MCM 0750 - Digital Art (CRN 14620)
Department of Modern Culture and Media, Brown University
Name: Mark Tribe
Email: Mark_Tribe AT brown DOT edu
Office phone: 401-863-7886
Office Location: 155 George Street, Room 101
Office Hours : Tuesdays 5:00-7:00pm and by appointment
Campus Box : 1957
What would Andy Warhol's Facebook page look like? What would John Cage have done with an iPod? This introductory production course combines history, theory, and practice to explore the intersection of art and emerging digital technologies. Examples of recent student work include a dance performance lit by cell phones, a Dadaist video game, and an exquisite corpse made with Processing, a programming language for artists. We will examine and critique new media projects by various artists, as well as art historical precursors/influences. Students give presentations and produce media art projects. Readings include Walter Benjamin, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, and Jean Baudrillard.
Unless otherwise indicated, all course meetings take place in the MCM Production Building, 135 Thayer Street, Room 102 (Production Two)
- Explore Digital Art practices, relevant media theory, and related art historical precedents
- Respond to this exploration by producing Digital Art projects that interrogate or extend key concepts and strategies
- Develop skills of observation, analysis, interpretation, and oral and visual communication through peer critiques and presentations
Along with readings provided online and on OCRA, there are three books you will need to acquire. You are welcome to get them at the Brown Bookstore, or from an online bookseller.
Nota Bene: Assignments are not considered complete until they have been adequately documented on the wiki and linked-to from the student work page and from your personal wiki page. See How to Document your Project for the Wiki for details.
- For each project your personal page should contain, at a minimum, the following:
- A thumbnail image;
- A project title that links to your project page.
- A statement that describes your project and sheds light on your intentions and, if relevant, your process.
- Projects will be presented in class during critique: be sure you have your media ready to go!
- Late assignments will not be accepted without prior permission from the instructor.
Update Project: due October 5
Make a Digital Art project that reinterprets and updates a historical art project from one of the movements we have studied.
Curatorial Project: due November 2
- Curate an exhibition of Digital Art
- Default: an online exhibition using this wiki.
- Other possibilities:
- An online exhibition elsewhere (Blogger, Rhizome, Google Sites, Jimdo, Second Life, indexhibit, etc.);
- An offline exhibition in a gallery, stairwell, public space, etc.;
- A screening, performance series, or other time-based program.
- Each exhibition should include ~5-7 works and should be organized around a specific and clearly defined theme or topic.
- If you don't use the wiki as your venue, you must create a project page with a description, one or more images, a prominent link to your exhibition, etc.
- Your curatorial project must include:
- A critical introduction in which you articulate your theme, mention the works you've selected (and possibly others that you did not include), draw connections among the works, and discuss how they relate to your theme;
- A descriptive/analytical text on each work (this would be a good opportunity to employ the critical method we've used in critique);
- References to reviews and/or other research.
- Here are some notes to help you understand the Suggested Curatorial Process and some notes on setting up a Rhizome account and curation.
Final Project: due December 2
Work independently or in collaborative groups on a digital art project that explores ideas addressed in the course. If working collaboratively, each member of the group should write a short statement (250-500 words) that discuss the project and details his or her own role in the project.
Given the participatory nature of this course, it is important that everyone attend regularly and punctually. Please contact the instructor in advance if you won't be able to make it to a class due to an unavoidable conflict or medical condition. Class starts on time, so please arrive on time. Students with multiple unexcused absences or excessive lateness may not pass the course.
Student performance is assessed in four areas:
- Quality of production work;
- Relevance of production work to the concepts and strategies explored in the course;
- Active participation in class meetings demonstrating critical engagement with course material (readings, screenings, art works);
- Attendance and punctuality.
The emphasis in this course is not on technical mastery but on understanding digital media technologies as tools and sites for creative cultural practice. Some students will come to the course with advanced digital media production skills, others with very limited skills. This is OK! Advanced skills are not necessarily needed in order to make advanced art.
The most important skill you can learn how to teach yourself to work with new tools and technologies, rather than depending on somone else to teach you. There is no substitute for learning by doing. Try to maintain a playful and experimental attitude, remembering that there is no wrong way to make art.