City University of Hong Kong

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City University of Hong Kong

Information on a Course

offered by School of Creative Media

with effect from Semester A in 2012 / 2013

Part I

Course Title: Archiving and Social Investigation

Course Code: SM4705

Course Duration: One semester

No. of Credit Units: 3

Level: B4

Medium of Instruction: English

Prerequisites:

(Course Code and Title)

SM2706 Critical Theory & Socially Engaged Practices

Precursors:

(Course Code and Title)

SM2702 Interdisciplinary Practices in Art, Science, and

the Humanities

Equivalent Courses:

(Course Code and Title)

N/A

Exclusive Courses:

(Course Code and Title)

N/A

Part II

1.

Course Aims:

This course aims to explore archiving as research, critique and artistic

intervention. The course would begin with a survey on the concept and genealogy

of the archive, followed by its paths of evolvement due to the growing emphasis

of the everyday, a result of the rise of photography and re-definitions within the

discipline of Cultural Studies. With such a basis, the course examines the new

meanings of the practice of archiving especially with innovations introduced by

digital tools and platforms.

Archiving in this course is taught to students who may use this practice to produce

social knowledge, as a research methodology for artistic creation, and to

experiment with the promises and limits of digital archive construction.

On the research side, ethno-methodologies and visual ethnography will be

covered. On the theory/history side, theories of photography and a critical view on

the history of documentary are necessary, especially to broaden the discussion of

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documentary as a genre into a historical survey of documentary impulses in

human society.

The course will use case studies from artists, documentary makers,

anthropologists and digital archivists extensively to draw insight. The main course

work requires field research and the creation of the prototype of an archive for

future development.

2.

Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs)

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

No. CILOs

1.

Discuss the practice of archiving on digital platforms in relation to the history of

the archive and archival practices

2.

Conduct field research effectively, including collecting and organizing

3.

Practice archiving with sound purposes and methodology

.*4. Create a prototype of an archive that shows promises in production of social

knowledge (content + organization)

*5.

Understand ethical dilemmas in research process and demonstrate commitment

to high ethical standards

*6

Generate personal insight as a result of critical interpretation of the experience of

the research process

* Negotiated Learning Outcome (NLO) explicitly articulating the elements of Discovery

oriented learning.

3.

Teaching and learning Activities (TLAs)

Indicative of likely activities and tasks students will undertake to learn in this course. Final details will be provided to students in their first week of attendance in this course.

TLAs

ILO No

Lectures & workshops

CILO 1, 2, 5

In-class case studies

CILO 1

Group in-class presentation of a case study

CILO 1

In-class presentation of research-archiving process

CILO 3, 5-6

-3 Short take-home exercises to fine-tune research methods

CILO 2-3, 5

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4.

Assessment Tasks/Activities

Indicative of likely activities and tasks students will undertake to learn in this course. Final details will be provided to students in their first week of attendance in this course.

Type of assessment tasks/activities

Weighting

(if applicable)

ILO No

-Mid-term in-class presentation of a case study of an

archive from a recommended list (Group presentation

with additional individual 1-page notes)

30%

CILO 1

-In-class presentation of research archiving process

10%

CILO 2, 3, 5

-3 Short take-home exercises to practice individual

tasks in the research and archiving process (e.g. coding,

tagging, classification, frame analysis, photo reading)

30%

(10% per

exercise)

CILO 2, 3

-Final Project: the completion of a digital archive with

a sound critical statement on its objectives, process,

design and the kind of knowledge it produces.

30%

CILO 3, 4, 5, 6

5.

Grading of Student Achievement:

Refer to Grading of Courses in the Academic Regulations.

100% coursework

Grading pattern: Standard (A+, A, A-…F)

A.

Research and Archiving Process Exercises

Students should demonstrate ability to utilize primary and secondary sources, build up argument and analysis. The threshold of discovery lies in the students’ ability to negotiate the multiple meanings of an object or a situation and to turn problems and obstacles into useful, constructive research questions.

Letter Grade Grade Point Grade Definitions Description A+ A A- 4.3 4.0 3.7

Excellent  Excellent grasp of research material, able to explain key concepts,

assumptions and debates

 Rigorous organization, coherent structure, distinct thesis, properly argued

with strong narrative

 Insightful interpretation of the subject matter with distinct themes and thesis

 Critical analysis with insightful comments opening up new issues, or

suggesting the ability to theorize

 Ability to approach a text or a theme using a variety of theories and

analytical tools

 Strong bibliography suggesting breadth and depth of coverage and informed

insights B+ B B- 3.3 3.0 2.7

Good  Firm grasp of materials, able to explain key concepts and assumptions

 Reasonable organization, balanced structure, adequate content, sufficient

ability to integrate various resources based on demand

 Clear ideas which keep to the point, clear-cut subject, ability to interpret

opinions independently

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C+ C C- 2.3 2.0 1.7

Adequate  Comprehensive grasp of materials, able to explain key concepts

 Fair organization, weak structure, adequate content, fair ability to integrate

various resources based on demand

 Relevant points to the subject matter, fair ability to interpret opinions

 Unorganized bibliography which can be utilized in accordance with the topic

D 1.0 Marginal  Loose grasp of materials, cannot explain key concepts

 Poor organization and structure, weak content, limited use of resources

 Relevant points to the subject matter, marginal ability to interpret opinions

 Insufficient and/or unorganized bibliography

F 0.0 Failure  Poor grasp of materials

 No organization and structure, inadequate content, no/ irrelevant use of

resources

 Irrelevant points to the subject matter, minimal ability to interpret opinions

 Irrelevant bibliography

Note: All A+/A/A- grade assignment should comply with the highest performance of Discovery-oriented

learning.

B.

In-Class Presentation

This assessment will grade on content and fluency of presentation. Students should show their co-operation to conduct a well-organized presentation with their own argument and evidence from readings and notes. Students should show their readiness to conduct a well-organized presentation with their own argument and evidence from readings and notes. The threshold of discovery lies in their ability to negotiate a constructive analysis of their field experience that can be turned into new objectives in the making of future experiences.

Letter Grade Grade Point Grade Definitions Description A+ A A- 4.3 4.0 3.7

Excellent  Rich, informative content, excellent grasp of the material with in-depth and

extensive knowledge of the subject matter

 Rigorous organization, coherent structure, and systematic exposition with a

strong sense of narrative

 Superior presentation skills: distinct pronunciation, fluent expression and

appropriate diction, exact time-management

 Critical analysis with insightful comments opening up new issues, or

suggesting the ability to theorize B+ B B- 3.3 3.0 2.7

Good  Adequate content with firm grasp of the material that informs the audience

on a subject matter

 Reasonable organization, balanced structure and composition

 Good verbal communication: comprehensible pronunciation, fluent

expression and diction, fair time-management C+ C C- 2.3 2.0 1.7

Adequate  Adequate content with comprehensive grasp of the material demonstrating

basic knowledge of the subject matter

 Fair organization, weak structure and composition

 Fair presentation skills: acceptable pronunciation, expression and diction,

fair time-management

D 1.0 Marginal  Weak content, loose grasp of the general ideas with some knowledge of the

subject matter

 Poor organization, structure and composition

 Poor presentation skills: marginal pronunciation, expression and diction,

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F 0.0 Failure  Inadequate content, fail to identify the general ideas with knowledge of the subject matter

 No organization, structure or/and composition

 Poor presentation skills: marginal pronunciation, expression and diction,

minimal time-management

Note: All A+/A/A- grade assignment should comply with the highest performance of Discovery-oriented learning.

C.

Final Project

Students should demonstrate ability to utilize primary and secondary sources, execute creative ideas and projects. The threshold of ‘discovery’ lies in a student’s proactively turning theory into praxis, to transform course material into self-owned authorship and, most importantly, establishing an archive that “discovers” knowledge for its user.

Letter Grade Grade Point Grade Definitions Description A+ A A- 4.3 4.0 3.7

Excellent  Work has strong affective quality and the articulation of personal styles and

signature

 Excellent appreciation, exploration and/or application of the aesthetic and

expressive qualities of the medium

 Work raises questions and instill insights about the process of conception,

creative strategization and production

 Generate knowledge for the researched field with informative details.

B+ B B- 3.3 3.0 2.7

Good  Strong appreciation, exploration and/or application of the aesthetic and

expressive qualities of the medium

 Ability to create project/ work that demonstrate the processes of thinking

and creative exploration

 Proper adjustment of plans and strategies in response to resources (time,

space, equipment, etc) available and constructive feedback/ suggestions C+ C C- 2.3 2.0 1.7

Adequate  Basic appreciation and/or application of the aesthetic and expressive

qualities of the medium

 Limited ability to create project/ work that demonstrate the processes of

thinking and creative exploration

 Adjustment of plans and strategies in response to resources (time, space,

equipment, etc) available

D 1.0 Marginal  Marginal appreciation of the aesthetic and expressive qualities of the

medium

 Marginal ability to create project/ work that demonstrate the processes of

thinking and creative exploration

 Limited adjustment of plans and strategies in response to resources (time,

space, equipment, etc) available

F 0.0 Failure  No appreciation of the aesthetics and expressive qualities of the medium

 Fail to create project/ work that demonstrate the processes of thinking and

creative exploration

 Minimal adjustment of plans and strategies in response to resources (time,

space, equipment, etc) available

Note: All A+/A/A- grade assignment should comply with the highest performance of Discovery-oriented learning.

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Part III

Keyword Syllabus:

Archive: the archaeology of knowledge

The politics of archiving: gaps between remembering and knowing

From archive to archiving; from the use of archive to archiving strategies

Archive/archiving and history-writing

History of everyday life; theorizing the everyday

Photography and the everyday: expanded theories of photography (usage,

articulation, the performative)

The lives of things

The use of fragments: documentary fragments in archives and their use

Archiving in the context of new media

Archiving impulse in contemporary art; archiving as critical practice

Documentary impulse in media: a revisionist view on documentary and

new-media practice

Photo and image research

Visual ethnography

Interface design

Case studies:

E.g. Walter Benjamin’s Arcade Projects, Walid Raad and the Atlas Group,

YouTube, Norman Klein’s

Bleeding Through

(history of Los Angeles),

OldBeijing.net, Aby Warburg (“Mnemosyne-Atlas”), Gerhard Richter’s

Atlas

, Zeo

Leonard’s photography, World Listening Project, “Man with a Movie Camera: the

global remake,” Peter Greenaway’s

Tulse Luper’s Suitcase

, Tjebbe Van Tijen’s Art

Action Academia (Imaginary Museum Projects),

Eugene Atget: Paris 1900

(CD-ROM by Bibliotheque nationale de France) etc.

Recommended Reading:

Text(s):

Buckland, Michael K.. (2006) “What is a ‘Document?” in

Journal of the American Society

for Information Science

, 48(9): 804-809, September.

Chun, Wendy Hui Kyong, (2006):

Control and Freedom. Power and Paranoia in the Age of

Fiber Optics.

MIT Press, Cambridge.

Cummings, Neil (ed.). (1993)

Reading Things

(Sight Works, volume 3). Chance Books,

London.

Dovey, Jon (2002) 'Notes Toward a Hypertextual Theory of Narrative',

The New Screen

Media: Cinema/Art/Narrative,

Martin Riesser (ed.). BFI Publishing. 135-145.

Enwezor, Okwui. (2008)

Archive Fever – Uses of the Document in Contemporary Art

;

catalogue for an exhibition at the International Center of Photography, New York, January

18-May 4. ICP, New York; Steidel, Gottingen, Germany.

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Foucault, Michel, 1982:

The Archaeology of Knowledge & the Discourse on Language,

Pantheon.

__________, (1986): “Of Other Spaces”; trans. Jay Miskowiec. (Originally titled “Des

Espaces Autres” and published in French journal

Architecture-Mouvement-Continuite

, in

October 1984)

Diacritics

16 spring, 22-27.

Gleber, Anke. (1999)

The Art of Taking a Walk: Flanerie, Literature, and Film in Weimar

Culture

. Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Jobs, Sebastian; Luedtke, Alf, eds., (2010)

Unsettling History: Archiving and Narrating in

Historiography

. Campus Verlag, Frankfurt, New York

Kelty, Christopher M., 2008:

The Cultural Significance of Free Software: Two Bits

, Duke

University Press, Durham and London.

Manovich, Lev. (2001) “Database as a Symbolic Form,” in chapter 5 of

The Language of New

Media.

MIT Press, Cambridge.

__________. “Info-Aesthetics: Information and Form,” a semi open source book/web site in

progress, at:

http://www.manovich.net/IA

Shields, Rob. (1994) “Fancy footwork: Walter Benjamin’s notes on

flanerie

,” in Keith Tester

(ed.)

The Flaneur

. Routledge, London and New York. Pp. 61-80.

Online Resources:

Harrison, Dew: (2005) “Digital archiving as an art practice,” in Anna Bentkowska-Kafel,

Trish Cashen and Hazel Gardiner (eds.),

Digital Visual Culture: theory and practice.

http://www.chart.ac.uk/chart2005/papers/harrison.html

Winget, Megan A.; and Ramirez, Maris L. (2006) "Developing a Meaningful Digital

Self-archiving Model: Archival Theory Vs Natural Behavior in the Minds of Carolina Research

Project."

Proceedings of the American Society of Information, Science and

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