Filmmaking: A Manifesto and its Explication by Julie Perini [PDF HERE]
Situationist International: Theory Of Moments and the Construction of Situations [PDF HERE]

In-Class Viewings:
Six Colorful Inside Jobs by John Baldessari
Dog Biscuit In A Glass Jar by William Wegman
[...] Lunch In Reverse Order [...] by Julie Perini
Walking Through Paradise by Peter Snowdon

Workshop: TBD

02/13/12: WEEK 5. DOCUMENTATION (Observational & Expressive)

Lecture Readings:
Utopias and Heterotopias by Michel Foucault [PDF HERE]

In-Class Viewings:
13 Lakes by James Benning
The Darkening by Peter Rose
Vertical Features Remake by Peter Greenaway
Powers of Ten by Ray and Charles Eames
Albuquerque Diary: December 23, 2001 by Bryan Konefsky

Workshop: TBD


Lecture Readings:
The Rhizome by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari [PDF HERE]
The Precession of Simulacra by Jean Baudrillard [PDF HERE]

In-Class Viewings:
What Makes Day and Night by Jeanne Liotta
Tribulation '99 by Craig Baldwin
The Physical Impossibility of Life In The Mind of Someone Dead by Brent Coughenour

Workshop: Bending The Archive


Lecture Readings:
Catalog from Soft Cinema by Lev Manovich [PDF HERE]
Selections from Post Production by Nicolas Bourriaud [PDF HERE]

In-Class Viewings:
Garfield Minus Garfield by Dan Walsh
Super Mario Movie by Cory Archangel
Soft Cinema by Lev Manovich
Windows Rainbows and Dinos by Jon Satrom


03/05/12: WEEK 8. INTERVENTION & EXHIBITION (or: Situation, Abjection & Making a Scene)

Lecture Readings:
The Fluxus Performance Workbook Friedman, Smith, Sawchyn eds. [PDF HERE]
Video: The Aesthetics of Narcissism by Rosalind Krauss [PDF HERE]

In-Class Viewings:
Shoot by Chris Burden
Undertone by Vito Acconci
Selections from Jackass 3-D Knoxville, et al.

TV Commercials by Chris Burden
Television Delivers People by Richard Serra
No Other Possibility and Gimme The Mermaid by Negativland

Workshop: TBD

03/12/12: WEEK 9. SPRING BREAK.

03/19/12: WEEK 10. INSTALLATION.

Lecture Readings:
Enclosed by Images: The Eames' Multiscreen Architecture by Beatriz Colomina
My Mind Split Open: Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable by Branden W Joseph

In-Class Viewings:
Ice Cube Celebrates The Eames [Video Here]

Electronic Arts Intermix: Single Channel Video Resource Guide



03/26/12: WEEK 11.

Open Lab
Come prepared to begin work on final project.

Individual meetings with instructor cont'd

04/02/12: WEEK 12.

Open Lab / Lab Visits

Bring final work in progress.

Assign Final Group Project

04/09/12: WEEK 13.

Rough Screenings

04/16/12: WEEK 14.

Guest Instructor TBD

04/23/12: WEEK 15.

Rough Screenings
Group project Final Planning and Curation

04/30/12: WEEK 16.

Final project due along with artist statement

Group Project #3 due FINAL EXHIBITION (or: Long Live The New Flesh)


University's Emergency Procedure Clause: Southern Illinois University Carbondale is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for study and work. Because some health and safety circumstances are beyond our control, we ask that you become familiar with the SIUC Emergency Response Plan and Building Emergency Response Team (BERT) program. Emergency response information is available on posters in buildings on campus, available on BERT's website at www.bert.siu.edu, Department of Public Safety's website www.dps.siu.edu (disaster drop down) and in the Emergency Response Guideline pamphlet. Know how to respond to each type of emergency.

Instructors will provide guidance and direction to students in the classroom in the event of an emergency affecting your location. It is important that you follow these instructions and stay with your instructor during an evacuation or sheltering emergency. The Building Emergency Response Team will provide assistance to your instructor in evacuating the building or sheltering within the facility.

Disabled Students: Instructors and students in the class will work together as a team to assist disabled students out of the building safely. Disabled students will stay with the instructor and communicate with the instructor what is the safest way to assist them.

Tornado: During the spring semester we have a Storm Drill. Pick up your belongings and your instructor will lead you to a safe area of the basement. No one will be allowed to stay upstairs. Stay away from windows. The drill should not last more than 10 minutes. You must stay with your instructor so he/she can take roll calls. Students need to be quiet in the basement as the BERT members are listening to emergency instructions on handheld radios and cannot hear well in the basement.

Fire: During the fall semester we have a Fire Drill. Pick up your belongings and your instructor will lead you to either the North or South parking lot depending on what part of the building your class is in. You must stay with your instructor so he/she can take roll calls. As soon as the building is all clear, you will be allowed to return to class. These drills are to train instructors and the Building Emergency Response Team to get everyone to a safe place during an emergency.

Bomb Threat: If someone calls in a bomb threat, class will be suspended and students will be asked to pick up their belongings, evacuate the building and leave the premises. Do not leave anything that is yours behind. We will not allow anyone back into the building until the police and bomb squad give us an all clear. DO NOT USE YOUR CELL PHONES. Some bombs are triggered by a cell phone signal.

Shooter in the Building: When it is safe to leave, move to a safe area far from the building where the shooter is located. If you have any information about the shooter, please contact the police after you return home. If you cannot leave, go into a room, lock the door, turn out the lights, and if possible, cover the glass on the door. Silence all cell phones after you call the police and inform them of your location. Be quiet and wait for the police to arrive. The police are looking for one or more shooters, and they have no way of knowing if the shooter is in the room with you. For that reason, when the police enter the room, no one should have anything in his/her hands and each person MUST raise his/her hands above his/her head.

Earthquake: In the event of an earthquake you are advised to take cover quickly under heavy furniture or near an interior wall, a corner, to avoid falling debris. Outside the building are trees and power lines and debris from the building itself that you will need to stay away from. In the building, large open areas like auditoriums are the most dangerous. Do not try to escape on a stairway or elevator. Do not hide under a stairway. We do not recommend that you stand in a doorway because the door could shut from the vibrations and crush your fingers trapping you there.

Women's Self-Defense Class: For interested female students and female faculty and staff, the SIU Public Safety Department sets up free self-defense classes. The SIU Public Safety Department will be teaching this class. They teach a free class in the fall and spring at the Rec Center. In the fall you would register at the Rec Center for the Women's Self-Defense Class or RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) as it is sometimes called. If you have questions about registering for the class, you can send an email to lavong@siu.edu. LaVon is the contact in the Dean's Office in the Communications building that will assist you to try to find the class you need.