as Prof. Frank Kessler and I stated at the first course meeting, we would like you to reflect on the various ways in which we have read, talked about and tried to (re)formulate theories of media and performance. Organized around the central theme that ‘the medium is a message’, the challenge to you was to wrap your heads around questions of mediality, and during the last few weeks you probably have found out, even if only for a moment, what you liked and disliked when thinking about theories, what your own position could be among the many positions we have discussed, in short, how you could “think x with author y” where ‘x’ could be any subject, theme, concept, approach or other element that could be connected to media and performance theory.
In the paper, which will have to take up between 5000 and 7000 words, we would like you to reveal and defend your position in this ‘thinking x with y’ in a well-structured and above all eloquently-argumented manner. Is McLuhan’s idea of what ‘a medium’ is still valid today, and how would you argue with him if you think it is not? If you think the Deleuzian approach to the virtual and the potential is interesting but does not give us any clue to whether it effects the general understanding of performances, how would you make that clear, what parts of Deleuzian thinking might still be useful, and what would you add yourself? We have seen that some scholars (such as Walter Benjamin and Bill Nichols) argue that our perception of the world changes with every medium, but are those changes always perceptible, and if so, what can we say about their manifestations in media and performance practices and about the directions those changes might guide us along?
These are but a few examples of starting points of your thinking. We would like to recommend re-reading articles and pay specific attention to not only the content of arguments, but also to their structuring, to the author’s style, and to what I like to call the argumentative disclaimers, the often small but very significant paragraphs or sentences that demarcate the context and range of what you aim to convey. Try to get a feel for where you are comfortable and where you are not, and then tackle the theoretical obstacles you come across.
We will use our final session on Monday 30 March (from 17.00-19.00) to discuss questions and ideas. I hope to disclose the location tomorrow morning; if you happen to miss my announcement, please convene at our regular location, I will make sure you are picked up or guided to the correct place 🙂 **UPDATE: THE LOCATION IS DRIFT 23, ROOM 0.13**