Abject electronic monuments are like public service announcements -- they remind people of the sacrifices, both personal and cultural, that they make to maintain their behaviors and values.
The assignment poses a design problem - "how do I make an abject electronic monument?" - but draws on specialist discourses from the humanities and arts. The puzzle, or riddle, form of the problem requires students to grapple with unfamiliar terms before they begin work. In order to solve the puzzle, students have to extract useful material from the course readings and films. They occupy themselves with the "how" question, but also with "why" questions -- "Why make monuments?" and "Why adapt monumentality for electronic technology and culture?"
Each week, a panel made up of three or four students addresses the readings and films and brainstorms about approaches to the project.
1. See the readings and response questions I required for the monument project.
2. See five student web monuments.
3. See UF English Professor Gregory Ulmer's Electronic Monumentality page.
4. See my homepage (which includes other projects I've designed for class).
5. Send Mail to Barry Mauer.