Introduction to Interactive Media ||
With the advent of digital computation, humans have found a variety of new tools for self-expression and communication. Thinking about how we interface with these tools beyond the mouse and keyboard, we can approach software and electronics as artists and designers and explore new paradigms of interaction with machines and each other. This introductory course will provide students hands-on experience with screen-based and physical interaction design through programming and electronics using microcontrollers, electronics, and writing our own software. Fundamentals of programming and circuit design will supplement readings on human-computer interaction and design theory. Weekly lab exercises encourage students to experiment freely, creating their own novel interfaces and controls for working with machines.
Communications Lab ||
A production based course that surveys various technologies including digital imaging, video, audio, animation, and basic web development. The forms and uses of new communications technologies are explored in a laboratory context of experimentation and discussion. Principles of interpersonal communications and media theory are considered in this new context.
Alternate Realities ||
This course will introduce students to the design and development of Virtual Reality experiences. We will examine these increasingly popular means of delivering content and social interactions and identify their unique affordances over existing platforms. Students will be challenged to harness the specific advantages of VR from conception through functional prototype. The class will also cover case studies of effective use of VR in information delivery, as well as social and artistic experiences.
Sound Art |
Students in this course will produce sculptural and site-specific works of Sound Art, using sound, materials, and space as their palette. The class will focus its study on artists who primarily work with sound in gallery-based situations and the surrounding fine art discourses. While the term “Sound Art” is not as old, the practice of using sound in the context of gallery-based visual arts as both material and concept stretches back over 100 years, and comes from various artists and art movements, such as Marcel Duchamp, the Futurists, Dada, and forward to the happenings of Fluxus, the Minimalists, specifically Robert Morris, and through to the procedural art making methods of John Cage and the countless artists he influenced. According to Alan Licht, the term “Sound Art” dates back to 1982 with the founding of William Hellermann’s Sound Art Foundation, which organized an early show of sound sculpture and other work at the Sculpture Center (NYC) in 1983. Around the turn of the 21st century, many more high profile exhibitions of sound art were mounted with varying curatorial approaches serving to further broaden the use of the term. We will examine the use of the term carefully and draw our own conclusions about its utility, while exploring the use of sound to unlock sculptural, architectural, material, and conceptual potentials. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Sensors, Body, & Motion ||
Through the use of readily accessible open source technologies, such as sensors and computer vision, it is possible to create interactive art that leverages the full potential of the human body. Directly injecting "people-sensing" into an art work via wearables, cameras and code, generates a unique feedback loop, or dialogue-like relationship, where a person and a computer are continuously reacting to each other's senses. This course will examine this feedback loop, specifically how a person is directly integrated into the artistic expression of the work. Ultimately, students will create interactive installations and performances where the human body is the central component of the art work. No experience is necessary but having taken Introduction to Interactive Media or a course equivalent is highly encouraged.
The ways that we communicate with one another change all the time. New media technologies are constantly transforming the means of social communication, making them accessible to more and more people. In this process of democratization of the tools of communication, what does it mean to become producers of experiences and not just consumers?
The Interactive Media program begins with the premise that access to newer and more expansive communication technologies creates new opportunities for human expression. But this concentration takes the tools as a means of expression — not an end in themselves. In Interactive Media courses, students are expected to engage with the ideas offered by their coursework in the core curriculum and in their majors and imagine how those ideas might be communicated with new media technologies. The goal of this endeavor is to augment and improve human experience, and to bring both meaning and delight to people's lives.
The program's curriculum will be ever-evolving, reflecting the spirit of experimentation and the potential in these emergent forms. Practical skills involving electronics, programming, design, and digital media will be developed in conjunction with theory to address the nature of a constantly changing media landscape.
The Interactive Media program is also designed as a meeting point for the arts, sciences, and humanities. This integrated approach is part of the program's DNA, facilitating an environment where people from diverse backgrounds can come together to imagine new possibilities for expression.