VCS and iTunes U

A screenshot of SVA's page at iTunes U.

As part of SVA’s exploration of the ways in which new technologies can enrich art education and artmaking, the school has been using iTunes U to archive podcasts of lectures and other school events. SVA’s use of the service is still relatively young, but several of departments have already embraced it as a way to keep people up to date on various public events they have sponsored.

The VCS program’s use of iTunes U has grown rapidly over the last year. At the moment, our iTunes U page has links to podcasts of 19 lectures and panel discussions sponsored by VCS, often in conjunction with SVA’s undergraduate Fine Arts department. The lectures have bought artists and other art professionals to the campus to speak on a wide variety of topics, giving students a window into the workings of the art world. The list of available podcasts includes several events that have been discussed on this blog, including talks by Perry Bard, Rochelle Feinstein, Robert Lazzarini, and Anna-Louise Kratzsch. Most of the podcasts available for download include video as well as audio.

This summer, VCS will expand its use of iTunes U to provide access to some of the artwork that’s been made in the program. Using the Student Work feature, we’ll be presenting images from both students and alumni. (This expansion will be available soon, and I’ll post an update when it’s up and running.)

VCS at iTunes U.

SVA and VCS are both very interested in considering the role that new media and new technologies can play in the art world. In addition to providing a place where students who want to make new media art can experiment, recently developed technologies have been used inside and outside the classroom to enrich the process of learning about art.

Within VCS, this includes the use of one of the most popular contemporary networking tools. Each VCS student is given an iPod touch media player for use in the program. In addition to making it easier for students to access the iTunes U podcasts and keep in touch with one another, the devices allow them to participate in a growing number of class projects that explore the role electronic networking can have on art. One such venture (a communal art criticism experiment called The Review Hive) has already been discussed on this blog; a similar project in the Art in Theory 1900-2000 class asked students to record and edit their own audio podcasts about the work of a chosen artist. In each case, the assignment required students to consider the ways in which new methods of gathering and transmitting information can affect the creation, viewing, and discussion of art. The topic seems extremely important to consider right now, when new social networking technologies are changing the way we relate to almost everything around us.

A still from the podcast of Perry Bard's lecture.

You can access the SVA iTunes U page from the “Find out more!” pulldown menu on the SVA web site, or by clicking on this link. The link to the entries for VCS are at the bottom of the middle column. All of the SVA podcasts are free and available to anyone who wants to download them.

Visual & Critical Studies