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
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,