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Information and Syllabus

Net.Art -- Spring '19


Time & Location:
R 03:00pm-5:50pm in Comm 1021

Professor: Robert Spahr
Contact: rspahr@siu.edu
Office: Northwest Annex, B213

Office Hours:
T   11:00am-01:00pm
W  10:00am-02:00pm
and by appointment

Course Syllabus Location: http://www.robertspahr.com/net/

Course Listings:
Interdisciplinary Topics: Net Art - 25677 - CP 470D 002
Media Arts Studio Seminar: Net Art - 27886 - MCMA 516 001

Required Text:

* All readings will be distributed in class or available online *

 

Further Reading:

Castro, Elizabeth. HTML5 & CSS3 Visual QuickStart Guide (8th Edition). Peachpit Press

Online:  Pilgrim, Mark. Dive into HTML5.

Description:

History, theory, and practice of web-based and networked art. Examine and produce works in linear and non-linear hypermedia narrative, network conceptualism, and generative software. Issues include identity, location, collaboration, surveillance, hacktivism, tactical media, immersion, game design, media synthesis. Taught as a production course combined with critical readings and discussion, students will be expected to create a number of projects throughout the semester. The student's level of comprehension of this material will be assessed through their contributions to class discussions and critiques, journal entries and project assignments.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have gained a practical grounding in the principles of making networked art through instruction in coding, design, and interaction. Students will have been introduced to the history, theory and practice of net art through readings and exposure to the work of new media artists. Students will have become familiarized with some of the strategies and technologies used by net artists, by studying significant historical and contemporary net art projects. We will have built upon the students previous knowledge of HTML and CSS, to further their coding proficiency, and to develop the process of thinking about code as art. We will have discussed the role of artists in networked environments, the importance of software art, and programming as an artistic practice across new media. Students will have produced their own net art projects, critiqued them in class, and at the end of the semester will have presented their work to the wider public.

Objectives:

  • Increase knowledge relevant to the analysis and history of media arts, net.art and contemporary arts practice.
  • Develop technical skills for creating and analyzing net.art and interactivity by developing individual and collaborative group projects.
  • Develop an awareness of the creative process as it applies to net.art and contemporary arts practice.

Syllabus:

#################################################################################
Topics and readings will be added based on specific student interest.
Possible topics may include: Processing, Python, Raspberry Pi, Linux, & PHP / MySQL #################################################################################


Jan 17
Introductions, The Internet, Basic Markup, HTML5
What is Net.Art?, What is New Media?

Lecture:
Speed Viewer's Guide to Net.Art
The Internet, Basic Markup, HTML5

Assign:
Exercise One: Chimaera: Hybridized Imagery & Augmented Meaning

View in class:
Grace Hopper: First computer "bug", 1947
Wikipedia: Grace Hopper
Humans Need Not Apply, 15:00
GNU User Lib video, 2:53

Resources:
Free/Open Source Software for Net.Art
Neocities.org
Example Neocities website: https://robertspahr.neocities.org/


Jan 24
Image Formats, CSS Style Basics & Free / Open Source Software (FOSS)
Lecture:
Image Formats, CSS Style Basics

Development Environments:
LAMP, MAMP & WAMP (Linux/Mac/Windows, Apache, Mysql, PHP)

Exercise One is due. Group Critique

Reading:
Bill Gates: Open Letter to Hobbyists, February 1976
Richard Stallman: The GNU Manifesto, March 1985
Thought Questions

Assign:
Exercise Two: Counter Mapping: Origins, Directions & Locations


Jan 31
Typography, Images, & Multimedia
Lecture:
Typography, Images, & Multimedia

Exercise Two is due. Group Critique

Reading:
New Media Art Introduction: Mark Tribe

Assign:
Exercise Three: Exquisite Corpse


Feb 07
Advanced Layout Using CSS
Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP)

Lecture:
Advanced Layout Using CSS

Exercise Three is due. Group Critique
Proposal for Midterm project is due by email: rspahr@siu.edu

Reading:
Walter Benjamin: The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
Thought Questions


Feb 14
HTML5
Lecture:
HTML5
Student Presentations


Feb 21
Open Studio
Student Presentations


Feb 28
Open Studio
Student Presentations


Mar 07
Midterm Project is due. Group Critique
Journals are due.
Proposal for Final project is due by email: rspahr@siu.edu


Mar 17-14
Spring Break


Mar 21
Begin Group Project Development.
Student Presentations


Mar 28
Open Studio
Student Presentations


Apr 04
Open Studio
Student Presentations


Apr 11
Open Studio
Student Presentations


Apr 18
Open Studio
Student Presentations


Apr 25
Open Studio
Student Presentations


May 02
Final Project is due. Comprehensive Group Critique
Journals are due.


May 06-10 - Finals Week
Final meeting TBD
Comprehensive Final Group Critique continued.


Net.Art Research/Presentation

Students will explore and research artists creating work that addresses their chosen topic. They will then present the artist and one specific work of net.art to the class. Further details regarding the presentation will be discussed.

Potential Topics to Explore
hypertext mark-up languages
animated gifs
automation
software / programming
installation
open-source, free culture & ownership
search engines
tactical media
non-linear media
databases
social networks / social software
surveillance
video games
artificial intelligence

Midterm and Final Project

Two Individual Projects - Midterm and Final
Each student will develop and present a midterm and final Net.Art project. These projects will be developed from ideas explored in regular weekly studio exercises, and the students previous work. Details regarding these projects will be discussed in class.

Group Project
As a group project, the class will obtain a domain name (name to be decided) and set up web hosting. This public website will become the container for selected work created through out the semester. This site will be available to the general public and specifically to our SIU community using QRcodes and the URL. Methods of publicity appropriate to the work created will be determined by the class. All further details will be discussed and developed as a collaborative project.

All projects will be documented on the web.

Evaluation:

The work in this course requires motivation, exploration, risk-taking, and most importantly, an openness to new ideas. Attendance and promptness are mandatory. The grading policy of this class is meant to encourage you to explore new ideas and take chances. Do not think in terms of "What must I do to receive an A grade", but think in terms of what you would like to learn. All assignments and projects are due at the beginning of class. All readings are due the day they are listed on the syllabus.

Journal: Each student will respond to the class readings/presentations, weekly studio exercises, and their own net.art projects, as well as lectures/discussions in class. Students should also document their creative process, and artistic development within the journal. Think of the journal as a resource, to contain your present ideas and hints of future directions to explore.

Each project will be graded on artistic, creative and intellectual merit.

Grades will be based on the following:

  • Originality of concept
  • Delivery (execution of the concept)
  • Documentation
  • Process
  • Craft
  • Critique participation

Your final grade will be determined by the following:

  • 20% Participation/Exercises/Net.Art Presentation
  • 10% Journal
  • 30% Midterm Project
  • 30% Final Project
  • 10% Group Project

SIU Syllabus Attachment

SIU Syllabus Attachment - PDF