Semester one of the MMDA has been designed to establish core concepts and principles of emergent media and electronic arts systems, and to present key themes relating to their impact on culture, politics and economies. Semester one consists of three modules:

Applied Physical Computing

The purpose of this module is to provide the student with the required background in computing and electronic design techniques to enable them to integrate visual, audio and other physical stimuli into media presentations and installations, making use of modular electronic sub-systems.

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Introduction to embedded controllers: e.g. Arduino, digital control. Hardware components, types of boards, design lifecycle. Electronic system overview, hardware and software overview. Concept to production – the steps, using practical examples. Binary and hexadecimal notation.

Type of signals: analogue versus digital: How digital and analogue signals differ; monitoring and measuring analogue signals. Structure of typical analogue signals {audio, temperature, proximity} Sensors used for collecting analogue and digital signals.

Processing multimedia data on a PC: Understand the use of the Processing language to process rich media data such as video and audio; Interfacing an embedded development board with a PC for information storage and synchronising operations between the development board and the PC

Sensor and controller system integration: Sensor and controller subsystems available for the Arduino platform, their uses and limitations. Integration of sensors through software and hardware.

Advanced sensor interfaces: Working with devices using the SPI and I2C bus interfaces. Comprehending datasheet information for communicating with
devices.

Applied Media Practice

This module aims to provide the graduate with an overview of digital media production and provide an opportunity to utilise creative processes through project work that blends various areas of media practice. It will examine the iconography of technical images within a history of image making and utilises a number of techniques in imaging capture, process and output.

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Digital Video Workshops:Overview of functions of digital video cameras, post-production workflow using Adobe Premiere Pro. Archiving footage and key
editing techniques.

Digital Imaging Workshops: Digital imaging skills, understanding a colour managed workflow utilising industry standard photographic digital imaging software and hardware, in applying critical, conceptual and aesthetic evaluation in the construction of meaning in the photographic image.

Design and Multimedia: 2D/3D animation, VFX, Motion Design, Interactive Video Technologies.

Tools of Scriptwriting: This section will establish & develop the principles and basic elements of scriptwriting. Pre-writing; generating, filtering & testing
ideas. Story & Plot Structure: basic three-act structure. Character: creating & developing character; visual dynamics of character; character motivation; conflict. Language: verbal; visual; writing scene direction; sound.

Audio Theory: Audio Theory, Hearing, The Frequency Spectrum & Frequency Response, Signal to Noise ratio & Dynamic Range, Acoustics &
Acoustic Environments, Psychoacoustics; Music theory, recording and production practices.

Critical and Cultural Contexts 1

The aim of this module is to provide students with the opportunity to learn about and reflect on historical and emerging analyses of our technologised culture. Participants will debate and ‘test’ a broad spectrum of ideas learning how different perspectives can capture and critique different elements in this field of study. While the module has a theoretical emphasis, there is a strong practice-based dimension as concepts and insights will also be examined through examples of creative storytelling, art and media practice.

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‘From Enlightenment to Entanglement’: Introduction to humanist/anti-humanist/posthumanist perspectives and current challenges to Enlightenment thinking; the end of ‘mankind’ and our post anthropocentric future.

The ‘Datafied Society’: Datafication and discrimination, the rise of algorithmic surveillance; big data, big business and the ethical dimension.

From Narrative to Anti-Narrative: From classic narrative structure to modernist forms; some antecedents to contemporary transmedia, participatory and locative storytelling.

‘The Sharing Economy’: Critical perspectives on the ‘sharing economy’; the ‘mechanical turk’ and the commodification of labour and the gift economy;
Issues around Open source, peer production, ownership and copyright/copyleft.

‘Speaking Noise to Power’: Culture jamming and consumer culture (1990s); digital culture jamming, protest and social activism

Theory is Practice: The lecturer supervised learning element of this module will consist of seminar style classes where students will be led to and/or through various contemporary examples of creative practice which engage with the ideas covered in the lecture. Examples here include the work of Eyebeam, Graffiti Research Lab, The Free Art and Technology Lab, Recyclism, the Dublin Art and Technology Association as well as contemporary exhibitions, screenings and events.