Experimental Digital Art

Course for Digital Media Graduate and Computational Media undergraduate students in interactive and digital art.

Course Description

Students examine the conceptual, formal, aesthetic and technical basics of creating and analyzing digital artistic artifacts in areas of: virtual, augmented and mixed reality; ubiquitous and distributed computing; networks; tangible objects; physical and physiological computing; social computing; information and scientific visualization; and artificial intelligence. The course includes analysis, experimentation, creation, and critique of artistic projects and short analytical papers. Numerous areas of converging and diverging issues among artistic and scientific knowledge bases will be explored, in order to understand how emerging technologies and critical practices may offer us ways to reshape and rethink the world.

This section will give a particular focus to the contributions of fine artists to cultural, aesthetic and technical innovation in interactive and electronic media. Since the early 20th Century, artists have been at the forefront of experimentation with new technologies and media, exploring and redefining public realms, and “culture jamming” popular forms and practices. Because these artists often navigate the borderlands between mainstream art, public art, industrial research, and entertainment, their work often falls through the cracks of history, in spite of the fact that work has had major impact on the trajectory of technological development. They frequently tackle problems that may not yet exist, anticipating future trends and putting technology into a profoundly human context. And they often work in public contexts, exploring the everyday relationships between humans and technology. In the past decade, practitioners who operate at the intersections of R&D, art and invention, increasingly being dubbed “arts researchers,” are finding roles in universities, academia and industry. This course will provide a comprehensive survey of experimental media and art from the early 20th Century to the present day. Students will be guided through a series of highly experimental problems designed to stretch their creativity and explore questions that fall outside the realm of traditional academic, scientific or industrial research.