summer04 | 388
ART 486 - Advanced Interactivity
Tue & Thu 3:00 - 4:50 - FA 112

Course Description

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 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.


ARAFILES, VICTOR | fujiwara_tofu_shop

BASCH, AARON J. | abasch1


HANSEN, ANNA L. | ahanse1

HUYNH, ADDIE | ahuynh2

HUYNH, HOANG HUY | hhuynh5


MARINO, ANTHONY J. | marino1

MISTRY, ANAND R. | amistr1


SHEID, MARSHA E. | msheid1


TA, JERRY | jerryta1


YANG, MICHAEL H. | myang8

YOON, MIN Y. | myoon1
Week Date Topic Description
Assignments & Reviews
1 Tue, Jan 27 INTRO 1 Introduction - Syllabus, goals of the class, required readings, subscribe to the VisArts list, activate emails. What is the difference (if any) between interactive and responsive media? Digital paper to be posted on your own website / due Thu Feb 12
Thu, Jan 29 INTRO 2 Presentation of student's work
2 Tue, Feb 03 DIR 1 Director overview - Tools, windows, graphics, ink effects, linear animation, film loops. Timeline, markers vs. scenes, information architecture Physical and mental autoscopy interactive movie, using vars, loops, inks, sounds - due Tue Feb 24
Thu, Feb 05 DIR 2 Interface design, buttons, ease of navigation, message window, Lingo, Hyerarchy and syntax, director help.
3 Tue, Feb 10 DIR 3 Variables local, loops, conditionals 1
Thu, Feb 12 DIR 4 Variables local/global, loops, conditionals 2 Start looking for math / Phys formulas ( sin, cos, tan, gravitation, etc. )
4 Tue, Feb 17 DIR 5 Variables global, loops, cases 3
Thu, Feb 19
No class
5 Tue, Feb 24 DIR 6 Presentation of Autoscan movies and critique
Thu, Feb 26 LECT 1 GUEST LECTURER: David Dalrymple - randomness, chaos, fractals Math Nightmare project: inspired by the math/phys formulas given in class and the examples on umbc/interactive create shapes, patterns, aesthetic creations based on calculations and chaos / due Tue March 9
6 Tue, Mar 02 MATH 1 sin, cos, tan, abs, pi, radients, degrees, sqr, functions, graphs, etc, etc, etc, etc
Thu, Mar 04 MATH 2 random, chaos, fractals 3, laws of physics
7 Tue, Mar 09 MATH 3 Math Nightmare project / group critique
Thu, Mar 11 LECT 2 GUEST LECTURER: Noel Salzman - Multimedia Performance, Frankfurt Ballet, the Wooster Group. 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
8 Tue, Mar 16 IVID 1 Digital Video, definition, characteristics, compressions, weight, examples / Scripting for Interactive Video, general notions of narration and storytelling, fragmentation of information.
Thu, Mar 18 IVID 2 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.
9 Tue, Mar 23 Spring

Use your spring break to write the script and capture / digitize video for the Absurd Project: inspired by "Waiting for Godot" / Samuel Beckett and "The Bald Soprano" / Eugène Ionesco create an interactive video project reflecting the idea of the Theater of the Absurd. The script and story board should be posted on your website / due Tue Apr 06
Thu, Mar 25 Spring
10 Tue, Mar 30 IVID 3 Lists examples and workshop.
Thu, Apr 01 IVID 4 Q&A for the Absurd project video
11 Tue, Apr 06 IVID 5 Absurd Project - Group critique
The Marketing Project: create an interactive project promoting / selling / attacking one of the following characters / concepts / objects selected randomly : Leigh Bowery / Stelarc / Orlan / Divine / Lucian Freud / Boy George / Madonna / Condom...
/ due Tue, Apr 22
Thu, Apr 08 MARK 1 Concepts of marketing, the product, the concept, the aesthetic approach. Interactive marketing, external interfaces, extending the capacities of the PC.
12 Tue, Apr 13 MARK 2 Serial communications, going beyond the box and the screen. i/o, 5V, sensors. Director extras
Thu, Apr 15 MARK 3 Serial communications + extras 1
13 Tue, Apr 20 MARK 4 Serial communications + extras 2
Thu, Apr 22 MARK 5 Marketing project - group critique Final project presentation: prepare everything for presenting your ideas for your final project, general interaction story board, script, timeline, budget should be posted on your website / due Tue May 4
14 Tue, Apr 27 OOP 1 Parent / Child scripting 1
Thu, Apr 29 OOP 2 Parent / Child scripting 2
15 Tue, May 04 OOP 3 Parent / Child scripting 3
Thu, May 06 FINALS 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

Reference books

• Samuel Becket, Wating for Godot

• 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