Transmedia Research

tutorial course at new media program, ffa | syllabus

Transmedia Research is a main tutorial course of the New Media program module at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade. It provides a mentored education in new media art production combined with gaining an active insight into the conceptual, technological, theoretical, cultural and political features of new media art. My class strategy emphasizes the integration of multidisciplinary research with technical mastery for the creation of inventive, innovative and socially relevant artwork. The focus is on the artistic experiment envisioned as an intelligent articulation of interests, practical work and critical thinking. The students are expected to take initiative in mastering the tools and techniques they need for their projects, and to build up their skills and competences.

The course motivates active engagement and development of conceptual thinking, technical skills, technological understanding and theoretical knowledge, critical discourse and professional responsibility. The production is focused on the development of students' projects. Students are free to choose the concepts, methodologies, forms and media for their projects with consideration for material and logistic feasibility. The emphasis is on harmonizing the research and experiment with the efficiency and technical sophistication.

The program combines production, lectures, workshops, consultations and exhibitions. Lectures provide an insight into the phenomenological diversity of new media art, covering such topics as digital culture, digital visualization and infographics, sound art, digital animation, digital cinema, digital video, Internet art, generative art, digital interactivity, physical computing, digital performance, game art, tactical media, BioArt, digital architecture, digital design etc. Theoretical or practice-based workshops include guest lecturers, excursions, etc.

An important element of my teaching philosophy is the gallery presentation of the emerging student projects, selected and set up according to the clearly defined curatorial criteria and concepts. Since 2014 I curated Transsampler 2014 and Transsampler 2015 exhibitions in the New Space SCC, and Transanimations 2015 screening at the European Festival of Student Animation (FESA) in Belgrade. The participation in preparing and promoting the exhibitions, the contacts with cultural institutions, the exposure to the professional critique and public reactions, helped many students in emancipating, reflecting, positioning and evaluating their artistic identities within the context of contemporary art.

The term transmedia research refers to a spectrum of creative methods and approaches that strategically transcend and redefine the notions of both traditional and new media, challenging the distinctions between artistic process, experience and product. It denotes an authorial position rather than artistic category or genre, and transmedia artwork can be identified as an authentic outcome of the activity whose concept, content and form defy the strict definition of one or more known media and cannot be unquestionably placed within the established art disciplines such as painting, music, film, etc. Transmedia could be regarded as ‘appropriate media’ in which the means of an art project are integrated with its concept and content. Prefix trans- (lat. trans: across, beyond) stresses the experimental, innovative, expansive, synthetic and pioneering qualities. The interrelatedness of conceptual, ethical, emotional, perceptual, corporeal, material, spatial and temporal aspects in transmedia art is often manifested in thematization or critique of political, cultural and other social issues.