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2008 SIAH

Media and the Senses

It’s no secret. We live in a media saturated society. We use cell phones to speak to each other; we turn on the television for instant entertainment; we use the Internet to post our thoughts, feelings, and images; and we surround ourselves in cocoons of recorded music. Despite the widespread prevalence of media, however, students rarely get the opportunity to study, in an intensive fashion, the ways that media influence who they are and how they relate to their environment. The Seventh Annual Summer Institute is designed to help students understand the ways that media shape culture by offering a sustained study on the relationship between media and the senses. We intend to use the term “sense” in two ways: as an inquiry into how students “sense” or perceive media and as an inquiry into how individuals make “sense” or create meaning with media. Importantly, concentrating on media and the senses reminds us that individuals relate to their environments through their senses. This, then, allows researchers to ask in what ways do media technologies present the world to people? Paying attention to the senses also invites us to think about the various ways that different media engage the senses. How, for instance, is music perceived differently than two-dimensional art? What are the meaningful effects of those differences?

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Teaching Team

Carrie Bodle

Visiting Lecturer, School of Art,

Carrie Bodle is a visual and sound artist whose work has led her to investigate sound in the context of visual art, representation and the transformation of site, history, and memory, and collaborations between contemporary artists, scientists, and technologists. She has taught studio classes in Video Art and Contemporary Art Practice in the University of Washington School of Art. For the purposes of the Summer Institute, Carrie will focus on engaging students in the production, experience, and critical experimentation with artwork informed by media and the senses.

Axel Roesler

Assistant Professor for Interaction Design, School of Art,

Axel Roesler , Interaction Design at the Division of Design, School of Art: Roesler’s research interests include perspective, navigation, and narrative and how these play out in the human-centered design of new forms of interactive experiences in complex socio-technological settings. H e co-taught Humanities 204 with Phillip Thurtle: “ The Role of Perspective in History, Science, and Design,” which was a Danz Course in the Humanities and, among other things, asked undergraduates to consider how digital media inform how we see ourselves and others . For the purposes of the Summer Institute, he will focus on the role of design in human interaction.

Jentery Sayers

Graduate Student , English,

Jentery Sayers is pursuing a PhD in English and has taught several composition courses at the University of Washington, Seattle. His research interests include the intersections of sound technologies with Anglo-American modernist literature, radio and culture, and his teaching promotes the production of digital media in the service of technological and academic literacy. Before entering graduate school, Jentery was a musician, and, alongside his scholarly work, he is a web designer. For the purposes of the Summer Institute, he will focus on sound’s role in articulating embodiment in digital media, theory, and literature.

Phillip Thurtle

Assistant Professor in Comparative History of Ideas and History and Adjunct in Anthropology,

Thurtle has published work on information processing, genetics, digital media, and embodiment. As mentioned above, he co-taught a Danz Course with Roesler on “The Role of Perspective in History, Science, and Design.” For the purposes of the Summer Institute, he will focus on theories of embodiment and the role of information processing in the sciences, arts, and humanities.

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