DM150: Introduction to Activating Environments and Objects


Jill Miller
Eric Paulos

Teaching Assistant:

Chris Beckmann
Jordan Stein


Spring 2005

MW: 4:15 - 7:00 pm

Room: Studio 9

SYLLABUS        PROJECTS       GRADING          BOOKS          LINKS


This course is designed for students who are new to working within a technologically enhanced art practice. The goal of this course is to create an environment where artists are comfortable approaching and implementing new technologies into their individual art works. This course will not focus on design aesthetics and software mastery. Instead, this course will be conducted as a series of experiments for artists who want to explore and integrate technology into their artwork. The class will divide its time between the hands-on experience of building technologically based art works as well as critically examining “intent” and discussing how these projects fit into contemporary art history.

There will be interactive workshops throughout the course that will involve instruction and development of basic electronic and hardware skills including working with small microcontrollers, sensors, motors, and other actuators. Students will experiment and produce simple physical projects with these skills using modern, small, low cost, low power computers called Motes. A basic introduction to programming will be provided during the course.

We will also examine how new technologies have impacted the way artists observe and interpret the world. Projects completed in class will be contextualized within criticism and theory. This will also help students understand the types of art that are informed by (or are a response to) contemporary culture and its digitization, specifically in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. As our everyday lives become more dependent on technology, artists are embracing, rejecting, or implementing technological advances in their own work. This class will explore the patterns and concepts that have emerged (often as "fringe culture") as the paths between technology and art have begun to converge. The course will result in a final show of student experimental electronic projects.