summer04 | 388
ART 382 - Interactivity
Tue & Thu 11:00 - 12:50 - FA 112

Course Description

This class will address the history and culture of Interactive creations through the study of various analog and digital forms of artistic expression. From Analog to digital, from linear to non-linear, from local to the web. We will study Flash and Director in order to understand the logic of interactivity on a computer. By the end of the semester we will work on Lingo, and we will understand the logics of programming.


Readings will be distributed throughout the semester. 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.


A class is a multiway form of communication. I might be there as a teacher, but you are also there to make others, including me, other points of view. I am very open to a lot of proposals, and NO CENSORSHIP OR DISCRIMINATION will be tolerated or promoted. Consider the class as a brainstorming session. And please contact me during office hours, or send me an email, or give me a phone call so we can solve any problem before the class.


There will be several mini projects throughout the semester, including papers, miniprojects, and others. Each one of them will be a part of the final 60% of the grading. If necessary I will do some pop quizes, depending on the students' participation and motivation, and depending on how certain classes work, I might add an extra work not listed in the syllabus. The final project will be 40% of the grade. The method will be as follows

100 > 90 89 > 75 74 > 55 54 > 40 39 > ...


NO EXCUSES, more than 4 absences you will have the chance to withdraw the class - if allowed by the academic calendar - or you will get an F.
I really consider that punctuality and assistance are the most important parts of a class. If you miss a class, you will never be able to experience that class again. I use the word "experience" because not all the information given during the class can be put in paper, or even videotaped. Classes are a question of communication, and communication implies many different ways of exchanging information, the feeling, the laughters, the collective experience... An absence for any reason is an absence. It is your responsibility to initiate and maintain communication with me in case of an unusual circumstance."



BENNETT, PERRY K. | pbenne1


CHU, CINDY I. | cindyc1

CURTIS, SHAUN M. | shaunc1


LAM, JOHN K. | johnlam1


LIT, WAI Y. | wlit2

LOWE, ALVIN B. | alowe1



TAKEMOTO, NICK | tanicho1


TURTON, ANN C. | annt1

Week Date Topic Description
Assignments & Reviews
1 Tue, Jan 27 INTRO 1 Introduction - Syllabus, goals of the class, required readings, general presentation of the students. Pinocchio - Carlo Collodi Vs. Artificial Intelligence - Spielberg: what is a fairy tale? 5 page paper / due Thu, Feb 05
Thu, Jan 29 INTRO 2 Presentation of student's work // Definition of MULTIMEDIALITY, Theatrum Mundi, Deus Ex Machinae, Encyclopedia, Opera, Vaudeville. Evolution of structures. Cinema as time capturing element, evolution of the moving image: from chemical to electronic, from B/W to neuroimaging.
2 Tue, Feb 03 INTRO 3 From analog to digital. Television as the first decomposition of reality into measurable electric pulses, evolving into the base of digital control. The Scanner, decomposition in lines and pixels. The first PC, early artistic approaches to digital art. ASCII art. Realistic imaging Vs. vectorial creation. Analog ASCII art: each student has to present 3 pieces of analog ASCII art / due Tue Feb 17th
Thu, Feb 05 FLASH 1 Pinocchio papers // Vectorial animation via Flash MX, general concepts such as timeframe, layers, frame, keyframe, labels, tweening, symbols, instances, movie clips. Exporting and HTML embedding.
3 Tue, Feb 10 FLASH 2 Vectorial animation continued, presentation of Flash examples.
Thu, Feb 12 FLASH 3 Digital Sound, definition, properties, intro to compression. Flash and Sound, mp3 Flash linear animation, Music VideoClip using your own images and vector shapes and your favorite music / due Tue Feb 24
4 Tue, Feb 17 FLASH 4 Analog ASCII Art presentation // Real world images and Flash - compression for still pictures, the scanner. Importing and manipulating the images.
Thu, Feb 19
No class
5 Tue, Feb 24 FLASH 5 Presentation of personal music videos // Interactivity in Flash, buttons, scenes, Navigation
Thu, Feb 26 FLASH 6 Non Linearity, Tarot example. Storytelling. Information architecture, navigation tree, workflow chart. Floating menus: TARGETS in Flash. Understanding targeting. Interactive Fairy Tale project Choose a classic fairy tale and give it your own non-linear twist / due Thu March 11th => Tue Mar 16th
6 Tue, Mar 02 FLASH 7 Actionscripting. The incredible and useful movie clips, more than just animations.
Starting in 1938, after Orson Welles produced the radio version of the "War of the Worlds", and reinforced by WWII and the nuclear paranoia of the cold war, Science Fiction became the main territory to express the collective fears of entire generations towards anything foreign, unknown and threatening.
Based on your perception of the exhibit "PARADISE NOW," what are the collective contemporary fears the participating artists are expressing? Minimum 3 page paper -
due tue March 30th - NO EXCUSES
Thu, Mar 04 FLASH 8 More on Movie Clips and Actionscripting - examples
7 Tue, Mar 09 FLASH 9 Individual Q&A Fairy Tale Projects, problem solving.
Thu, Mar 11 FLASH 10 Interactive Fairy Tale Projects presentation, group critique
8 Tue, Mar 16 FLASH 11 Digital Video, definition, characteristics, compressions, weight, examples. From NTSC to QT, from 4/3 to 16/9, from low Res to Use your spring break to capture digital video to be used in the Interactive Video self presentation according to Michel Foucault's "What is an author" / due Thu Apr 01
Thu, Mar 18 FLASH 12 Flash + Digital Video = Interactive Video! Importing, compressing, understanding and decomposing into scenes, basic control. Floating menus and controllers fo video.
9 Tue, Mar 23
Spring Break
Thu, Mar 25

10 Tue, Mar 30 FLASH 13 Q&A for the Foucault project video
Thu, Apr 01 FLASH 14 Foucault Project - Interactive Video - Group critique
11 Tue, Apr 06 DIR 1 Introduction to Director. Generalities, similarities and differences with Flash. Sprites Vs. Symbols. ZKM Examples and Puppet Motel by Laurie Anderson First interactive animation using Director MX and lingo - Involving imported images, sounds and vector animations. Topic: turn your favorite poem into an interactive movie / due Tue, Apr 20
Thu, Apr 08 DIR 2 Hands on Director, the tools. Metaphores = the stage. Interactivity through LINGO. Markers Vs. Scenes in Flash. Presenting information. Importing sounds, controlling sounds.
12 Tue, Apr 13 DIR 3 Basics of Lingo, logic, structure, syntax, Director Help Files
Thu, Apr 15 DIR 4 Q&A Interactive Poem
13 Tue, Apr 20 DIR 5 Interactive Poem presentation - group critique // Theatrum Mundi, Vatel, Baroque concepts. Theatrum Mundi Projects - Based on the notion of Theatrum Mundi and the examples of Baroque creation, create an advanced interactive moivie involving sound, video, text, images and vectors, portraying your own personal Theatrum Mundi / due Tue May 04
Thu, Apr 22 DIR 6 Possibilities of Digital Video, control of digital video. Interactive Video in Director MX, Lingo: Variables, repeat loops, conditions.
Public presentation of Final project ideas with timeline and workflow, open topic. The Final project must be in director, it can embed a Flash interactive movie as one of its elements, but it must be in Director, involving interactive video/sound, animation, text, flawless navigation structure. The re-usage of your own material is encouraged / due Thu May 06
14 Tue, Apr 27 DIR 7 Lingo: Variables, repeat loops, conditions.
Thu, Apr 29 DIR 8 Q&A Theatrum Mundi Projects
15 Tue, May 04 DIR 9 Presentation of Theatrum Mundi projects - Group critique //
Thu, May 06 Final project ideas presentation
16 Tue, May 11 FINALS Final project workshop
Thu, May 13 FINALS Final project workshop
17 Tue, May 18 FINALS Final projects
Thu, May 20 FINALS Final projects


Technical books / manuals

• A. Michael Noll, Introduction to Telecommunications Electronics

• John “J.T.” Thompson, Lingo Workshop

• Gary Rosenzweig, Director 8.x

• Russel Chun, Macromedia Flash Advanced

Reference books

• The Adventures pf Pinocchio, Collodi

• Gilles Lipovetsky, The Age of the Void

• Rodolfo R. Llinás, I of the Vortex

• Javier Sampedro, Deconstructing Darwin

• Celia Pearce, The Interactive Book

• Omar Calabrese, The Neo-Barroque Era

• Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari, Rizoma

• Gianni Romano, Artscape

• Keith Cameron, Multimedia Call: Theory and Practice

• Laurence Strene, Tristam Shandy

• John Wiley & Sons; (July 1994), Analogous Digital

• Stanley Aranowitz, Barbara Martisons & Michael Menser, Technoscience and Cyberculture: A Cultural Study

• Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation

• Martin Davis, The Universal Computer: The Road from Leibniz to Turing

• Régis Debray, Vie et mort de l'image : une histoire du regard en Occident.

• David Deutsch, The Science of Parallel Universes-And Its Implications

• Mark Dery, Escape Velocity: Cyberculture at the End of the Century

• Silvio Gaggi. From text to hypertext. Decentering the subject in Fiction, Film, the visual arts and Electronic Media.

• Oliver Grau. Virtual Art: From Illusion to Immersion.

• George P. Landow, Hypertext 2.0: The Convergence of Contemporary Critical Theory and Technology (Parallax - Re-Visions of Culture and Society)

• Pierre Levy. La machine univers: Création, cognition et culture informatique

• Peter Lunenfeld (Ed.). The digital dialectic. New essays on new media

• Lev Manovich. The Language of New Media

• Philipe Quéau, Le virtuel : vertus et vertiges. Champ Vallon ; Institut national de l'audiovisuel.

• Sherry Turkle, Life on the screen

• Paul Virilio, The Vision Machine

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summer04 | 388