NYUAD INTERACTIVE MEDIA
Spring 2017 Courses

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.

Required for the Minor
Introduction to Interactive Media
Fall & Spring Semester- IM Foundation

With the advent of digital computation, humans have found a variety of new tools for self expression and communication. By approaching software and electronics as artists and designers, we can 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.

Course Website

Introduction to Communications Lab
Spring Semester - IM Foundation

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.

Course Website

Electives
Art, Performance, and Social Practice
Spring Semester - IM Elective (Crosslisted with Theater)
Prof. Debra Levine

How do we begin to know each other differently from the way in which dominant social systems and communicative technologies structure our daily interactions? This question drives art and performance’s “social turn” to real-world collaborations between artists and performers who act in the role of instigators or catalysts with the communities around them. The social turn explicitly rejects the artist’s more traditional role as the producer of a consumable aesthetic object or theatrical performance and instead proposes that the conscious processes of collaborative engagement—activist, participatory, coauthored— must be understood and valued as art. In this intertwining of art with performance, cooperative processes are foregrounded as frameworks to understand and shift the impact of political and social policy, architecture, art history, urban planning, and new media on our lives. The social practice of art proposes that in making encounters where artists engage with the members of communities as “expert participants,” we might construct more livable alternatives through social cooperation. Art as social practice also insists that this process is an aesthetic practice. In this course we will read recent critical theories and histories of the aesthetics and politics of the social practice of art, explore case studies of “relational art,” and collaborate on our own “living as form” project that engages with the built and social environment of Abu Dhabi.

Circuit Breakers!
Fall Semester - IM Elective
Prof. Jonny Farrow

Circuit Breakers! is a course designed to introduce students to the world of hardware hacking and circuit bending for artistic and mainly sonic ends. By literally opening up common battery powered objects such as toys and finding their circuit boards, one can change the behavior of the object by interrupting the flow of electricity, creating novel, unexpected outcomes. This technique has both predictable and unpredictable outcomes, but it is almost always satisfying. In addition to hacking off-the-shelf toys, students will also build their own circuits with a minimum amount of components. Many of the projects in this course center on common integrated circuits, which we will cajole, trick, and abuse in order to create art.

Course Website

Collaborating in the Digital Domain
Spring Semester - IM Elective (Crosslisted with Music)
Prof. Carlos Guedes

Departing from the Wagnerian notion of Gesamkunstwerk, this course examines paradigmatic artistic collaborations in the 20th century and the impact of digital technologies in promoting more intricate types of collaboration between different domains, such as music, performing arts, moving image, engineering and computer science. Students develop artistic collaborative projects involving sound, movement, digital video, lighting, interaction technologies, and telematics, which are presented publicly at the end of the semester. This course requires no skills and is open to anyone willing to establish a collaborative project involving different art forms and other domains.

Mashups: Creating with Web APIs
Fall Semester - IM Elective
Prof. Craig Protzel

As the World Wide Web continues to grow and pervade our everyday lives, an ever-increasing amount of data and digital services are becoming accessible to us through public web APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). Common to many web sites, including YouTube, Twitter, Google Maps, Wikipedia and more, these web APIs offer a way to programmatically request and re-purpose endless troves of information. How might we use these available resources to create unique, creative, and compelling web experiences of our own? Subscribing to a process-oriented approach, much of class time will be spent reviewing and writing code, primarily Javascript, for client-side (front-end) web development.

Course Website

New Interfaces of Musical Expression (NIME)
Spring Semester - IM Elective

This course approaches questions such as "What is performance?", "What makes a musical interface intuitive and emotionally immediate?", and "How do we create meaningful correlations between performance gestures and their musical consequences?" Over the semester, we look at many examples of current work by creators of musical interfaces, and discuss a wide range of issues facing technology-enabled performance. Students will design and prototype a musical instrument - a complete system encompassing musical controller, algorithm for mapping input to sound, and the sound output itself. A technical framework for prototyping performance controllers is made available. Students focus on musical composition and improvisation techniques as they prepare their prototypes for live performance.

The Politics of Code
Fall Semester - IM Elective
Prof. Pierre Depaz

While our relationships between ourselves, our environment, and other people are inherently political, computer technologies and technology companies consistently claim to remain “neutral”. This course will assume the opposite —software is political—, and focus on how software applications share commonalities with political systems, how they affect their users as political actors and how we can build alternatives to those systems. This course is aimed at deconstructing the design and implementation of software as a political medium, such as Facebook’s timeline algorithm, city officials’ use of computer simulations to orchestrate urban life, blockchain-backed proof of ownership and algorithmic criminal assessment. Along with an introduction to political theory and media studies, coupled with an exploration of the underlying political impacts of those systems, students will work on several hands-on projects to offer functioning alternatives to those systems. To that end, this course will include several workshops in JavaScript and Python.

CORE
COREAD19: Communication & Technology
Fall Semester
Prof. Craig Protzel

From cave paintings to live video streams on smartwatches, this course will explore the development, reaction, and impact of some of humankind's most transformative inventions - its forms of communication. How have these inventions, such as writing, printing, photography, the telegraph, television, radio, and the internet, influenced human behavior throughout the course of history? What role do they play in shaping our lives today? Toward the end of the course, students will speculate on the future of communication technologies in a connected world by prototyping their own inventions and experiences. Readings and discussion will cover communication theory, technical processes, and creative applications. Writing assignments will be paired with practical assignments where students will be challenged to bring their analysis and ideas to life. We will also utilize the world wide web as a test bed for experiencing and experimenting with various forms of communication both old and new, ranging anywhere from the printing press to the 3D printer and everything in between.

Course Website

PAST
Experiential Video Art
Spring Semester - IM Elective (Crosslisted with Film)
Prof. Scott Fitzgerald

The advent of video heralded a new, mediated form of expression, quickly embraced by artists, journalists, and provocateurs. This course provides an overview of video art since its inception in the late 1960s and is designed to trace the path of the medium to contemporary practices. Emerging methods of video interaction in the context of performance and installation will be applied. Students will develop their own work while examining technical and aesthetic concepts embedded in existing pieces.

Prof. Scott Fitzgerald

Course Website

Foundations of 4D
Spring Semester - IM Elective (Crosslisted with Visual Arts)
Prof. David Darts

This course offers an intensive exploration of analog and digital media. Students are introduced to aesthetic, conceptual, and historical aspects of contemporary art by interfacing with a variety of imaging, audio, and communication applications. Students work in photography, video, digital art, per- formance, gaming, sound, and emerging practices.

Network Everything
Spring Semester - IM Elective
Prof. Scott Fitzgerald
COREAD52: Play
Fall Semester
Prof. Scott Fitzgerald

We are engaged in play throughout our lives. It socializes and engages us in a deeply meaningful way that serves as an essential component of our education in the world. Beginning with the imaginative and open-ended games of our childhood, and continuing through more structured aspects of play like sport, theatre, board and video games, it serves a vital tool in our development as individuals. It can be collaborative or competitive, open-ended or closed, but always is innately fun. Examining the topic from a variety of perspectives, including psychological, artistic and philosophical, we will engage with multiple levels of playfulness throughout history, from simple childhood escapism to urban scale games facilitated by new technologies . Students will be challenged to create new forms of play by prototyping and designing their own games and frameworks for play throughout the semester.

Course Website

"Fireworks" by James Hosken - uses p5JS