introduction to digital studio spring 2017

Descriptions of Projects and Assignments

Participation (35pts.)

You will get reviewss throughout the semester for successful completion of homework, assignments, critique participation, etc. These points are tracked through out the semester. If you have a question about your standing on these points, please make an office appointment.

Your first two participation are Setting up a Blog and making a master Google Drive folder to turn in materials

Setup a Blog (part of participation)

Students will maintain a blog as a sketchbook and public portfolio for the work.

  • Login to your UWF mail account, navigate to the BLOGGER link, and start a blog exclusively for the materials in this course.
  • You may name the blog whatever you wish
  • you must use the Simple Template (you may customize colors, backgrounds, etc.)
  • email the link to the instructor
  • example:

Set up Google Drive SHARED FOLDER (part of participation)

This semester I would like you to turn in certain materials using Google Drive. You will log-in to your account and set up a shared folder with me.

  • Create a new shared folder in Google Drive.
  • Name with these conventions: lastnamefirstinitial _2602_fa18
    e.g. Joe Smith will make a folder named smithj_2602_fa18
  • Share this folder with instructor., please set to my permissions to 'can edit'
  • Use the message option to notify instructor that the folder is up.
  • Still confused on how to share? See this video

Reading Responses, Short Form Writings (part of participation)

Throughout the semester I will be asking you to turn in a variety of essays from 300 to 1000 words. Learning to communicate effectively and fluently are key skills in Arts Professions; writing statements, applications, critiques, project proposals, etc. are all examples of this skill that you will need during your career.

  • Reading Response: Write a 500 to 1000 word response to the materials assigned for reading. You may quote from the article. Quotes are to be attributed in footnote form and will not to be counted toward word count. Identify and analyze key issues in the text. Students who simply summarize the reading will not receive credit for the entry.
  • Other writings will be assigned which could include critical essays, reviews, project proposals, etc. Details will be announced in the calendar.

Academic Honesty: all compositions are to be works of original authorship with proper attribution. Students who simply summarize the reading or present texts from other authors will not receive credit for the entry; and such works are likely to be plagiarism. Plagiarism will be dealt with according to University policies and can lead to Expulsion per UWF conduct regulations . If you need guidance/education on proper academic techniques, please contact your instructor for a referral to the Writing Lab.

Reflection Posts

This is a blog post discussing your work and learning. I am looking for a substantive response in which you reflect on the ideas and technologies I have introduced over the past week or couple of weeks. Treat it like a journal entry. Here are a few ideas, but make up your own also: What skills have you picked up? What ideas do you have for new artwork? What do you think you will do with HTML?

Attendance at Critiques

Mandatory. Please see syllabus or email me for an appointment if this is unavoidable.

Posting Files as Requested by Instructor (Details, Details, Details)

You will be making posts in a blog and uploading files to the UWF Google Drive. You will be graded on the details and performance to follow instructions. Failure to follow these instructor directions will count as a zero grade. The list includes but is not limited to: meeting deadlines, posting the correct formats (file types, size, resolution, etc.), failure to make separate posts, posting on the incorrect platform (Drive vs. Blog), etc.

Group Presentation 5pt.

Students will be assigned to small study groups to lead a presentation on one of the major themes outline in New Media Art text.

Workgroups will make a ten (10) minute in-class presentation on one of the seven core themes defined in New Media Art(Tribe and Jana): Collaboration and Participation, From Appropriation to Open Source, Corporate Parody, Hackers and Hacktivism, Interventions, Identity, and Telepresence and Surveillance. Themes will be assigned after the reading discussion on the introduction to New Media Art.

Each student of the group is required to participate publicly on the chosen theme. In addition the team as a whole will introduce the class to at least one related work or project that is not cataloged in New Media Art. The presentation of each work should include the name, distinctive features of the TENDENCY, a work or two example, and significance of the tendency.

Prepare 5 presentation slides with information and links as a Powerpoint document. You must include examples from the Tribe and Jana text. The presentation may include links to media (video/audio) and artist websitess Limit any examples to two minutes of time-based media as an example. Put a copy of the Powerpoint and files into a folder with the theme of your presentation and drop this folder into your Google Drive (every group member). Please email a link to your intstructor before class starts on presentation day.


One week before the class discussion the group will publish the readings from New Media Art by instructing the professor of the pages from NMA that are the reading for the class. Groups will lead the in-class discussion. Group members will ask the class questions related to the projects/theme presented. Groups are responsible for putting together the appropriate technology and be prepared to start the lecture promptly at the beginning of class. Presentations will be presented at the beginning of the class session. Delays and failure to be prepared will reduce grade for the group. Groups may use any tools/methods of presentation deemed interesting or relevant including the video projector, questionnaires, quizzes, discussions, musical theater, mime, etc (Note Extra Credit given for musical theater and/or mime performance that addresses all points above.)

Project Goals

  • Encourage a peer review and learning
  • Articulate a style new media practice
  • Experience in being the leader

DATES-18, 20 SEPT 2018


Formal Projects

Formal Project 1
Digital Collage (Human and Machine) 15pts.

tldr; version: Make a collage triptych using found materials that technically and conceptually answers the prompt.

Project Goals and Overview

Use Photoshop (or other photo-editing tools) to create a digital collage triptych that addresses the prompt: "Human And Machine". Each digital collage will be composed of found imagery from internet sources. The work will be presented as three digital full bleed prints. One print will be devoted to Human, one to Machine, and the middle collage will address the idea of a 'hybrid of human and machine'.

Learning Outcomes

  • introduce non-destructive editing software and emulation software
  • experience in compositing - layers, masks, selections, color adjustments
  • introduction to critical and conceptual art practice (not just creating 'sick' images)
  • experience in iterative design methodology
  • experience with presentation methods


Research phase

Spend time on the internet researching the topic. Students should spend time looking at visual references and reading about the topic prompt. Students should document all visual references and readings by keeping a URI list of the assets.

Download at least five (5) high-resolution images with an intention for each part of the triptych (no less than 15 images total) to create a library. You are welcome to select as many source images as you want.

Create a new folder inside the shared Google Drive folder you created for the class. This folder will be a source library for your collage triptych. Name the folder 'human-and-machine'.

Resample library images to 200px high jpgs at 72ppi. Make a post on your blog with these smaller images on blog and a written statement. In the statement, write an analysis of why (describe the reason these images were selected) you chose these images to work from. Keep it to 300 - 500 words. Include the URI list of your assets at the end of the post.

Work phase

Create three canvas/workspaces/artboards. Make these spaces 11 by 17 inches at 300ppi, RGB colorspace. The artist may decide to work in either portrait or landscape orientation.

Use a non-destructive photo-editing tool like Photoshop to select portions of images in your source library and place into a composition for the triptych. Use resampling, masking, layers, refinement tools, color adjustment, etc. to create a composition that supports your ideas about the topic. In the process, the artist should feel free to change or add source images in order to refine the composition with the concepts they are using.

Printing and preparing for the presentation phase

Create a folder named 'human-and-machine-prints' inside your shared folder. Save final image compositions as Photoshop documents to your Drive. Printing will be done by the instructor or a Print Lab Technician. Art2602C students are not allowed to operate printers unattended. The instructor will provide information on paper and ink profiles.

Final images should be bleed printed in color at 11 x 17 inches 300 dpi, trimmed and ready to display. Students should print an additional copy if they want a copy for their personal collection.

DO NOT delete your digital file – you will need it later in the semester! Students should package their final photoshop files, and upload the packaged folder to the Google drive folder they created titled 'human-and-machine-prints' With each assignment, students should provide a 1-2 paragraph statement describing both their conceptual and technical process of making the piece. Please submit the writing in your blog as a post. Please make a high-quality jpg of your works and include in this post.

Formal Project 2
HTML Studies (non-linear 15pts.

Students will compose a work of non-linear that will be hosted on the university web presence. LINK TO GOOGLE DOC OF PROJECT

Rough Draft:
Final Project: October 12
Formal Critique: TBA

Project Learning Outcomes: After completing this project students will be able to:

  • create a NetArt work using HTML, CSS, and javascript. use research to create flowcharts and low-res prototypes to develop a NetArt concept. apply critical thinking to create a non-linear NetArt piece that creates an engaging artistic experience.

Project Overview: For this project, you will create a NetArt work that experiments with the narrative characteristics of hypermedia. Consider how you can utilize the linking and branching structure of the web browsing user experience to create an interesting and engaging artistic experience. You may explore any subject matter you desire through the approach of a narrative.

Narrative: “A narrative is some kind of retelling, often in words, of something that happened (a story). The narrative is not the story itself but rather the telling of the story. While a story just is a sequence of events, a narrative recounts those events in any way the author desires, perhaps leaving some occurrences out because they are from some perspective insignificant, and perhaps emphasizing others. In a series of events, a car crash takes a split second. A narrative account of this split second crash, however, could be hundreds of pages long and might be almost entirely about the crash itself or could include the events leading up to it or directly following it.”   

For this project, you will be creating a non-linear narrative.

Philosophy & references: In an apocryphal story the term '' was discovered by Vuk Ćosić in a garbled email. He immediately considered this a good fortune because it appeared that the system automatically described the new form artists were beginning to explore in network technologies. describes a series of art practices specifically designed for execution and native residence on the Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs). When we describe, design, or view, take special care not to conflate other aspects of cultural productions with the particular intention to leverage the network. This is not art on the Internet, this is art from/using/manifest on the network. This is Web Art not Art on the Web.

In 2018, there are many hybrids of network and analogs in all kinds of communication and culture that, it may be difficult to parse out a pure piece in new contemporary work. It will be more likely to be a subtle mixture of network and actual life. From performances of Shakespeare and Broadway to academic conferences on Massively Multiplayer Environments like World of Warcraft and new poetic and narrative structures on social media (Google docs collaboration: terrorawedpatches, Passover on Facebook). Still, it is important to recognize the distinct feature of an artwork that is truly native to ICTs.


Project Goal: Your prompt for this project is to engage in early aspects of the form. You will be responsible for designing and executing an artwork completely composed in HTML (and related media) and to be publicly distributed as part of the web. It must:
  • Provide a unique networked experience for the user that differs greatly from what is commonly encountered during daily web-browsing experiences. Using your knowledge of HTML and CSS, utilize the graphic design and painterly nature of the browser to make imagery from computer graphics, text, etc. Work with the non-linear hypertext syntaxes of the web as an artist. Use linking, embedding, etc. to create paths through the work to create a series of linked HTML pages that take the viewer throughout the narrative. There must be more than one path through the narrative!
  • Must have a minimum of 20 separate HTML pages to compose the work. No broken links; the project must load reasonably quickly on the school's network. The work should not break the 'suspension of disbelief' (The term suspension of disbelief has been defined as a willingness to suspend one's critical faculties and believe something surreal; the sacrifice of realism and logic for the sake of enjoyment.) Must sit cohesively as an artwork, must communicate the narrative. You will also write a brief artist statement (250-500 words) about your concept. This will be one of your pages. Must incorporate sound at least one time in the project The technology employed can be simple; the crux of this project is the sophisticated, aesthetic and conceptual decisions evidenced by your artistic choices. Must be uploaded to the web server. We will use the I Drive, Students are allocated 2 Gb distributed between your H and I Drives. We will use this limitation as a design constraint.
    • You will need to be very careful about the files you produce. Save them to the appropriate sizes and nothing extra in the directory Contact instructor immediately if you are using this space for any other course.
  • Can be as abstract or representational as the work needs to be. Can exceed the 20-page minimum. Can utilize video.

Some things to consider about Narrative and Hypermedia:
  • Time: A narrative is typically based on time; things happen in a particular order; there is a beginning, middle, and end to a story. How can the branching, looping, dynamic nature of hypermedia complicate the notion of time in a narrative context? Authorship: Narratives are generally told from a particular point of view. Think about who/what your author’s voice will be. Will it be a particular person? Several people? An inanimate object? Does it use words or sounds or video to speak? Does it change over time? Does it lie? Can the reader trust what they're reading? Appropriation: Everything on the web can be taken and remixed into something new. For example, you could juxtapose news stories, or weave them into an (in)coherent retelling. You could layer seemingly unrelated songs on top of gifs to construct new implied narratives.

Process: Brainstorming/research
  • Do some brainstorming – what kinds of stories are you interested in? Do some research on “twine” sites such as and in some of the links posted in the philosophy and references section to see what engages you. Include this research through screenshots, comments, and notes in your process book about your brainstorming/research.
  • Write out your narrative and make a flow diagram on actual paper of how the pages will link. After you have determined the flow, work out the design of the pages, thinking about type and color, images, and other media. Remember how the pages will link and what you are trying to say with your narrative. Scan/photograph this research. Post to your blog. Note: this step should be comprehensive, but is subject to change/editing as you continue through the process.
  • Once you are satisfied with the outline of your narrative, begin writing your HTML. Write the HTML structure of the site first, and style it with CSS afterward. Test your pages as you go. Reminder: how to link HTML files to each other: Add images / video / audio to complete your narrative. Test as you go. Test your pages; troubleshoot. Upload files and folder structure to the server.

Rough Draft:
  • Keep working on your pages, linking the story parts to each other (make sure all links function). On the rough draft due date (October 3rd), you should have your brainstorming, written narrative, and sketches available for review, in addition to your HTML pages. Your project should be at least 75% complete. Work on a brief artist statement (250-500 words) to explain your project and concept. This Statement and a bibliography should be added as an extra HTML page to your project.

  • Create a minimum of 20 linked HTML pages Make sure your pages link correctly, and that the folder structure is tight (with a root index.html file, and HTML and CSS folders, image folder, etc.) Include an extra HTML page at the end with a brief artist statement. IMPORTANT: Appropriated elements (code, imagery, etc.) must be attributed appropriately. SAVE LINKS TO YOUR APPROPRIATIONS. Include a bibliography of links and titles on the statement page. Upload your folder structure to your FTP. Upload your folder structure to your Project B google drive folder with the naming convention: LastName_ProjectB. Upload the website URI to the appropriate discussion board on Canvas

Due for Final Submission
  • Folder, files, assets, etc. uploaded to FTP. Folder, files, assets, etc. uploaded to Google Drive folder URI posted to the blog You will be sending your link to other students, they will critically introduce the work to the class during critique (this will be assigned by the instructor). Be prepared to read your artist statement and give a brief explanation to the class about your piece.


Workshops CAD/Electronics 15pts.

Students will be introduced to working with 3D Modeling and CAD as an artist. More details TBA in class. More to come...

Investigate the forms of viruses and crystals paying particular attention to symmetries. Design a paperfold enclosure for the CAD/Electronics project for the final using Sketchup Pro. Use the Flattery add-on tool to unfold the project and print the model. Carefully cut out the form and reassemble (fold) into a 3D solid with a plan on the inclusion of a lamp (electronics kit) element within the 3D form.

Formal Project 4
Fieldwork and Research Based Practice 15pts.

Map/infographic of Himalayan bio-geography by von Humboldt
Drawing by Ramon Cajal


Research is a fundamental component in many professions including art and design. There are as many examples of scientists who have worked back and forth using the techniques from the field of art. Observations, notes, drawings, etc. are all examples of methods which cross these disciplinary boundaries. In the 21st Century, Research practices have become a fundamental part of Art practices as people investigate interdisciplinary connections

“Arts-related research developed through the relationships early artists/researchers had with their own creative processes, and their beliefs that letting research and creativity unfold together would cause both art and research to emerge as outcomes.” (A Practical Guide to Arts-related Research

Historical art-science interdisciplinary work:

Ernst Haeckel

Alexander von Humboldt “The last man who knew everything”,_Geographie_der_Pflanzen_in_den_Tropen-L%C3%A4ndern,_mosaicked.JPG

The father of neuroscience, Santiago Ramón y Cajal's drawings are an excellent example of how art crosses into science.

“Axon of Purkinje neurons in the cerebellum of a drowned man,” an ink and pencil drawing.
Credit Cajal Institute, Madrid

“Purkinje neurons from the human cerebellum,” an 1899 drawing.
Credit Cajal Institute, Madrid

Our final project is an investigation into a topic relating to UWF, and the art inspired and directed by those investigations. The students may propose any kind of output that they have access and means to execute, but are encouraged to use the processes and media learned in class to further develop mastery.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this projects student will:

  • develop their critical and artistic practice;
  • learn the value of research as it applies to artistic development;
  • develop skill sets for both breadth and depth, and acuity of craft in the creation of their work;
  • become versed across aesthetic domains and media while simultaneously developing conceptual, historical, theoretical, social/cultural and critical competencies.


The final project of the semester is an investigation of the grounds (landscape) of UWF. The students will do primary research in their area of interest which will include fieldwork to collect data/information/samples/etc. and then construct an artwork to be presented at the final critique. The research can be conducted on any UWF property and about any aspect of natural, man-made, anthropological, etc. subject as long as it ties back directly to UWF.

Every student will make a proposal in writing to be reviewed in class. These proposals will be made as a blog/discussion post, uploaded as a pdf the Project 4 Google Drive folder, and presented in class. Proposals MUST be approved by instructor (during week 10) unapproved proposals will not be accepted for the final grade.

Requirements for your proposal (NOTE: these are NOT suggestions):

  • a statement of the area of interest, thesis statement, and introduction
  • a list of at least six (6) primary research sources (e.g. people interviewed news articles. journals, artist inspirations, librarian assisted resources). Students must catalog their resources using Modern Lang Assoc. (MLA) citation methodology. This means you MUST cite all your resources.
  • Locations to conduct fieldwork
  • A list of no less than 4 kinds of information/sample collections/data you will gather in the field
  • A proposed statement of the type of final project/product you will design and create
  • A description of the planned outcome (what will it look like), including materials, size, and any other formal elements of the project


Week 9 -

  • Reading (and Research) Response Develop a written response that summarizes the  Library Research Seminar and how the information will aid you in your research. Add reflections that describe the lessons within the Edge Effects essay.
    One more step: Develop 3 questions/statements that could be the basis of your research based final project.
  • Schedule a time to meet with the instructor during week 10 to review the final project plan.

Week 10 -

  • Meet with instructor
  • Work on class presentation/review of the plan (seven words/seven graphics).  You will develop distillation of your idea and procedure into 7 words. You will present these with seven images as a slideshow. (Use Google Slides, set to 16:9 widescreen) Develop seven images that describe the topic, research methods, and outcomes. The images can be diagrams, collages, single images, etc. Add a single word on each image boldly enough that we can read it easily.

Week 11 - Presentation of your research plan to class (seven words/seven graphics)

Week 15 - Final Project 4 due.

Week 16 - Review and Critique

Extra Credit

Portfolio Page Optional Credit Assignment
up to 5% points on final grade

Design, craft and upload a Artist Portfolio Page on the UWF I drive. Students seeking extra credit will use a design template demonstrated by Thomas in class to create a webpage 'portfolio' of their artwork. The page must use the javascript library Thomas demonstrates during class to 'slideshow' the works.

The page requires

  • a short personal statement
  • a grid of thumbnails 4 x 5 for a total of 20 works
    • each thumbnail must open the slideshow to reveal a larger resolution version of the documented artwork

This OPTIONAL assignment will be judged on FUNCTIONALITY (does the page load quickly and open, are all links working, do the images load, etc.), the graphic design of the overall page (style choices in color, shade, value, etc.), and adherence to good grammar (spell check, complete and well written).

Points available: up to 5% of overall grade.