Statement of Teaching Interests
Max Kazemzadeh, PhD, MFA

Teaching in the realm of digital media art today is a dynamic and multifaceted endeavor. It demands an unwavering commitment to exploring, critiquing, and embracing the extensive and ever-evolving landscape of media, networks, communities, and systems that shape our culture and collective identity. It requires a teaching approach grounded in curiosity and skepticism, aimed at guiding students to organize, curate, critique, synthesize, and share their discoveries and critical discourse through their artistic work.

Engagement with the Digital Age:
Teaching digital media art demands a thorough understanding of the digital age. It requires educators to be actively engaged in professional studio practices, regularly exhibiting their work, and participating in international festivals, symposia, exhibitions, and workshops. This engagement is essential to stay current with emerging technologies and techniques, allowing educators to inspire and guide students effectively.

Global Awareness and Cultural Context:
An appreciation for global culture, perspectives, and events is vital. It forms the creative foundation from which students can develop a diverse range of creative interests and practices. To thrive in the international digital, electronic, and emergent media art culture, students must engage with philosophy and culture on a global scale. Moreover, a solid educational foundation in programming languages and platforms used in communication technologies, social networks, and interactive systems is crucial.

Interdisciplinary Approach:
Digital media art is inherently interdisciplinary. Encouraging collaboration across disciplines expands the scope of projects both aesthetically and experientially, enriches content, and enhances innovation. Collaboration fosters a sense of community among artists, designers, and engineers and broadens the horizons of what can be achieved.

Ethical Considerations:
Ethical considerations are paramount in the digital age. Educators must instill an understanding of the ethical implications of digital media art, including issues related to data privacy, representation, and social impact. This knowledge empowers students to create art that is not only technically proficient but also socially responsible.

Technical and Conceptual Proficiency:
Students should develop technical skills while also exploring conceptual dimensions. A solid foundation in formal aesthetics, coupled with knowledge of the history and evolution of creative digital media practices, equips students to produce high-quality work. Familiarity with the philosophy, theory, and criticism surrounding electronic media as an art form enriches their understanding and elevates their work.

Collaborative and Open-Source Approaches:
Collaboration is a cornerstone of emergent and digital media art. Encouraging open-source practices fosters innovation, social awareness, and creative sustainability. Educators should guide students in exploring open-source communities to understand social dynamics, activism, and creative clarity.

Stimuli for Creative Growth:
Students should engage in three forms of stimuli: absorption of art history and contemporary works, technical exploration with an open-source perspective, and exploration of philosophical and ideological references. These stimuli enable students to cultivate their creative processes and apply them to their work effectively.

Education as Empowerment:
Education has the power to activate individual potential, challenge conventions, and broaden perspectives. It invites students to become inventors and idealists, ultimately serving their communities and the world. Sharing emergent ideas about art, design, culture, and technology should inspire creativity, innovation, collaboration, openness, and discovery.

In summary, my teaching philosophy draws upon a wide range of experiences, from performance art to interactive digital media, to offer students a comprehensive and forward-looking education. It encourages them to embrace technology as a medium for self-expression, fosters interdisciplinary collaboration, and instills ethical responsibility. Through this approach, students are not only prepared to excel in the digital media art field but also empowered to make meaningful contributions to society and culture.