Introduction to Net
Art & Culture
Wednesday, 4:00 -
office hours: Wednesday, 2 - 3 PM
On-line course information:
is an introduction to technical, aesthetic, and critical skills integral
to the creation and interpretation of internet art. Through
the writings of artists, scientists, and theorists, and the work of contemporary
net artists, we will examine issues surrounding internet culture: its
history, evolution, and impact on art, society, and the human condition.
Central to this study will be the identification of trends, issues, and
key concepts critical to our understanding of the emerging contemporary
net culture. The course will also focus on design strategies, tools and
applications used in site production. We will apply this technique to
the creation of new forms that are web-specific, as well as those that
bridge virtual and physical space. Students are expected to produce net
projects, a home page/on-line portfolio, independently research and critique
net artworks, engage in class discussion (including on-line), and maintain
a web notebook in which they will record and synthesize their reflections
on net issues. A final project will consist of a site that explores the
medium's potential as a vehicle for artistic and social transformation.
Week 1: Introduction
Review of course objectives,
readings, assignments, and projects. Presentation of the emerging genre
of net art including recent major exhibitions at
ZKM (Center for Art and Media), Net_Condition,
the Walker Art Center, Network Art
Entertainment, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, 2000 Biennial
and hypertext (Macromedia Dreamweaver)
Project assignment: home page/portfolio
Telematic Art (September
History and evolution
of communications technologies, the Internet, and the World Wide Web
as an emerging artistic medium. Early telematic artworks and theoretical
discussions by Nam June Paik, Roy Ascott, and Kit
Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz,
and image production (Adobe Photoshop and Imageready)
environments, including MUDs, MOOs, and chat spaces, and their impact
on social interaction, identity, and role-playing. LambdaMOO,
one of the first MUDs created at Xerox PARC in 1991, as well as a recent
multimedia environment, Pleasure
Island, by Randall
Packer and Jan Millsapps will
be closely examined.
- Work: Selection
Moos compiled by Rachel Rein.
"Constructions and Reconstructions of the Self in Virtual Reality,"
Electronic Culture, Sherry Turkle 1991
frames and windows (Dreamweaver)
Week 4: Telepresence
is the extension of our physical and mental being into a remote space
by means of telecommunications technologies. Presentation of the origins
of telepresence in early forms of virtual reality and the further distribution
of this concept via the web, through the work of Paul
Sermon, Eduardo Kac, and Ken
Goldberg. Take a look at CornCam
and watch the corn grow or search for Webcams
all over the world.
Typography and style
sheets (Photoshop and Dreamweaver)
Week 5: The
Integrated Datawork (September 27)
systems of connectivity, and tools such as data analysis, intelligent
agents and database technologies are being adopted for artistic purposes.
We will analyze recent work and theoretical discussion, focusing on
the work of artists whose focus is the integrated datawork, including
Victoria Vesna and the artist
- Work: "16
Sessions," C5 and Joel Slayton (1998); 1:1,
C5 and Lisa Jevbratt (1999); "Desktop
IS," Alexei Shulgin
by Randall Packer; "Gesamtdatenwerk: Connectivity, Transformation
and Transcendence," Roy Ascott, 1995
Critique of home
Memory: Constructing on-line narrative
Week 6: On-line
Narrativity (October 4)
Hypermedia and networked
technologies have created new opportunities for interactive narrative,
story-telling and non-sequential on-line experience involving viewer
participation. We will review early forms of networked writing by pioneering
hyperfiction writers Mark
Amerika and Michael
Work on Collective
Week 7: On-line
Narrativity (October 11)
We will look at
the work of Zoe Beloff who is
lecturing this evening as part of the visiting artists series at MICA.
Her work explores the paranormal, communication with the dead, artifacts
of the recorded "medium" that border on the inexplicable.
On the Turbulence
by Tina LaPorta by Tina Laporte, linear storytelling reflecting the
alienation and distance of telematics and on-line culture. Annette Weintraub'
Film genre and the icons of the Times Square/42nd Street landscape converge
in an exploration of the capacity of film to shape our sense of place.
Crossroads creates a layered narrative space in which familiar elements
of film and advertising culture are remixed in a series of pseudo films
that blend personal myth and public space.
Complete 1st Phase
of Collective Memory Project
Week 8: Deconstructing
the User Interface (October 18)
Net artists are
employing "low-tech" strategies that undermine conventional
approaches to user interface design and interactivity. An introduction
to European artists, including Jodi,
Alexei Shulgin, and Vuk
Cosik who are all associated with the on-line gallery Art.teleportacia,
have constructed and deconstructed new forms using the raw material
Read and Critique
Collective Memory Project
telematic manifesto! Due next week.
Week 9: The
Telematic Manifesto (October 25)
#1, a new on-line 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.
Flash animation used in Telemusic #1, created by Christopher Styles,
Andrew Bruntel, and Bionicbox.com.
I want to invite everyone to participate in the performance: Friday,
November 3rd, between 9:00 PM - 12:00 PM EST. Go to telemusic.org
to participate and for information.
Work on Telematic
Week 10: Dynamic
Media and Flash (November 1)
There will be student
presentations showing examples of Flash that demonstrate new expressive
opportunities for web artists and designers. This will be the beginning
of presentations everyone will make covering a range of topics from
new technologies to net artworks to web design projects.
Here is an extensive
list of Flash sites.
Andrew Bruntel from
Bionicbox will join the class
at 7:00 PM to discuss his work in Flash, and projects they are working
on at Bionicbox.
For those who haven't
worked with Flash, go through the 8 tutorials that come with Flash.
You can find them in the help menu of Flash.
Assignment (due November
Create a Flash animation
(no interactivity) that articulates an element of "horror"
or "fear" in the spirit of Halloween using primarily
graphics generated in Flash. This means primarily vector graphics: the
lines, ovals, squares, texts created with Flash tools. You may incorporate
found or generated bitmapped graphics created in Photoshop, but sparingly.
You may also use sound.
is due the following week on November 8, when we regroup. Keep it very
simple. Concentrate in the basic animating functions that control movement
and dynamic change, ie., tweening, scale, rotate, color, opacity, etc.
Week 11: Dynamic
Media and Flash (November 8)
discussion of key concepts in the integration of Shockwave Flash, dynamic
media, and html. We will view sites that incorporate Flash, discussing
how dynamic media, including animation and sound can extend the possibilities
for site design and net art.
winner of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Web
demonstration from Hillman Curtis' "Flash Web Design: the Art
of Motion Graphics," a New Riders Publication.
Final project -
Mediation of Politics: Virtualization of
the Collective Social Body
RTMARK - Voteauction
Work on "fear"
Assignment (due Nov.
Write a final project
proposal for your web notebook, to be discussed next week in class.
Week 12: Flash
and Sound (November 15)
in Flash. Brief presentation of SoundEdit 16: editing and mixing sound
files, resolution and file formats for export to Flash.
final project proposals.
projects, incorporating sound.
Assignment (due by
end of semester)
Critique the work
of a Net artist. Select from among the artists listed in my Zero
Gravity project, using the description of the artist as a starting
point for your investigation. Include your critique in your web notebook,
writing a summary of at least 300 words that includes links to the artist's
site and works. If you do not wish to choose one of the artists in Zero
Gravity, you may select one of your own. Please let me know first who
you plan to critique.
Week 13: Sound
and Media (November 29)
Everyone will join
Tim Druckrey's class, Thinking Media, for my presentation "Composing
With Media," from 4 to 6:30 in room 170B. I will be discussing
the integration of music and the arts. Beginning with 19th century opera
composer Richard Wagner's notion of the Gesamtkunstwerk (Total Artwork),
the presentation will focus on the development of electronic sound and
media during the 1950s and 1960s with the work of John Cage, Karlheinz
Stockhausen, and Morton Subotnick, followed by concluding remarks on
the music theater work of Robert Wilson and Philip Glass from the 1970s.
Regroup in 320B
at 7:00 PM and work on final project.
Week 14: European
Media Art (December 6)
and presentation of net artists and projects.
advanced techniques, work on final project.
Final Project (December
Discussion and critique
of final projects.
and Presentation (25%)
Each student is
required to participate in class discussion and present net projects
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.
- Weekly critique
of readings and net artworks
- Incorporate relevant
images and links
- overall concept
Each student will
create a homepage/portfolio that serves as a presentation of their work,
ideas and web-specific interests.
- home page with
well-conceived splash concept
- list of works with
images and descriptions
- biography and photo
- link to web notebook
- overall concept
- incorporate animation
(gif or flash)
A midterm project
will focus on the use of dynamic media. Each student will create an
animated, interactive project in the Flash format.
Final Project (25%)
A final project
will consist of a full developed website that focuses on the net as
a medium for aesthetic and social transformation. Students incorporate
topics presented throughout the course.
Work will be stored
on the class server. Zips will be needed to transport material home
and for backup.
Everyone is required
to have an e-mail account at MICA. You may also have an outside account,
but all projects must be done on the MICA server.
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.