Interdisciplinary Digital Media Course Syllabus

Below is the prototype for an interdisciplinary course in digital media and sound. Learning how to create interesting coursework which can apply to a broad range of student groups is an invaluable skill.

Digital Intermedia Design and Creation
Fall 2007
Professor Pena Young, B.M., M.M.
Tuesday/Thursday 9:30-12:15

Location:
F-105
W-10 Media Lab

Text: Michael Rush "New Media in the Late 20th-Century Art"
Students also will have a variety of Internet resources available during the course.

PREREQUISITES:
This course is an intermediate studio course designed for students who have taken Introduction to Media Arts, or its equivalent, and demonstrate a strong working knowledge in video editing and graphic design. Programs that students should be familiar with prior to taking Intermedia Design and Creation include Photoshop and Apple's i-Life suite (or the Windows equivalent). Students should be comfortable navigating within a Mac OSX environment.

COURSE DESCRIPTION AND CONTENT:
Intermedia Design and Creation is a visual arts studio course which combines technical knowledge of audiovisual editing, web design, graphic design, and DVD/CD-Rom authoring with the creative processes learned within the visual arts setting. The students will be required to complete 4 major projects which focus on using software tools as a means of personal expression. Workshops in Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro, Garageband, Dreamweaver, and Motion will introduce students to current technology. Smaller assignments will focus on technical issues (ex. creating a complex DVD menu, record a sound on the field, etc.).

In addition, students must write a ten-page research paper, choosing from a variety of contemporary topics in media. Example of topics can include: The Web as a Gallery Space, Internet Artists, Interactive Digital Installation, Authenticity of the Photograph in the Digital Age, Copyright Issues in Web Appropriation, The Video Blog as a Visual Narrative. The purpose of the paper is two-fold: to make students aware of the rapidly evolving digital arts field and to expose students to authentic electronic databases. The bibliography for the paper must include 15 resources (of which at least 5 are "traditional" sources -book, scholarly journal, etc.). By critically evaluating web resources and cross-referencing, students can learn to differentiate credible online sources from the false.

PROJECTS:

Project 1: Technology as a Means of Expression
Students choose to work within a software system they are already familiar with. Using basic technical techniques, they are required to make a multimedia piece which incorporates both visuals and sound and focuses on the effect of media on society. Though time and technical constraints are minimal on this project, students must demonstrate both technical knowledge and, more importantly, the ability to use technology as a means to convey conceptual thought. The end project may be a video, a web page, a live performance, etc. Projects are presented in class and must be between 3-5 minutes in length.

Project 2: Intermedia
By definition, intermedia pieces incorporate various elements from the arts into a cohesive whole in which no one element supersedes the other in importance. Students choose three art forms and create one cohesive piece which contains some digital elements. The theme of the work will be decided in class. Works may include any of the following: video, sound, movement, performance art, music, painting, sculpture, printmaking, web design, etc. For this project, students may work in groups or individually. They must demonstrate both skill and the ability to create a successful cohesive work. Projects are presented in class. Time length will be determined once groups are formed.

Project 3: Interactivity
Using the software learned throughout the semester, each student individually creates an interactive piece. The presentation for this project will take place in the media lab. The media lab will be set up as an multi-artist installation. Each student will have either one TV monitor, projector, or computer monitor at their disposal for creation of the piece. On presentation day, each student must come in early to set up the piece. An "open-house" of the works will commence once class starts. Students will be graded on the effectiveness of the interactive piece, its overall audiovisual content, and its ability to convey the artist's purpose. Students may choose any theme for their piece.

FINAL PROJECT:
Students begin working on the final project after Week 5. They must submit a proposal of the piece they wish to create. The piece must incorporate skills learned in class and have no restriction on subject matter. Because of time constraints, each work must be between 3-7 minutes long.

THERE ARE NO MAKEUPS FOR PROJECT PRESENTATIONS. Absence on group presentation day will result in a failing grade for the entire group unless the group can present their piece successfully without the missing member. In that case, only the missing member will receive a failing project grade.


TEST:
There will be one "matching" style test where students will match up artist and topics to definitions. Review of the textbook and attendance in class will provide all necessary material for the test.
Some artists and topics that will be covered: Laurie Anderson, Eadward Muybridge, Marcel Duchamp, Joan Jonas, Nam June Paik, Fluxus, Dada, Surrealism, Postmodernism, Yoko Ono, Jean-Luc Godard, Char Davies, Carolee Schneeman, Bruce Nauman, Tony Oursler, Vito Acconci, Ana Mendieta, the Civil Rights movement, Bill Viola, Dara Birnbaum, Marina Abramovic, Steina and Woody Vasulka, Matthew Barney, Amy Jenkins, Pipilotti Rist, Lynn Hershmann, etc.

In addition, students will use the Internet to research contemporary work.

Summary of Requirements:
In order to successfully complete this course the student must meet the following requirements:
1) Class begins promptly at 9:30. Attend each class. Students are responsible for the material learned on missed days. Attendance will be taken and the participation grade will reflect this.
2) Complete all assignments and projects successfully. Student's grade for assignments drops ten percent for each day late.
3) Complete the research paper requirement at a college-level. If writing skills are problematic, consult tutoring resources available at the university.
4) Make full use of the media lab. There will not be enough time available during class to complete each assignment and project. Work days are required attendance classes where students can utilize the instructor's help in creating projects.
5) Standards are high and professional.

Learning Outcomes:
1) A strong working knowledge of DVD Studio Pro, Motion, Final Cut Pro, and sound design.
2) The ability to use technology as a tool for artistic expression
3) The ability to utilize online resources effectively.
4) An informed knowledge about current trends in the digital arts.
5) Expansion of the definition of art within the digital environment.
6) The ability to successfully create artwork using technological resources.
7) Increase in terminology.
8) Ability to present high standards of visual communications and ability.
9) The ability to apply knowledge of current software programs towards other programs.

Week 1
Day 1 Introduction
Day 2 Historical Overview of New Media
Week 2
Day 1 Apple i-Life Workshop
Day 2 In-Class Assignment
Create Video with Sound
Burn a DVD and a CD using Apple i-Life
Research Topic Due
Week 3
Day 1 Final Cut Pro Workshop
Day 2 Final Cut Pro Workshop
Week 4
Day 1 Basic Sound Design
Day 2 Brief Survey on Visual Artists and Sound
Week 5
Day 1 Project 1 Presentations and Critique
Day 2 Project 1 Presentations and Critique
Week 6
Day 1 DVD Studio Pro Workshop
Day 2 DVD Studio Pro Workshop
Week 7
Day 1 Discussion of Artists involved in Interactivity
Final Project Proposal Due
Day 2 Work Day for Project 2
Complete Bibliography Due
Week 8
Day 1 Project 2 Presentations and Critique
Day 2 Project 2 Presentations and Critique
Week 9
Day 1 Web Design and Dreamweaver Workshop
Day 2 In Class Assignment: Creating a webpage
Week 10
Day 1 Motion Workshop (or Macromedia Director)
Paper Outline Due
Day 2 Work Day for Project 3
Week 11
Day 1 Work Day for Project 3
Day 2 Project 3 Open House Presentation
Week 12
Day 1 Test Review
Day 2 Media Artists test
Week 13
Day 1 Work Day for Project 4
Day 2 Work Day for Project 4
Week 14
Day 1 Project 4 Presentations and Critique
Day 2 Project 4 Presentations and Critique
Week 15 - Finals Week
Research Paper Due

GRADE BREAKDOWN:

10% Test
20% Project 4
15% Project 3
15% Project 2
10% Project 1
15% Research Paper
10% Participation and In-Class Projects
5% Research Topic, Outline, Bibliography Assignments

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