July 2nd: Digital Media II


Walter Benjamin – The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (excerpts) 

Immediacy, Hypermediacy and Remediation, Bolter and Grusin (full text) – here is a summary .


For discussion about Remix on Slack

blog prompt:

According to Benjamin, how does mechanical reproduction change culture? What do you think are the consequences of digital reproduction on cultural expression today? Can a digital work have anything like an “aura? How does the culture of remix (see above video) confirm of refute Benjamin’s ideas?

video lecture:

creative activity (post to blog):

Digital Media Chapter unit exercise:

meme is an idea, image, joke, phrase, gesture, recorded act, or a style that spreads from person to person within a group. A meme usually conveys a particular point-of-view, theme, or meaning that connects with others and gives a reason for them to pass it on. Because internet memes, as digital media, can circulate very rapidly and widely from one user to another, they have been used to get activist or poltical messages to spread “virally.”

Create your own activist meme. Think of an important message you want to spread and create a meme that you can post to social networks.

  1. Create or find an image (in the public domain) that expresses your idea. 
  2. Add a caption to the image that will get across your message. 
  3. Share your meme with the class and/or with your social networks.
  4. Comment on each others’ memes

Project 1: Mosaic Probe  – DUE JULY 14th

Write a visual or multimodal essay in the “mosaic style” of The Medium is the Massage. You may expand one or more blog post(s) or start in a new direction.The topic is open. It can be personal, argumentative, exploratory, evidence-based or creative nonfiction. However, the essay, should reference at least two readings and it should “probe” a single idea or aspect of digital culture and should address how digital media changes human interaction, communication, identity or community.

Digital Tools:

  • Powerpoint
  • Keynote
  • Google Slides
  • Pages
  • Word


  • Do not approach this as a linear college essay with an introduction, development and conclusion. This a mosaic. Start by writing in fragments or as a mind map around your central idea. Integrate quotes from the readings, design and media elements (you may use images from google search) and put these into play with your written fragments. Then edit/refine the writing.
  • Experiment with typography, color, imagery and sound, but try to make meaningful juxtapositions of text and design elements. You will not be graded on your design skills, but on the thinking you put into these relations
  • Always check spelling and grammar. Always proofread your writing.
  • Reference/quote from at least two readings
  • 500-1000 words
  • Include a notes section where you properly source any text, image, video, or sound file that is not your own

Idea suggestions:

  • A reflective personal essay about how digital media has changed you
  • Pick a social network and “probe” how the medium shapes social interaction and personal identities
  • Expand a blog post or connect ideas from two blog posts
  • Reflect on the consequences or implications of the reproduction, storage and distribution of digital media
  • Speculate about the future of digital media 10, 50, 100 years from now



Final Project:

DUE: July 30th, the last class

OPTION #1: Compose a 1500-3000 word multimedia (images and/or video) essay on any topic that relates to digital media. The essay must meet the following criteria:

  • unlike the “mosaic probe” the writing must make a specific argument about digital media and relate the ideas/works we have discussed in class
  • the text must integrate at least two main topics from the class modules (reproduction/remediation, for example)
  • reference at least 3 of the class readings/viewings
  • meaningfully quote from at least 2 of the class readings
  • spelling and grammar checked
  • include a notes section where you properly source any text, image, video, or sound file that is not your own


  • an analysis of a work of digital art or electronic literature
  • an analysis of an app or genre of app
  • an analysis of social media platform
  • an analysis of digital media used in political or ad campaigns
  • a comparison of two works in which one remediates another
  • make a digital work with an accompanying text

OPTION #2: Create a creative, essayistic digital work (video, website or Twine game) that integrates media (text, images, audio, video) and reflects on any topic or issue discussed in class. Include a 500-1000 artist statement about the creative work and how it relates to the class modules and discussions.






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