4.376J / CMS.374J
Transmedia Art, Extraction, and Environmental Justice

Co-sponsored by Comparative Media Studies/Writing (School of Humanities, Art, and Social Science) and Art, Culture, Technology (School of Architecture)

  • Instructors: James Paradis, Professor, Comparative Media Studies/ Writing + Marisa Morán Jahn, Lecturer, Art, Culture, and Technology 
  • Teaching Assistant: Ana Arenas, MArch Candidate  

 Transmedia Art, Extraction, and Environmental Justice (TAEEJ) is a hybrid theory and hands-on exploration of today’s extractive economies and the role that artists, media-makers, and transmedia producers may play in shaping public perception, individual choices, and movement-building towards what Arturo Escobar refers to as “Sustainment.” The course also explores the ways that joy, humor, and innovative media-making inspires our engagement with politically-charged issues. This course traces the contingent geological, material, and toxic histories of the following materials used throughout our built environment — coal, silica, uranium, and copper. Students will explore these elements through seminar-style readings/discussions alongside scaffolded transmedia art making workshops that invite students to create audio podcasts, GIFs, and mobile media. 

“Before the colonial project could prosper, it had to render territories and people extractible, and it did so through a matrix of symbolic, physical, and representational violence. Therefore, the extractive view sees territories as commodities, rendering land as for the taking, while also devalorizing the hidden worlds that form the nexus of human and nonhuman multiplicity. This viewpoint, similar to the colonial gaze, facilitates the re-organization of territories, populations, and plant and animal life into extractible data and natural resources for material and immaterial accumulation.” — Macarena Gómez-Barris, The Extractive Zone

“The Anthropocene cannot dust itself clean from the inventory of which it was made: from the cut hands that bled the rubber, the slave children sold by weight of flesh, the sharp blades of sugar, all the lingering dislocation from geography, dusting through diasporic generations.”Kathryn Yusoff, A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None.

Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.