semester 1, year 3
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I. design for simulation

summary

during this module investigates and develops the potential of digital solutions for the production of artefacts that explore issues of simulation

lectures will present example artworks, theories and ideas relating to simulation technologies, virtual spaces, immersive environments, artifical intelligence, biotechnologies, transgenics etc

students will be given key texts to read and discuss.

module leader

gerda van wyk > email >in college thursday and friday

mark owen > workname@me.com

aims and outcomes

aims

  • To promote strategies and methods for realising intentions in Digital Arts practice
  • To promote awareness of the origin and relationship of content, and idea, to subject.
  • To investigate and develop the creative and expressive potential of interactive and immersive virtual environments.
  • To develop and articulate an informed and critical perspective of Immersive Design and Virtual Reality
outcomes
upon completion of this module, students will be able to:
  • Evidence effective research skills and methods to inform practice
  • Demonstrate and articulate a high level of awareness of intellectual, aesthetic, and historical concepts of different types of simulation.
  • Evidence and articulate concepts appropriate to the assignment. These may include painterly concerns, architectural space and construction, sculptural awareness, spacial perception, digital language, simulation and artifice.
  • Evidence the commitment to making work, which should be demonstrated through a level of ambition, and the personal development of digital skills, techniques, craftsmanship and working practice

module content

indicative content

  • Histories of Virtual, Simulated and Artifical Realities
  • The Technologies of Virtual Reality, Immersive Environments and Augmented Vision
  • Understanding the Metaphysical Implications of Simulation Technologies.
  • The Art of Simulation – Mimesis, Representation and Reproduction
  • Constructing Narratives in Virtual, Simulated and Artifical Spaces
  • Theories of Simulation, Simulacra & Reality
  • The Myths and Realities of Artificial Intelligence
  • Digital Biology, Digital Genetics & Transhumanism
  • Artists & Designers: Dreaming Utopian Visions

students will research & develop their own projects with guidance from their lecturer

Simulation and Artifice – This module will explore the nature of technological simulation, immersive environments and artificiality. You will employ creative and practical application of theories, concepts and ideas prevealent in philosophy, psychoanalysis and the theory of visual culture to produce digital artefacts that investigate the relationship between Art & Design and Simulation.

The Lecture
Will both discuss and critique ideas and concepts of simulation, virtuality, immersion and artificiality. You will research these issues, developing your own perspective on the nature and culture of simulation and artifice. These ideas will inform the creation of your Design for Simulation project.

Each week there will be a given specfic text to read as preparation for the next lecture. It is important that you read this text to inform you of the content of the lectures

The Workshop
Sessions are intended as both practical instruction, and rigorous peer and tutor critique of student workand will require a high degree of initiative, research, interaction and participation. Each week the tutor will guide, critique and help catalyse ideas through a variety of assignments, group crits and individual tuition.

Learning Sessions (subject to change – here as indication)
use in conjunction with the  course calendar

  1. Week 1
    Introducing the Module & Assignment 1
    Workshop – research and blog culture
    Seminar on possible ideas for environment.
  2. Week 2
    The CAVE: Mimesis, Representation and Magic
    Plato, Issues of Representation and Prehistoric Cave Painting as a form of magic.
    Discuss Ideas for Assignment 1 with Tutor / Peers
    Workshop – blog
  3. Week 3
    Cybernauts: A History of Virtual, Simulated and Artifical Realities
    This Lecture looks at a history of Immersive technology from the gutenberg press, camera obscura, the panorama, stereoscopic vision, to VR
    Suggested Reading
    look up Rene Descartes in http://www.popcultures.com/
    look up Michel Foucault in http://www.popcultures.com/
    look up Roland Barthes in http://www.popcultures.com/
    workshop
    unity introduction and overview
    http://www.unity3d.org
  4. Week 4
    The Technologies of Virtual Reality, Immersive Environments and Augmented Vision
    Workshops
    director recap – 3d environments and triggering sound input using xtras, queueing, playlists, hotspots & sounds.
  5. Week 5
    presentations
    Assignment 1 Presentations
  6. Week 6
    The Art of Simulation: Mimesis, Representation and Reproduction
  7. Week 7
    Working or Playing? VR in the infotainment industry
    Developing a project idea, producing a statement of intent / proposal of works.
    workshop
    baking textures from c4d to unity
  8. Week 8
    The Holodeck: Constructing Narratives in Virtual, Simulated and Artifical Spaces
    Scripting narratives for Virtual Environments and Virtual Characters
    http://www.kurzweilcyberart.com
    http://library.thinkquest.org/18242/rob … qtime=1126
    http://web.media.mit.edu/~minsky/papers … herit.html
    http://www.frc.ri.cmu.edu/~hpm/project. … ebrum.html
    http://i5.nyu.edu/~mm64/x52.9265/january1966.html
    http://www.cybermecha.com/
    http://www.abelard.org/turpap/turpap.htm
    Suggested Reading
    Sherry Turkle, “Playing in the MUDs”
    A Culture Based on Fantasy and Acting Out
    Workshops
    Develop project
  9. Week 9
    Into the Matrix: Theories of Simulation and Simulacra
    Workshops
    Develop project
  10. Week 10
    AI: The Myths and Realities of Artificial Intelligence
    suggested reading
    Simulation, Consciousness, Existence Hans Moravec(1996)
    Chess Is Too Easy. An essay by Selmer Bringsjord.
    Computing, Machinery, and Intelligence. Alan Turing’s classic essay.
    Conscious Machines. An essay by Marvin Minsky.
    Daniel Dennett’s Online Papers
    The Further Exploits of AARON, Painter. An illustrated essay by Harold Cohen on AARON, his software painter. One of the few attempts to harness artificial intelligence to the tasks of art.
    Minds, Machines, and Gödel. An essay by J.R. Lucas.
    Philosophy and Cognitive Science. An essay by Serge Sharoff.
    Technological Singularity. An essay by Vernor Vinge. Ignore the preface by John Klett.
    Thinking Computers and Virtual Persons. A new anthology of essays on AI (and against Searle’s Chinese Room argument), edited by Eric Dietrich. The site contains a table of contents and abstracts of the essays.
    What is Artificial Intelligence? An essay by John McCarthy, a founder of the field.
    Albert One. Winner of the 1998 Loebner competition. From FringeWare. Site contains information and transcripts, but not an interactive web version of Albert. However, you can download Albert for free and interact to your heart’s content.
    Alice. Written by Richard S. Wallace.
    Barry DeFacto. Written by Robby Glen Garner and Paco Xander Nathan. From FringeWare.
    The Best Natural Language Systems on the Web. Collected by Chris Marvin.
    Bob and Fnord. From Luka Crnkovic-Dodig. Fnord is the more advanced of the two, but unfinished.
    The BotSpot. “The Spot for all Bots and Intelligent Agents.”
    Brain the Bot. Requires Microsoft Explorer 3.02 or higher. (So much for its brain.)
    A Collection of Chatterbots. From Simon Lavon.
    Chomskybot. Generates a new paragraph of original language on each click but won’t answer your questions. By John Lawler.
    ElizThe Forbin Project. Bots talking to each other, not to you. You listen in
    Juli
    NonI, MegaHAL, HeX, and SEPO. From Jason Hutchens. Contains one winner (HeX, 1996) and two second-place finishers (SEPO in 1997 and MegaHAL in 1998) in the Loebner version of the Turing Test.
    Shallow Red. From Neuromedia. On the same page, read about NeuroMedia’s software that helps you make your own interactive web bots.
    Sid Inquisitron. From FringeWare.
    Stig Barrymore
    Turing Machine Java Applet. Not AI but interactive and the foundation of any possible AI. From Graham Stalker-Wilde. For other online Turing Machine simulators, see the list in the Turing Scrapbook.
    Yahoo Guide to Interactive AI Programs on the Web
    Workshops
    Develop project
  11. Week 11
    BIOTECH: Digital Biology, Digital Genetics & Transhumanism
    Introducing the concepts of genetic programming, Darwinism and generative art
    research Artists
    Suggested Reading
    Generative.net – especially Phillip Galanter and Adrian Ward
    Darwin – Origin of the species – Final Chapter
    Peter j Bentley – Digital Biology
    Stephen Wilson – Information Arts – chapter 4
    Artists
    Orlan
    Stelarc
    Jane Prophet
    Steven Rooke
    Artificial life Games
    Nell Tenhaaf
    Workshops
    Develop project
  12. Week 12
    Lecture – Dreaming Utopian Visions: Are Writers, Artists, Technologists & Designers are building a Brave New World?
    Mid project critique
    suggested reading
    Thomas More – utopia online text
    Film 2001 A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
    Star Wars: The Magic of Myth
    Miltons “Paradise Lost”
    FIlm “What Dreams may Come” (xxxxx)
    Discovering CyberAntarctic: A Conversation with Knowbotics Research Paolo Atzori
    Pleasure Island An Instruction Booklet for a New and Virtual Life Kenneth Chen
    Workshops
    Develop project
  13. Week 13
    Lecture – In Conclusion…
    Assignment 2 final questions before presentations
    Workshops
    Develop project
  14. Week 14
    No Lecture
    Assignment 2 Presentations

learning resources

websites
theory

technical

  • the unity website has an extensive range of excellent tutorials and a very active community on the forums – if you want to move beyond the unity basics you will need to sign up and become familiar with what is available here
    http://www.unity3d.org
  • for help with using cubic converter and connector
    http://www.clickheredesign.com.au/software/
  • fantastic set of web technology tutorials (and crucially how to do it right) from beginner level to expert look at
    http://www.w3schools.com/
  • texture baking tutorials are available on kcda software tutorials
  • Artificial Intelligence Links (from Peter Suber)
  • AI on the Web. From Stuart Russell and Peter Norvig. A very large collection of links. Part of the web supplement to their popular AI textbook.
  • AI-Related FAQs. From Mark Kantrowitz.
  • AI Repositories and Resource Lists. From Carnegie-Mellon University. Extensive.
  • AI, VR, Alife Resources. From Alexander Chislenko. Links on artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and artificial life.
  • American Association for Artificial Intelligence
  • The Ants:  A Community of Microrobots. From James McLurkin.
  • Artificial Intelligence Center. At the Stanford Research Institute.
  • Artificial Intelligence Societies and Organizations Directory
  • Artificial Life Online. From MIT Press.
  • The Brain Project. From Stephen Jones.
  • Can Machines Think? Graphical maps of the major positions and arguments from MacroVU. This is the web site for the maps I’ve been posting in the philosophy foyer during the course.
  • Center for Research on Concepts and Cognition. Douglas Hofstadter’s research group at Indiana University.
  • The Cog Shop. On Cog, a robot being built at MIT.
  • Cognitive Science Dictionary. From Michael Dawson and David Medler.
  • The Cognitive Science Society
  • Complexity and Artificial Life. From Chris Lucas and CALResCo.
  • Computational NeuroEngineering Lab. University of Florida.
  • Computing Research Repository. Co-sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery, the Los Alamos E-print Archive, and the Networked Computer Science Technical Reference Library. Searchable.
  • Consciousness. Links and resources. From David Chalmers.
  • Consciousness and the Brain: Annotated Bibliography. By Ralph Ellis and Natika Newton.
  • Contemporary Philosophy of Mind: An Annotated Bibliography. From David Chalmers. Jump to section on philosophy of AI.
  • CYC home page. From Cycorp.
  • Dictionary of the Philosophy of Mind. Compiled by Chris Eliasmith. Also contains a link page.
  • The Distributed Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. At the University of Massachusetts.
  • Epistemology, Consciousness, and the Mind. From the Sputnik Drug Information Zone. A good collection of links.
  • Foundation for Neural Networks. Headquartered in Holland.
  • Free Online Dictionary of Computing
  • Intelligent Software Agents. From Sverker Janson.
  • Internet Softbot Research
  • The Life Artificial Life Page
  • Mind and Body, From Descartes to William James. From Robert Wozniak.
  • Mind Uploading Page. From Joe Strout.
  • MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory .
  • The Natural Language Software Registry
  • Net Culture Artificial Life & Intelligence Archive. From The Electronic Frontier Foundation.
  • Neural Network FAQ Neural Networks Council. From the Institute of Electrical and Electronics

learning activities

Lectures and workshops alongside A LOT OF READING!!

assignment 1 > concept and prototype presentation

You are to develop a concept for a digital artefact that addresses / has grown from the issues looked at during the lectures – the medium can be up to you, support is available from the course team

Each student will give a 5 minute presentation of a concept and prototype to be developed and completed for Assignment 2 and submit all documentation and a 400 word project proposal

The project will be completed in a medium appropriate to the project. This will have been agreed with the tutor during Assessment 1 feedback.
This will be discussed in week 1 and completed week 5
PRESENTATIONS IN WORKSHOPS IN WEEK 7
This will count for 30% of the module marks

You must also submit and electronic workbook

The Electronic Workbook
The electronic workbook should record, document and reflect upon all the work you do on the module. It should include the work you do in the sessions, in your own time and your research around the area. It can include things that didn’t work and avenues you have abandoned alongside your progress to the final outcome.
A blog is an ideal vehicle to record this. if you use one blog across all modules be sure to use categories to separate the modules out.

grading criteria 1

We will ask these questions when grading your work:

Concept

  • How clear is the project idea?
  • How imaginative is the project idea?
  • How innovative / original is the project idea?
  • To what level is the project idea appropriate to issues of simulation, virtuality and artifice?
  • To what level does the project idea demonstrate awareness of key theories and debates of issues?

Prototype

  • How appropriate is the technology used for prototype relative to project idea?
  • How clearly does the prototype demonstrate the project idea?
  • How well executed is the prototype?

Evidence of Research

  • To what level does the presentation demonstrate awareness of related artworks / artists / designers?
  • To what level does the presentation demonstrate awareness of theoretical issues?
  • To what level does the presentation demonstrate awareness of technological developments?
  • To what level does the presentation demonstrate feasibility?

Standard of Presentation

  • How clearly articulated is the presentation?
  • How appropriate is the technology used to make the presentation?
  • To what level does the does the presentation evidence preparation and planning?
  • To what level does the does the presentation contentiousness, structure and time planning?

Media: appropriateness, clarity, quality
Multimedia: interactive, video, sound etc
Text: printed material, handouts, documentation
Diagrams: Flowcharts, Storyboards, Mood-boards, Synaptic Diagrams
Images: Photographs, Sketches, Drawings, Maps etc

Assessment Criteria Guidelines
This gives you an idea of what kind of grade you will recieve for your work

  • 80% +
    AN OUTSTANDING SUBMISSION:This work will be original in concept and realisation. The presentation and protoype will demonstrate a professional level and be exemplary in all aspects
  • 70-80%
    AN EXCEPTIONAL SUBMISSION :This will be an exceptional presentation that is both exciting and innovative. The presentation will be outstanding in its conceptualisation and is perceptive, articulate and imaginative.
  • 60-69%
    A SUCCESSFUL SUBMISSION:Overall a successful presentation which fulfils itâs aims very well and with clarity. It is cohesive in structure and contains many of the qualities of a “first” but without the excitement or innovation.
  • 50-59%
    A FAIRLY SUCCESSFUL SUBMISSION:Overall a fairly successful presentation but there may be problems with theories, structure, or design which leads to visual or conceptual confusion. The work will be conventional in nature and demonstrate adequate research.
  • 40-49%
    AN OCCASIONALLY SUCCESSFUL SUBMISSION: Lacks structure and is often confused. Shows only a limited ability to select, structure and present visual or conceptual data.
  • 39% or less

assignment 2 > presentation of final project

Each student will give a 10 minute presentation of their Design for Simulation project and submit the project, all documentation and a 1000 word project synopsis/statement
The project will be completed in a medium appropriate to the project. The project and medium will have been agreed with the tutor during Assessment 1 feedback.
This will be discussed in week 1 and completed week 13
PRESENTATIONS WILL TAKE PLACE IN WORKSHOPS DURING WEEK 14 –  all supporting work to be handed in
This will count for 70% of the module marks

You must also submit and electronic workbook

The Electronic Workbook
The electronic workbook should record, document and reflect upon all the work you do on the module. It should include the work you do in the sessions, in your own time and your research around the area. It can include things that didn’t work and avenues you have abandoned alongside your progress to the final outcome.
A blog is an ideal vehicle to record this. if you use one blog across all modules be sure to use categories to separate the modules out.
There should be evidence of 13 hours work per week for each module (6.5 for web design skills, pixel based imaging, visual studies and multimedia scripting and authoring)

grading criteria 2

We will ask these questions when grading your work:
Concept

  • How clear is the project idea?
  • How imaginative is the project idea?
  • How innovative / original is the project idea?
  • To what level is the project idea appropriate to issues of simulation, virtuality and artifice?
  • To what level does the project idea demonstrate awareness of key theories and debates of issues?

Prototype

  • How appropriate is the technology used for prototype relative to project idea?
  • How clearly does the prototype demonstrate the project idea?
  • How well executed is the prototype?

Evidence of Research

  • To what level does the presentation demonstrate awareness of related artworks / artists / designers?
  • To what level does the presentation demonstrate awareness of theoretical issues?
  • To what level does the presentation demonstrate awareness of technological developments?
  • To what level does the presentation demonstrate feasibility?

Standard of Presentation

  • How clearly articulated is the presentation?
  • How appropriate is the technology used to make the presentation?
  • To what level does the does the presentation evidence preparation and planning?
  • To what level does the does the presentation contentiousness, structure and time planning?
  • Media: appropriateness, clarity, quality
  • Multimedia: interactive, video, sound etc
  • Text: printed material, handouts, documentation
  • Diagrams: Flowcharts, Storyboards, Mood-boards, Synaptic Diagrams
  • Images: Photographs, Sketches, Drawings, Maps etc

Assessment Criteria Guidelines
This gives you an idea of what kind of grade you will recieve for your work

  • 80% +
    AN OUTSTANDING SUBMISSION:This work will be original in concept and realisation. The presentation and protoype will demonstrate a professional level and be exemplary in all aspects
  • 70-80%
    AN EXCEPTIONAL SUBMISSION :This will be an exceptional presentation that is both exciting and innovative. The presentation will be outstanding in its conceptualisation and is perceptive, articulate and imaginative.
  • 60-69%
    A SUCCESSFUL SUBMISSION:Overall a successful presentation which fulfils its aims very well and with clarity. It is cohesive in structure and contains many of the qualities of a “first” but without the excitement or innovation.
  • 50-59%
    A FAIRLY SUCCESSFUL SUBMISSION:Overall a fairly successful presentation but there may be problems with theories, structure, or design which leads to visual or conceptual confusion. The work will be conventional in nature and demonstrate adequate research.
  • 40-49%
    AN OCCASIONALLY SUCCESSFUL SUBMISSION: Lacks structure and is often confused. Shows only a limited ability to select, structure and present visual or conceptual data.
  • 39% or less

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