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My involvement in teaching media art history and theory developed out of my interest in photography and media theory, especially as I pursued my own PhD research between 1997-2004.
In 2003 I developed and taught a 2nd/3rd year seminar at the Centre for Ideas at VCA called 'Participatory Art: From Dada to Digital'. In 2004 I established a new subject at the Department of Art History at the University of Melbourne for 4th and 5th year students called 'New Media Art'. The subject, which situated Australian media in an international lineage - and was largely taken by students studying Masters in Curatorship, had the following outline:
"This subject traces the development of new media art as a contested field of contemporary art practice incorporating media technologies. It introduces students to the activities of a diverse group of artists, scientists, poets, musicians, and theorists since the art and technology movement in the 1960s, including video installation and net.art. The subject begins with a pre-history of new media art, including the long history of immersion, Wagner’s concept of the ‘total art work’ (Gesamtkunstwerk) and Duchamp’s dictum that the viewer completes the work of art. Students will examine the concept of interactivity, and its origins in avant-garde traditions at the beginning of the twentieth century, as a reaction to the widening gap between the mass media and the art audience. They will encounter key examples of electronic and digital art that will provide an awareness of how new media blurs the hierarchies separating art forms and the conventional distinctions between artwork and viewer. The subject will explore the implications of the performative nature of digital art, collaborative authoring, techniques of remediation, art and science crossovers, global audiences, institutional, curatorial and conservation issues, and the politics of virtual aesthetic experience in the age of the Internet. On completion of the subject students should be familiar with key issues in the history of international and Australian new media since the 1960s, and with developments of new media art theory over the same period."
Since joining Monash University in 2005 I have not taught any subjects devoted exclusively to media art. However all of my subjects involve elements of digital art and media.
Daniel Palmer is Senior Lecturer of Theory of Art & Design at Monash University.
Daniel Palmer’s research and professional practice focuses on contemporary art and cultural theory, with a particular emphasis on photography and digital media. Prior to joining the Faculty of Art & Design in 2005, Palmer worked as a curator at the Centre for Contemporary Photography – where he is now a Board Member. A prolific writer and commentator, Palmer has published over forty catalogue essays and fifty art reviews since 1997. He is a regular contributor to Australian and international art journals including Photofile, Art & Australia, Real Time, Broadsheet and Frieze. His current research is focused around the ARC funded project ‘Genealogies of Digital Light’, and the question of art criticism in the post-medium condition.