Media Art (Media Intervention in the City) 2013-2014


Course code: 01252

Teacher: Andy Best

Teaching period: IV

Time and place: 7.3.-2.5.2013 on Fridays at 9:00-17:00. 7.3 lecture is at Art House, Otaniemi, after that the course is mostly in and around Espoon Keskus. No teaching in week 17!

The course is run by Jyri-Matti Äärilä from the Department of Art.

Public art has transformed in recent years to mean much more than just the proverbial sculpture in a plaza. Artists around the world are using media of all kinds to make interventions in the public space. Often the artist is motivated by social and political concerns and works closely with local inhabitants to develop and make the work. Artworks maybe temporary, ephemeral, transitory fragments that appear and then merge back into the fabric of the city just as quickly. Often the artwork is at first difficult to recognise as “art” in the traditional sense. Objects and images or happenings and performances may intermix with the everyday goings-on in the cityscape such that they are like poetic insertions into the normal fabric of society.

Media strategies are mixed. The artwork may camouflage itself using the language and rhetoric of advertising, or perhaps by exploiting the vernacular architectural style. New media and high technology may be appropriate for projections, soundscapes or locative-media based projects, but in other cases low tech and the hand-made aesthetic may be more effective. Local history may be re-examined and exposed, or contemporary social and political concerns highlighted. Whatever the method, the aim is to uncover and expose some hidden truths in the locality in a way that is able to communicate with the person in the street.

This course will introduce students to the works of various international artists active in the cityscape. We will examine their strategies and methods. We will then visit a chosen area within Espoo, a city by name that lacks an identity. We will investigate the local area’s history, society, and developments. Students will interact with local inhabitants and work to propose their own art intervention into the cityscape. Each student will be responsible for developing their ideas as well as gaining necessary permissions for presenting the work. All the works will be presented in public for at least one day at the end of the project. (Currently it is hoped the area we will be working with will be Tapiola, and we will be working from Art Department’s spaces in Otaniemi and possibly in collaboration with Cartes at Wee-Gee Talo)

Grading: Pass/Fail

Language: English