The concept of slow media is defined in opposition to the proliferation of “speedy” digital media practices we are surrounded with today, practices that seem to leave little time for reflection upon what it is we are even doing. As a set of practices, Slow Media emphasize taking one’s time in terms of how we interact with and experience media forms, and by extension often how we interact with each other. Slow Media demand our attentiveness and involvement in a way that differs substantially from faster, digital media. With this in mind, playing with Slow Media offer us new insights into our everyday media practices by revealing forms of interaction and engagement that we no longer seem to notice or pay attention to. The goal of this assignment is to reclaim, reflect upon and analyze some of these insights. Some Examples of Slow Media Digital Practice Slow Media Alternative assembling an MP3 playlist recording a mix tape listening to digital streaming services listening to vinyl records or cassette tapes sending an email or IM writing a letter by hand and mailing it via “snail” mail blogging keeping a written journal watching a DVD, BluRay or downloaded movie watching a VHS videocassette using a word processor using a typewriter, or writing by hand digital photography film-based photography playing video games playing board games Assignment Steps
1) Choose a slow media practice that you will engage with throughout the term. This could be done on your own or as part of a group (for e.g., a letter writing exercise with a friend, a mixtape sharing group, etc.). NOTE: Assignments must still be individually prepared.
2) Start practicing!
3) Keep a journal of your slow media practice throughout the term. Reflect upon how your experience with the slow medium of your choice has influenced or affected the practice or practices involved (viewing, listening, writing, etc.). Has your understanding of your everyday involvement with digital practices changed through your engagement with slower media alternatives? THIS JOURNAL WILL BE IMPORTANT TO THE COMPLETION OF YOUR ASSIGNMENT.
4) Towards the end of the assignment period, I want to reflect back on your slow media experience and write up your reflections in a 3-4 page paper. Make sure to use your journal as an important source. Utilize the course readings on slow media and any other relevant research to help contextualize and expand upon your own personal observations. This last part is crucial, as it will help transform your observations into critical analysis.
5) You MAY (i.e. this is NOT a requirement, but think of it as a bonus component) also submit supplementary material to illustrate what you did with your slow media practice (e.g., a mixtape, a series of letters you wrote to a friend, a scrapbook, a photo essay, etc.).