DM*7104 - Tues. 7:00 - 10:00PM

Lecture Series Fall 05

Instructor: Christiane Paul
E-mail: Christiane_Paul@WHITNEY.ORG

This series presents a set of lectures by prominent artists exploring digital media as a creative and expressive tool. Lectures by the visiting artists take place bi-weekly in the RISD auditorium. Every other week the class meets to discuss the lectures and related topics and readings.

Attendance will be recorded for each class. Grades will be based on attendance, participation, and completed assignments. Unexcused absences, lateness, and missed assignments will negatively affect students' grades.

Required course work:
  • give a presentation (ca. 20 min.) on one of the topics related to a lecture. Choose one of the topics on the syllabus and discuss readings or website material related to the lecture. The presentation should take place during the seminar in which we discuss that particular topic (e.g. a presentation on installation art would be Oct. 4). Approximately 3 students can present their reports each week.
  • write a paper on a topic related to the lecture and / or put into context your own work in relation to one of the visiting lecturer's talks. Length of the paper is to be 2400 words + references. Your essay should articulate the issues discussed in one of the lectures and / or articulate some important aspect of the lecturer's work. The topic of your presentation and the paper can be identical.
  • briefly present your own work in class (pick a week in which you would like to do your presentation and e-mail me the date). The presentation can be brief (~10 - 15 min.) and informal.

    Required Books:
  • Christiane Paul, Digital Art, Thames & Hudson, UK, 2003 [Book website]

  • Week 1 | Sept. 20

    Introduction to course: topics and course work.
    Survey of digital media art and its forms, characteristics, and aesthetics.
    History of technology and art.


  • Media Art Resources:
    Dieter Daniels / Rudolf Frieling, Media Art Net
    Humboldt University (Berlin), Database of Virtual Art

  • Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.):
    Langlois Foundation Archives

  • Early Telecommunications Art:
    Overview (Media Art Net)
    Liza Bear, Willoughby Sharp, Sharon Grace, Carl Loeffler, Two-Way Demo: Send/Receive (1979)
    Kit Galloway / Sherrie Rabinowitz, Satellite Arts Project 77
    Douglas Davis (with Nam June Paik, Joseph Beuys et al.), Last 9 Minutes
    Robert Adrian,Telecommunications Projects

  • Networks / Community Platforms / Mailing Lists:
    The Thing

  • Museum sites / Online Galleries:
    artport (Whitney Museum)
    Walker Gallery 9
    SFMOMA e-space

    Assignments for next 2 weeks:
  • Choose a topic for your presentation
  • Digital Art: pp. 71-96, "Installation;" pp. 125-132 "Virtual reality and augmented reality"

    Week 2 | Sept. 27

    Lecture: Joachim Sauter
    Joachim Sauter studied design at the polytechnic university Schwäbisch Gmünd. After completing his MA at the academy of fine arts in Berlin, he continued his studies at the 'German Academy for Film and Television,' Berlin. During this time, he received several film awards such as the 'Lisitzky Award' from the 'Deutscher Künstlerbund' and the 'Max Ophuels short-film-award.'

    Joachim Sauter has been using computers both as a tool and as a medium from the early stages of his work. Fueled by this interest, he founded Art+Com in 1988, together with other artist, designers, scientists and technicians. Their goal was to practically research this new upcoming medium in the realm of art and design.

    In the course of his work, he was invited to participate in many exhibitions. His work has been shown at venues such as Ars Electronica, Linz; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Stejdilik Museum, Amsterdam; Museum for Contemporary Art, Sidney; Deichtorhallen, Hamburg; Venice Biennial; ICC, Tokyo; Getty Center, Los Angeles; and ZKM, Karlsruhe.

    He received several awards,among them the 'Ars Electronica Interactive Award,' the 'Los Angeles Interactive Media Award,' the 'Prix Pixel INA,' the 'British Academy for Film and Television Interactive Award,' the 'German Design Award,' and the 'Swiss Design Award.'

    Since 1991, he is full professor for "New Media Art and Design" at the University of the Arts Berlin and since 2001 adjunct professor at the Design | Media Arts Center at UCLA, Los Angeles.

    URLs: (eng)

    Week 3 | Oct. 4 [Make-up Oct. 14]

    Presentation by Bokyung Jun (PowerPoint / presentation notes) and Rachelle Beaudoin (PowerPoint / presentation notes) on installation art.
    Discussion of Joachim Sauter's presentation in the context of installation art -- architectural and navigational models and the construction of virtual worlds.


  • (Networked) installation projects:
    Jeffrey Shaw
    Michael Naimark
    Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
    George Legrady
    John Klima
    Perry Hoberman
    Bill Seaman
    Masaki Fujihata
    Camille Utterback
    Char Davies
    Scott Snibbe
    Paul DeMarinis

    Assignments for next 2 weeks:
  • Ken Goldberg, The Unique Phenomenon of a Distance (Introduction from The Robot in the Garden, MIT Press)
  • Digital Art: pp. 154-164, "Telepresence, telematics, and telerobotics"
  • Lev Manovich, Cinema and Telecommunication/Distance and Aura (1999)
  • Introduction to the exhibition Ctrl [Space] at ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany

  • Week 4 | Oct. 11

    Lecture: Marie Sester
    Marie Sester is a media artist currently based in Los Angeles. Born in France, she began her career as an architect, having earned her master's degree from the Ecole d'Architecture in Strasbourg. Her interest, however, shifted from how to build structures to how place, cultural values, and political ideas are intertwined and affect our understanding of the world. Her work particularly questions the societal perspective of the West.

    She has received grants and residencies, including from the Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences (IAMAS), Japan; Creative Capital Foundation, New York; and Eyebeam, New York.

    Most recently, her installations have been shown at SIGGRAPH 2003 and Ars Electronica 2003, where her project ACCESS received an Honorary Mention in Interactive Art. ACCESS received the 2004 Webby Award for Net Art and was listed as one of the "50 Coolest Websites" in the 2004 Time Magazine Online Edition. In 2004, Sester also had a one-person show at the Kitchen, New York, and exhibited in Villette Numerique, Paris. Her current project is supported by grants from NYSCA, LEF Foundation, and Franklin Furnace Fund. She is currently an artist-in-residence at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

    Artist Statement:
    Paradise under Surveillance: Transparency, Visibility, and Access
    My work explores ways in which societies implement forms, focusing primarily on ideas of transparency, visibility, and access. Transparency is a term that comes from architecture in the 18th century, but has recently become a fundamental notion in political, economic, and media discourses. Included in its values are those of information and communication, control and surveillance. The goal of transparency is visibility, but paradoxically, transparency may serve to remove the visibility of these environments or contents and thus allow to hide them. Visibility is also linked to the evolution of Western culture in the 20th century, from the Hollywood star industry to the explosion of advertising. My third interest, access, emerges from the fact that a networked culture increasingly demands regulated forms of entry, from banking cards to code numbers, from passwords to plug-ins.

    My work questions the perspective of the West, and the meta-state of a New World Order. I employ archetypes and referents as starting points. For several years, I have been committed to working with already-existing data or phenomena, including airport and large scale x-ray imagery, architectural plans, vehicle plans, city maps, aerial views, and archeological documents. I have also been committed to creating immersive installations using technologies from both the Hollywood and surveillance industries. Together these propose a connection between individuals and wider forces, or larger scales, or longer time-bases. They reconsider what a society or a community is engaged in, and therefore the individuals, in their everyday life.

    Transcript of presentation

    Week 5 | Oct. 18

    Presentation of student artwork: John Ewing
    Discussion of Marie Sester's presentation in connection to telepresence, surveillance, and immersive film installations.


  • Ehibitions:
    Ctrl [Space] at ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany
    Telematic Connections: The Virtual Embrace

  • Telepresence and telerobotics projects:
    Ken Goldberg
    Eduardo Kac, Rara Avis / Uirapuru / Teleporting an Unknown State
    Steve Mann, Wireless Wearable Webcam
    Lynn Hershman, Tillie, the Telerobotic Doll
    Bureau of Inverse Technologies, Bang Bang
    Eric Paulos, John Canny, PRoP -- Personal Roving Presence
    Adrianne Wortzel, Camouflage Town
    Tina LaPorta, voyeur_web

  • Immersive film installations:
    Michael Naimark, Interactive and Immersive Film Installations | 1977-1997
    Jeffrey Shaw, Place Ruhr / Place - A User's Manual / Eve

    Assignments for next 2 weeks:
  • Digital Art: pp. 96-111, "Film, video, and animation"
  • Lev Manovich, What is Digital Cinema? (1995)
  • Lev Manovich, Cinema and Digital Media (1995)

    Week 6 | Oct. 25

    Lecture: Jim Campbell
    Jim Campbell was born in Chicago in 1956 and lives in San Francisco. He received two Bachelor of Science Degrees in Mathematics and Engineering from MIT in 1978. His work has been shown internationally and throughout North America in institutions such as the Whitney Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Carpenter Center, Harvard University; The International Center for Photography, New York, and the Intercommunication Center in Tokyo. His electronic art work is included in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the University Art Museum at Berkeley. In 1992, he created one of the first permanent public interactive video artworks in the U.S. in Phoenix, Arizona. He has lectured on interactive media art at many Institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art in NY. He has received a Rockefeller Grant in Multimedia, a Langlois Foundation Grant, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. As an engineer, he holds more than a dozen patents in the field of video image processing.


    Week 7 | Nov. 1

    Presentation by Lisa Lee, and Sarah Renshaw (PowerPoint) on digital image / cinema etc. Presentation by Elliott Brennan (PowerPoint) on technical logistics of Jim Campbell's work.
    Presentation of student artwork: Rachelle Beaudoin.
    Discussion of Jim Campbell's work in the context of the digital (moving) image, digital cinema, memory, and space.


  • Exhibition:
    Future Cinema: The Cinematic Imaginary After Film

  • Modularity of the Digital Image (representation):
    Andreas Müller-Pohle, Digital Scores / Face Codes

  • Installations:
    Toni Dove, Artificial Changelings / Spectropia / Sally
    Luc Courchesne, The Visitor, Living by Numbers (go to Installations)

  • "Database Cinema" / "Template Cinema":
    Thomson & Craighead, Short Films about Flying / Template Cinema (beta)
    Lev Manovich, Softcinema
    Jennifer & Kevin MCoy, Every Shot, Every Episode / Every Anvil / How I learned / Soft Rains

    Assignments for next 2 weeks:
  • Benjamin Fry, Organic Information Design
    Christiane Paul, Public CulturalProduction Art(Software)
    Florian Cramer, Concepts, Notations, Software, Art

    Week 8 | Nov. 8

    Lecture: Benjamin Fry
    Ben Fry received his doctoral degree at the MIT Media Laboratory, where his research focused on methods of visualizing large amounts of data from dynamic information sources. His current research involves the visualization of genetic data at the Eli & Edyth Broad Insitute of MIT & Harvard.

    His work has been shown at the Whitney Biennial in 2002 and the Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial in 2003. Other work has appeared in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, at Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria and in the films "Minority Report" and "The Hulk." With Casey Reas of UCLA, he is currently developing Processing, an environment for teaching computational design and sketching interactive media software.

    Artist Statement:
    The ability to collect, store, and manage data is increasing quickly, yet our ability to understand it remains constant. In an attempt to gain better understanding of data, fields such as information visualization, data mining and graphic design are employed, each solving an isolated part of the specific problem, but failing in a broader sense: there are too many unsolved problems in the visualization of complex data. As a solution, I propose that the individual fields be brought together as part of a single process which I call Computational Information Design.


    Week 9 | Nov. 15

    Presentation by Christopher Robbins (index / wiki), Geon Dong Kim, John Ewing and Carmen Montoya (PowerPoint / presentation notes) on software art and data visualization.
    Presentation of student artwork: Leon Belt.
    Ben Fry's lecture will be discussed in the context of software art and data visualization.


  • Mapping and database visualization:
    Atlas of Cyberspace

  • Text mapping projects::
    Ben Fry, Valence
    Bradford Paley, TextArc
    Schoenerwissen, txtkit - Visual Text Mining Tool

  • Exhibition (software art):

  • Software art:
    Casey Reas (with Robert Hodgin, William Ngan, Jared Tarbell), {Software} Structures
    runme software art repository

    Assignments for next 2 weeks:
  • The Michael Snow Dossier:
    Peter Rist, "Michael Snow: A Brief Introduction"
    Donato Totaro and Andr_ Habib, "Weathering the Creative Storm: An Interview With Michael Snow"
    Donato Totaro, "Wavelength Revisited"
  • Lev Manovich, Image Future

    Week 10 | Nov. 22

    Presentation by Leon Belt, John Baca, and Emily Boyd.
    Presentation of student artwork: Lisa Lee, Sarah Renshaw, Geon Dong Kim, Chris Mendoza, Bokyung Jun.
    Preview and discussion of Michael Snow's work in the context of digital film / video. Screening of his DVD.

    Week 11 | Nov. 29

    Lecture: Michael Snow
    Michael Snow was born in Toronto not so long ago, and lives there now - but has also lived in Montreal, Chicoutimi and New York. He is a musician (piano and other instruments) who has performed solo as well as with various ensembles (most often with the CCMC of Toronto) in Canada, USA, Europe and Japan. Numerous recordings of his music have been released. His films have been presented at festivals in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, United Kingdom and USA, and are in the collections of several film archives, including Anthology Film Archives in New York City, the Royal Belgian Film Archives, Brussels, and the Oesterreichisches Film Museum, Vienna.

    Snow has been a painter and sculptor, though since 1962, much of his gallery work has been photo-based or holographic. Work in all these media is represented in private and public collections world-wide, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Museum Ludwig (Cologne and Vienna), Centre Georges-Pompidou (Paris), and both the Mus_e des Beaux-Arts and Mus_e d'art contemporain in Montreal.

    Since 1970 he has done video, film and sound installations, and made such book works as Michael Snow/A Survey (1970), Cover to Cover (1975), 56 Tree Poems (1999), and BIOGRAPHIE of the Walking Woman 1961-1967 (2004).

    Retrospectives of his painting, sculpture, photoworks and holography have been presented at the Hara Museum (Tokyo), of his films at the Cin_mathS_que Fran_aise (Paris), Anthology Film Archives (New York) and L'Institut LumiS_re (Lyons) and of his work in all media simultaneously at the Power Plant and the Art Gallery of Ontario in 1994. A retrospective of his photoworks 1962-99 was presented at the Palais des Beaux Arts (Brussels), touring to Centre national de la photographie (Paris) and MAMCO and Saint-Gervais (Geneva). Additional retrospective exhibitions have been mounted at the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Mus_e d'art contemporain (Montreal).

    Solo and group shows of his visual arts works have been presented at museums and galleries in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Berlin, Bonn, Boston, Brussels, Kassel, Los Angeles, Lucerne, Lyons, Minneapolis, Montreux, Munich, New York, Ottawa, Paris, Pittsburgh, Quebec City, Rotterdam, San Francisco, Toronto and elsewhere.

    Michael Snow has executed several public sculpture commissions, the best known being Flight Stop at Eaton Centre and The Audience at Skydome, both in Toronto.He has also received numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship (1972) the Order of Canada (1982), and the first Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts (2000) for cinema. In 2004 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Universit_ de Paris I, Panth_on-Sorbonne.

    Recent Activities:
    Starting September 4th, the Museum of Modern Art in New York presents a month-long complete retrospective of Snow's films during the next month. Simultaneous with the film retrospective, two projection works will be shown in the MoMA galleries.

    October Magazine, issue 114, appearing in October, will feature three separate articles on Snow's work, and an interview with Annette Michelson.

    Snow's most recent film SSHTOORRTY had its Toronto premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Sept 13th.

    Assignments for next 2 weeks:
  • Digital Art: pp. 174-189, "Databases, data visualization and mapping"
  • Christiane Paul, The Database as System and Cultural Form: Anatomies of Cultural Narratives
  • Lev Manovich, Database as a Symbolic Form
  • Lev Manovich, Data Visualization as New Abstraction and Anti-Sublime

    Week 12 | Dec. 6

    Lecture: Martin Wattenberg
    Martin Wattenberg's work centers on the theme of mapping the invisible. Past projects include visualizations of language and baby names, a chess-playing artificial intelligence, memories, Internet art, and music. His work has been shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the London Institute of Contemporary Arts, Ars Electronica, and other venues worldwide. Wattenberg is a researcher at IBM, where he invents new forms of data visualization. He is also known for the Map of the Market, which he created while at Dow Jones. He holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from U.C. Berkeley.

    Martin Wattenberg, bewitched
    Wattenberg / Walczak, joint projects - mw2mw

    Individual Project URLs

    Week 13 | Dec. 13

    Presentation by Chris Mendoza, Peter Segerstrom, Ebe Odonkor, and Lisa Lee on data visualization and mapping.
    Presentation of student artwork: Chris Robbins.
    Discussion of Martin Wattenberg's work in connection to data visualization, databases, and database aesthetics.


  • "Information Architecture:"
    The Art Of Memory
    Giulio Camillo, Memory Theater

  • Financial Data Sets:
    Smart Money's Map of the Market (Martin Wattenberg)
    Nancy Patterson, Stock Market Skirt
    Lynn Hershman, Synthia
    John Klima, ecosystm

  • Misc. visualization projects:
    Golan Levin, with Martin Wattenberg, Jonathan Feinberg, Shelly Wynecoop, David Elashoff, and David Becker, The Secret Life of Numbers
    John Klima, Earth
    Lisa Jevbratt, 1:1 / Mapping the Web Infome / Infome Imager Lite
    Mary Flanagan, [collection]
    Alex Galloway & RSG, Carnivore
    Josh On & Futurefarmers, They Rule
    Marcos Weskamp, newsmap

  • Mapping Communication
    Warren Sack, Agonistics - A Language Game / Conversation Map
    Judith Donath, Chat Circles

  • Exhibition:
    Mapping Transitions