This year marked a transitional stage for the Experimental and Media Arts department. Together with my colleagues Lynn Lukkas and Diane Willow, we accomplished the following:
-Official name change from Time and Interactivity to Experimental and Media Arts
-Creation of the EMA area blog with a centralized calendar and online resources for our graduate and undergraduate students
-Conceptualization and initial deployment of a comprehensive space reconfiguration: new sound studio (Regis W131), new advanced video lab (W121, the old space was given to the Regis tech staff to meet their needs), new mixed analog-digital studio shared with painting and drawing (W248)
-Preparation and submission of three major CLA-OIT Tech Fees grants (requesting a total of $150,000) for necessary upgrades of hardware and software in Regis
Sample Course Syllabi and Student work by Ali Momeni
I am committed to using technology in my teaching. With the help of the pedagogic tools available at the University of Minnesota, I have conducted all of my courses thus-far in a mostly paper-free manner. All course syllabi, reading assignments, references and student works are on-line. Below you will find directed links to my course materials; please use the digital copy of this document with a computer connected to the internet.
Spring 2008, Fall 2008
Together with the two other core faculty of COLA, Michael Sommers and Guerino Mazzola, and our director Michael Cherlin, we finalized and submitted the following:
1) Requirements for a COLA major in the CLA
2) Description of the COLA Fundamentals course (i.e. COLA 1001, The Art of Collaboration). The course is approved, and will be co-taught by all COLA core faculty.
Fall 2008: After a convincing argument to the department, delivered by myself and Jenski at the faculty retreat in Feb. 2007, I was appointed chair of the Public Image/Web Presence committee.
The College of liberal arts has approved (and funded) a major update of the West Bank Arts Quarter (including Arts, Music, Theater and Dance, and Collaborative Arts). The college has hired the services of bswing to evaluate the usage and needs of the arts departments websites.
I met with bswing on a number of occasions for interviews and discussions. They seem to be asking the right questions, though their focus seems to be the West Bank Arts Quarter, as opposed to the departments that make up the WBAQ.
According to the presentation on bswing on Dec. 4, 2008, the WBAQ remains only a geographical indication, while the needs of the websites for independent departments remain many, diverse and sometimes overlapping. The next stage will be a graphical presentation of a web-site by bswing to the WBAQ-wide committee to which I am the Art Department representative.
Fall 2008: I served on the Curriculum Committee in the department of art. Our main considerations were:
1) re-evaluation of major project for the BFA track; after consideration of all feedback from students and instructors, we decided to recommend to the department to break the class into a number of options: 1st, an “Art and Life” course, much in the style of the present “Art in the Twin Cities” course; as many of the BFAs do not go on to pursue careers in the arts, a fitting cap-stone course would be to assure that the know their local art world well and have experienced it aesthetically and critically. Another option would be an advanced studio; most BFAs do not get a lot of studio experience in our department (more than P are transfer students). An additional upper level studio would allow them valuable time to develop their voice
2) re-consideration of the Public Spaces position for grads: the last three graduate students have quit this position due to its unrealistic demands. A potential solution can be to make the BFA show juried, and therefore smaller.
3) re-consideration of the 2-year language requirement for BFAs. This question is to be investigated further
I was invited by Vice President for Scholarly and Cultural Affairs, Steven Rosenstone, to be a part of the 6-member technology advisory committee for the ambitious re-design of Northrop Hall, one of the oldest buildings on the UMN Twin Cities Campus.
We collectively came up with a list of wants, needs and ideas; they include: the maximization of public spaces, the allocation of the best spaces in the building to those public spaces, the need for a highly wired building, the possibility to use the outside of the building (e.g. projections) as well as the inside, the possibilities of visualizing the activity inside the space on the outside architecture.
Benjamin M. Johnson has been appointed to the position of Concerts and Lectures at the University of Minnesota, here‘s the announcement.