MA in hypermedia studies LEGACY 03 The event Participants History

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6th May, 2003 Hypermedia Studies Improves the Mind & Pays the Rent!

On the evening of Tuesday 13th May at the ICA in central London, the University of Westminster's Hypermedia Research Centre (HRC) is organising a celebration of 7 years of its world-famous MA in Hypermedia Studies in conjunction with Cybersalon and Levi'sŪ Europe.

One of the first post-graduate degrees focused on digital creativity in Britain, this course has gone from strength to strength during the roller-coaster evolution of the new media industry. Its alumni have applied the practical and theoretical skills learnt on the MA to make successful careers in commerce, art, media, campaigning and academia. Ex-students are now working at Tomato Interactive, Recollective, BBCi, circlemakers.org, Amnesty International - Guatemala, the Catholic University of Sao Paulo and other prestigious institutions around the world. During the last year, the MA in Hypermedia Studies has forged a close link with Lateral - one of London's premier web design agencies - and has started on-line teaching with the Estonian Academy of Art's MA in Interactive Multi-media - which is led by a graduate from the course. Just like the new media industry, the MA in Hypermedia Studies is constantly changing to meet the challenge of new technologies and new ways of doing things.

The celebration consists of two parts: a Cybersalon debate in the ICA theatre and an exhibition in the ICA's Digital Studio.

The theme of the Cybersalon is Digital Learning. In recent years, it has become fashionable to sneer at media studies degrees as "noddy degrees." Yet the experience of the MA in Hypermedia Studies indisputably proves that learning the practical and theoretical skills of new media not only improves the mind, but also pays the rent!

The panel and the audience will discuss the role of new media courses in higher education. Should they be focused on training people for dotcom jobs? Do they offer a creative space for experiments in net.art? How can theory and practice be combined in new media teaching? What is the right balance between academic learning and "hands-on" experience? Speakers include Dr. Richard Barbrook, HRC, University of Westminster; Laura Jordan, Lateral & HRC; Tom Roope, Tomato Interactive; Stephen Whaley, New Media Knowledge; Jane Austin, Recollective and others.

The exhibition in the ICA's Digital Studio is called LEGACY 03. This will show a selection of work by staff, students and alumni from the MA in Hypermedia Studies, collected and curated by Sophia Drakopoulou. In addition, the entries from new media courses across Europe for the LEVISŪ Digital Art Award will also be on display. The exhibition is open from Monday 11th May to Wednesday 14 May and also can be seen on-line at: www.hrc.wmin.ac.uk/legacy

The celebration will end with a party in the ICA bar with music from Cartel Communique - the leading 'cut-up' DJs in London.

Richard Barbrook, co-ordinator of the HRC and course leader of the MA in Hypermedia Studies, said: "We are proud of what our alumni have achieved and we are looking forward to what the next generation of students will accomplish."

Jon Bains, chairman of Lateral, added: "The MA in Hypermedia Studies has always been the benchmark for excellence. Lateral is extremely excited to help continue this fine tradition."

Notes to editors: 1. The HRC is based at the Harrow campus of the University of Westminster. Its members carry out academic research and work in the commercial sector. As well as teaching on the MA in Hypermedia Studies, they are also involved with the University of Westminster's PhD in Communications and the BA in Contemporary Media Practice. For admission details on the MA in Hypermedia phone 020 7911 5903 or email: . You can view the HRC website at: . 2. Lateral was established in 1997 and has subsequently won many industry awards. Lateral's portfolio includes: Levi'sŪ; RSPCA; Faber; Odeon; and Boddingtons. You can view the Lateral website at: . 3. Cybersalon holds regular events at the ICA and elsewhere to discuss new media issues and to exhibit work by both established and up-and-coming artists. You can view the Cybersalon website at: . 4. For further information, contact Dr. Richard Barbrook, Hypermedia Research Centre, School of Media Art & Design, University of Westminster, Watford Road, Harrow HA1 3TP, 020-7911 5000 x4590, 07879-441873, .
www.hrc.wmin.ac.uk