VA5013 - Technologies

What will I learn on this module?

This module is an opportunity to think through the place of technology in art practice, in relation to theories of technology in society and culture. You will be supported in developing your studio practice through the application of, or engagement with, current and past technologies. We will take an experimental approach to working with machines, computers and other forms of technology, taken broadly. The module supports the theoretical development of your studio practice, through a series of focused workshops, seminars and other events.

The module will support you in working towards a group exhibition which will focus on interactivity and responsivity through the employment of, or exploration of, technologies of communication. This will be supported in studio and through seminars, tutorials and visits.

The module draws in contemporary theory with a focus on technology as an extension of human values. A seminar series will introduce themes of power, control and agency in technology, giving space for discussion of technology and communication in the digital age. We will approach these questions from a global perspective, drawing in Yuk Hui’s theory of cosmotechnics, in order to understand that there is no single definition for technology.

How will I learn on this module?

This module will be designed to support you in taking the lead, through group collaboration, presentations and public outcomes. The technical support on this module will be focused on experimentation, working with technologies through experimentations in text, film, sound, image and other means, most often in studio. We will be collaborating with other departments in order to create occasional access to new and nascent technologies.

The seminar series will draw in histories of art and technologies, with a focus on key theories of technology and contemporary life including cosmotechics and posthumanism. We will also have a research trip to a local museum, in which you will be learn about, and respond to, the history of communication technologies.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module lead will give a module introduction session, as well as running an assessment guidance session.

You are supported by an academic team, which teaches you across the various modules. Your learning is mapped out for you in a programme guide given to you at the start of the semester that includes guidance notes and key dates for the semester to help you organise and plan your time. Teaching materials, notices and guidance are made available to you through our online electronic learning portal, which is accessible online both on campus and externally. You will have a university email that we contact you through, and all course timetabling is published in your online timetable. To support you, we provide you with on-going formative feedback through the teaching you receive, and ask you to write and submit a self-evaluation review reflecting on your own progress against the module learning outcomes.

You are supported with studio provision and access to specialist technical facilities, materials, and resource areas. Technical facilities include the wood and casting workshops, the print studio, the mac lab and digital print facility, and the darkrooms and digital photographic studios. You have access to specialist materials in all workshop areas, and our resource areas include equipment stores, galleries, and project spaces. You have twenty-four-hour access to the university library.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. You will produce artwork that engages critically and theoretically with technology

2. You will develop a working knowledge of key critical theories of technology and communication

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

3. You will demonstrate the ability to frame and explore critical questions through a research-driven practice

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

4. You will develop your ability to collaborate, to develop ideas into outcomes and to be an active participant in debate and discussion.

How will I be assessed?

Summative Assessment:
1. Collaborative exhibition event in week 8 (60%)
2. Critical analysis((1000 words) based on exhibition in relation to identified texts, developed in weeks 9-12 (40%).

Summative Feedback
You will receive written feedback at the culmination of the module within 20 working days.

Formative Assessment: To prepare you successfully to undertake the summative assessment(s) on this module, formative assessments will be set by the module team. These may take the form of in-class tasks or projects, developmental activities undertaken between classes, or learning exercises/activities set over a longer period. Feedback (written and/or oral) will be provided to help you learn from, reflect on, and develop in light of these formative assessments.

MLOs: Summative tasks address all MLOS





Module abstract

This module explores the important interface between art and technology. We live in a world shaped by, and negotiated by, technology. The age of communication technologies, including digital worlds, is relatively new and yet our lives are extended by technology in all kinds of ways. Technology has also changed how we make, experience and think about art. In this module we will be exploring experimental ways of making art with and in relation to new and old technologies. We will explore the history of artists working with technologies, whilst also reviewing critical contemporary issues of the digital age including those of power, control and information. You will be working collaboratively towards an exhibition event before critically reflecting on the exhibition in writing.

Course info

UCAS Code W105

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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