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Global Exchange class: Media + the Urban Environment

Spring Course Open to Media Studies Students

W 15:50-18:30, E302

CRN 6994 Spring 2013

Brian McGrath, Research Chair of Urban Design, Parsons The New School for Design

mcgrath@newschool.edu

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Course Description: Global Exchange is a forum to collaboratively identify, study and create theories, methods, and tools combining art, architecture, social science and media studies that would enrich the production of cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural knowledge in an era of rapid urbanization and globalization. During the spring semester of 2013, The New School will feature multiple curricular, public programs, gatherings, field work and pop-up exhibits that will engage in dialogue between artists and urbanists from Phnom Penh, Cambodia and New York City about the role art and culture can play in the future design and development of the two cities, especially in the contexts of displacement and commodification of art and cultural production.

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The course will run in parallel with Season of Cambodia, a major arts festival organized by Cambodian Living Arts to be held in New York City between April 13 and May 4, 2013. Over 125 Cambodian performing and visual artists will fill New York City’s stages, screens, galleries, and public spaces in partnership with New York’s most vibrant cultural institutions, such as BAM, Joyce Theater, Film Society at Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rubin Art Museum, and Asia Society. The festival will be a unique pedagogical opportunity for The New School to contribute to ongoing discussions about arts education and production, design and city development, and urban life in direct dialogue with Cambodian and New York artists, curators and cultural institutions participating in the festival. The partnership with Cambodian Living Arts follows three years of reciprocal visits and discussions about framing the festival around the larger transformative capacity of art and design practices in city development. Global Exchange will provide a forum for events, artifacts and information and a context in which people from New York and Phnom Penh can share stories of the past and visions of the future for the two cities. The goal of the seminar is to develop transdisciplinary skills culled from art, architecture, urbanism, the social sciences and media design technologies. Central to the course are informal learning experiences at the intersections of art, design, management, policy, media, social science, and performance. The seminar will prototype an open knowledge production framework, where students from various programs can work collaboratively on engaging the artist, practices, or sites of their interest. Students will be asked to both introduce visiting artists to aspects of New York City that pertain to their interest, and to prepare a contextual understanding of the Cambodian context for New York audiences.