Mediaworks: Experimental and Documentary Approaches to the Moving Image

Fall 2021
Winter 2022
Spring 2022
Sophomore - Senior
Class Size: 44
16 Credits per quarter
Variable credit options, see below
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Taught by

In a tumultuous world, our creative habits matter. They forge calm in times of chaos, provide the clarity of a roadmap, and are forces of resistance and repair. Creative habits invite patience and cultivate our capacity to witness ourselves, each other and the world around us. Creative habits give us the confidence to take risks and the tools to question assumptions, deconstruct stereotypes and build more just and welcoming communities.

Come join an inspiring and committed learning community where we will cultivate our creative habits and voices through a study of the theory and practice of media art. Mediaworks is the foundation program in the Media Arts and Studies path. Mediaworks prepares students to make a difference in the world by focusing on nonfiction media, which encompasses a broad range of experimental and documentary forms.

As a hybrid program, we will combine remote learning with weekly in-person instruction and workshops. Relevant campus media facilities will be safely open and available to you.

Through hands-on skill-building exercises, creative assignments, screenings, reading and writing, we sharpen our essential skills of collaboration, design and creation, discussion and critique, and reflection. We spend significant time helping each other encounter, describe, evaluate and strengthen our creative and written work. Working with cameras, audio recorders and mics, and editing software, we learn how to thoughtfully compose images, record sound, and put them together to represent experience, using non-fiction approaches that observe and explore our environment, communities and the things we care about. We gain experience with the tools and materials of both analog and digital media formats and experiment with the distinctive qualities of live-action filmmaking as well as some foundational animation techniques. In addition to working in video and sound, students will have the opportunity to explore cameraless image-making processes in photography and 16mm film.

In fall and winter quarters, we lay the conceptual and practical foundations central to our study of art and media, paying particular attention to our senses, the creative process, and community-building. Engaging with contemporary issues and problems, we study the dynamics of media representation and strategies for empowering and amplifying marginalized voices. Our thematic focus this year includes the history of documentary and experimental animation. Related themes may include: architecture and the built environment; bodies, embodiment, disability and public health; and climate resilience and environmental justice.

In spring quarter, students who have successfully completed previous quarters of Mediaworks-- demonstrating growth in academic skills and capacities and constructive participation in our learning community--will have the opportunity to plan and create self-directed projects in nonfiction and experimental modes. Project work will be complemented by screenings, student presentations, professional development workshops, weekly critiques of work-in-progress, visiting artist presentations, and technical workshops. At the end of the quarter we celebrate your accomplishments by organizing and hosting a public screening of our work. In place of a spring project, students have the option to pursue a media/art internship; students are responsible for researching, finding and applying for internships; faculty will provide mentoring during the process.

Hybrid Instruction and Workload:

In this year’s transition to more in-person learning, we remain in compliance with Washington state guidelines for COVID safety. Fall quarter instruction will include both weekly in-person sessions in small groups, with masks and physical distancing as required, and remote learning via synchronous Zoom sessions and asynchronous work on assignments. The ratio of remote to in-person instruction is subject to change over the year as we adapt to emerging conditions to maintain our safety.

You can expect about 4-6 hours per week of scheduled, synchronous zoom sessions and 4-6 hours a week of in-person sessions. You can plan to spend up to 20 hours a week outside of class hours on self-paced, asynchronous work that includes reading, writing, film viewing, and technical and creative assignments. Zoom class sessions include artist lectures, synchronous film/video screenings and discussions, creative workshops, seminars and critiques. In-person learning will focus on hands-on skill workshops and creative exercises that emphasize experimentation and collaboration.

To successfully participate in the remote learning aspects of the program, you will need a recent model computer that can run Adobe video and sound editing software (software is included with your tuition), an external hard drive of at least 2TB, a worktable, a smartphone, and robust internet service. Other media equipment will be

available to check out on campus through Media Loan. We encourage you to reach out to faculty with any questions about technology or equipment.

Students interested in enrolling in the program for 8 or 12 credits are encouraged to contact faculty Julia Zay via email for more information on how the program can be scaled accordingly.



· 48 college credits posted to transcript by the start of fall quarter 2021.

· Successful completion of at least two quarters of college-level studies spanning multiple disciplines. This could be satisfied by Evergreen interdisciplinary programs or classes at Evergreen or elsewhere that provide breadth.

· Intermediate college-level reading, writing and critical thinking skills.

· No previous experience with media is required. The program will be scaled to meet and challenge you at whatever media skill level you enter

· The application requirement has been removed.

In winter quarter, students are admitted to the program through a short application process. The application can be found here. Priority deadline is Monday of Week 10, Dec 6, 2021. We invite interested students to talk to us at the Academic Fair

Fall 2021 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (16): 10240
Winter 2022 Registration

Signature Required

Students are admitted to the program through an application process. Contact faculty for further information.

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (16): 20064
So - Sr (1 - 16): 20065
Spring 2022 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (16): 30042

Academic details

Preparatory For

media art, visual art, design, documentary filmmaking, experimental film and media, journalism, communications, education, community studies, and the humanities

Variable Credit Options

Students can take this program for fewer than 16 credits with faculty permission. Contact the faculty for more information and a signature override. 

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing

$200 fall quarter for software fees, media and photo fees, and supplies.

$200 winter quarter for software fees, media and photo fees, and supplies.

$150 spring quarter for software fees and media fees. 

Fees for all three quarters: $550.

Special Expenses

Students will need a current model computer that is fast enough and has enough memory to run video and audio editing software. Students will also need a 2-4TB external hard drive.

Internship Opportunities

In spring quarter, students may choose to do an internship in a local or regional organization focusing on media production, media education, or a related subject in lieu of or alongside participating in the program on a daily basis. Students are responsible for finding and applying to internships individually, but faculty and college staff provide support for students as they nagivate this process. Students must complete an in-program Internship Learning Contract in consultation with the faculty and Academic Advising by the end of winter quarter. Please go to  Individual Study  for more information.


In Person or Remote
Hybrid (F)
Hybrid (W)
Hybrid (S)
Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting

May be offered again in


Date Revision
2021-07-21 This program no longer requires faculty signature to register in fall quarter.