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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Stylianos Manousakis
DXARTS 490
Seattle Campus

Special Topics in Digital Arts and Experimental Media

Taught by UW faculty and visiting artists, engineers, scientists, and humanities scholars.

Class description

This course is primarily meant as a continuation of the DXARTS 461-2 Digital Sound courses, with the main focus being on real-time applications as well providing a more in-depth knowledge of the SuperCollider programming language.

The course is project-oriented: each participant will design, create and present a real-time art-project, a large part of which must be implemented in SuperCollider. While the main focus of the course is on sound-related applications, it is possible for students to incorporate or concentrate on other media modalities with a time-based component. As such, possible projects include music compositions with live-electronics, Digital Musical Instruments, digitally augmented acoustic instruments, but also installations and multimedia projects that take advantage of the broad algorithmic and interactive capabilities of SuperCollider.

Student learning goals

• Learn how to use the computer for real-time audio or multimedia applications and create a real-time art-project

• Develop a deeper understanding of real-time algorithmic techniques and interactivity strategies

• Learn how to interface digital processes with: hardware devices (such as MIDI devices, computer peripherals, game controllers, micro-controllers and sensors); other computers both locally (LAN) and remotely (through the internet); acoustic instruments and physical spaces (through audio feature analysis)

• Learn how to interface SuperCollider with other software such as PureData, Max/MSP/Jitter, Processing, Arduino, Quartz Composer, etc, through the Open Sound Control protocol

• Delve deeper into the SuperCollider language, and learn how to develop your own extensions (Classes, Quarks)

• Learn how to create Graphic User Interfaces (GUI) and animated graphics in SuperCollider

General method of instruction

The class will consist of three main sections: Theory / Development / Practice; as such, it will be composed of theory, lab and studio sessions. This will provide participants with the theoretical framework, the practical skills and a platform to experiment and test the validity of their concepts and the success of their project, all in a synchronized pace throughout the duration of the course.

Recommended preparation

This course is meant as a continuation of the Digital Sound series offered at DXARTS (461-2-3), but with the focus being on real-time applications. Therefore, prerequisites are: - DXARTS 462 (not 463) OR - experience with working with SuperCollider OR - experience in programming and audio/media applications Students that have not attended DXARTS 462, please contact the instructor, Stelios Manousakis, (steliosm [at] uw [dot] edu) before registering.

Class assignments and grading

This is a project-based course. By the end of the course, each participant will have designed, created and realized a real-time music/art project of his/her choice.

Students will be graded according the success and scope of their final project, but also on their participation in class and ability to satisfy intermediate milestone deadlines.


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.
Last Update by Stylianos Manousakis
Date: 04/25/2010