Spring 2020 Course Descriptions
IIMC-510: Research and Practice Seminar – Tom Leeser
Section 1 open to MFA1 Integrated Media students only. Section 2 available by Permission of Instructor Only. This seminar is an advanced graduate seminar focusing on topics in history and theory with in-depth analysis and discussion of critical issues inherent in the use of technology in art practice, interdisciplinary collaboration, performance disseminaton and display of work with multiple forms of media. Readings will be used to address the history of interdisciplinary, interactive work and the developments in many fields that have led to the present state of the art. We will be reviewing works by artists that lectures in the “Conversations on Technology, Media and Practice” class, in addition to texts that provide an insight to recent media theory and global networked culture.
IIMC-690: Integrated Media Project & Critique – Tom Leeser & Francesca Penzani
Members of the CIM faculty and fellow students participate in the Integrated Media Studio & Critique. In the fall semester, the students work with the faculty to develop an Integrated Media project. Each week in the spring semester, one student or collaborative team gives a formal presentation of their Integrated Media project to be followed by an extended discussion with the their peers and faculty. This is a rigorous but supportive forum for considering technology-based artworks, and discussing current trends and issues in the field of new media. There will also be opportunities for hands-on workshops and demonstrations of new technology and new media during the fall semester.
IIMC-639-01 Pandaemonium Architecture, Machine Learning – Scott Benzel
Pandaemonium Architecture was introduced in the 1958 Mechanisation of Thought Processes symposium as an early pattern recognition model for AI. Named after the demon-inhabited city in Milton’s Paradise Lost, the Pandaemonium Architecture assemblage employs ‘demons’ -bits of information or code- which ‘scream’ in order to ascend a hierarchy of algorithmic hurtles. AI and ML can be applied to any digital artistic medium, including video, sound, text, still images, and 3d modeling and printing. Further, ML can be ‘trained’ on almost any digital information, making it a powerful tool in the artist’s arsenal. Generative Adversarial Nets, a currently popular form of ML, combine generative and adversarial operations and function as rapidly iterated critique, analogous to hyperspeed natural selection, quickly evolving its objects to high levels of complexity. Predictive Analytics employs game theory, statistical analysis, data analysis, scenario planning, and Modeling and Simulation to create accurate predictive models for different aspects of the future. Social Engineering operates on individuals and masses to ‘create’ this future. These are the tools of the technocracy. Artists should consider picking them up as well. Participants in the course will explore and employ basic Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, including Core ML, Runway, and Python-based GANS (Generative Adversarial Nets), DCGANS (Deep Convolution Generative Adversarial Nets), Minimax and Maxout Networks, as well as online-based AI’s like DeepDream and OpenAI Gym and simple apps based on generative and Alife algorithms to make art. Labs will demonstrate the use of tools and resources to research and create ML based artworks and will allow time for participants to focus on individual or group Final Projects. Computer literacy, conceptual skills, and basic coding skills are required. Advanced coding will not be necessary, however, advanced coders are encouraged to participate.
SoundGameSpaceVR is a Center for Integrated Media workshop designed to use strategies of gaming and play theory to investigate movement, sound, and the body in virtual space. We will develop our responses through readings, discussions and through the production of virtual environments and games during the course of the semester. We will also collaborate on a final project for exhibition at the end of the semester. There will be a focus on the Unity game engine as a tool for creating virtual environments and games.
IIMC-540: Design Research Group – Scott Benzel
This is an elective class for Integrated Media MFA2 students. This course may be open to students at other year levels, and in other Schools, by Permission of Instructor The class as a group will analyze and critique an Integrated Media Research Project, from the proposal stage through conceptual development, production and to the final output. The students will present their proposal within a critique format to their peers and faculty for feedback and advisement on a weekly basis.
Presentations of research, works-in-progress, technology applications, methodologies and critical analysis will all be a part of the discussions within the class. Upon completion the students will present their IM Research Project and their associated body of work to the class for the final class review.
Fall 2019 Courses
IIMC-500: Conversations on Technology, Media and Practice – Tom Leeser
An overview of the history of art and technology and a series of talks given by visiting artists and writers from various disciplines. The class is designed to promote interaction and dialogue with students around issues of technology, artistic practice and media culture.
IIMC-670: IM Project Development – Tom Leeser / IM Faculty
Course open to MFA2 Integrated Media students only. IM Project Development is designed to allow the student concentrated studio time to continue their pursuit of advanced creative and technical practices and research in consultation with their Integrated Media faculty. It is required for all MFA-2 Integrated Media students. The faculty will meet with the students on a weekly basis to discuss concepts, processes, technologies and critical issues in the continuing development of the student’s required Integrated Media project.
IIMC-590: Computation Reconsidered – Stephanie Cheng Smith
How can computation be reconsidered within the critical contexts of an art practice? In the first half of the semester, the student will be introduced to the aesthetic possibilities of combining art making, computer programming and digital technology. The classes will explore the fundamentals of programming and the more advanced techniques of screen based image processing, and computer graphics. During the second half of the semester, the students will investigate physical media, installation and interactive design. The focus of the class assignments will be the expressive capabilities of the human body in a sensor-based environment. The core concepts will involve a dialogue between physical action and digital information. A final group project will implement the body, sensors, and micro-controllers using computer programs written in class.
IIMC-635: Algorithmic Practices – Daniel Jackson
There is a long history of algorithmic processes in art. We will approach our study through the history of Fluxus and conceptual art, and use rules, scripts and scores to understand computers as performers. We will use both analog and digital means to communicate and visualize ideas, so that collaborators can implement them in actual matter. Computers are in the hands of technologists whose sole purpose is commerce. As artists, how can we utilize this system for our own ends? We will find methods and approaches of instructing computers that are friendly to open-ended artful creativity. Designed for the student with no programming experience, this course will require analog and digital experimentation and making throughout the semester to produce work that engages directly with the computer and algorithms as a collaborator and executor, fundamental to the meaning and context for our work. Also you’ll learn Processing.