Fundamentals of Art with Technology: CodeWorks Section
Instructor: Judd Morrissey
Tuesday 9-12, 1-4

Course Description

This section of the fundamentals course will provide a survey of contemporary practices within digital media, and will serve as a laboratory for investigations into some of the tools, languages and techniques involved in these practices. The overall emphasis of the course will be placed upon the concept of encoding: how do we encode our selves, our memories, and our responses to the real and virtual spaces that we inhabit? We will consider code as language through which we translate our ideas into works and begin to develop literacy in the grammars and syntaxes of our networked culture.

Within the course, we will examine two types of languages, a mark-up language (xhtml/xml) and a programming language (Processing), and while there will not be time to achieve fluency, we will learn many of the fundamental principles of generating art through the use of computer code.

Course Requirements

The course work will be divided between two projects. The first project will be a multi-media web site working with individually-driven creative material addressing the overall concept of the internet as an archive, memex, or library (of babel). This project will be presented at mid-term. The second project will be a code-driven composition such as an abstract, dynamic drawing or text piece using the open source programming language, Processing. This project will be critiqued on the final day of class.

exercises: Students are required to complete all weekly exercises and to present work for critique at mid-semester and at the end of the term. Exercises are due at the beginning of the class following the one in which they are assigned.

Presentation and participation in midterm and final critiques:
* Attendance and participation in both critiques is mandatory for course credit. * For the final critique you will need to hand in a stand-alone versions of your project(s) burned to a data cd. I will be keeping this disc so please make additional copies for yourself.



It is very important to attend every class. Most topics build on previous lecture material; missing a lecture will reduce your ability to successfully complete assigned projects. We will begin promptly, as we will have a lot to cover each week.If you arrive later than thirty minutes into class, you will be marked as absent. If you accumulate more than three absences, an automatic No-Credit will be given.

Student Sites

Graham Calcagni
Eman Nader
Cheng-Yung Kuo
Lale Westvind
Tori Morris
Leif Rogers
Michael Poland
Alex Valentine
Alex Lenyel
Missing Student
Missing Student
Missing Student
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Weekly Schedule

Day 01: 1/31

skills checklist
discussion of internet history and concepts
excercise: A Lexicon of Art and Technology
Students are each given a word from a hypothetical lexicon of concepts associated with practices within art and technology. After researching and extracting information, a tutorial enables each student to create a web page for their search term.
skills: web as research tool, xhtml

required reading:
Borges, The Library of Babel
Vanevar Bush: As We May Think

Babel: Reverse Engineering the Library
Things Not Worth Keeping
The File Room

assignment: libraries of babel/what is your memex?
Students, having read the assigned texts, collect material as a starting point for their own archive project. The material should represent an inter-linked trace of creative and research inclinations and can include found or composed text, artifacts of network activity, images, or short videos. Make use of at least six sources of material. This material does not need to be digitized.

Day 02: 2/07

introduction to encoding with mark-up languages and css
discussion of internet and protocols
exercise 1: digitize and manipulate graphic material
exercise 2: foundations of an archive using xhtml
skills: imaging in photoshop, hand-coding xhtml, ftp


assignment: draft of expanded archive in basic xhtml without stylization/design, creation of photoshop sketch(es) of the archive. How would you visualize relationships between the fragments? If the archive were a memex-type device or physical space, what would it look like? What might a single page/area look like?

How the Internet Works
An Internet Timeline
html/xhml elements
deprecated tags
basic html:
w3c basic xhtml
FTP help

Day 03: 2/14
basic layout with cascading style sheets
data vs representation
skills: css
exercise: create an external style sheet to visualize the xhtml content of the archive

assignment: damaged web site
The assignment for next class is to re-appropriate/damage/alter an existing web page. The site you choose should be related thematically to your overall archive project. Steal whatever you can: source code, images, style sheets and create your own version of the page in bbEdit by adding to, subtracting from or otherwise altering existing content. Consider alterations such as displaying the source code as content. Don't worry if you are not entirely in control of the process, hack away until you have an aesthetically interesting result.
tips: to view source in safari, choose "view source" from "view" menu. In forefox, this is "page source".

css introduction:
w3c intro

css References:
Avoid deprecated tags
Basic CSS syntax
CSS Measurements
CSS Property Reference
W3C Property Examples

embedding quicktime

Day 04: 2/21
trip to mca for "fluidity of time", Alexander Calder, and Beckett Centennial exhibit
France Cadet lunchtime lecture
American Science and Surplus trip

day 05: 2/28
Topic: Network Traffic & Transmission
skills: xml
exercise: emerging protocols: transmission with RSS feed and podcasting
assignment: text/sound transmission/daily headlines

day 06: 3/07
Topic: final layout tutorial xhtml/css
skills: xhtml, css
short demonstration, distribution of demo files, one-on-one meetings
assignment: mid-term project formulation

day 07: 3/14

Topic: Brains, Bodies, Code
exercise: self as avatar, code as language skills: Flash animation assignment: babelize
suggestion one: translate text in your archive site into a hybrid language of english, html, and dna encoding
suggestion two: crete an illustration of embodiment that examines the concept of prosthesis, a human/machine hybrid, or that compares human and machine viruses.

The Shredder
Shelley Jackson, My Body

Ray Kurzweil, The Age of Spiritual Machines*
*read "a Note to the Reader" and "Prologue: An Inexhorable Emergence"

supplemental readings and resources:
text to dna translator
Alan Turing


day 08: 3/21


day 09: 3/28

day 10: 4/04
introduction to Flash
Fundamentals of Coding Languages
exercise: machine sketch

day 11: 4/11
interactivity and control statements
Topic: aesthetics of code and human language: Code Poets
Readings: Mez, talan Memmot, Ted Warnell

day 12: 4/18
Actionscript, cont. Game Lab

day 13: 4/25
individual tutorials, lab

day 14: 5/02

day 15: 5/09
final critiques



concrete & digital poetry

trade centers:
referencing games: -- download a game
generated text:
artbyte net picks:
blogging (push-button publishing for the people):

Net Art Collections and Shows Collection of, history of, reviews, interviews, articles, criticism. Weekly updates also distributed via e-mail as 'rhizome digest' mailing list. '010101 - Art in Technological Times'. Recent gallery/online show at SFMOMA. FILE 2001 Electronic Language Festival. Gallery/online festival in Sao Paulo. Walker Art Center's Gallery 9 - online gallery sponsors projects. The Electronic Literature Organization, a collection of hypertext works and related material. Ars Electronica, venerable Austrian tech-art organization sponsors annual festival.

A few popular works Mark Napier's web-reconfigurations, including Digital Landfill and Web Shredder. World of Awe, poetic travel postcards inside a found laptop. creators of the popular style of formalist web chaos. business model, brokerage house for hacktivist projects corporate site reconfiguration Life Sharing collaborative art projects The Unknown, hypertext road novel.

Online References and Useful Sites
example code used in class
Electronic Frontier Foundation
CSS properties Reference

BBEdit Lite: Free version of BBEdit, popular Mac text editor.
MMKEdit: A free Mac text editor with HTML extensions. Also comes in Japanese.
EditPlus: An excellent text-editor for Windows 30-day trial downloads of Dreamweaver, Flash, Fireworks, Director, etc.
Savitar: Mac MUD/MOO/MUSH Client