FMX 211 Art and Technology is a lecture course conceived to provide a context for the development of art and its interrelations with technology. Students explore the definition of multimedia and its evolution toward what is currently known as hypermedia. Special emphasis will be placed on the creation and transformation of technology used in the twentieth century, such as radio, television, computers, the Internet, and networked environments. Developments will be related to historical art movements.
The main objective of this class is to expand the students’ creativity through experimental and non-traditional projects. Another important objective is to expand the creative and technological references the students will be using in their future professional and artistic careers.
Interactive art is any type of art that involves the viewer in the creative process. The viewer becomes a user. Interactive art attempts to challenge the traditional boundary between artist and “audience”. It may use a physical medium, as in the case of installation art, or it may be purely digital and cloud-based. Interactive art often employs computing power to govern responses to user actions. The art movements of the early 1900s in Europe and North America laid the groundwork for the emergence of interactive art. People began questioning the role of the artist, work, and spectator in art. French-American artist Marcel Duchamp may have created one of the first examples of interactive art with his 1920 device Rotary Glass Plates. His machine used a motor to spin rectangular pieces of glass that had segments of circles painted on them. When viewed from a distance of 3.28 feet (1 meter), an optical illusion of full circles was formed. Technology usually factors prominently in interactive art. For a work of art to be interactive, it must have some way of sensing a user’s actions. This can be in the form of physical sensors or, in the case of Internet-based art, computer input devices like the mouse, touch screens or other sensors. The work typically must also have a specific way of responding to inputs. Often, a large number of outcomes are possible with much room for viewer interpretation.
Process and Strategy
The class will be divided into two main areas. The first half will be devoted to understanding the evolution of technologies currently used in the Art World.
In the second half we will explore the particularities of eclectic artistic creations: artists, examples, movements, contextualizing the processes in a historical frame.
There will be a different assignment for each class, where the students will apply the concepts presented during the previous session, and a group critique in order to solve any misunderstandings and conflicts. Every single individual project will be accompanied by a one page statement contextualizing it and providing its theoretical framework .
Readings / assignments / requirements
Create your own blogs for the class using blogger.com. In these blogs you will be posting records, pictures and comments of your assignments. Your blogs will be the equivalent of your journal for the class. They will need to be updated before the following class and they will be graded.
I will be checking all of your posts for plagiarism using turnitin.com in order to track your evolution during the sessions, and also as a way to know that you are reading and exploring all the files I will be presenting.
You can post anything you want on your blogs, be aware that these blogs will be public and accessible to everyone in the class and the world. You are expected to visit and comment on the blog entries of your classmates.
These blogs, and your participation in class are essential for this course and the blog grade will include your class participation.
Make sure you check and empty your ut web-mail account regularly. We will use Blackboard permanently to post the grades, assignments and to communicate with the entire class.
Short readings will be distributed throughout the semester. Most of the information will be provided by the professor or will be found freely online. Critiques will frequently be initiated from various topics covered in the readings. In order to participate effectively you will need to have read the required texts and be able to articulate your responses to them within the context of class discussion and critique. We will watch PLENTY of excerpts from movies and documentaries during and outside class that will also be considered as part of the material for the course.
There will be several projects throughout the course, including papers, assignments, take home exams, and others. Each one of them will be a part of the final 100% of the grade in equal weights. If necessary I will do some pop quizzes, depending on the students’ participation and motivation, and depending on how certain sessions work, I might add an extra work not listed in the syllabus. The grades posted on Blackboard may not reflect the final grade on SpartanWeb.
Possible last-minute changes
Although unlikely, it is possible that last-minute changes might be made to the dates for all assignments or class meetings, excepting only the final exam. In this unlikely event, I’ll make all possible efforts to inform students with sufficient lead-time.
I reserve the right to modify this syllabus for any reason at any time.