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21900 : Climate Change in Media and Design

Description: If meteorological data and models show us that climate change is real, art and literature explore what it means for our collective human life. This is the premise of many recent films, novels, and artworks that ask how a changing climate will affect human society. In this course, we will examine the aesthetics of climate change across media, in order to understand how narrative, image, and even sound help us witness a planetary disaster that is often imperceptible. Rather than merely analyzing or theorizing various futures, this course will prepare students in hands-on methods of "speculative design" and "critical making." Each Tuesday, we will study how art and literature draw on the specific capacities of written and visual media to represent climate impacts, and how new humanities research is addressing climate change. Each Thursday, we will participate in short artistic exercises that explore futures of each area. These exercises include future object design, bodymapping and story circles, tabletop gameplay, and serious game design. Throughout the quarter, guest speakers from across the humanities, sciences, and social sciences will visit the class to speak about how their disciplines are working to understand and mitigate climate impacts. The most substantial work of the quarter will be an ambitious multimedia or transmedia project about one of the core course topics to be completed in a team.

Instructor(s): Patrick Jagoda, Benjamin Morgan

Offered: Winter 2020

Category: Practice

Cluster(s): Games, Digital Moving Image