SCG5501A | 12:00 - 1:50PM

Telecommunications for Artists I

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

This class will introduce students to possibilities for making artworks that utilize computer networks and other forms of interactive multimedia and telecommunications technologies. The course will outline the history of tele- and network communications and basic Internet technologies as well as forms and concepts of interactivity. We will examine aesthetic and technological possibilities for art works in the networked environment of the Internet. Through a series of projects, and discussions and readings, students will learn to work with these technologies, and to articulate their interests and concerns as artists working with them.

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

The following syllabus is subject to change. Field trips and guest speakers may be added.

Required Books:
  • Christiane Paul, Digital Art, Thames & Hudson, UK, 2003 [Book website]
  • Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort (Eds.), The New Media Reader, MIT Press, 2003

    Required course work:
  • A presentation (20 - 30 min.) on one of the topics on the syllabus; you will choose one of the topics on the syllabus and give your presentation during the class devoted to the topic of your choice.
  • A project developed over the course of the semester: you may create an art project or develop a proposal for an alternative interface; projects are due by the end of the semester.

    Week 1 (9/8)

    Guest lecture and introduction: Mary Flanagan

    Assignment for next week:
  • Digital Art: pp. 7-22, "Introduction;" "A Short History of Technology and Art"
  • New Media Reader: 54|791 Tim Berners-Lee et. al., The World-Wide Web
  • Further suggested Reading: New Media Reader:
    14|211 Four Selections by Experiments in Art and Technology
    17|247 From Software -- Information Technology, Its New Meaning for Art (exhibition at the Jewish Museum, 1970)

    Week 2 (9/15)

    Introduction to course: topics and course work.
    History of art and technology, and telecommunications art.
    Overview of tele- and network communications and Internet technologies.

  • History of the Internet pages:
    Hobbes' Internet Timeline
    A Little History of the World Wide Web
    Bruce Sterling, "History of the Internet"

  • Early Telecommunications Art:
    Liza Bear , Willoughby Sharp, Sharon Grace, Carl Loeffler Send/Receive (1979)
    Kit Galloway / Sherrie Rabinowitz, Satellite Arts Project 77
    Robert Adrian,Telecommunications Projects

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

  • Networks / Community Platforms:

    Assignment for next week:
  • Digital Art: pp. 111-124, "Internet art and nomadic networks"
  • New Media Reader: 02|35 Vannevar Bush, As We May Think
    08 | 93: Douglas Engelbart, From Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework
    16 | 231: Douglas Engelbart, William English "A Research Center for Augmenting Human Intellect / online information about the presentation
  • Choose a topic for your presentation

    Week 3 (9/22)

    Early concepts of interfaces and hypermedia. Desktop and GUI.
    History of Internet art and early net art projects.

  • Net art histories & maps:
    Martin Wattenberg, Idea Line
    Natalie Bookchin, A story of Netart
    Guggenheim Cyberatlas
    jodi,, after a network diagram, 1997.

  • Early net art Projects:
    Olia Lialina, teleportacia / My Boyfriend Came Back From The War / The Last Net Art Museum / Anna Karenin Goes To Paradise
    Heath Bunting, READ ME [Own, be owned, or remain invisible] /
    Alexei Shulgin, / Form Art Competition
    Vuk Cosic

    Assignment for next week:
  • Walter Benjamin, "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction"
  • New Media Reader: 43|625 Bill Nichols, The Work of Culture in the Age of Cybernetic Systems
  • Digital Art: pp. 67-71 "Digital Technologies as Medium," "Forms of Digital Art"

    Week 4 (9/29)

    Changing notions of the art object. Concepts of interactivity.
    'Interface culture' and alternative Web browsers. Recycling and reproduction of information.

  • Projects:
    Mark Napier, Potatoland
    Wattenberg/Walczak, mw2mw
    Andy Deck, artcontext / Icontext / Progressive Load
    Sawad Brooks/Beth Stryker, DissemiNET / Lapses & Erasures

  • 'Alternative' Web browsers:
    I/O/D, WebStalker
    Maciej Wisniewski, Netomat
    Mark Napier, Riot, Web Shredder
    Mark Daggett, Browser Gestures

  • 'Recycling' on the network:
    Janet Cohen, Keith Frank, John Ippolito, The Unreliable Archivist
    Amy Alexander, The Multicultural Recycler
    Maciej Wisniewski,Jackpot

    Assignment for next week:
  • New Media Reader: 11|133 Theodor Nelson, A File Structure for the Complex, the Changing and the Indeterminate; also see Theodor Nelson, Xanalogical Structure
  • Digital Art: pp. 189 - 196, "Beyond the book: text and narrative environments"
  • Further Suggested Reading: New Media Reader:
    12|147 Six Selections by the Oulipo
    42|613 Michael Joyce, "Siren Shapes: Exploratory and Constructive Hypertexts"
    48|691 Stuart Moulthrop, "You Say You Want a Revolution? Hypertext and the Laws of Media"
    52|761 Espen J. Aarseth, "Nonlinearity and Literary Theory"

    Week 5 (10/6)

    Hyperlinking and hypertext.

  • Wikis:
    Martin Wattenberg, Wiki History Flow

  • Online hypertexts and narrative environments:
    Darcey Steinke, Blindspot
    Yael Kanarek,World of Awe
    Mark Amerika, Grammatron
    Judd Morrissey, The Jew's Daughter
    Michael Crumpton, Nathan Fruin, Kristin Holcomb, Kirstin Kantner, Chris Spain, Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Duane Whitehurst, Gray Matters
    Eastgate Hypertext Resources

  • Non-Fiction Narrative Environments:
    Vivian Selbo, Carl Skelton, Tree Part 2: Before & After Geography, Ralph Lemon
    Patrick Lichty, Sprawl
    Margot Lovejoy, Turns
    360 Degrees

  • Semantic Projects:
    Visual Thesaurus
    Mary Flanagan, [search]

    Assignment for next week:
  • Digital Art: pp. 139-145, "Artificial Life"; pp. 146-153, "Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Agents"
  • New Media Reader:
    04|65 Norbert Wiener, "Men, Machines, and the World About"
    05|73 J.C.R. Licklider, "Man-Computer Symbiosis"
    03|49 Alan Turing, "Computing Machinery and Intelligence"
    24|367 Joseph Weizenbaum, From Computer Power and Human Reason
  • Suggested further reading:
    Jaron Lanier, "Agents of Alienation"
    New Media Reader: 41|599 Lucy Suchman, From Plans and Situated Actions

    Week 6 (10/13)

    Presentation: Yuli Ziv.
    Artificial intelligence and artificial life.

  • Digital evolution and 'artificial life':
    Karl Sims, Galapagos
    Rebecca Allen, Emergence
    Kenneth Rinaldo, Autopoiesis
    Christa Sommerer & Laurent Mignonneau, Life Spacies
    Tom Ray, Tierra
    Eduardo Kac, Genesis
    The Gene Media Forum

  • AI:
    Eliza, Computer Therapist
    Alice IA Foundation
    Ken Feingold, If/Then (2001), Sinking Feeling (2001)
    David Rokeby, The Giver of Names
    Harold Cohen, Aaron / also see
    Gabor Papp, Connoisseur
    Heide, Onesandzeros, Pocock, Stehle, Unmovie

  • Agent projects:
    Noah Wardrip-Fruin + Adam Chapman, Impermanence Agent / Agent Intro
    Robert Nideffer, PROXY Portal / Agent Application / MUE/MOO help / overview of MAM system
    Jenny Marketou, Smell.Bytes
    Amy Alexander, The Bot
    MIT Medialab Agents group
    MIT AI Lab

  • Autonomous characters / Cellular Automata / Particle Worlds:
    Steering behaviours for autonomous characters
    Mirek's Java Cellebration
    Particle World
    Computer Visualization of the Marine Environment
    The Computational Beauty of Nature

    Assignment for next week:
  • Digital Art: pp. 174-189, "Databases, data visualization and mapping"
  • Lev Manovich, Database as a Symbolic Form
  • Benjamin Fry, Organic Information Design

    Week 7 (10/20)

    Presentation: Heayeon Yoon.
    Mapping and database visualization; database aesthetics.
    Sound projects

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

  • Mapping and database visualization:
    Atlas of Cyberspace

    Martin Wattenberg & Marek Walczak, Apartment
    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
    Ben Fry, Valence
    Bradford Paley, TextArc
    Mary Flanagan, [collection]
    Alex Galloway & RSG, Carnivore
    Mark Watkins, Manhattan Timeformations

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

    Mapping Communication
    Warren Sack, Conversation Map Judith Donath, Chat Circles

    Mapping Transitions

    Assignment for next week:
  • Digital Art: pp. 96-111, "Film, video, and animation"
  • New Media Reader: 44|643 Lynn Hershman, "The Fantasy Beyond Control"
  • Further suggested reading:
    Lev Manovich, Cinema and Telecommunication/Distance and Aura (1999)
  • Lev Manovich, What is Digital Cinema? (1995)
  • Lev Manovich, Cinema and Digital Media (1995)

    Week 8 (10/27)

    Presentation: Lexia Snow.
    Streaming media. Digital cinema.

  • Digital Cinema
    Future Cinema: The Cinematic Imaginary After Film

    Online Projects:
    Mark Amerika, Filmtext
    Jennifer & Kevin MCoy, 201, A Space Algorithm
    Nick Crowe, Discrete Packets
    David Blair, WAXWEB

    ASCII movies:
    ASCII Art Ensemble
    Cory Arcangel, Urbandale

    Toni Dove, Artificial Changelings / Spectropia / Sally
    Luc Courchesne, The Visitor, Living by Numbers
    Jennifer & Kevin MCoy, Every Shot, Every Episode / Every Anvil / How I learned

    Web Cinema / Internet as Distribution Medium:
    New Venue
    Daniel Garcia Andujar, Technologies to the People Video Collection

    Assignment for next week:
  • Digital Art: pp. 154-164, Telepresence, telematics, and telerobotics
  • Ken Goldberg, The Unique Phenomenon of a Distance (Introduction from The Robot in the Garden, MIT Press)

    Week 9 (11/3)

    Telepresence and telerobotics.

  • Telepresence and telerobotics:
    Ken Goldberg et. al., Telegarden
    June Houston, Ghost Watcher
    Steve Mann, Wireless Wearable Webcam
    Parkbench, Alice sat here / / Alice sat here
    Eric Paulos, John Canny, PRoP -- Personal Roving Presence
    Fakeshop, Fakeshop / Capsule Hotel
    Wolfgang Staehle, Empire 24/7
    Adrianne Wortzel, Camouflage Town
    Eduardo Kac, Rara Avis / Uirapuru / Teleporting an Unknown State

    Telematic Connections: The Virtual Embrace

  • Telerobots:
    Xavier, Carnegie Mellon
    Yahoo robots directory

    Assignment for next week:
  • Digital Art: pp. 165-174, "Body and identity"
  • New Media Reader: 35|515 Donna Haraway, "A Cyborg Manifesto"

    Week 10 (11/10)

    Guest lecture: John Klima

    Week 11 (11/17)

    Presentation: Sang Joon Han.
    Cyberbodies, avatars, self, and identity in the networked environment.

  • Cyberbody/Identity Projects:
    Victoria Vesna, Bodies, Inc. / Notime / Datamining Bodies: Project Documentation -- online version (under construction)
    Tina Laporta, Distance / eye2ear / Dystopia / Re:mote
    Mouchette, / Flesh&Blood
    Shu Lea Chang, Brandon
    Mark Daggett, Analysis Engine

  • Avatar Projects:
    Desktop Theater
    The ABC Experiment

    Assignment for next week:
  • Digital Art: pp. 204-211, "Tactical media, activism and hacktivism"
  • New Media Reader: 53|781 Critical Art Ensemble, "Nomadic Power and Cultural Resistance"
  • Suggested further reading:
    Patrick Lichty, Grasping at Bits
    Robbin Murphy, "Artists and Legal Ambiguity on the Internet"

    Week 12 (11/24)

    Presentation: Elsa Tu.
    Net activism, tactical media hacktivism and cultural hacking.
    Intellectual Properties.

  • Net Activism :
    Heath Bunting,
    Ricardo Dominguez, floodnet
    Harwood [Mongrel], Tate online
    Josh On & Futurefarmers, They Rule
    Institute for Applied Autonomy
    Critical Art Ensemble
    Natalie Jeremijenko
    Bureau of Inverse Technologies

  • Exhibitions:
    I LOVE YOU - computer_viruses_hacker_culture

  • Legal Ambiguity:
    Documenta X
    Antonio Muntadas, The File Room

  • General:
    Creative Commons
    Berkman Center for Internet & Society

    Assignment for next week:
  • Lev Manovich, The Aesthetics of Virtual Worlds
  • Digital Art: pp. 196-204, "Gaming"
  • New Media Reader:
    46|663 Chip Morningstar and F. Randall Farmer, "The Lessons of Lucasfilm's Habitat"
    34|499 Sherry Turkle, "Video Games and Computer Holding Power"
    38|563 Brenda Laurel, "The Six Elements and the Causal Relations Among Them" / "Star Raiders: Dramatic Interaction in a Small World"
  • Further suggested readings:
    Mary Flanagan "navigating the narrative in space: gender and spatiality in virtual worlds"
    DAC Melbourne Papers:
    Espen Aarseth, "Playing Research: Methodological approaches to game analysis"
    Tiffany Holmes, "Arcade Classics Spawn Art? Current Trends in the Art Game Genre"
    Ben Hourigan, "The Utopia of Open Space in Role-Playing Videogames"
    Mikael Jakobsson, "The Sopranos Meets EverQuest: Social Networking in Massively Multiplayer Online Games"
    Eddo Stern, "A Touch of Medieval: Narrative, Magic and Computer Technology in Massively Multiplayer Computer Role-Playing Games"

    Week 13 (12/1)

    Presentation: Chun-Chia Ho(gaming).
    Networked multi-user environments, MUDs, MOOs; 3D-Worlds and VRML.

  • 3D Worlds:
    Active Worlds
    Adobe Atmosphere
    Digital Space
  • Artist-created 3D Worlds:
    Melinda Rackham, Empyrean
    Meet Factory / Conversations with Angels
  • Graphic Chat Rooms:
    The Palace
    Desktop Theater
  • MUDs/MOOs:
    Yahoo MUD, MOO Directory
    LambdaMOO Programmer's Manual
    Unofficial LambdaMOO Beginners Quick Reference
    The Lost Library of MOO

  • (Multi-User) Games:
    Will Wright/Electronic Arts, The Sims

  • Current exhibitions:
    Firstdraft Gallery, Sydney, Australia, Plaything
    Games, curated by Tilman Baumgäertel
    Institute for Contemporary Art, Cape Town, South Africa, (re:Play), curated by Radioqalia
    New Museum of Contemporary Art, Killer Instinct

  • Artist-created (multi-user) games & game mods:
    Natalie Bookchin, Intruder / Metapet
    Eric Zimmerman + Word, Sissyfight 2000
    John Klima, ecogame / Jack & Jill
    Feng Mengbo, Q4U
    Anne-Marie Schleiner, Velvet-Strike
    JODI, SOD / Untitled Game / Wolfenstein version of My Boyfriend...
    Tom Betts, q-q-q
    Escape from Woomera
    Bush Mechanics

  • General info

    Assignment for next week:
  • Digital Art: pp. 71-96, "Installation;" pp. 125-132 "Virtual reality and augmented reality"
  • New Media Reader: 25|377 Myron Krueger, "Responsive Environments"
  • Digital Art: pp. 132-137, "Sound and Music"

    Week 14 (12/8)

    First presentation of final projects

    Presentation: Keunyoung Oh.
    Immersive environments and interactive installations. Virtual Reality.
    Sound projects.

  • (Networked) installation projects:
    Eduardo Kac, Uirapuru, Rara Avis, Darker than Night, Teleporting an Unknown State
    Jeffrey Shaw
    John Klima, Go Fish
    Bill Seaman, Projects
    Masaki Fujihata, Projects
    Perry Hoberman, Projects
    Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Projects
    George Legrady, Pockets Full of Memories
    Camille Utterback
    Char Davies, Osmose / Ephemere

  • Sound Projects:
    John Klima, glasbead
    Stephen Vitiello, Tetrasomia
    Golan Levin, Dialtones, Scribble, Audio-Visual Environment Suite
    Tom Betts, BitmapSequencer
    ixi software, Connector
    G.H. Hovagimyan & Peter Sinclair, Soap Opera for Laptops

  • Interfaces:
    MIT Aesthetics + Computation Group

    Assignment for next week:
  • Digital Art: pp. 23-27, "The presentation, collection and preservation of digital art"
  • Switch Issue No. 17, [Rivets + Denizens] Collaborative Curatorial Models in Theory and Practice
  • Digital Art: pp. 212-215, "Technologies of the future"

    Week 15 (10/15)

    Final presentation of projects
    Presenting and preserving new media art, the virtual museum, collecting and storing visual data.
    Technologies of the Future.

  • Virtual Museums
    Image Collections:
    Mark Harden, Artchive (" Museum of Art")
    Nicholas Pioch, "WebMuseum" ("Le WebLouvre")
    Art Museum Image Consortium (AMICO)
    Virtual Tours:
    Philadelphia Museum of Art, Brancusi's Mademoiselle Pogany
    Frick Collection Virtual Tour
    Sydney Opera Virtual Tour
    Mini MOMA
    Virtual Museum Models:
    Guggenheim Virtual Museum
    Whitney Artport
    Rhizome Artbase

  • Collaborative Curating:
    Switch Magazine, Collaborative Curatorial Models in Theory and Practice
    Your Show Here

    Student projects:
    Heayeon Yoon,

    Yen Chiao Tu,

    Keunyoung Oh,

    Sang Joon Han, /

    Yuli Ziv

    Previous student projects:
  • Su Xian Wu, hypertext narrative
  • Sangjin Eom, Positive and Negative