History & Theories of Intermedia

01.19.17 History, Journal 1 – Course Introduction

We began with a quick introduction to new students. Then we reviewed the syllabus. Syllabus is not by date but is in order in case of snow days etc


The readings are in First Class.


The class grade will be broken down in 4 categories:

Blog Posts 25%

Research Project 25%

Class Participation 40%

Self-evaluation Essay 10%


EAT = Experiments in Arts and Technology


Media-rich research paper with a  short version for presentation

Intermedia Artist, Active between 1975 and 2009

3000 – 4000 Words

Bibliography and appropriate source notes

Links and examples of their work in appropriate form

Asked Owen which writing guide to use. Doesn’t matter as long as it is consistent. Default is MLA.


History & Theories of Intermedia Blog, Project (Editing the Blog)

Link to the Blog: umintermediai501.blogspot.com


Asked Owen which writing guide to use. Doesn’t matter as long as it is consistent. Default is MLA.


The Research Paper

Spend time learning about someone interesting. Why did they do it. What motivated them. What is their background. Who were they influenced by. Etc etc. How does their work relate to us and to other artists within the field?

Intermedial Forms – not intermedial artists, artists don’t tend to say “I am an intermedial artist” but they work with intermedial forms. People use intermedia even when they don’t say so or even know it

Choose an artist by the beginning of the 4th week


Ongoing Blog Project

Pick a category

Try and pick one that is somewhat broad with subcategories etc

Use the formatting

Choose labels/tags (3-5 keywords about texts)

Ex. Art and technology instead of Art and Code

Pick a topic and become an editor. Not writing. Find, edit, format and post topics.

History & Theory not Practice (how To)

Pick one primary category as your specialty area

How to find things

Web search (obviously)

Scan and digitize from text

Academic databases

Mostly shorter things, under 3-4000 words
could link to a full text but not upload it

Embedded videos don’t seem to work well

Heavy image based, reference link to images and videos rather than trying to link it all in one page

Editorial Research – Ongoing Blog Project

Choose 1 topic area of intermedial art as listed on the Public Blog, “Histories & Theories of Intermedia” that you would like to be editor of.

Find primary source materials, theoretical texts, historic materials and important secondary source materials that you input yourself.

Generally these posts will be up to 500 words each (as factored above) so if you were to post a longer text of 100o words it counts as 2 posts. The most any post can be worth is 3 posts.


After the syllabus review we discussed Dick Higgins.

Dick Higgins was one of the founding faculty members of Cal Arts.

But got disenchanted (I like that word at it to the word list)


Owens friend

Comes from a wealthy family, used money to start press

Passed away in 1998 at the age of 60, aneurysm

Listen to interviews

Knows a lot, vastness variety

Experimental music, medieval sound poetry, musician, etc


Youtube.com Dick Higgins & Something Else Press, Artpool 1993

Alison Knowles & Dick Higgins, Artpool, Budapest 4/10/1993

A book with stupid questions

Book by Daniel Spurry, Annotated topography of chance, translated, then translator argued with him in footnotes back and forth, on and on

Emit Williams was second editor of the press

First editor was Barbara Moore

Concrete poetry, one of the first people

Anthology designs, ends with To be Continued because it will go on and evolve

It became the big book on Pattern Poetry

A very early Something Else Press book, Ray Johnson (?) Mail Art

Early American version was more aesthetic than political or philosophical

Allison Johnson


Horizons book has a number of things in it but you only have to read two things. Horizons and Intermedia essay.


Watch the longer Dick Higgins Video