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Information and Syllabus

Integrative Studio 1 - Fall '22

{ synced with New Media Now and Media Arts Practice I }

Professor: Robert Spahr
Contact: rspahr@siu.edu
Office: Comm 1056B
Office Hours:
W  09:00am-12:00pm
R   01:00pm-04:00pm
& by appointment

Course: Integrative Studio I
Location: Northlight Studio (Comm 1251)
Time: F 09:00am-11:50am

Course Syllabus Location: http://www.robertspahr.com/studio1/
Course Information: CIN 470D Integrative Studio I - 001 - 64086

Professor: Walter Metz
Contact: wmetz@siu.edu
Office: Comm 1050i
Office Hours:
T  11:00am-03:00pm
W  01:00pm-03:00pm
& by appointment

Course: New Media Now
Location: Northlight Studio (Comm 1251)
Time: T R 09:35am-10:50am

Dr. Walter Metz, a film scholar and professor in the School of Media Arts (SoMA), will be intensively involved in this course, particularly as we attempt to link the Thursday meetings of his class, CIN 301: New Media Now with the Friday meetings of this class Integrative Studio I.

Teaching Assistant: Leah Sutton
Contact: leah.sutton@siu.edu
Office: Comm 0012D
Office Hours:
T W  01:00pm-03:00pm
R   11:00am-01:00pm

Leah Sutton, a second-year Master of Fine Arts (MFA) student in the Interdisciplinary Media Arts is the teaching assistant for both Integrative Studio I and New Media Now.

Required Text:

Elkins, James. Why Art Cannot Be Taught, University of Illinois Press
* All other required readings will be available online. *

Suggested Text:


School of Media Arts First-Year Curriculum
Your first year at the School of Media Arts is a time of exploration and discovery as you develop your creative process, critical thinking, communication and collaboration skills. The two semesters of foundation courses immerse you in the making of media arts, as well as media arts history and theory resulting in the development of your critical practice as you learn to better reflect on your studio work. All students in the School of Media Arts follow a first-year curriculum, which provides a rigorous and exciting course of study, exposing you to a range of art, design and media practices which will be the foundational support for your entire education and your creative life after graduation.

Integrative Studio 1
In this course we will explore the process of creativity as we look to dissolve the divide that often separates art from life. We will consider what we make, how we make it, and we will ask why? How do we generate and capture ideas? How can our research become part of this process? Through individual and collaborative group activities you will engage in a series of media projects that ask you to experiment, visualize, question, look, listen, play, fail, iterate, and reflect. This course is linked to other courses in the Foundations Curriculum: Media Arts Practice I and New Media Now. In particular, we've designed Thursdays in CIN 361: New Media Now to resonate directly with Fridays in CIN 470D: Integrative Studio I.

Bridging Theory and Practice
CIN 470D Integrative Studio 1 is part of a unique sequence that is combined with CIN 361 New Media Now, and co-taught by both instructors. These two courses bridge theory and practice as students complete projects which connects their studio practice and their scholarly research. Our shared goal is to integrate making, writing, and reflecting essential components of the creative process.


  • Develop an awareness of the creative process as it applies to the arts and everyday life.
  • Develop technical skills for creating and analyzing media arts and interactivity through the exploration of individual and collaborative group projects.
  • Increase knowledge relevant to integrate making, writing, and reflecting essential components of the creative process.


# Syllabus is subject to change with notice. #

Aug 22-26

Mon Aug 22 (Prof. Robert Spahr)
Introduction of the instructors
Marshmallow Challenge

Tue Aug 23 (Prof. Walter Metz)
Applied Design / Open-ended Art Creation
What concepts or artworks would you teach in the School of Media Arts?

Wed Aug 24 (Prof. Jay Needham)
Sound Walk

Thu Aug 25 (Prof. H.D. Motyl)

Fri Aug 30 (Prof. Karla Berry and Prof. Kevin Mercer)

Drawing and Collage

Tue Aug 30 { new media now - see Dr Metz's syllabus for full details }
Self, Autobiography, and Media Arts

Thu Sep 01
What does (should?) "media studies" mean in a School of Media Arts?

Fri Sep 02
Bring drawing supplies to class.

Counter Mapping: Origins, Directions & Locations

Web Resource:
Elements of Art & Principles of Organization (PDF)

Draw a self-portrait using charcoal on paper. Your drawing should build upon your investigations this week and further explore the elements of art and the principles of organization.

Listen / View:
Suzuki: Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind - excerpt 'Beginner's Mind', 04:31
William Kentridge – ‘Art Must Defend the Uncertain’, 06:09
Benedict Cumberbatch reads Sol LeWitt's letter to Eva Hesse, 6:09

Elkins: Why Art Cannot be Taught, Chapters 1-2-3

Weekly self-reflection

Tue Sep 06
Media Aesthetics: Mise-en-scene

Thu Sep 08
Media Authorship and Critical Theory

Fri Sep 09
Bring drawing supplies to class.

Draw and collage a self-portrait. Your work should build upon your investigations this week and further explore the elements of art and the principles of organization.

Introduction to Color, 13:16
Kubrick In Color, 04:22
Blue Velvet (1986) Opening Scene, 05:22
The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover - Trailer, 02:55
Do the Right Thing (1989) opening credits, 04:23
Do The Right Thing - Stereotypes, 01:14
Art I Can't Show You, 07:00
Why Are David Lynch Movies Like That?, 23:33

Elkins: Why Art Cannot be Taught, Chapters 4-5 & Conclusions

Weekly self-reflection

Tue Sep 13
Geography and Media Studies

Thu Sep 15
Maps/Space/Mass Media

Fri Sep 16
Bring drawing supplies to class.

Due: Counter Mapping, Verson #1

Weekly self-reflection

Tue Sep 20
What is film criticism? What should media arts criticism become?

Thu Sep 22
British Cultural Studies: from the author to the reader

Fri Sep 23

Due: Counter Mapping, Verson #2

Vannevar Bush: As We May Think, Jul 1945 (Text only version)
Vannevar Bush: As We May Think, Jul 1945 (PDF version with illustrations)
Thought Questions

DALL·E 2 Explained, 02:46

AI: Text-to-Video
Weekly self-reflection

Networked Art

Tue Sep 27
Media Studies, Technological Change, and the Media Arts - the utopians

Thu Sep 29
Media Studies, Technological Change, and the Media Arts - the dystopians

Fri Sep 30
Bring a laptop computer to class.

Tue Oct 04
Mass Media and the Other Arts: Poetry and/as Media Arts

Thu Oct 06
Media Studies as Poetry

Fri Oct 07
Bring a laptop computer to class.

Lecture Notes:
Image Formats & CSS

Letter To A Young Poet (Pt 1) by Rainier Maria Rilke read by A Poetry Channel, 07:57

Weekly self-reflection

Oct 10-14 { all together in Northlight Studio }

Mon Oct 10 Studio: Camera Obscura

Tue Oct 11 Media Arts in the Late 19th Century or What was Proto-Cinema?

Wed Oct 12 Studio: Camera Obscura

Thu Oct 13 What is Critique? How does Critique relate to Media Criticism?

Fri Oct 14 Camera Obscura Project Critique

Tue Oct 18
Political Economy of Mass Media {law, regulation, copyright, ownership}

Thu Oct 20
Privacy, Surveillance, and Modernity

Fri Oct 21
Bring a laptop computer to class.

Weekly self-reflection

Tue Oct 25
Midterm Exam

Thu Oct 27
Media Ethics

Fri Oct 28
Bring a laptop computer to class.

Live Art

Tue Nov 01
Stardom, Celebrity Culture, and Performativity

Thu Nov 03
Identity Politics and Media Studies

Fri Nov 04

Fri Nov 11

Tue Nov 15
Phenomenology and Media Arts

Thu Nov 17
Final Exam

Fri Nov 18

Weekly self-reflection
Free: Text-to-Image Generator: Stable Diffusion

Week of Nov 25

Tue Nov 29
Mass Media as Instruments of Memory and Commemoration

Thu Dec 01
Deconstruction and the Archive

Fri Dec 02

Due: Destroy. Combine. Deconstruct. Rebel.

Weekly self-reflection

Dec 05-09 { all together in Northlight Studio }
What "proto" for the 21st century do we claim in 2022?

Details TBA

Dec 12-16 { all together in Northlight Studio }
FINALS WEEK - Critique of student media arts portfolios

Drawing Supply List (required)

Please bring these supplies to every drawing class.

Newsprint drawing pad 18" x 24"
Pad of white drawing paper 18" x 24"
Kneaded eraser
Vine or willow charcoal
Compressed charcoal
Elmer's Glue-all (8-ounce bottle)
Oil pastels (set of at least 8 colors, including white)

Drawing Supply List (suggested)

Container for drawing materials (such as a small fishing tackle box)
Drawing board at least 18" x 24"
Large bulldog clips (at least 2) for holding paper to drawing board
India ink
Bamboo ink brush
Masking tape
Pink or gum eraser
Charcoal pencils - 6B, 2B, and HB
Graphite pencils - 6B, 2B, and HB
Hand pencil sharpener or small utility knife (such as an Olfa or X-Acto)

Networked Art Supply List (required)

Please bring a laptop to every networked art class.

A laptop computer running either Windows, Mac OS or Linux.


The work in this course requires motivation, exploration, risk-taking, and most importantly, an openness to new ideas. 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.

Attendance: Attendance to all classes is expected. You are allowed up to ONE unexcused absences. Unexcused absence beyond this threshold may result in failing this course.

Assignments: All assignments and projects are due at the beginning of class. Late projects will not be accepted.

Critique: Students will work closely with each other to develop their projects. This includes learning to speak clearly expressing oneself when respectfully discussing their own and others artwork.

Sketchbook / Journal: Students will create at least one self-reflection response to their weekly investigations. Students should also document their creative process and artistic development within the sketchbook / journal. Think of the sketchbook as a resource to contain your present ideas and hints of future directions to explore.


A 95-100,   A- 92-95
Outstanding work.
Solution shows excellent depth of understanding and innovation. The solution has been fully developed in form and concept.

B+ 88-91,   B 85-87,   B- 82-84
Good work.
Solution exceeds all requirements and shows above average depth of understanding. Demonstrates more than adequate clarity of idea and execution.

C+ 78-81,   C 75-77,   C- 72-74
Average work.
Problem has been solved adequately, but the solution lacks depth of understanding, development and innovation.

D+ 68-71,   D 65-67,   D- 62-64
Poor work.
Solution is extremely weak and lacks understanding and innovation. Technical skills are weak.

F 61 or less
Unacceptable work.
Solution to the problem is unresolved and incomplete resulting in a failing grade.

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

Grades will be based on the following:

  • 20% Originality of concept
  • 20% Delivery (execution of the concept)
  • 20% Documentation / Process
  • 20% Craft
  • 20% Critique & participation

Your final grade will be determined by the following:

  • 60% Projects
  • 30% Participation
  • 10% Sketchbook / Journal


We will follow the mandated COVID-19 guidelines established by the university. Should the conditions change and we need to work remotely, I will work on transitioning our class to a hybrid online format. Further information on the SIU policy on COVID-19: https://siu.edu/coronavirus/

SIU Syllabus Attachment

SIU Syllabus Attachment - Fall '22 - PDF