Medieval Multimedia

Parsons School of Design: Art, Media & Technology

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Degree Students

Medieval Multimedia

Fall 2019

Taught By: Ayo Okunseinde and Sasha Zamler-Carhart

Section: A

CRN: 7594

Credits: 3

Like modern communication supports, medieval music manuscripts convey ideas through design. Some are masterpieces of multimedia design: they include not only music, but symbolic poetry, elaborate manuscript layout with eye-catching visuals, and sometimes allegorical illustrations. These are not just works of art, but often expensive communication supports commissioned to have a specific impact on a specific audience. Their motivations are diverse: political campaigning (Roman de Fauvel), spectacular exercises in personal branding by wealthy individuals (Codex Chantilly), extravagant wedding gifts to cement an alliance (Cyprus Manuscript). Others yet are collective works of a fashionable young urban generation (Codex Montpellier) that use a distinctive juxtaposition technique whose design structure is curiously analogous to today’s “starter pack” memes—and whose esthetic was just as incomprehensible to the previous generations as memes are to today’s older generations. This course will take students through the musical, poetic and visual elements of these multimedia manuscripts and analyze their design features. We will investigate which strategies made some of them exclusive, and why the structure of medieval society could make it more sensible to design ultra-luxury products for a limited but powerful audience than more accessible products for a wider audience. Many of these medieval musical manuscripts make extensive use of scientific lingo and imagery as a communications tool—just like today’s marketing. We will study how their often flashy use of scientific novelties in medieval mathematics (fractions), physics (magnetism), astrology and cosmology would have dazzled medieval audiences and established trendsetting credibility. Open to: All University Undergraduate students.

College: Parsons School of Design (PS)

Department: Art, Media & Technology (PSAM)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Studio (S)

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: September 9, 2019 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 17, 2019 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

*Status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 2:25pm 2/16/2020 EST

Meeting Info:

Days: Friday

Times: 9:00am - 11:40am

Building: Academic Entrance 63 Fifth Ave

Room: 502

Date Range: 8/30/2019 - 12/13/2019