Courses / Undergraduate

Spring 2024

  • Special Topics in Media Production – Topics in Media Production, Making Digital Infrastructure Visible

    187 002 | CCN: 32827

    Nicole Starosielski

    Location: Dwinelle 135

    Date and Time: M, W 10:00am - 12:59pm

    4 Units

    The digital “cloud” is a real place. It is a patchwork of subsea fiber optic cables (the highways of the internet), internet exchanges (the transit hubs of the internet), and data centers (the interconnection points and storage centers of the internet). Although almost all global digital communications transit these infrastructures, they remain largely invisible. The challenge of this course will be to develop innovative film representations of these infrastructures, based on your own original research into the internet’s “plumbing.” Central questions include: How does the internet really work? Who builds it? What challenges do they face? How do we capture and represent this invisible system?

    This course offers a broad introduction to digital infrastructure that supports almost all media circulation today. The primary texts and lectures will cover technical aspects of subsea cables and data centers, as well as business, finance, operations, maintenance, repair, and regulation. This will introduce you to the fundamentals of the internet's physical installations and the people and companies in the digital infrastructure sector. You will draw upon this knowledge to render these physical installations, technologies, and social processes visible in a short film. The central assignment will be to develop a creative and rigorously-informed vision of digital infrastructures–a new form of infrastructure literacy.

    Please complete the application form at this link for consideration: