Randall Packer | Course Information
 

Intermedia Workshop

Syllabus - Spring, 2001

Friday, 1:00 - 6:00 PM
B320 - Bunting Center (MICA)
314 - Peabody Music Conservatory

Instructors

Randall Packer (Coordinator): Maryland Institute, College of Art
http://www.zakros.com/

Geoffrey Wright: Peabody Convervatory of Music
http://gigue.peabody.jhu.edu/~wright/

Greg Boyle: Peabody Conservatory of Music
http://gigue.peabody.jhu.edu/~boyle/

 

On-line Syllabus

On-line Bulletin Board


Concept

InterMedia Workshop is a pilot course offered jointly by the Maryland Institute, College of Art and the Computer Music Department of the Peabody Conservatory of Music. The experimental workshop is intended to encourage collaboration among student composers, performers and artists at MICA and Peabody in a team environment, and to engage students in the investigation of a range of interdisciplinary multimedia projects, including networked, live performance, electronic theater, installation, video, and animation. As a long-range goal, the Workshop is envisioned as an ongoing structure to bring music and visual arts students together from MICA and Peabody to promote and facilitate the creation of intermedia art and to further explore shared resources, joint research, and exhibition/performance opportunities.

 

Course Description

InterMedia Workshop is a laboratory for the research, creation and presentation of interdisciplinary media art. The workshop brings together students and faculty in the musical, visual and media arts for the development of advanced projects and to give students experience in all facets of team-based media production. Workshop projects will be primarily student produced with additional input from faculty, visiting artists, and technical staff. The workshop will seek to integrate the artistic and technological resources of MICA and Peabody.

The course will support collaborative projects in a range of disciplines and genres, and will explore the theoretical and practical problems inherent in the process of interdisciplinary collaboration. Students will focus on developing and implementing conceptual constructs and skills vital to cross-disciplinary work. Recognized media and sound artists, contemporary works of art and technology, and new technological trends will be discussed to explore issues critical to the investigation of emerging interdisciplinary forms.

Students investigate the creative and technical use of sound and its integration with visual media. Emphasis is placed on the development of aesthetic skills critical to the creation of time-based works that involve sound, image, and real-time user interaction in a variety of contexts including: Internet, CD, installation and live performance. The course will include an extensive historical survey of composers, visual artists, choreographers, poets, etc., working in such genres as: music theater, Happenings, installation, film and video.

InterMedia Workshop will meet weekly to critique student projects, discuss relevant topics in Intermedia art, performance and technology, and to coordinate productions. Projects will take a variety of interdisciplinary forms, with an emphasis on strategies for the integration of sound and media in an interactive context. Integral to the course will be MAX / MSP, a graphical software environment used extensively in live computer music, intermedia performance and installation works. Students will work in a variety of multimedia authoring environments including: Macromedia Director, Dreamweaver, Flash, and Adobe Premiere. Collaborative teams will be formed to best utilize the experience of music and art students in their implementation of media tools and conceptual strategies for the creation of projects.

 

MAX

The Intermedia Workshop makes extensive use of the MAX software environment (Cycling 74), a graphical set of programming tools that has a broad range of artistic application from electronic music to media installations. Originally developed at IRCAM (the computer music institute at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris) in the late 1980s, MAX became the basis for a surging interest in interactive computer music, and more recently used by visual artists interested in its capacity to engage viewer interaction within installation environments.
 

Prerequisites

The course is open to both undergraduate and graduate students with foundation experience in the media arts: computer music for Peabody students; and Electronic Media and Culture and Web Design or Interactivity for MICA students.

Week 1 : Introduction / MICA (January 19)
 
Presentation/Discussion
 

Review of course objectives, readings, assignments, and projects. Overview of interdisciplinary practice in music, media and the arts, including the work of the instructors.

 
Assignment
  Reading: Artwork of the Future, Richard Wagner

Integrated Media

Week 2: The Total Artwork / Peabody (January 26)
 
Presentation/Discussion
  The history of the Gesamtkunstwerk (Total Artwork), beginning with Richard Wagner's theories on the integration of the arts from the 19th Century, and the evolution of the "totalizing" intermedia artwork through the 20th century. These works include: Karlheinz Stockhausen's Originale (1961), Variations V by John Cage (1964); and the Pepsi Pavilion(1970), a collaboration of over 75 artists and engineers organized by Billy Klüver and E.A.T.
 
Lab
 
 
Assignment
  Reading: "Digital Harmony," John Whitney, 1980
Post bio information on the course bulletin board and form collaborative teams for the integrated media project.

Week 3 : Introduction to MAX Part I / Peabody (February 2)
 
Presentation/Discussion
 

MAX, and its audio component, MSP (Max Signal Processing), is one of the most important tools used by both computer musicians and installation artists to incorporate interactivity and viewer-participation. Greg Boyle will give an overview of Max, showing some of his recent work.

For additional information on Max, and other Max-related objects, see the Cycling 74 site.

 
Lab
 

 
Assignment
  Reading: TBA
Begin integrated media projects

Week 4 : Introduction to MAX Part II / Peabody (February 9)
 
Presentation On-line
  Randall Packer will discuss Max in the context of his recent collaborative work Mori, featured in the Telematic Connections exhibition at the San Francisco Art Institute. He will demonstrate the Max programming developed for the work, in which live signals from the Berkeley seismograph control this immersive sound installation.
 
Lab
 

 
Assignment
  Complete integrated media projects.

Week 5 : Critique / MICA (February 16)
 
Presentation/Discussion
 

Critique of integrated media projects.

 
Lab
 

Complete projects.

 
Assignment
  Reading: "Space-time Problems," László Moholy-Nagy, 1945
Begin spatial media projects.

Spatial Media

Week 6 : / Space-time Continuum / MICA (February 21)
 
Presentation/Discussion
  Artists working with kinetic forms and other dynamic media have explored the critical relationship between space and time. Integrating time-based structures into the visual environment is integral to the construction of animated, interactive and sculptural forms.
 
Lab
 

Techniques for integrating digital media in spatial environments.

 
Assignment
 

Reading: "Liquid Architectures," Marcos Novak, 1993
Work on spatial media projects.


Week 7 : Navigable Music / Peabody (February 28)
 
Presentation/Discussion
  With immersive 3D forms, such as in the work of artist/architect Marcos Novak whose liquid architectures initiate habitable spaces, it is possible to explore the interior of the visual/music space.
 
Lab
 

The spatial organization and distribution of sound in Max.

 
Assignment
  Spatial media projects.

Week 8 : Critique / MICA (March 9)
 
Presentation/Discussion
  Critique on spatial media projects.
 
Lab
 

Complete spatial media projects.

 
Assignment
  Reading: TBA
Begin network media projects.

Network Media

Week 9 : TBA / Peabody (March 16)
 
Presentation/Discussion
  Geoff Wright will discuss network media and the integration of music and the Web.
 
Lab
 

Techniques and tools for interacting with Max via the Net.

 
Assignment
 

Reading: "Satellite Art," Nam June Paik
Work on network media projects.


Week 10 : Telematic Music / MICA (March 23)
 
Presentation/Discussion
  The Internet has introduced new paradigms for collective forms that blur both temporal and spatial boundaries. Artists are also exploring the bridge between physical and virtual spaces through installation works that unite the two domains.
 
Lab
 

Project feedback.

 
Assignment
  Work on network media projects.

Week 11 : Critique / Peabody (April 6)
 
Presentation/Discussion
  Critique networked media projects.
 
Lab
 

Complete network media projects.

 
Assignment
 

Reading: TBA
Begin final projects.


Special Topics / Final Project

Week 12: Interactivity and Indeterminacy / MICA (April 13)
 
Presentation/Discussion
  John Cage introduced indeterminacy in musical composition to break down the barrier between the listener and the artwork, subsequently shifting the responsibility of the outcome of the work to the recipient.
 
Lab
 

Advanced techniques (TBA)

 
Assignment
 

Reading: TBA
Work on final projects.


Week 13 : TBA / Peabody (April 20)
 
Presentation/Discussion
  Greg Boyle will present.
 
Lab
 

Advanced techniques (TBA).

 
Assignment
  Work on final projects.

Week 14 : TBA / MICA (April 27)
 
Presentation/Discussion
  Discussion of final projects.
 
Lab
 

Work on final projects.

 
Assignment
  Complete final projects.

Week 15 : Final Critique / Peabody (May 4)
 
Presentation/Discussion
  Critique of final projects.
 

Assignments and Grading

Class Discussion and Presentation (25%)

Each student is required to participate in class discussion and present artist critiques.

Web Notebook (10%)

A Web notebook is maintained throughout the semester. The notebook will serve as a personal journal containing position statements to readings, critique of artworks, and summaries of class discussion, etc. The notebook is a multimedia sketchbook, a place to develop your ideas, experiment with media technologies, and record your observations. The notebook will be graded on the basis of your ability to process and absorb key concepts introduced throughout the course. The notebook needs to be kept up on a regular basis and will be checked weekly throughout the course.

Required:

  • Weekly critique of readings and artworks
  • Incorporate relevant images and links
  • overall concept + design

Projects (30%)

Students will work on small projects in teams on an approximately biweekly basis.

Final Project (35%)

A final project will consist of a full developed team project that draws from concepts and techniques explored earlier in the course. Students will select an area to work in including: animation, video, installation, network, etc.