For Class on February 21:

1. Hands-on Assignment: Conceptualizing and Performing Sound (DUE February 21)

  • Develop an original sound piece consisting of pre‐recorded samples and/or newly captured soundscapes or spoken voices depicting your interpretation of a critical issue with an aesthetic response. The work may be conceptualized, composed and performed individually or through collaborative/participatory modes.
  • You may use the body, public space, everyday objects, analog or digital audio technologies (or an ingenious combination thereof) in conceiving, capturing or performing the piece. The duration of the overall piece may be determined by you, however you must share or perform at least a 1‐2 minutes excerpt during presentations in class, and make a recorded version available on the blog for review.
  • Describe the context of the piece and reflect on the process of creating it and its intended aesthetic/political effect in a 1‐page blog write‐up (with the audio or video of the piece/performance included). Consider how the work draws from influences in sound, radio and networked audio interventions discussed in the readings or in other contemporary work you’ve come across.
  • The Tech Labs next week will hopefully introduce you to some recording & remixing techniques (both analog and digital) but most importantly you should use the readings to conceptualize reflective and performative ideas for the assignment. You can work in pairs and even recruit people outside class to develop your piece collectively or perform in a public space as an intervention.


Thursday, February 16, and/or Saturday, February 18 (TBD): Using sound and audio recordings for intervention and performance

For Class on February 14:

1. Readings (download at

  • Bertolt Brecht. The Radio as an Apparatus of Communication (Chapter 16), Brecht on Theatre: The Development of an Aesthetic, 1964.
  • Three Chapters from the book “Wireless Imagination: Sound, Radio and the Avant-Garde”, Ed. Douglas Kahn and Gregory Whitehead. The MIT Press, 1992.
  • Douglas Kahn. Preface and Introduction: Histories of Sound Once Removed (Chapter 1)
  • Christopher Schiff. Banging on the Windowpane: Sound in early Surrealism (Chapter 6)
  • Mark E. Cory. Soundplay: The Polyphonous Tradition of German Radio Art (Chapter 14)

(Supplementary Reading) Essays and interviews showcasing contemporary woman artists:

2. Case Study Presentation(s)


We will meet Thursday, February 9 from 10:00 – 12:00pm at The Brecht Forum at 451 West Street for a workshop taught be Miriam Aziz.

For Class on February 7:

1. Readings (download at

  • Bertolt Brecht. The Modern Theater is the Epic Theater (Chapter 13), Brecht on Theatre: The Development of an Aesthetic, 1964.
  • Augusto Boal, Poetics of the Oppressed: Experiments with the People’s Theater in Peru (in Chapter 4), Theater of the Oppressed, 1985.
  • John Bell. Louder than Traffic: Bread and Puppet Parades. Radical Street Performance. Ed. Jan Cohen-Cruz. Routledge, 1998.
  • (Optional) Guillermo Gomez-Pena. In defense of performance (Chapter 2). Ethno-techno: Writings on performance, activism and pedagogy. Routledge, 2005.

2. Case Study Presentations


On Thursday (February 2nd), we will meet from 10:00am – 12:00pm in Room 1011 at 2 West 13th Street.  We will be learning about critical interviewing technique. Please bring your own recording equipment – audio or video – if you have it.

For Class on January 31st:

1.  Biography Blog

Describe your background and interest in civic media.  How did you end up at The New School?  Can you describe and share any projects that connect to this course?  This is also your opportunity to share issues and topics that matter most to you.  As we begin to think about collaborating, the biographies will be an opportunity to introduce our interests and skill sets to each other.

2. Project Example Blog

Please write about one project example that demonstrates civic media and tactical design.  Give a basic overview of this project and the ways that it addresses a specific issue.  Why does this project interest you?  In what ways does it involve civic media and tactical design according to definitions given in class (refer to Sara’s blog post on the word cloud for a summary of this discussion)?  You are strongly encouraged to blog about examples at Eyebeam’s Activist Technology Demo Day this Saturday – conduct interviews, take photographs, offer personal on-site reflection, etc.!

3. Readings

Society of the Spectacle

Tactical Intervention

  • The ABC of Tactical Media by David Garcia and Geert Lovink – A brief preface to motivate these readings. (
  • The Practice of Everyday Life by Michel de Certeau (1980) – Read General Introduction (through “the tactics of practice”) (Click to Download PDF)
  • Digital Resistance: Explorations in Tactical Media by the Critical Art Ensemble (2000) – excellent introduction applying de Certeau’s theory of tactics. (Click to Download PDF)
  • Interventions’ user manual for the creative disruption of everyday life by Nato Thompson (2004) – Read the article on “Interventionism and the Historical Uncanny” by Gregory Sholette. (page 133 onwards) – excellent artistic examples. (Click to Download PDF)


Can anyone bring examples of Occupy Wall Street films, projects, etc to class next week?  We would like to have people informally present examples for discussion.  You can post these examples on the blog ahead of time or just bring them to class.

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