Assignment Descriptions

Due Dates

A0. Hello World! - 11:59pm Jan 17
A1. Self Portrait - 11:59pm on Jan 26
A2. Short Essay - 11:59pm Jan 31
A3. Future of News - 11:59pm Feb 7
A4. Project Proposal - 11:59pm Feb 28
A5. Processing Monster - 11:59pm Mar 14

A0. Hello World!

For this assignment you will design and implement a basic website to hold your work for the quarter. This site should have your name at the top of an intro/landing page with your section and TA, and links to 5 subpages (titled Assignment 1, Assignment 2, Assignment 3, etc.) to hold each of your assignments. Your subpages do not need to hold any content yet.
Skills: ftp/sftp to remote server, basic html tags including the h1, a and img tags. Upload files to server and send an accurate link to your TA.

Email link to your TA by 11:59p Jan 17. If you are having trouble uploading your files, you can still get some credit for your work by emailing your work in a zip file before the deadline.

A1. Self Portrait

Make a one page, collaged self portrait with found images, links and text with HTML. Without using any photos of yourself, and using Burroughs' cut-up method, and Tzara's recipe, create a self portrait that considers your relationship to digital media. Do you embrace the medium wholeheartedly? Are you sometimes alienated from it, and how? Use at least 10 images, 10 links and found text. You may conduct certain internet searches that speak to your relationship with digital media. You may also want to use a word processing program to assemble your text, links and images before translating this into HTML (NOTE: do NOT have your word-processing program write the code - it will make awful code and your grade will reflect this). Your Self Portrait links may link to pages of your website or point to external sites.
Skills: HTML: img tag, a tag. Some CSS.

Concepts: Authorship, Chance operations, Generative art
Link to the Assignment 1 page of your website. Email link to your TA.
A1 due by 11:59pm on Jan 26.

A2. Short Essay

Write a 250-500 word response paper to one of the artworks encountered so far in the syllabus, the readings, or in lecture. Describe how this project was implemented - what hardware did it run on? What code was used? Describe how the piece is engaged by an audience. Is it passively viewed, or interactive? What does it ask from the viewer? Put this into dialogue with one assigned reading.
Email PDF or word doc to your TA. Link to the A2 page of your website, pasting in the text, or linking a PDF file.
A2 due by 11:59pm Jan 31.

A3. Hypertext or Future of News

OPTION 1) - Using pieces of javascript available (mouse over option or mouse click option -- choose one or the other), create a branching narrative using the text from The Garden of Forking Paths by Jorge Luis Borges. Your work must use at least 10 images of your own, or that have an open license, such as those that are properly licensed on Flickr or Creative Commons.
Concepts: Branching narrative, hypertext, narratemes

OPTION 2) - Create a continuation of Epic 2014, projecting into the future, to 2024. How will personalized news media have evolved? Are people increasingly disconnected from each other? Is the majority of the population informed about major international news events? What is the effect? Are people more engaged or less engaged in local politics? Are populations of news readers responsive to news events or are they passive listeners? Make a webpage that operates like an historical news archive, that sequentially explains the history of online news from 2014 to 2024. Use pieces of javascript available (mouse over option or click option -- choose one or the other). Concepts: Hypertext, Participatory journalism, Social networks, Centralized vs decentralized news, Ownership Skills: CSS, Implementation of javascript. Managing multiple files with HTML, CSS, and javascript.

A3 due by 11:59pm Feb 7

A4. Project Proposal

Write a 1000 word text, with one image, proposing a digital media artwork. This would be something you would submit to an open call for art commissions, or as a grant proposal. Here is an Honorable Mention to Ars Electronica that can give you an idea of the structure your paper should take: Your paper must include:
  • A brief summary of the concept;
  • An image or logo that gives the reader a quick understanding of the project - this is sometimes called a parti;
  • A longer description of the concept and its realization in detail (production plan including hardware and software requirements);
  • A list of tasks including notation specifying which tasks are to be completed by the grant recipient and which require support;
  • references: You must engage in a substantial manner with at least two key readings from the course. (Therefore, at a minimum, your "works cited" list at the end of your paper (i.e., your references or bibliography section) should include the author, title, etc. of at least two texts.) By key reading you must use one that is of sufficient length and substance. If you are not sure about what this might mean, ask your Instructor or your TA. "In a substantial manner" means that you must demonstrate an understanding of the readings through paraphrase, summary, and direct quotation. You must do more than pull quotes from the readings, and you must use them in support of your proposal.
    Email PDF or word doc to your TA. Link to the A4 page of your website, pasting in the text, or linking a PDF file.
    A4 due by 11:59pm Feb 28

    A5. Processing Monsters

    Lukas Vojir started making processing monsters in order to learn how to use processing and promote code sharing. The rules for making a processing monster are simple: Strictly black and white and mouse reactive. Vojir has a gallery of monsters: (3/5 :: please note: unfortunately LV has taken down source code for monsters since this assignment was posted. going through the initial processing tutorials will help you to make basic shapes however, and should set you on your way to making a basic monster).
    To complete this project you will need to download processing from (processing is on the computers in Com 11). Look at the monsters on Vojir's page and then play around with creating your own. If you are familiar with java then processing will be familiar for you. If you are new coding and / or java then I suggest you download processing right away, now, and begin experimenting.

    A tip to those new to processing: Try some of the tutorials on before you get started with your monster. Achieve mouse reactivity first, using a simple shape, then draw. The tutorial go from drawing to mouse reactivity, which might tempt you to spend a lot of time drawing, but in order to achieve mouse reactivity in just nine weeks, skip to that after drawing a simple shape. A risk with drawing first and working toward mouse reactivity second is that you will draw something so complex that you will not know how to make it mouse reactive.

    To turn in the project: Compose a short (1-2 paragraph) description of your monster and your script and attach it to a commented and (hopefully) working prototype of your monster. We'll go over how to export and post your processing files in class. If any of the monsters in Vojir's gallery inspired your monster, credit them in both your code (as comments) and in your description. If your code does not run you can still receive full credit for this assignment if you write an excellent description of your design. Conversely, even if your code does run, you will not receive full credit for this assignment if your written description of your design is poorly composed or too short and cryptic to be understood.

    A good description of a script design will include at least the following three parts:
    1. A well commented code: your code should be heavily commented even if it does not work. You should explain in your comments what the important lines of code do or are meant to do.
    2. A description of the work planned and / or accomplished "behind the screen." Even if your program does not run, you should outline its structure and dynamics. Explain each of the elements that constitute the structural pieces of the sketch. Comment on the functions implemented in javascript in order to explain how the elements work.
    3. A description of the work, as it is intended to be understood and implemented by a user; i.e., an explanation of the work any user will have to do "in front of the screen." It should be possible for most anyone to read this short description of the work and then be able to use your script and understand its purpose In short, it should read as a simple "user's manual" for your script.

    A5 due by 11:59pm Mar 14

    A Note on the Grading of Creative Projects:

    Your Creative Projects will be graded on a 10-point scale:
    3 - Perceptual: Is the project creative, artful, visually intelligent, reflexive or self-aware, participatory, some or all of these things? Has the student stepped out of her comfort zone to produce something challenging?
    3 - Conceptual: Do the project and statement work together to convey thoughtful engagement with course materials and historical and / or contemporary influences?
    3 - Technical: Is the design (including code) functional, elegant, commented? Has the student extended her code literacy and / or embraced a new technological process?
    1 - Challenge, innovation, exceptional merit.