introduction to digital studio fall 2018

Descriptions of Projects and Assignments

Participation (24pts.)

You will get marks 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. Assignments include (but are not limited to):

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_fall16
    e.g. Joe Smith will make a folder named smithj_2602_fall16
  • 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, questions?

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.

Project 1 Chimeras, hybrids and monsters, oh my!

This project inspired by the writings of Critical Art Ensemble and Beatrix da Costa. See:

The observation:
The form of chimera is a longstanding cultural construction that asks compelling questions about purity and amorality. While no clear line of demarcation exists on how much mixing is acceptable or orthodox, the hybrids that challenge domains of nature/the immortal have often been expressed as the monstrous. Such as the ignoble origins modern fables like the Orcs of Tolkien's Middle Earth as well as global classical traditions of the Cyclops, Medusa, Fenrir Wolf, etc.

Early allegorical stories about hybridizing of man and (bio)technology are no less extreme;  The story of Daedalus and Icarus maybe framed as an Western Tradition cautionary tale with strange overtones demonstrating acceptable amounts of hybridism. While Daedalus flew to safety in his transformative state, the hubris of Icarus in turn led him to test the limits of his new found powers which resulted in a failure and his death.

While these social cues may lead to a normative society, the ideas of purity have the potential for dark expression such as the Eugenics programs of the 20th century. The century is littered with tragic histories in the pursuit of the perfect (human) specimen. This seems to be a relevant topic even in our new century of bio-tech, genetically modified organisms, computer/hardware based and software based augments.

Hybrids, mash-up, monsters etc. are clearly an affront to the normative and tradition. This suits the ideas of mixture and chimeras as a form of protest. It tests our limits and reveal our frailties. It asks compelling questions about the sanctity of our traditions.

Using Photoshop and photo-editing, collage, and photomontage techniques students will create 3 separate prints. The final images should address the prompt: "Chimeras, hybrids and monsters, oh my!" and contain elements of many distinct entities.

Final Images should be bleed printed in color at 11" x 17", 300 dpi, i trimmed and ready to display. Students should print an additional copy if they want to keep a copy, as the print turned in will be on display all semester. DO NOT delete your digital file – you will need it later in the semester! 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.

Project Goals (Chimeras):

  • Get familiar with Photoshop
  • Experience with printing images
  • Creative thinking and problem solving to answer a conceptual prompt
  • Begin thinking about Digital Art as a part of the historical canon

Formal Project HTML Studies (non-linear 33pt.

Students will compose a work of non-linear that will be hosted on the university web presence.

philosophy & references

In an apocryphal story the term '' was discovered by Vuk Ćosić in a garbled email. He immediately considered this a good fortune in 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 the network. This is Web Art not Art on the Web.

In 2015, we now have so many hybrids of network and analog culture in all kinds of communication that, it may be difficult to parse out a truly 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 Details:

Your prompt for this project is to engage in early aspects of the form. You will be responsible to design and execute an artwork completely composed in HTML and to be publicly distributed as part of the web. It must:

  • 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. There must be more than one path!
  • Must have a minimum of 20 separate HTML pages to compose the work.
  • No broken links, must load reasonably quickly on the school's network, the work shouldn't break the 'suspension of disbelief'
  • Must sit cohesively as an artwork, must communicate an idea, emotion, story, etc.
  • Must uploaded to the web server. We will use the I Drive, Students are allocated 200MB 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 audio and video.


  • You will be sending your link to several other students, they will critically introduce the work to the class during critique. Dates TBA.
  • Put a full copy of this on your shared drive.
  • Put a link on your blog page.


Workshops CAD/Electronics 20pt.

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

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.

Group Presentation 10pt.

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 an in-class presentation on artists in one of the six core themes defined in New Media Art(Tribe and Jana): Collaboration and Participation, From Appropriation to Open Source, Corporate Parody, Hackers and Hacktivism, Interventions, and Identity. 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 chosen work, and why it is significant to the theme or field.

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



Portfolio Page Optional Credit Assignment

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.


Cajal Drawing
Cajal Drawing
Research is a fundamental component to 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 or 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 inventigate interdisicplinary connnections

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

Our final project is an investigation and then art made from those investigation. The students may propose any kind of output that they have access and means to execute, but it is encouraged to use the processes we learned in class to further develop mastery.

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, fieldwork to collect data/information/samples/etc. and then construct an artwork to be presented at the final critique. It can be conducted on any UWF property about any aspect of natural, man-made, anthropological, etc. subject.

Every student will make a proposal in writing to be review in class. These proposal will be made as a blog post and presented in class. Proposals will be approved by instructor, no unapproved proposal will be accepted for final grade.
The proposal will include:

  • a statement of the area of interest, thesis statement, introduction
  • a list of primary research (at least 6)
    • e.g. people interviewed, news articles. journals, artist inspirations, librarian assisted resources. catalog resources using Modern Lang Assoc. (MLA) citation methodology in your blog post
    • the class will participate in a research workshop with the UWF librarians
  • locations to conduct fieldwork
  • a list of no less than 4 kinds of information/sample collections/data they will gather in the field
  • a proposed statement of the type of final project/product you will design and create
    • include materials, size, and any other formal elements of the project