Randall Packer | Course Information
 

Electronic Media and Culture

History, Theory and Practice of Electronic Media

Syllabus - Fall, 2000
Foundation, Maryland Institute College of Art

Monday, 1:00 - 6:00 PM

Randall Packer, Instructor
office hours: 2 - 3 PM, Wednesday, room tba
Website: http://www.zakros.com/

On-line course information: http://www.zakros.com/mica/

Zero Gravity – Digital Arts Resource On-Line
Multimedia: From Wagner to Virtual Reality – History of Art and Technology


Course Description

Electronic Media and Culture is a broad overview of the tools, aesthetics, and cultural paradigms brought about through the integration of electronic media. The history and work of electronic artists will be surveyed who have pioneered new interactive and interdisciplinary forms, as well as engineers and mathematicians who have developed information technologies and influential scientific and philosophical ideologies. The digital arts will be analyzed for emerging trends in artistic strategies and socio-cultural aspirations. Students will be introduced to an array of essential multimedia tools and techniques used in the production and authoring of graphics, text, animation, video and sound. The goal of the course is to develop critical and practical skills vital to the creation and interpretation of digital and electronic art forms.


Week 1 (August 29)

Presentation

Lab

Image processing and manipulation – Introduction to Photoshop, digital photography and scanning


Week 2 (September 12)

Presentation

    Topic 1: Integration – Synthesis of the arts and technology
    Presentation of the work of Billy Klüver, Bell Labs engineer and founder of E.A.T. (Experiments in Art and Technology) and his collaborations with Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Jean Tinguely, John Cage, and others.

Discussion

  • Reading: "The Great Northeastern Power Failure"; Billy Klüver, 1966

Lab

Print media – Overview of Quark, integration of image and text for print output
(Presentation of projects from week 1)


Week 3 (September 19)

Presentation

    Topic 1: Integration – Synthesis of the arts and technology
    Presentation of the work of Nam June Paik, Fluxus artist and founding father of video and information art. Notes on Paik.

Discussion

  • Reading: "Cybernated Art, Satellite Art"; Nam June Paik, 1966, 1984

Lab

Print media – complete and present projects


Week 4 (September 26)

Presentation

    Topic 2: Interactivity – Birth of a New Medium
    Presentation of the work of Douglas Engelbart, engineer who invented the mouse and other technologies that led to interactive and collaborative computing.

Discussion

Lab

Sound media – Introduction to Sound Edit 16, creating narrative through sound.


Week 5 (October 2)

Critique

    Presentation of sound works begun in the previous week.

Presentation

Discussion of integrated media: media composition that incorporates image, text and sound.

Lab

Presentation Media: Introduction to Macromedia Flash: importing graphics and sound, layout, creating text; symbols; timeline, keyframes, and tweeening; dissolving images and text.

Assignment

Digital Film: Nostalgia Noir


Week 6 (October 16)

Presentation and Discussion

Review of Flash basics and short critique of projects-in-progress. Compositional techniques for combining media.

Lab

Continue work on Nostalgia Noir project in Flash.


Week 7 (October 23)

Critique

Presentation of Nostalgia Noir project

Presentation and Discussion

Discussion of networking, hypertext, HTML, and web-based interactivity

Reading

"Literary Machines " Ted Nelson, 1988 (due next week)
See my Telematic Manifesto at ZKM's Net_Condition

Lab

Networked media – Begin new hypertext project, a Telematic Manifesto, in Dreamweaver


Week 8 (October 30)

Presentation

Continue presentation of networked media, hypertext and HTML. "My Boyfriend Came Back From the War," by Olia Liolina, non-linear hypertext narrative.

Telemusic #1, a new on-line networked performance work by Randall Packer and Steve Bradley that explores the dissolution of virtual and physical space. The work incorporates telematic roles, our relationship to the Net, relevant to our discussion of the Telematic Manifesto.

Discussion

Ted Nelson's "Literary Machines"

Lab

Continue work on Telematic Manifesto


Week 9 (November 6)

Presentation

    Critique of Telematic Manifesto.

    Next assignment: Web project – Political Satire – create a home page for the next President of the United States.

Lab

Working with graphics on the web: downloading from the browser, files formats including JPEG and GIF, resolution issues.


Week 10 (November 13)

Discussion

Based on recent unprecedented developments in the 2000 Presidential election, we will collectively rethink the Political Satire project and develop it further.

Lab

Work on Political Satire project

Assigment

Critique the work of an electronic media artist. Choose an artist from the Zero Gravity list, or an artist of your own choice whose work is documented on-line. Make your selection by the end of class today. Presentations will begin in two weeks and should be approximately 10 - 15 minutes each.

 


Week 11 (November 20)

Discussion

Finalize electronic media artist presentations. Discuss final project.

Presentation

Political Satire projects.

Lab

Advanced techniques: incorporating animation and sound into Dreamweaver. See the home page of telemusic as an example. Sketch out final project.


Week 12 (November 27)

Presentation

Complete Political Satire presentations. Presentation of media artists.

Lab

Discuss and work on final project.


Week 13 (December 4)

Discussion

Presentation of media artists.

Lab

Advanced techniques, work on final project


Week 14 (December 11)

Discussion

Presentation of media artists.

Lab

Advanced techniques, work on final project


Week 15 (December 18)

    Critique – Final projects


Assignments and Grading

Class Discussion (20%)

Each student is required to participate in weekly class discussion based on readings and lecture.

Class Presentation (20%)

Each student is required to present and critique the work of major electronic and digital artists.

Bi-weekly Projects (30%)

Biweekly projects will be assigned focusing on the application of digital tools and techniques

Final Project (30%)

A final project will consist of an integrated work (more than one media) that incorporates the application of digital tools and artistic strategies presented throughout the course. Students may choose from a variety of formats including: video, animation, and the web.


Miscellaneous

Materials

Each student is required to store their work on zip cartridges.

Internet Access

Everyone is required to have an e-mail account. All written assignments will be handed in electronically by email.

Server Account

Accounts will be issued for students to use the class server. A password and user ID will give you access to the server either from the lab, anywhere on campus, or by dial-in from home or work.