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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Bret F Battey
DXARTS 598
Seattle Campus

Advanced Topics in Digital Arts and Experimental Media

Covers recent advances and current trends in digital arts and experimental media research. Various topics may include in-depth examination of new art work and research by faculty, students, and visiting professors.

Class description

A seminar on software and hardware-based tools and approaches for real-time input and output and electromechanical control in performance, art installations, real-time sound synthesis, and other digital arts applications. The course will focus on prepackaged but flexible tools that require a minimum of custom electronics and are designed to work with a personal computer functioning as primary controller. Likely candidates include the I-CubeX I/O system, SoftVNS video analysis, Buchla Lightning, serial-controllable DVD players, video switchers, and servo motors, and various MIDI-protocol I/O boxes. The graphical programming language MAX will be the primary control system. Students will also investigate particular tools and systems needed for their own projects and share the results of those investigations with the class.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Formal instruction will occur around foundational technical topics. Beyond that, the course will operate as a seminar; students themselves will be researching particular topics and sharing the results with the class. Discussion sessions will focus on aesthetic issues and critiques. Individual technologies will be explored in class.

Recommended preparation

Programming in MAX will be central to the course, but this will not be a course in programming. Much of the programming learning and work will be self-guided -- an essential skill for working in Digital Arts. Therefore, students should already have some programming experience or demonstrated ability for analytical and procedural thinking -- or minimally a high level of comfort with and intuition for computers and technical proven problem-solving ability.

The course is primary intended for graduate students. Undergraduates may be admitted in exceptional cases.

Class assignments and grading

The class will strongly emphasize self-teaching There will be a series of concrete assignments related to tutorials in the MAX programming language.

Students will also explore and research particular aesthetic and/or technical topics related to their artistic intent. Students will share their findings in presentations to the class.

Students will develop a significant, aesthetically innovative final project or prototype. Students may work in groups for this purpose in order to pool expertise.

Assignments, class participation, and final project.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
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Last Update by Bret F Battey
Date: 02/28/2003