ART1014 New Media Foundation [Spring 2011]
"The Animation of the canvas is one of the hardest problems of painting."
Alfred Sisley (1839-1899) English impressionist painter when describing Impressionism.
It is a truism to day that we live in a “remix culture.” Today, many of cultural and lifestyle arenas - music, fashion, design, art, web applications, user created media, food - are governed by remixes, fusions, collages, or mash-ups. If post-modernism defined 1980s, remix definitely dominates 2000s, and it will probably continue to rule the next decade as well.
Lev Manovich. New Media theorist commenting on What Comes after Remix, 2007.
"Today we are beginning to notice that the new media are not just mechanical gimmicks for creating worlds of illusion, but new languages with new and unique powers of expression"
Marshall McLuhan, 1911-1980. Communication Theorist, educator, writer, and social reformer.
_Professor Guido e. Alvarez_
Ph.D. Candidate Media Art and Text, Virginia Commonwealth University. Richmond, Va.
MFA Visual Communication and Design. Virginia Commonwealth University. Richmond, Va.
BFA Universidad del Azuay. Crafts and Graphic Design. Cuenca. Ecuador
_Guido, YOU ARE HERE___
Google guido by clicking here.
- USTREAM TV
- Blog Ph.D. course work
- Blurb publication
- MFA thesis work [dowloadable]
- MATX Ph.D. personal exploration with text.
_Contact & Office Hours___
_Texting__: 24/7/365: 507.581.6403 [t-mobile]
_Office__Monday: Dittmann Center 302 : from 9am to 5pm [walk-ins are welcome].
_Office__Wednesday: Blue Monday Coffee Shop: 6:00pm to 8:00pm [coffee on me and a ride back to campus]
_External Ratings___: Click here to see Guido Alvarez's ratings in ratemyprofessor.com
This foundation-level studio course introduces the aesthetic, conceptual, and technical foundations of new media art-making and ways New Media inform the creation and understanding of Art in cultural contexts, with special emphasis on cyberculture and hypertext. Students explore the form and space of new media images through a wide variety of materials and media. The course emphasizes strategies for idea generation. Students engage in dynamic activities, spirited investigation, and thoughtful creative expression. Material fee. Offered each semester and during Summer.
- To introduce students to a foundational philosophical, historical, and linguistic understanding of what constitutes New Media and New Media art-making techniques.
- To provide students with foundational instruction on how to manipulate digital images and how to use electronic art-making techniques to interpret textual and intertextual forms of expression including but not limited to literary works, movies, opera, advertising, etc.
- To introduce students to an initial discussion about the difference between Art, Design, and Advertising.
- To allow students to engage in what I define as "scholarly play" using New Media technologies and techniques that shall work as springboards for further intellectual inquiry.
- To get students acquainted with Aviary and Adobe® Photoshop® CS5® as the main tools for artistic production as well as digital imaging.
- To provide students with a basic set of tools to generate Hybrid Media art and to make them available both in cyberspace and in potential artistic installation contexts.
- To allow students the opportunity of experimenting with blogging as a metaphor of the sketchbook.
- To provide students with the opportunity to experiment a quick glimpse of virtual worlds and the discourse involving reality in cyberspace.
Each class is a 3 hour session divided into segments designed to enhance the learning process.
The class begins with a brief introduction of the daily agenda followed by a quick exercise meant to activate the flow of ideas and to introduce either a digital technique or any form of digital tool to add to the overall development of the intellectual toolbox of all students.
Some days the session shall initiate with a brief multi-media presentation using different digital sources. Sometimes there will be a short fiction piece read to the class, other times students will take a listen to a podcast audio file related to what should be covered each class according to the plan. A brief lecture will follow the initial presentation and a Q&A session will be open for discussion
Given the nature of the class it is expected that students engage in the production of content using new media technologies, namely web sites, human controlled computer interfaces, virtual worlds, virtual reality, multimedia, intermedia, computer games, interactive cell phone and PDA technology, digital video and imaging production and distribution, special effects, animation, art installations in 4D, among other forms of new cultural expressions using electronic means native to computers.
It is expected that students devote at least six hours per week -on top of the assigned meeting hours--to work on their personal projects. In the same fashion it is expected that students cover the assigned readings to engage in productive discussion and debate inside and outside the classroom environment.
It is important to notice that at least one week will of classes will be held inside a virtual environment such as Second Life®; special instructions will be delivered prior the implementation of this academic experience.
A major component of this class will be to actively keep a blog throughout the semester and beyond for those who choose to do so as a draft book of ideas and record-keeping of progress. Blogging will take an important role in the delivery and reception of information between professor and students, to keep an eye at www.olaf-new-media.typepad.com at all times. Each student will be responsible for keeping a blog as draft book updated at all times.
Given the nature of the class it is expected that students engage in the production of content using new media technologies, namely web sites, human controlled computer interfaces, virtual worlds, virtual reality, multimedia, intermedia, computer games, interactive cell phone and PDA technology, digital video and imaging production and distribution, special effects, animation, art installations in 4D, among other forms of new cultural expressions using electronic means native to electronic technology of cultural production.
The DC100 lab is affectionately referred as “advanced kindergarten lab.” This space is in constant evolution to provide students with a unique environment conducive to learning through what I call “scholarly play.” According contemporary research the activity of Play is a crucial component of the learning process as it provides an appropriate and safe space to experiment -through trial and error--ideas and concepts that inform the person about the solution of more complex forms of problem solving.
Moreover the space where students learn and its design is a fundamental element to determine the reception of complex knowledge. it is the space that defines the way people learn and interiorize knowledge. Based on the two principles mentioned above ART104 uses a very unique methodology to provide content to make the best use of play and space. To facilitate the learning process every class is divided into segments of approximately 30 minutes each. The first segment of every class is devoted to a brief media presentation or performance. Each presentation/performance may vary from the reading of a folk tale, a poem, or a scholarly article to the presentation of a selected talk from the TED Talks collection available on-line. The next segment introduces students to units of theory, history, or technique depending upon the subject matter or the stage of development reached during any given project.
A short open-break of about five minutes follows the first two segments. The remaining time of every class are dedicated to digital art-making practice.
The practice segment is very flexible as it depends on the developmental stage of every project-experience.
More importantly, ART104 is constructed upon what I call “academic experiences” which consist of the integration of the sensory experience in real physical environments and/or electronically constructed virtual environments. The experiences that students go through throughout the semester are expected to derive in the development of content to inform the art-making process in order to construct final art pieces or cultural products. IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT missing one of the experience sessions could become a serious problem for a student to make progress during class time.
Keep in mind that even though ART104 is based upon the metaphor of Play and is very unique it is a very demanding course. It is rather frequent that students perceive this course as too flexible compared to his or her other classes resulting in a possible lack of focus leaving the student out of balance of his/her academic life. Please try at all costs not to be misled by the whimsical nature of this class. This course is as important as any other course that you are taking during this semester; whether is Chemistry, Philosophy, or Business Administration. Please take it seriously and professionally, as I expect nothing less from each one of you.
Students are expected to commit to at least six hours per week in addition to the required class time to work on their assigned New Media Art projects. To be able to comply with this requirement students are assigned access codes to DC100. The access hours are in accordance to the Dittmann Center access hours during regular time and holidays. Please make sure you are aware It is important to note that starting Fall 2010 there is a teaching assistant to help answer any software question who will be present regularly on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4 to 6:00pm and Fridays from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Allison is not only a former student of the New Media Foundation and Animated Art courses but she works for the Media Development Center at Saint Olaf. Please visit her during these hours to reinforce the information we cover during regular class time. Sometimes I will ask you to see her when I determine that you are not making progress at the same speed of your peers.
Similarly, students are expected to complete the assigned textual readings or audio files in order to engage in the co-development of a course blog constructed by all students from both ART104 sections. The blog will evolve according to the published schedule available at all times through the class gmail calendar. Students are expected to respond to every blog entry with critical commentary that may or may not entice responses from other classmates.
There is not one textbook for this course. Several scholarly articles will be distributed and discussed during class-time. A copy of:
ISBN-10: 0-19-953715-1 (0199537151) ISBN-13: 978-0-19-953715-0 (9780199537150)
Will be distributed and it will play a double role in the development of this class as explained in the corresponding exercise brief which will be delivered via this blog.
We would also be using the audio book version of the same text read by Simon Templeman, Anthony Heald, and Stefan Rudinicki.
Alternatively, there is another version of the same title temporarily available for free (registration required) Click here to access it. If you create an account this title is being offered for free as a personal copy. Please take advantage of this unique opportunity.
Moreover, a blog constructed by the course professor on the subject of Frankenstein's moment of creation must be revised for the purpose of analysis, here is the link:
All other readings in electronic format may be distributed through the Moodle system, or this platform with specific instructions on how to go through them.
All articles delivered through the Moodle interface or this platform- may be turned into audio files using macintosh voice recognition software.
Students are expected to behave in a professional and mature way and for that reason they must:
- Attend every class and arrive on a timely fashion -a 10 minute window is allowed for all parties involved--
- Participate actively making questions, providing constructive criticism, and feedback to his or her peers both on-line and off-line.
- Prepare for classes by reading the assigned material and showing progress in their personal projects on a weekly basis recorded in the student's blog personal space.
- Let the professor know when he or she is unable to attend using any method of communication including smoke signals if necessary. That is simply pure professional courtesy.
- Attendance for this class IS mandatory, and the professor reserves the right to have a poor attendance record reflect a low final grade and to use it as means of explaining either a low grade or even an F in this class. Likewise a perfect attendance record will result in extra credit to count towards final grade.
- In the event of an absence due to illness students are expected to COMPENSATE said absence by producing ONE DIGITAL ART PIECE PER DAY MISSED constructed using at least 20 layers of digital input. The subject of the art-piece shall be defined by the telling of the story that caused the absence to happen. The student is then expected to present publicly during class time his or her final piece and to deliver it via the student class shared folder.
Lab and Computer Etiquette:
DC100 comprises state-of-the-art Macintosh equipment and current software, that is one of the reasons why Saint Olaf continues to grow as a high quality institution of higher learning. It is the student’s responsibility to help maintain said high tech premises and to report (anonymously if need be) any misuse of abuse of the lab. NO FOOD OR DRINK IS ALLOWED WHILE USING THE COMPUTERS OR IN FRONT OF THEM during new media equipment use. Cell phones are to be set to silent mode and preferably turned off during class time. Facebook, twitter, msn, or any other form of computer interaction is COMPLETELY ALLOWED during class time AS LONG AS IT DOES NOT INTERFERE WITH LECTURES OR PROJECT DEVELOPMENT. It is important that students leave everything clean and neat both inside and outside the screen. During working time music is allowed as long as proper headphones are used. No music or sound should be made public to the whole class under any circumstances.
ART MATERIAL FEE
The art materials fee for this course is $50. This amount will be deducted from your OLE-card during the first week of interim. There MUST be enough OLE$’s on the card to cover the materials fee for their course. The art material fee is based on the cost of materials and supplies used in the course. Additional expenses may be incurred depending on the course. For safety and environmental reasons, no other materials may be used in this studio without permission from the Professor or Technical Supervisor. If permission is given for outside materials, their cost will be the student’s responsibility.
In this particular class grading has a different philosophical twist to it, students do not work their way up for an A but their way down to any other letter-grade. The professor truly believes that traditional grading -using symbolic numbers to account for a final grade--stands in detriment of any constructive learning process BUT unfortunately IS NECESSARY given the familiarity of students with the ongoing and accepted system. Additionally, he prefers to take an optimistic approach to it. Everyone, from day one, would be assigned automatically an A. It depends on every student to prove the professor wrong in his positive bias to decrease that grade. It is possible, however, to do so by means of not attending classes, not delivering projects, not following the rules of the game. There is ample room to negotiate grading in terms of requesting extra work, make up work, and other forms that demonstrate interest on behalf of the students to maintain high standards of academic excellence. To keep the channels of communication open is fundamental for a successful grade by the end of the term. Conversely, the professor believes in failing students when such a grade has been deserved. Fairness and justice prevails as grading factor. The structure of your final grade will result from three components:
- Your personal growth, this will depend on where you are standing at the beginning of the class. Some of you may be very proficient and experienced in Photoshop, some others will have no experience whatsoever in Mac environments. The professor will keep a very close observation to your individual growth.
- Your work in relationship with others. This is a more complicated way of measuring success but the basic rule is that somebody who works 20 hours per day (I am exaggerating to enhance the argument) will have a much better grade than somebody who works 4. The nature of this class will provide a special place for exploration and the development of personal interests.
- Your self assessment. This will be a final email where you will have to answer several questions and provide a final grade for your own performance.
Finally, for this class it is very important to develop a sense of self-assessment and self-criticism as integral part of any artistic education. Students are also expected to provide feedback on the professor's performance and quality using the www.ratemyprofessor.com interface.
FINAL DVD POLICY: VERY IMPORTANT
Every student MUST deliver by the final exam day a DVD containing all images, papers, audio files, podcasts, videos, etc produced throughout the semester. The contents of the DVD should be organized according to the briefs delivered for each class. The delivered DVD should be designed and delivered professionally and based on a course template. Instruction to achieve this goal will be provided on a timely fashion. IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE to deliver a DVD that does not follow the regulations, is not inside a DVD box and/or is handwritten with a non-permanent marker. Further instructions will be provided.
Everything and anything produced in this class must follow the general guidelines and protocols established by Saint Olaf College. These principles are particularly important for issues pertaining the Honor Code and the plagiarism policy. Please visit these links to make yourselves familiar with said regulations:
• Link to St. Olaf College Honor System
• Link to plagiarism policy
• Link to Policy on Student Disability Services
If you have a documented disability for which accommodations may be required in this class, please contact Ruth Bolstad ([email protected] ) or Connie Ford ([email protected]) in the Academic Support Center (x3288) located in the Modular Village. If you already have documentation on file with Student Disability Services in the Academic Support Center you are required to present your letters to the professor within the first two weeks of class.