Friday, January 29, 2010

Art 350 Syllabus Spring 2010

Art 350 Advanced Digital Media

Instructor: Joseph DeLappe, Associate Professor/Chair

Class Hours: M 1:00pm-3:30pm

Office Hours: MW 11:00am-1:00pm
Office CFA 208A, 784-6624

ART 350 ADVANCED DIGITAL MEDIA (1+4) 3 credits

Emphasis on further developing skills for the critical and conceptual utilization of digital media for personal expression.

Prerequisite: ART 245, 345. Maximum of 3 credits.

Course Description

In this class we will be exploring a number of possibilities for the creation and distribution of artworks using digital systems. The computer presents us as artists with a variety of options for the creation and dissemination of content. We will be engaging in utilizations of the computer that are creative, conceptual and experimental. The intent is to provide the advanced digital media student with a complex and varied experience that takes advantage of previously learned skills - while at the same time pushing one to investigate new aesthetic territory.

A Note on Technical Skills From Mark Tribe’s “Introduction to Digital Media” Syllabus at Brown University

“The emphasis in this course is not on technical mastery but on understanding digital media as tools and sites for art making. Some students will come to the course with extensive digital media experience, others with very little. Advanced digital media skills are not necessarily needed in order to make advanced digital media art. Keith Obadike's Blackness for Sale and Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries' work are two examples of successful and influential digital media art projects that required limited skills to produce. Digital technologies are so numerous and complex, and they are changing so quickly, that keeping up can become a sisyphean task. The most important tech skills you can learn are: how to teach yourself what you need to know to realize your ideas; how to find ways to realize your ideas given the skills and resources you reasonably can acquire; and how to partner or collaborate with others who have the skills you need. That said, there is no substitute for learning by doing. We will organize workshops on key skills, teach one another as we learn, and strive throughout to maintain a playful and experimental attitude toward the technologies we use.”

Course Structure:

This course is to be structured towards the creation of one major final project. Along the way, you will be working on three discrete, individual projects that will feed into your final projects (and into the Phone Booth exhibitions). The three projects are to be developed surround the following themes or processes: Sound, Image, Interaction, Virtual. You are to develop works utilizing your choice of three of these words as your beginning points of engagement. How you proceed to engage these words is up to you - consider each of these words as foundational subjects and processes for the development of discrete projects that will eventually comprise and inform your final project - in other words, your final project will be developed as a culmination of these starting points.

We will also be engaging in a series of workshops exploring various techniques wherein students in the class and others will be invited to share particular skill sets with the entire class. We will take further of this in class. We will as well, over the entire course of the term, continue to consider digital artworks both contemporary and historical to continue developing a contextual and critical understanding of our field of practice.

Course Requirements

-Students enrolled must have, as a prerequisite, taken Art 245 Digital Media I, Art 345 Sound and Image, and at least one other studio art course in the Department of Art at UNR.

-Students must have a current e-mail account.

-Attendance is mandatory at all scheduled class meetings. More than two unexcused absences will affect your final grade. Please arrive on time and prepared to participate in all course activities.

-We will have a number of class projects/assignments and one final project – the term is to be roughly divided in two parts; the second part of the semester is to be devoted to either individual projects or a major group oriented work – this will be determined as we move forward. All projects are to be completed on time – no late projects will be accepted.

-Participation in all class critiques is expected and mandatory.

-You will receive a written evaluation and letter grade for each class project.

-Your final grade will be determined according to the following formula: class projects 40%, final project 40%, class participation 20%.

-Each student will be involved in the creation of a site-specific installation project in the Department of Art Phone Booth Gallery (these will generally be two-person, collaborative projects).

-Each student is REQUIRED to attend two approved lectures and one exhibition or film screening, that are regularly announced in class. I will provide you with a list of approved lectures/screenings/exhibitions both on campus and off. You are required to write a short, one page critical summary of the event and two questions to ask the speaker (extra credit will be given to those who actually ask their question at the event!). There are three specific events oriented towards the digital media area that I recommend you attend this semester - I will go over these in class.

-Lecture/Lab Component: The course will meet for three lecture hours per week. Class time will be devoted to lectures, demonstrations, reading discussions, production sessions and critiques. Students are required to work at minimum an additional 6 hours per week of work outside of the scheduled class times (studio production, reading assignments, etc.)


Specific Xeroxed articles, tutorials and other online source material will be assigned as the course progresses. For each reading you are required to create two questions for discussion based on that weeks reading. These are to be type written and printed out for credit.


You will be assigned a digital access code for after-hours access to the Digital Media Studio by the end of the second week of the term. Intermediate and advanced Digital Media students have 24-hour access to the lab in exchange for monitoring the facility and assisting with beginning students working in the lab

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