Assignment for the KASK seminar “Frank with Frankenstein” 2018-2019
The assignment for this seminar constists of three parts: a (collaborative) presentation on one of the texts in the seminar, linking it to art works, and a short letter to Frankenstein that is presented in the form of a 5-minute presentation and handed in as a short text.
1. the presentation
for each session, two or three students will prepare a presentation on the text(s) that will be read in that session. You can divide the text in two or three (for some of the texts that will work better than others), but it is much more fun, interesting and efficient to collaborate. You are asked to link the text to two art works.
This presentation should cover the following related to the text
– situate this fragment within the larger text it came from and situate the text within the total body of work of its author
– summarize the vision of the author on the Frankenstein story or on the relationship between humans and technology
– formulate two or three questions that relate to the text for discussion in the group (preferably real questions that interest you and to which you perhaps do not already have an answer)
– choose fragments of about two pages in total that we can read together in class to get to the core of the argument.
And the following related to the art works you chose:
– choose a work of art (in any medium or discipline) that has a link for you with the text fragment (or more in general with the relation between humans and technology)
– situate the work of art in the body of work of its author and in its context
– explain the link you see between the text (or the seminar in general) and the art work you chose
– formulate one or two questions triggered by the art work about the relationship between humans and technology.
The questions are the most important; the rest serves as background to this.
2. a letter to Frankenstein
the aim of this seminar is to think about the relation between humans and technology. The final assignment is to present your thoughts on the matter in the form of a letter to Frankenstein.
2a. short presentation
In one the last three sessions I am asking you to present your letter to Frankenstein in five minutes. This can be in a short talk, but it can also be a performance, or video, music, organisms you made…
2b. short text
the written assignment consists of writing a text in response to the interpretation of Frankenstein’s story as a parable about the relationship between humans and technology. The text should be a personal answer to the following question:
what can the story of Frankenstein tell us about the relationship between humans and technology ?
The text should:
– be minimum 2000 words long
– refer to (at least) two of the texts discussed in this seminar
– refer to two artworks (you are welcome to choose artworks discussed in the seminar)
– be sent to me before Tuesday the 23rd of April.
It is recommended to write the text in the form of a letter to Frankenstein. If you do, you can choose if you adress your text to Victor Frankenstein the scientist, to the monster of Frankenstein or to the Schloss Frankenstein, which supposedly has a history of alchemical experiments that perhaps inspired Mary Shelley.
Possible subquestions to think about in the text could be:
– is the development of technology out of human control ? Why ?
– can or should we change our relationship to technology ? How ?
– is the relationship between humans and technology different in the arts than in the rest of society ?
– if our technology could talk to us, what would it say ?
You are very welcome to also refer to your own artistic practice if that is appropriate.
The evaluation will be based on presence and participation (you can miss one of the eight sessions), on your presentation and on the essay.