UC Berkeley Department of Film and Media

Department of Film & Media UC Berkeley

Courses / Graduate

Fall 2018

240-001 | CCN: 32356

Politics of Code

Jacob Gaboury,

4 Units

W 4:00-7:00pm, Dwinelle 226

This course begins with the twin propositions that all technology is inherently political, and that digital technologies have come to define our contemporary media landscape. Software, hardware, and code shape the practices and discourses of our digital culture, such that in order to understand the present we must take seriously the politics of the digital. Beginning with an overview of cybernetics, information theory, systems theory, and distributed communications networks, the course will primarily focus on the politics and theory of the past twenty years, from the utopian discourses of the early web to the rise of immaterial labor economies and the quantification and management of subjects and populations. The course will be structured around close readings of specific technologies such as distributed networks, programming languages, and digital software platforms in an effort to ground critical theory with digital practice. Our ultimate goal will be to identify a political theory of the present age - one that takes seriously the role of computation and digitization.

This course will cover a variety of 16mm filmmaking techniques, including hand-painted film, cinematography, and digital transfer with an emphasis on the avant-garde. Through readings, hands-on workshops, and individual projects, students will learn about exposure, the photochemical process, various film stocks, and digital editing. This course is intended to provide an historical perspective of film technology before the invention of video, a foundational understanding of cinematography as it is still used in video today, and an introduction to motion picture film as a professional medium of choice for contemporary filmmakers. Students will shoot and edit traditional 16mm film as well as digital transfers of film to video. This is a studio-based film production course that will utilize a range of equipment including: 16mm film cameras, video cameras and software, and audio and lighting instruments. The work created in class will culminate in a final screening/performance of individual and group assignments.