Course Description

This class explores current developments in designing and implementing projects for the web.  The students work to cultivate an individual process that involves critical cultural reflection, developing a personal voice and facility in using the networked digital tools, concepts and systems of contemporary media culture.  The class introduces basic concepts and techniques of digital media production, looking specifically at how meaning and message are shaped in interactive telecommunications media.  How are interactive processes, networked producers and audiences, and the tools of Web 2.0 affecting the way media is produced, received and valued?  How are digital and telecommunications media reshaping our concept and experience of space, our relationship to others?

Course Goals

The goals of the class emphasize the acquisition of technical skills within a framework of aesthetic and critical exploration.  Students are required to develop and implement concepts that reflect a personal, cultural and critical awareness.  Students are asked to become familiar and comfortable with both Web 2.0 tools that offer direct access to networked participation as well as digital tools that allow them to build web projects from scratch.  The student will strive not only to master technical aspects, but to make thoughtful and appropriate use of tools to achieve a strong individual statement, informed by historical and current practice.

Maintaining the balance between technique and concept is central to the goals of the course.  This course introduces students to a range of technical skills: working with Internet tools, digital image and sound processing, interactive structures and forms, principles of graphic design development.  The course will also challenge students to think beyond the technical skills involved, to engage with concepts of interactive design, installation, performance, online design and publication.  Technical information will be introduced in a modular way, using step-by-step instructions.  Students will be required to practice the technical skills taught in class and critically apply these skills to their work in order to maintain a relationship between form and content.

Topics Covered

Introduction to Web Art Design & Multimedia Production, Image and Meaning, Aesthetics of the Digital, Web of Signifiers, Web Structures, Viral Video, The Interface: Communication and Noise, Animation, Remix, Interactivity, Locative Media

Animated GIF from Hypertext/Hyperlink project by Craig Fineburg
Animated GIF from Hypertext/Hyperlink project by Craig Fineburg.

More examples of student work are available here.

Technical Skills Covered

Basics of Graphic Design, Intro to using graphics on the Web, HTML, CSS, JS, jQuery, Video for Web, Plug-ins, Online Portfolios

Software

Photoshop

  • Editing still images
  • Layers and Transparency
  • Slicing Images, Creating Roll Over Buttons
  • Wire Frames
  • GIF Animation

Dreamweaver

  • FTP
  • Embedding Sound and Video
  • How to implement Plug-ins
  • How to embed a map and other interactive media

AfterEffects

  • GIF Animation

WordPress

  • How to set up a WordPress.org site
  • Working with templates in WordPress

Assignments

Hyperlink/Hypertext
Viral Video Response
Remix
Locative Media
Final Project

Reading List

Swiss Style Graphic Design, Smashing Magazine
Sentences on Conceptual Art by Sol Lewitt
Digital Art by Christiane Paul
The Reconfigured Eye: Three Snapshots, by William Mitchell
Myth Today by Rolan Barthes
Rhizome by Gilles Deleuze
Pixels Go Mad – The Celebration of Pixel Art, Smashing Magazine
Remix and Remixability by Lev Manovich