go back

Self Portrait

In the technologically advanced and globalized world of today, we are constantly consuming visual images. It is no longer our individual perspectives or words on a page that inform our understanding of society. Instead, digitally transmitted visual media has become the lens through which we see the world—and these images are far from neutral. In ways that are often unobservable, visual culture infiltrates our consciousness to construct assumptions about ourselves and near and distant others. Visual and Digital Media Culture attempts to elucidate how our innermost thoughts are affected by an abundance of digital images, offering a critical assessment of this process.

In a writing-intensive and critically oriented introduction to visual and digital media culture, this course uncovers the cultural power of still and moving images. Although theoretical perspectives are given emphasis, classes and written assignments will consistently aim to put these concepts into practice. To this end, we draw on a range of real-life examples and consider them from the textual/aesthetic perspective as well as from a socio-political standpoint. Upon completion of the course, participants will have developed a more critical consciousness on visual and digital media culture, and built a stable foundation for further media theory studies. On a practical basis, Visual and Digital Media Culture will help to realize a more self-reflective, innovative and ethical approach to visual and digital media production.
Our student shared with us the following:

"In today’s society, individual identity is formed subconsciously through self-image, which is an abstract collection of feelings and thoughts. This is reflected in the figure each person uses to represent their identity, through the medium of their choice. In my self-portrait, I attempted to demonstrate that the facades we use to filter this identity distort our self-perception—so much so that we start to seem as two-dimensional as cartoons." -Cindia Escalante