Thursday, August 22, 2013

Welcome (Syllabus)

Ahoy-hoy! Welcome to DM1/ART245. I'm Ben.

Let the syllabus below serve as the intro post to the primary class blog.

(On your actual print out, come Tuesday, the 'schedule' portion will be easier to read and less scrunched. Keep it in mind.)

ART 245-1001.  Digital Media I . Fall 2013
1:00-3:15 PM   CFA 208  Tuesday and Thursday

Instructor : Benjamin Poynter
Email :
Phone : (405)-410-5988
Website :
Office Hours : Thursdays [CFA 208], 3:15-4:30 pm
               By Appointment

Course Description

The primary objective of ART 245 is to provide an introduction to the critical studies of digital media. Students will learn how to analyze the foundations, cultural forces and context that are synthesized in contemporary media art and technology. This will be accomplished through a balanced investigation of both the history and theory surrounding digital media while at the same time being involved in the creation of visual art through conceptual utilization of the computer and related technologies. This course emphasizes the personal development of critical thinking, artistic, and technical ability. You'll be challenged with controlled experiments using a variety of digital processes towards visual art production. This course presents students with opportunities to work with digital imaging, animation, video/sound/time-based media, the internet and social media as creative areas of discourse. This class is the introductory hud to the Digital Media program and is a prerequisite for all other course offerings required for the studio major and minor.


 +At least one art studio course
 (visual foundations, beginning photography, drawing, etc.)
 +No computer experience required.

 Required Texts, Course Materials

Readings: Specific Xeroxed articles, tutorials, and other online source material will be assigned in proper progression. 

Materials : Portable flash/external hard drive.

 Course Philosophy

 The Digital Media program exists as part of the larger Art Studio program for the Department of Art – all studio programs currently focus on the development of a contemporary approach to studio art practice and theory. Digital Media emphasizes an artistic, experimental, and technical approach to learning to utilize media systems for the creation of art.

 The intent is to provide an intensive learning environment that considers the computer as a broadly flexible tool much like the paintbrush available to the contemporary artist. Specific project assignments will also push you to consider the conceptual use of such tools. This is a thoroughly hands-on course. You will be expected to learn how to use the tools at your disposal – this is not a software-training course.

 You will learn in this class by doing – students will be given broad introductions to a variety of applications and devices as incorporated into project assignments. Learning to use these complex graphics programs, online technologies, and computer peripherals takes much dedication of time and a flexible attitude towards experimental practice and learning.

 Learning to become proficient utilizing new technologies is accomplished through both individual and shared experience. What you derive from this class in terms of technical learning will largely be defined by the amount of time you spend exploring and experimenting and taking advantage of the support resources available to you through the Digital Media Studio, the Dynamic Media Lab (@ One) in the KC, and via online tutorials. Bearing that in mind, classes that are not Digital Media I will be occupying the lab at external hours as well. Plan around this.

 Finally, you will be challenged constantly to consider just what you are doing with these new tools - the true challenge of this course is to engage in the creation of critical, challenging, thoughtful, meaningful, and conceptually sound creative experiments. 

 You will be introduced to the following basic programs and systems: Adobe Photoshop, Flash,  GarageBand or Audacity, Final Cut Pro, Flatbed scanners, digital cameras, laser printer, color inkjet printers, 3D modeling interfaces, blog interfaces, and much more.

Course Requirements 

1) Each student will complete a total of 7 regular class projects followed by contribution to a general studio atmosphere for the investigation of individual and/or group projects. A final project will be undergone as well. All projects will be uploaded and accessible to the instructor and students on individual student blogs.. Each project posted online will also feature a brief artist statement describing your approach to the specific assignment. i.e. a paragraph.

Assignments turned in a day later than due is a halved grade. Any later has no points given. Time management will be crucial to success in this course. As in a fast moving digital realm.

While you will have your individual blog, below is the address of the official blog which will be continually updated with relevant assignment information and useful artifacts-

2) Critiques. Selected projects will be discussed and critiqued in open sessions. Talking about your work and others is a crucial aspect of creating art. Learning to articulate verbally and in writing, just what your work is about, is just as important as the actual making of the work. Think of the separation between "form and concept" (what it looks like/what it "is") or especially if they can be the same. The ideas shared in an open critique will help us all learn from each other and greatly increase our ability to understand our creative practice. A post of ALL of individual blogs in class will be available by day two! For reference to your peers' progress.

3) For each course reading (total : 4) you are either required to create two questions for discussion based on that week's reading, or a unique task assigned in lieu of them. These are to be posted to your blog prior to that day’s reading discussion. Do not simply reiterate facts. Strive for critical thinking in questions! As with projects, critical thinking questions posted a day later than due is halved points. Any later, no points awarded. The readings are crucial.

4) Attendance is mandatory at all class sessions. The policy behind unexcused absences beyond 2 : you will begin losing points to final grade. Emergencies require documentation. If there is no documentation for an emergency, it is considered unexcused.

5) Each student will require a minimum 8 gb FLASH DRIVE to transfer their files. Other supplies will be individualized for each student. Files left on lab computers run the risk of deletion.

(Note : If external hard drive is acquired, make note to properly "partition" it for both Mac and PC sides for operation on both. A personal tutorial may be given to help explain.)

6) Grading: Students will be graded according to how well their participation in reading discussions and creative projects reflect an understanding and willingness to engage with the techniques, issues, and practices covered in class. The final grade is broken down as follows: 

•40% Studio Projects - 700 pts (7 projects x 100 pts ea) 
•11% Reading discussion questions/entries on blogs. - 200 pts (4 readings x 50 pts ea) 
•9% Participation/critiques, discussions, attendance. - 150 pts (15 weeks x 10 pts per week) 
•10% Written lecture and/or exhibition reviews - 180 pts (3 reviews x 60 pts ea)
•13% Course Paper - 220 points
•17% Final Project - 300 points



7) Each student is REQUIRED to write a one-page critical analysis for three different art calendar events throughout the semester and have it turned in on the alloted date at the very end of the semester. These can be done at leisure throughout the fall months. An official art calendar of events should be available and posted by week two. Keep an eye out as well!

8) Blog Participation: All assignments, large or small, MUST be documented weekly on the class blog! In addition, share links and discuss pertinent issues. It is your website portfolio: Each student will be creating a website/portfolio blog as an archive of all projects created in this course – this site  ( will serve as the repository for all of your class projects and writing assignments created in this course and any future courses taken through the Digital Media Program. We will survey the creation of your blog on the first day of the class.

9) Laboratory Workshops: A Digital Media lab technician by the name is Dillon McGillivray [] will be available 11-4 outside of class time Mondays-Thursdays to give related workshops specific to technical issues surrounding individual projects. It is highly recommended that students take full advantage of this resource! In addition, the instructor will be giving personal guidance and workshops. During designated days, by appointment, or just walk-in as the instructor is often in the lab.

10) Cell phones and PDA's. Do not let me see it outside of context. Common sense.

11) Course communications. I will be using email extensively to communicate important information to the class. I will be using the email that is available to me through the MyNevada system. If you do not know or are not sure which e-mail the University has posted to this system, please check and be sure you have an email that you check regularly so you will receive all class messages! Check the primary Art 245 blog as well for updates.

Computer Access

 Fortunately, in the aftermath of an ongoing financial crisis with budget cuts to the University, the Digital Media Studio has a better selection of hardware to work with in the facility. It is up to date and ready (with patience and care) to be used by the student body. This is a streamlined, neutral sized laboratory with a healthy number of student workstations.

 In recognition of the fact that we cannot provide a workstation for each student during scheduled class times, we will be working from a lecture/lab model that requires all student work to be completed outside of scheduled class period. The @One lab in the Knowledge Center, and multimedia check outs, are also available. Passwords of computer log-ins. User : Art 245. Password : Art. Very complicated. Contact for any discrepancies.

E V E N T  ( I S  S U B J E C T  T O  C H A N G E )
8.27 wk1
Salutations! 1.) Syllabus. 2.) Go over PROJ1 with in-class exercise.
- - -
8.29 wk2
Who are you? 5-10 minute presentations of previous work and self.
1.) Blog 2.) Introduction
9.3 wk2
1.) Critique PROJ1. 2.) Go over PROJ2. Look at referential work!
9.5 wk2
PROJ2 live demos/exhibition of ways to accomplish animation.
- - -
9.10 wk3
Discuss READ1 "Mechanical Reproduction"
9.12 wk3
1.) Critique PROJ2. 2.) Go over PROJ3 with in-class exercise.
9.17 wk4
1.) Critique PROJ3. 2.) ProjNV prep. 3.) Go over PROJ4 with demo.
9.19 wk4
Install our part of the show (to be titled) in the ProjNV gallery!
Choice for PROJ4
9.24 wk5
1.) Discuss READ2 "Video Art"  2.) Survey selections for PROJ4 
9.26 wk5
Survey PROJ4 PROGRESS posts/process/materials
10.1 wk6
Critique PROJ4. Bring popcorn and snacks! And criticism.
10.3 wk6
1.) Go over PROJ5, looking at referential work. Introduce READ3.
- - -
10.8 wk7
1.) Discuss READ3 "Rushkoff" 2.) Assign Segments for PROJ5
READ3 (No questions.)
10.10 wk7
Survey PROJ5 PROGRESS posts/process/materials
10.15 wk8
Critique PROJ5. 
10.17 wk8
Watch the film "Digital Nation" and discuss.
- - -
10.22 wk9
1.) Go over PROJ6 with in-class demo and in-class exercise.
- - -
10.24 wk9
( NO MEETING ) Class time allotted for one-on-one help and guide.
- - -
10.29 wk10
1.) Discuss READ4 "The New Aesthetic"
READ4 (Tumblr selection.)
10.31 wk10
Essay Group ALFA Presents.
Alfa Essays/Present
11.5 wk11
1.) Critique PROJ6. 2.) Go over PROJ7 with referential work.
11.7 wk11
Essay Group BRAVO Presents.
Bravo Essays/Present
11.12 wk12
Survey PROJ7 PROGRESS posts/process/materials.
11.14 wk12
Essay Group CHARLIE Presents.
Charlie Essays/Present
11.19 wk13
1.) Critique PROJ7. 2.) Begin discussing the FINAL. 3.) Extra credit?
11.21 wk13
Class visit to the @One DML to get hands on with Second Life
- - -
11.26 wk14
( NO MEETING ) Class time allotted for one-on-one help and guide.
- - -
11.28 wk14
( NO CLASS ) Thanksgiving Holiday
- - -
12.3 wk15
1.) Further demo of Second Life/"gallery install". 2.) Prep VR install.
Planning for FINAL
12.5 wk15
Critique FINAL in progress : a post detailing your Second Life avatar
12.10 wk16
( NO MEETING ) Instructor out of town. Class time allotted for lab.
- - -
12.12 wk16
( NO CLASS ) Finals Meets Begin.
1.) Events 2.) Extra Credit
Final Meet
TBD time in Second Life. Installing PROJ6s/7s as FINAL SL avatar.

PROJECTS :  1) Digital Triptych Montage (PS), 2-3) Stop-Motion Frame Animation (PS, Flash, Garageband), 
    4.) Art Video Emulation (Final Cut Pro), 5.) Found Footage Collab (Final Cut Pro),
      6.) Desktop Totem (3DS Max), 7.) Augmented Reality Collage (3DS Max, PS),
    F.) The Virtual Reality Art Gallery (Final Project, Second Life) (In Connection With Projects 6 &or 7)

Statement on Academic Dishonesty: For example, "Cheating, plagiarism or otherwise obtaining grades under false pretenses" constitute academic dishonesty according to the code of this university. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated and penalties can include canceling a student's enrollment without a grade, giving an F for the course or for the assignment. For more details see

 Statement of Disability Services: For example, "Any student with a disability needing academic adjustments or accommodations is requested to speak with me or the Disability Resource Center (Thompson Building, Suite 101) as soon as possible to arrange for appropriate accommodations."

 Statement for Academic Success Services: For example, "Your student fees cover usage of the Math Center (784-443 or ), Tutoring Center (784-6801 or ), and University Writing Center (784-6030 or These centers support your classroom learning; it is your responsibility to take advantage of their services. Keep in mind that seeking help outside of class is the sign a a responsible and successful student."

 Statement on Audio and Video Recording: Surreptitious or covert video-taping of class or unauthorized audio recording of class is prohibited by law and by Board of Regents policy.  This class may be videotaped or audio recorded only with the written permission of the instructor.   In order to accommodate students with disabilities, some students may have been given permission to record class lectures and discussions.  Therefore, students should understand that their comments during class may be recorded.

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