Blessed/Blursed/Cursed (ITPG-GT 2088)

This course will explore the history and meaning of the ubiquitous concept of “cursed” media, and provide students with a survey of digital art tools for the creation of their own cursed animation, video, photography, music, and web art. Many people were first introduced to the concept of cursed media when it exploded into mainstream internet discourse in 2016 with the @cursedimages Twitter account, which posted found photos bound by their unsettling effect on the viewer. Cursed media predates this account, however, stretching back to medieval notions of cursed objects. We will demonstrate how throughout time, cursed media has functioned like a slip of the tongue that provides a window into the cultural unconscious, where we encounter uncensored thoughts and feelings about race, gender, class, and what it means to be human. From Amazon Muzak generators to Artbreeder’s GAN tools for image creation, from machine learning text generators to robots who work at Walmart, cursed media and tools for its creation bring into view the ways that that culture reacts to tension between the increasingly precarious position of human beings in the capitalist 21st century and the threat of human erasure by the powerful forces of nature. Students will be introduced to digital art tools for creating music, manipulating photography and video, working with 3d animation, and building web art. Students will attempt to create their own cursed media, and in the process will gain a deeper understanding of the unconscious biases and ethical implications of contemporary digital creation tools.

Interactive Telecommunications (Graduate)
4 credits – 15 Weeks

Sections (Spring 2023)

ITPG-GT 2088-000 (22312)
01/26/2023 – 05/04/2023 Thu
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM (Evening)
at Brooklyn Campus
Instructed by Tarakajian, Catherine · Rokhsar, Adam