ep courses

ART 402/502 Tactical Media (No Prereq)
This is an advanced undergraduate course in tactical media. It is designed to bring artists from various specializations together to discuss methods and possibilities for independent public art activities, and to experiment with soft interventions in locations not typically accessed by artists. Particular attention will be paid to process (as opposed to product), to what can be created, organized, and/or produced outside of the artist’s studio, and to engaging the immediate and specific qualities of a given socio-phenomenological field.

ART 525 Interactive Art
This studio course is designed to facilitate students in exploring emerging practices in computer-based interactive forms. Students will be exposed to emerging technological tools (hardware and/or software) of particular relevance to experimental artistic practice via a series of classroom demonstrations and short workshops. Short reading assignments and presentations of work by contemporary artists will contextualize use of these tools and techniques. The primary focus of the course is on facilitating students to develop a self-directed, conceptually and technologically sophisticated final project. The broader objective is to equip students with an understanding of methodologies of technological engagement that will empower their future artistic endeavors.
The primary software utilized in this course this semester is MAX/MSP/Jitter.

Biological Art is a broad term that encompasses a growing field of artistic engagement with the knowledge and tools of life sciences.  Artists working in this field utilize “wet” biological techniques as essential components of their process or finished works-thus Biology is not only a “subject” of the work, but often the “medium” of the work as well.

This course is a comprehensive introduction to the field of Biological Art. The course focuses upon recent advances in the life sciences, both in theory and practice.  Emphasis is placed on developing critical and creative thought, discussion of ethical and cultural issues, and cross-disciplinary experimentation in art and science.  Course activities include (1) lecture and group discussion, (2) laboratory-based demonstrations, exercises and projects, (3) group critique.  The class will initially meet in the Center for the Arts, but on laboratory workdays we will be meeting in Cooke Hall (at the Koudelka lab).

The course is designed primarily for art practitioners, but spaces will be reserved for interested students from the life sciences and humanities who wish to engage with the interdisciplinary activities of creative bioresearch.

ART 589 Real-Space Electronic Art (No Prereq)
Students create sophisticated, self-generated projects using interactive electronic technologies other than mouse, keyboard, and CRT monitor, such as micro-controllers. Involves hands-on explorations of applied electronic principles, selected readings and discussions, short exercises, and a final, self-directed project.

VS 425/525 Designed Play (No Prereq)
The course will focus on the changing role of “play” and its impact on contemporary cultural production as a design medium. Questions surrounding how we currently define play – is it aimless, productive, meaningful – and how the current production of “play” and the use of game-based models in both consumer, educational and corporate culture is shifting the boundaries between work and leisure will be explored. This course combines lectures, readings, research reports and discussion with hands-on interactive media design and production.

VS 500 Instant Image: From Snapshot to Telepresence
This course looks at time and the image, or more accurately, the speed of light and the image. The Internet offers the lure of connectivity, of simultaneity, of interactivity, and availability – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year – that is, the lure of a “real-time” technology. Television presents the “live” image as in one television network’s claim that it brings viewers “news at the ‘speed of live’.” But of course, the “live” image is pure technics, and the dream of such instant images – the traveling of long distances via the screen — has a history. In this course we will consider historically and theoretically the concepts of instantaneity, the “instant” itself, the speed of light, duration and memory, simultaneity of event, interactivity, the “live” image, “real-time,” and presence. We will begin with the development of the instantaneous photograph (snapshot) and chronophotography around 1880 and move forward to consider the introduction of cinema, television and video, radar, surveillance satellites, the Internet and other present-day telecommunications technologies. Examples of the uses of these technologies will be taken from the work and play of artists, the military, industry, and people in everyday life—including ourselves. Students will also consider possible implications of such imaging technologies through theoretical critiques that link the instantaneous picture, for example, to shock (Benjamin), catastrophe (Doane), trauma (De Duve), accident (Virilio), and the end of history (Baudrillard).

DMS 543 Media Robotics I: Physical Computing
MediaRobotics I: Physical Computing is the first in a series of courses that expose students to concepts and techniques that allow them to begin appreciating, designing, building and programming behaving artifacts for complex environments.

This course introduces basic concepts and techniques for creating objects, spaces and media that sense and respond to their physical surroundings and the actions and events that transpire there. Moving beyond the interface paradigm of screen, keyboard and mouse, physical computing enables alternate models for interaction with (and through) computers that afford more subtle and complex relations between a range of human and non-human actors. Combining readings, presentations and discussions on the theory of computer enabled art forms with a series of hands-on technical workshops in computing methods and techniques, the course provides a critical context for emerging forms of experimental practice.

Topics include fundamental ideas in computing (languages, representation of thought), embodied interaction (situated actions, responsive systems), practical aspects of hardware design (electricity, electronics, microprocessors, components, sensors and actuators), functional programming (variables, datatypes, control structures, functions, objects, communication protocols), and various material fabrication techniques (wood, metal, plastics, elastomers, fabrics). No prior expertise in computing required. Curiosity about how things work is a must.

DMS 544 MediaRoboticsII: Synthetic Sensing (Prereq: DMS 485 or Art 589)
MediaRoboticsII introduces students to the world of synthetic sensing and perception.  Microphones, cameras, accelerometers, global positioning and other sensing devices hear, see and feel in ways people do not. This course will allow students to better understand both the concepts as well as the techniques underlying a variety o fsensing methods and applications. A large part of the course is dedicated to image acquisition since machine vision fundamentally alters the role of the image in the arts. For the computer, image and data are one. The automated extraction of meaning by the machine is a new topic in the media arts. The course materials include readings in perception theory, color theory, animal perception as well machine vision algorithms.

DMS 606 MediaRoboticsIII: Data Analysis (Prereq: DMS 534 or similar)
MediaRobotics III is a gentle introduction to data analysis and interpretation, with emphasis on topics of importance to current hybrid art practices. As artists expand their inquiries into fields such as image processing, speech synthesis, robotics, biometrics, genetics and environmental monitoring, new studio practices become necessary. Data analysis is fundamental to many of these new fields and for that reason of particular importance for the new media artist today. This course will cover basic concepts of data analysis with three practical focal points. Applied statistics, text processing and artificial neural networks. Readings and discussions will compliment the technical materials.

DMS 461 Machine Culture
This lecture course will follow the conception and history of the machine from the monastery bell to the latest humanoid robot. This is a survey of events that may be considered pivotal in the conceptual construction of the role of the machine. Consequentially, the course will focus on cultural aspects of technologies, deployment of technologies and the fabrication of desire for and belief in the machine. Materials will be gathered from diverse authors: Karel Capek, Paul Virilio, Harun Farocki, Paul Feyerabend, CAE, Matthew Fuller, Marvin Minsky, John von Neumann, Mark Weiser, Luc Steels, Kirsten Dautenhahn, Katherine Hayles, Phoebe Sengers, Rodney Brooks, Manuel De Landa and others.

DMS 608 Critical Ambient Intelligence
Ambient Intelligence (AmI) refers to research and development of electronic environments that are sensitive and responsive to the presence of people. Born in the technophilic 1990s, AmI is a product of the cybernetics legacy, technological utopia, and profit-oriented experience industries. These conflicting vectors make AmI both a fad to avoid as well as an opportunity to embrace; a chance to rethink the possibility of technology in architecture. In this seminar we will attempt to map a broad understanding of AmI and to expand the default utilitarian role of information processing technologies. Information control and modification is slated to become, just as environmental control already has, a design problem within architectural practice.
Readings will range from texts on early cybernetics, robotics, sociological studies of home appliances, pop-culture, to AmI research such as Oxygen Project and more. Seminar participants will be challenged towards conceiving satisfying engagements between mediating technologies and built architecture in discussions, individual and team-based designs.

DMS 557 Locative Media and the City
Locative Media is an emerging field of media art and technology practices that incorporate location, data, mobile computing and wireless communications. This seminar focuses on Locative Media practices situated within urban environments and provides a critical context within which to evaluate how we locate and orient ourselves within, interact across, navigate through, and otherwise inhabit the contemporary city. Drawing on a broader discourse involving the technological mediation of urban experience, the course combines readings in social theory, spatiality, technology and urban form; film screenings addressing the development of the modern metropolis and its post-industrial mutations; and an examination of specific art practices of the Surrealists, the Situationists, conceptual and performance art from the 60’s and 70’s, and more recent projects in Locative Media. Topics include sedentary vs. ambulatory knowledge, cognitive mapping, pyschogeography, surveillance, site-specificity, participatory networks, spatial narratives, pervasive gaming, and hybrid spatial experiences, among others.

DMS 515 Media Urbanism
This hybrid studio-seminar focuses on contemporary media art situated in urban space. Through a series of urban research experiments and transdisciplinary readings, students develop skills to critically engage the city and explore alternative urban activities and experiences enabled by a range of mobile, embedded, pervasive, networked and distributed media, communication and information systems. Drawing on a broader discourse involving the technological mediation of urban life, weekly discussions are organized around readings in social and spatial theory, open systems, participatory structures, computer science, human geography and urban form as well as presentations and analyses of contemporary projects in locative media, ambient informatics, and urban computing. Periodic critiques provide a platform for discussing students’ ongoing project development and prototyping, with an emphasis on producing a project proposal at the end of the semester that can be submitted to exhibition venues and funding organizations.

DMS 515/415 Cognition and Consciousness in Fact and Fantasy
We produce media for conscious minds – human minds. But what is a mind? What is consciousness? what is cognition? In this seminar we will examine and experience works by artists and scientists that specifically attempt to understand the mind; to make a model of the mind; to represent and explain the mind; to mess with the mind. A central assumption of this course is that fact and fantasy both offer compelling insights into the problem of consciousness. The texts include pure fiction, works in the borderlands of fact and fiction, scholarly and scientific inquiry.

DMS 517/417 Game Studies Colloquium
Video games encompass an increasingly diverse set of practises, populations, locations – from fantasy football to multi-player medieval fantasy; from simulations of real life to alternate realities; from fanatics to activists; from nightclubs to competitive arenas to public streets to the classroom; from consoles to mobile phones to large-screen projections. In this course we will analyze not only popular games but interactive installations, pervasive games, mixed and virtual reality environments. We will discuss the interdisciplinary nature of a cultural practice which depends on art, artificial intelligence, computer graphics, interface design, human-computer interaction, psychology, narrative, networking and technical innovation. We will ask why interactive experiences are popular, and try to understand the social and cultural implications of games and gaming.

DMS561 Network Landscapes
This production course addresses technical, aesthetic and theoretical issues in locative media and landscape-scale or environmentally themed projects.  The title of the course implies that technological, biological, social and informational networks are inter-related at the scale of landscape and, therefore should be designed from an ecological perspective.  Emphasis will be placed on critical and experimental approaches to designing “network landscapes” with a range of media from mobile phone and wireless network media, to geo-spatial information systems (GPS, Google Earth Pro, ArcView, satellite photography, etc.), sound, radio, photography, installation, performance, film and video.  Specific instruction in the design of locative media and site-based projects will open onto a broader critical inquiry into the cultural construction and representation of landscape across a variety of media from film, video, photography and sound, to mobile media and geospatial information systems.

DMS603 Mobile Media Workshop
This course introduces students to the practical and technical aspects of realizing mobile and locative applications using cellular, wifi, GPS and other wireless network technologies. It is intended to support the development of projects that have already been articulated as concept designs or projects that require custom programmed applications. The course is geared toward students who already have a basic knowledge of electronics and programming for serial and / or network communications using mobile devices, microcontrollers, sensors, etc. or those who have taken a prior course in project concept development using off-the-shelf applications in mobile and locative media (e.g. DMS561 Network Landscapes). Specific technological skills addressed will vary according to student interest and enrollment, as well as in response to trends in mobile and locative computing.

DMS434, DMS534, VS510 DMS, ARC596 Wearable Media
This production course explores the expressive potential of soft circuitry and wearable media.  We will explore the materials and construction techniques of “soft computing” (conductive fabrics, yarns, etc.) to create expressive objects and interactive fashions.  Technologies are not merely exterior aids, but interior changes of consciousness.  They affect how we understand ourselves by co-structuring possibilities of thought.  The focus of this course will be the interaction and interrelationship between soft technologies and bodies.  There are no prerequisites – introductory electronics and sewing techniques will be reviewed.

DMS 434 Responsive Media : Real-time Audio and Video Synthesis
This course will introduce the tools and techniques for authoring real-time media systems with Max/MSP/Jitter. Max is a graphical programming environment designed to handle the basic elements of media: time, interactivity, and control. MSP adds the ability capture, synthesize and manipulate audio, while Jitter does the same for video and more. Although the course will emphasize work that utilizes real-time computation–live video or sound art, interactive work, installation or performance–students may choose to apply the tools towards the creation of more traditional, or non-real-time, works such as generative, genetic or evolutionary compositions of sound and/or image. No previous experience with Max or computer programming is required, but some background in media production (video, animation, sound or music) will be very helpful.

Other courses forthcoming such as “Bioarts”, “Tactics of Praxis”.

Bookmark and Share

Leave a Comment