semester 1, year 1
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I. digital art processes


year 1 > semester 1
20 credits
200 hours learning hours

an introduction to digital art history, its practice, theory and beginnings. The module will examine the genre of digital art and trace the relationship between art and technology from the Italian Renaissance to the present day. The module will also include an introduction to research and presentation techniques.

the module consists of 34 contact hours (lectures and seminar time). In your timetable this will approximately work out as 3 contact hours per week; 2 hours with gerda van week and 1 hour workshop with andy bossom
in addition to that students are required to invest another 10 hours (min) per week in independent study and research attendance at lectures and seminars will be carefully monitored to make sure that students are taking full advantage of the opportunities offered.

module leader

gerda van wyk > email >in college thursday and friday

andy bossom >

aims and outcomes

the aims of this module are to:

  • to encourage students to explore the history, ideas and techniques of art and technology
  • to identify a common language in ‘research terminology’ for Digital Arts vital for its identity and future progress
  • identify a framework for inquiry as well as acknowledge current cultural contexts
  • research hybrid genres.

module content

all sessions are 1 hour lecture –  1 hour discussion/seminar
help with written work and research skills are available during the seminar sessions
use in conjunction with the  course calendar

  • Week 1 Introduction to the Module / Explanation of Assignments
  • Week 2 What is art? A brief history / Museum Visit
    The Renaissance and humanism
    The Industrial Revolution
    The Armory Show
    Art and Technology today
  • Week 3 What is Research? An overview of some essential paradigms
  • Week 4 Representation  Plato et al.
    Gallery Visit
    Narrative  non-linearity vs. linearity
    Marcel Duchamp
  • Week 5 Science  art engineering, from myth to automata
    Jean Tinguely
    Sound Art
  • Week 6 Performance
    Nam June Paik
    Laurie Anderson
    Vito Acconci
    Andy Warhol
  • Week 7 Games
  • Week 8 Digital vs. Physical  Installations etc.
    Rauschenberg / Kluver and the Armory Show
    Jean Tinguely
    Week 9 Digital Painting  VR
    Jeffrey Shaw
    Paul Sermon
    Roy Ascott
  • Week 10 Digital Art and Fantasy
    Matthew Barney
    Paul McCarthy
    Pipilotta Rist
    David Cronenberg
  • Week 11 Programming and Intelligence
  • Week 12 Context and Site-specificity  where is your audience?
    Robert Smithson
  • Week 13 Is digital art really “art” — Conclusion
  • Week 14 No Lecture

learning resources

Art, time  & Technology by Charlie Gere
Being Digital by Nicholas Negroponte
Stephen Wilson, Information Arts, MIT Press 2002

learning activities

studying the Digital Art Processes module, the student will encounter a variety of learning activities: Lectures, practical workshops, demonstrations and periods of self study (we recommend 12 hrs per week). Thus we encourage a variety of learning styles:
the course will disseminate ideas and information, demonstrations, step by step exercises and one to one tutorials help to develop the learner’s practical and conceptual skills in the workshops
the specific advice and guidance given in the workshops is often the starting point for further research in the self study time
the module is supported by appropriate lsds sessions.

assignment 1 – essay

Length: 1000 words web based essay
Timing: submitted in week 7
Weighting: 60%
Assessor: Module tutors

Imagine you are curating an exhibition for an art gallery. You have to research the work of two artists by visiting art galleries and web sites. Pick two artists from your research whose work in some way incorporates digital media and write an essay of 1000 words, with illustrations comparing their work. You may have chosen artists who use similar techniques and technologies or who have very different backgrounds and messages to convey. They may be from different continents and have different cultural backgrounds. The artists can be ancient or modern. If they have a web site e-mail them and engage them in your project, perhaps you can even quote them in your essay.

You must also submit an electronic workbook which will continue into semester 2.

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

Pass requirements
In keeping with University undergraduate regulations, student must attempt each component of formal assessment and achieve an overall mark for the module of at least 40%

grading criteria 1

to follow…

assignment 2 – presentation

Length: 5 minutes
Timing: Distributed in week 7 and presentations made in week 13,14,15
Weighting: 40%
Assessor: Module tutors

Your aim in the presentation will be to share your research with the class. Your method will use a simple and straightforward framework and you will make sure your supporting material bears directly on the work of the artists you are presenting. You will decide on the precise nature of the digital artwork you wish to explain and frame it into a short simple sentence and focus on it throughout. Your presentation should define your understanding of what digital art is through reference to historical context, future possibilities and your own interests.

grading criteria 2

to follow…

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