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::: FALL 2004
::: ART 486

::: Mon & Wed 3:00pm - 5:20pm ::: FA 112 ::: SANTIAGO ECHEVERRY

Course Objectives

This course provides an in-depth exploration of advanced tools, theories, and applications of interactive media as they are used for creative inquiry, research and production. Projects are geared toward developing both creative and technical proficiency with advanced computational media including software and hardware. Particular emphasis will be placed on exploring interactivity as dynamic, socially engaged, and collaborative process that may or may not involve machines. In addition to addressing issues of space, form and experience, this class will explore the aesthetics of digital interactive artifacts with respect to discourses in the visual arts, communications and performance studies.

Readings / Requirements

Required Readings:
The Design of Everyday Things, Donald A. Norman
Breaking Up America, Joseph Turow - available as ebook for UMBC students

Suggested resource books:
Interaction Design - beyond human/computer interaction, Sharp/Preece/Rogers

Other 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.

Update permanently your website on the UMBC Server with every single project you create.

Get your own USB mini storage card, such as SanDisks, memorysticks or others, get one that will be at least 256 MB. Students must have plenty of CD-R blank cds in order to store and transfer files. You can also use your own portable hard-drives or iPods, in case you have any.

You are also welcome to use your own laptops, please bring them to every class. Make sure you have an ethernet cable to connect to the network.

No email or chatting will be allowed during our sessions. All the cell phones should be silenced. NO EATING or DRINKING in the labs will be tolerated, unless it is required by a medical prescription.

No animals, persons or yourselves will be harmed during the production of your assignments and final project. Nothing can justify harming physically or psychologically a living creature - including yourselves. You are responsible for the respect of other students, and I count on your integrity for this.


A class is a multiway form of communication. I might be there as a teacher, but you are also there to make others understand, 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 projects throughout the course, including papers, miniprojects, and others. From week to week, each student is expected to present a short project applying the concepts of what was seen during the previous class, and we will use parts of the class as workshops to develop specific projects.

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. Check the grading table for equivalences.


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."


AZIZI, SAYEMA | azizi1


BUTT, TRAVIS | buttjoh1

CURTIS, SHAUN | shaunc1

EBY, CHAD | ch9

HUYNH, HOANG HUY | hhuynh5

LIM, AIMEE | aimee1

MERCADO, FELIX | fmerca1

A 100 > 90
B 89 > 75
C 74 > 55
D 54 > 40
F 39 > ...

WEEK Date Description
1 Wed, Sep 01 Introduction - Syllabus, goals of the class, required readings. Presentation of the students. Director help, director overview. Assignment: Interactive Autospcopy. What is the difference (if any) between interactive and responsive media? 5 page (min) paper

Several mini projects illustrating the concepts discussed during our sessions

Absurd Project: inspired by "Waiting for Godot" / Samuel Beckett, "The Bald Soprano" / Eugène Ionesco and other creations belonging to the Theater of the Absurd, create an interactive video project. The script and story board should be posted on your website

The Interactive Marketing Project: create an interactive project promoting / selling / attacking one of the following characters / concepts / objects selected randomly : Leigh Bowery / Orlan / Divine / Madonna / Gilbert and George / Pierre et Gilles / David Bowie / Mariko Mori / Pipilotti Rist ...
2 Wed, Sep 08 Tools, windows, graphics, ink effects, linear animation, film loops. Timeline, markers vs. scenes, information architecture. Assignment: Interactive Story Telling.
3 Mon, Sep 13
Wed, Sep 15
Interface design, buttons, ease of navigation, message window. Local Vs Global variables / Functions, Handlers, math applications. Assignment: Math Nightmare
4 Mon, Sep 20
Wed, Sep 22
Scripting in lingo, behaviors, movie scripts. Assignment: Do a movie that involves Locals/Globals, Movie Scripts, Frame Scripts and Behaviors.
5 Mon, Sep 27
Wed, Sep 29
Lingo, Hyerarchy and syntax, Loops, conditionals, cases.Lists, memory, user interaction. Assignment: Create a GAME
6 Mon, Oct 04
Wed, Oct 06
Parent / Child scripting. Assignment: Explore and have fun.
7 Mon, Oct 11
Wed, Oct 13
GUEST LECTURER: NOEL SALZMAN - The screen and the introduction of Chaos into live performance.
Examples of the Theater of the Absurd - Beckett. Examples of interactive video, ZKM.
8 Mon, Oct 18
Wed, Oct 20
Scripting for Interactive Video, general notions of narration and storytelling, fragmentation of information.
9 Mon, Oct 25
Wed, Oct 27
Digital Video/Audio, definition, characteristics, compressions, weight, examples / Importing and properties of Video and QT Audio / Director aesthetic. Interactive video through lingo, manipulation fragmentation, Using lists to record the order of the fragments.
10 Mon, Nov 01
Wed, Nov 03
Interactive Video Projects workshop
11 Mon, Nov 08
Wed, Nov 10
Absurd Project Critique.

Concepts of marketing, the product, the concept, the aesthetic approach.
12 Mon, Nov 15
Wed, Nov 17
Interactive marketing, external interfaces, extending the capacities of the PC. Memory, real definition of Interactivity.

Minority Report
Blade Runner
Artificial Intelligence

13 Mon, Nov 22
Wed, Nov 24
Interactive Marketing project workshop
14 Mon, Nov 29
Wed, Dec 01
Interactive Marketing project critique

Presentation of Final Project Ideas
15 Mon, Dec 06
Wed, Dec 08
Final project workshop
16 Mon, Dec 13
17 Mon, Dec 20

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