Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify, study, compare, evaluate, abstract, and create new knowledge about the use of representation in contemporary digital culture.
  2. Propose and create novel implementations and uses of representation in new media.
  3. Generate new research hypotheses and works in areas related to representation and new media.

Credits: 6

Schedule: 30.01.2024 - 09.04.2024

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Lily Diaz-Kommonen, Cvijeta Miljak

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):


This is primarily a lecture-oriented course. However, students are allotted time to do their work during the contact sessions. 

Lecture 13:15 – 14:00

45 minutes presentation of new materials + 15 minutes discussion.



14:00 – 14:15


14:15 – 14:30


14:30 – 15:30 Students working in pairs. The tasks included in the workshops comprise: 1. Developing a concept 2. Designing an information architecture for their project 3. Creating a narrative structure 4. Making an inventory to document in all the elements the comprise the project.


15:30 – 15:45


15:45 – 16:30 Discussion of results achieved in workshop. 


One visit to an archive

Guest speaker

One invited speaker TBD.


CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Representation, which has been defined as the use of signs to stand for something else, can be described as a ubiquitous tool in the artist and designer's toolbox.

    1. There are several reasons why the notion of representation is important to artists and designers:
    2. It is a phenomenon that emerges from our embodied experience in the world as humans and brings together language, culture and sensory perception.
    3. The internalized affects, knowledge, and values of human communities are externalized and made concrete into artefacts of culture through the use of representation. It is by understanding how diverse forms of representation are used in the making of genres for example, that we can assimilate the universe created in a work of interactive narrative.
    4. Representation plays an important role in the way that human beings understand and express the ethos (character and spirit) of the society in which they live.
    5. Because the computer is regarded as the machine that can (re)present all other media, it is important that students working with new media learn about all aspects related representation from an artistic as well as technical perspective.

    The course offers the students a holistic systems-oriented approach to the topic of representation. Rather than a mimetic approach, a systems-oriented, research-based approach into the notion of representation leads the art and design scholar to discern and evaluate the context and reasons why an artist or a designer might have chosen a particular set of tools, or decided on a particular theme, topic, or strategy for the realization a given work.

  • applies in this implementation

    Living Archives


    Our contemporary world is bursting with information, and this is quite clear when artists and designers engage with digital (new) media tools: Every new installation, project, or writing implies an increment in the amount of digital matter that accrues in the studio, in the online repository, or in the machine. In this situation, among the questions that emerge are: How can I plan a strategy that allows me to keep all the elements of a work organized and well documented? How can I anticipate when the time comes to update a given work? What can we as artists and designers do to make our so-called “unstable media” a more grounded and persistent practice? Simultaneously how can we contribute to the ongoing debate on sustainability?

    The theme for this edition of the course is to explore the notion of Living Archives as a potential instrument and strategy that artists and designers can use as part of their practice to create new expressive artefacts. Students will be encouraged to develop their theme and way of thinking regarding the notion of Living Archive. At the same time, we hope to stimulate creativity and discussion by bringing in a selection of readings from literature about the Fantastic.

    Creating Living Archives

    Participants in the course will either develop their own archive based on a personal project that they are currently engaged in, or that they wish to develop, or they will select from an already existing source, such as an institution, like for example a business, a company, a festival, a museum and design a proposal for a Living Archive. The basic tasks involve concept design, collecting and describing data, documenting, and remediating processes and artifacts. Additionally, participants will be strongly encouraged to consider the possibility of recycling strategies aiming to reduce accumulation and promote sustainability. 

    Our vision of Living Archives is about places and spaces where primary and secondary information sources are collected with the aim to preserve (responsibility) and further use (sustainability) our work lowering societal costs. In this course we will focus on enabling students to begin creating their own personal Living Archive from their work so that it can become a living documentation and evidence of their activities as creative practitioners. Our approach will be information design oriented. Throughout the course will provide the students with tools that assist them to better organise and keep track of the production as well as their research work. 

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Participation in teaching, completed assignments.

    Minimum 80% attendance.

    See MyCourses for more detailed information on evaluations methods and criteria.

  • applies in this implementation

    Evaluation criteria

    From “unstable media” the aim is to acquire and develop pluralistic knowledge surveyance capabilities and skills that encourage awareness of contemporary cultural history related to the new digital media. We will aim to provide students with learning opportunities that promote curiosity (searching), questioning (choosing) and responsible commitment (decision-making).

    Eighty percent (80%) and active participation in class is mandatory.

    Our approach is information design oriented. Throughout the course we will provide the students with template tools that assist them in collecting, organising, and keep track of the work being developed. Participants will have time during the course's slated contact hours to work and improve these templates as well as a proposal that they can take into the Studio classes in period 5. 


    1. All of the templates must be completed and handed in by the end of the course. 
    2. Final presentation of work done.
    3. A short essay (2500 words maximum) that serves as an introduction and goes deeper into the rationale behind the Living Archive project completes the mandatory assignments

  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Participation, project proposal, short essay.

    6 ECTS ≈ 162h

    Contact teaching 36h / Other 126h

  • applies in this implementation

    Workload explanation

    28 hours contact hours 

    134 hours outside of class


Study Material
  • applies in this implementation

    Course textbook:

    Representation (Second edition), Stuart Hall, Jessica Evans and Sean Nixon, Sage Publications Ltd., Los Angeles and London, and Open University Press, Milton Keynes-UK, 2013.

    Recommended reading:

    Realms of Imagination, Essays from the Wide Worlds of Fantasy, Tanya Kirk and Matthew Sangers, (eds.), The British Library, 2023. 

Substitutes for Courses
SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    4 Quality Education

    5 Gender Equality

    8 Decent Work and Economic Growth


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Teaching Language : English

    Teaching Period : 2022-2023 Spring III - IV
    2023-2024 Spring III - IV

    Enrollment :

    Minimum amount of participants: 8
    Maximum amount of participants varies according to the implementation of the course.

    Registration for Courses: Sisu.

    Priority order to courses is according to the order of priority decided by the Academic committee for School of Arts, Design and Architecture:

Details on the schedule
  • applies in this implementation

    List of sessions

    Session one, 30.01.2024

    Lecture (13:15-14:00) An exploration of the concept of archive. I will use examples from my own work realized at Archive of the Indies, Seville, Spain, and Kings College Archive. Will explore applications such as Mapping LGBTQ Saint Louis. (Lily Diaz-Kommonen)

    Break (14:00-14:15)

    Discussion (14:15-14:30)

    Workshop (14:30-15:30): Tools for Making your Living Archive: Using the template and instructions given by the tutors, students begin their work in pairs to develop a timeline of their own personal practice and how it has developed. 

    Break (15:30 – 15:45)

    Discussion and presentations (15:45-16:30)

    Session two06.02.2024

    Lecture (13:15-14:00) Representation theory and the archive. About the theory of representation as developed by British cultural theorist Stuart Hall. Through a series of examples drawn from cultural history, the presentation aims to bring together both notions of Archive and Representation. (Lily Diaz-Kommonen)

    Break (14:00-14:15)

    Discussion (14:15-14:30)

    Workshop (14:30-15:30) Tools for making your own Living Archive: Using a template given by the tutors, students work in pairs to complete the personal timelines of their development as a creative practitioner.

    Break (15:30-15:45)

    Discussion and presentations (15:45-16:30)


    Session three13/02.2024

    Lecture (13:15-14:00) Information architecture. (Cvijeta Miljak)

    Break (14:00-14:15)

    Discussion (14:15-14:30)

    Workshop (14:30-15:30)  Tools for making your own Living Archive: Creating your own information architecture for your production.

    Break (15:30-15:45)

    Discussion and presentations (15:45-16:30)


    Session four, 27.02.2024

    Lecture: 13:15-14:00Creating a narrative structure that enables telling the story of your Living Archive. (Cvijeta Miljak)

    Break: 14:00-14:15.


    Workshop (14:30-15:30) Tools for making your own Living Archive: Creating a narrative structure for your Living Archive. 


    Discussion and presentations:15:45-16:30.


    Session 5, 12.03.2024 

    Lecture: 13:15-14:00. Creating the archival inventory: classification, description, metadata. (Lily Díaz-Kommonen)

    Break 14:00-14:15.

    Discussion 14:15-14:45. Comments and discussion about the materials presented in the lecture. 

    Workshop 14:45-15:45.  Tools for My Own Living Archive: Creating an inventory for your archive. 

    Break (15:45-16:00)

    Discussion 16:00-17:00Brief presentations and discussion of work realised by participants in the workshop session.


    Session  6, 19.03.2024 

    Lecture: 13:15-14:00.Open or not? What is Open Research and what it means for an artist and designer’s practice? Invited speaker. (TBD)

    Break 14:00-14:15.

    Discussion 14:15-14:45. Comments and discussion about the materials presented in the lecture. 

    Workshop 14:45-15:45.  Tools for My Own Living ArchiveFine-tuning the work done so far

    Break 15:45-16:00.

    Discussion 16:00-17:00Brief presentations and discussion of work realised by participants in the workshop session.


    Session 7, 26.03.2024 
    Visit to archive. 

    Session 8, 09.04.2024