Joseph Campbell is one of the world's most known scholars of comparative mythology. His ideas on the power of myth were discussed in the Media lab, University of Arts and Design, Helsinki, Finland during the fall of 2001 in a seminar titled "Myth and Digital Media", tutored by Mika Tuomola. The seminar investigated the relevance of mythic (narrative) patterns and images to globally networked digital media, its culture and narrative. The seminar followed Campbell's approach to myths of various cultures, revealing astonishing similarities worldwide and across times while pointing out human psychological and historic reasons for them and for some inevitable rhetoric differences. The seminar discussed these issues through six different themes: The Hero's Adventure, The Message of the Myth, The First Storytellers, Sacrifice and Bliss, Love and the Goddess, and Masks of Eternity. Each theme was reflected upon in terms of contemporary culture by investigating the possibilities of influencing or contributing to the arising cultural (narrative) patterns and images, the systems of representation for digital media and its narratives.

Learning outcomes:
On completion of the course, participants were expected to be able to
- identify and formulate key properties of Campbell's comparative mythology and its narrative patterns
- identify and formulate properties of Socratic dialogue
- analyze qualities and impact of the social and cultural dimensions of myth and vice versa
- recognize mythic and Socratic (narrative) patterns and images in media and take them in use in one's own work

- screening, analysis and discussion of Bill Moyers' interviews with Joseph Campbell and of selected material relevant to the workshop topic
- positioning the themes from participants' own viewpoints to the digital domain, contemporary culture and own work
- contributing in writing, visualization or other means to the seminar outcome

Books and articles (non-compulsory discussion texts):
- Campbell, Joseph: "The Hero with a Thousand Faces", Princeton University Press 1968
- Campbell, Joseph (with Bill Moyers): "The Power of Myth", Anchor 1991
- Plato: "Symposium" or any Platonic dialogue



Ville Eerikäinen
Sami Haartemo
Hanna Harris
Kari Kanto
Petri Kola
Markus Norrena
Sami Pekkola
Riikka Puustinen
Egon Randlepp
Simona Schimanovich
Juhani Tenhunen



UIAH, Media Lab 2001