Fall 2020 Digital Studio: Distribution and Intervention

Professor: Margaretha Haughwout | Online Office Hours: W 12:00-1:30p, Th 12:00-1:30 (or by appt. sign-up here) | Email: mhaughwout at colgate dot edu

Paul Baran, Types of Networks (for the Rand Corporation, a think tank hired by the US Army)

Meeting Time:
Class: Tuesday & Thursday 9:20-11:10a, Online
Digital Connections:
Course website:http://beforebefore.net/digitalstudio/f20/
Slack: digitalstudiofall20.slack.com
Zoom: All our meetings will happen via this link, password will be sent via Slack.
Skitch (free) for mac and windows
Code editor (see Resources page for list of options)
ftp client like filezilla (see Resources page for list of options)

Course Description
An introduction to digital art that covers a selection of digital art practices, including reproducible art, networked and telematic art, mapping and countermapping, kits, multiples, fabrication, DIY, and interventionist practices. Students work with digital tools such as vector and raster programs, web languages, and fabrication to produce and distribute art that can operate inside and outside the gallery. The internet, for instance, is considered as a distribution platform and as a potential exhibition space. In working with existing media and technology such as surveillance, students employ "creative misuse" to make playful, humorous, and poignant contemporary artworks. Students are encouraged to explore concepts and programs beyond the basics; group and individual projects will require both rigorous concept development and proficiency in technology.
We consider these topics through creative projects, group critiques, discussions, readings and studio time.

To acquire creative skills using code, data, networked platforms, fabrication, creative misuse, and print multiples ... To understand and employ digital practice in relation to networks ... To see and employ a 21st-century art practice less as a thing & more as a process ... To understand the kinds of problems digital art and new media address, expose, complicate and solve ... To understand some of the political, participatory, and social contexts for digital practice ... To complicate the division between art and logic ... To connect a digital practice to relationships, networks, and systems beyond the screen ... To empower bourgeoning artists with tools to enact artistic interventions in the everyday

Learning and Support
Skills and Ability: We all learn in our own ways. While many different kinds of engagement with the course material are required, some of us will move through this class more conceptually, some more perceptually, others more technically, still others more rationally. Some will process the material in solitary ways, while others may be quite vocal. I expect to see visual, auditory, and linear learners. Please talk to me as soon as you can about the ways I can support your learning modes. If you do not have a documented disability, but feel you need some help, do remember that the Center for Learning, Teaching and Research is available to you (http://www.colgate.edu/centers-and-institutes/center-for-learning-teaching-and-research). Your success in this class is important to me.

Access and Assistance with Digital Tools: There are also a number of labs and monitors who can help you in Little Hall and the Library. The Digital Lab Output room, Little Hall 208, and Little Hall 113, as well as Ryan 101 all have the software you will need for this class, and will be cleaned regularly. Mark Williams, mrwilliams@colgate.edu, is the lab monitor and his office is right beside Little Hall 208. He can help you with ANY questions about tools you have. Labs are open every day, and we will also have monitors in 208 and 113 from 4-11p every evening. Kevin Donlin has been hired to work the evening shifts through the first two weeks of GATE 1, he's here M-Thursday, 7-11; Sunday 1-5 & 7-11. If you need to get into a room and it's locked or if you need assistance, you can text him 315-750-9922.

Assignment Descriptions & Grade Breakdown
/participation 15%. Your participation grade covers your attendance and your upbeat, dynamic engagement in classes and class activities. Major points for actively referring to specific excerpts from that week's reading! If you are generally quiet in class, or otherwise concerned about how I might perceive your engagement, come see me so we can strategize your participation so that it is comfortable yet challenging to you, and trackable for me.
Another note on participation: Learning digital tools and processes can be hard and sometimes intimidating. We must ask questions, and yet for some reason we are scared to (why?). In this class I will reward you if you keep asking questions until you get it, just as much as those of you who are eager to help your peers. We often need to hear something explained in a different way in order to understand, so everyone's attention and participation during lessons and project development are needed and deeply valued.
/a1. 5% Website to hold work for the semester
/a2. 15% Online Dataportrait (Self Portrait for a Spy)
/a3. 15% Nonlinear or interactive narrative
/a4. 5% Copyright and the commons
/a5. 15% Map one thing
/a6. 20% Map one thing continued
/a7. 10% Digital Response: We will use Slack in this class to share our work with one another, and to post 4 responses to the week's readings and artworks. Reading + Artwork responses can be both visual and/or written. It must be clear that the texts have been read; if the primary response is through visual material, consider adding bullet points that connect the image to the reading so it is clear your are grappling with the texts. You can also upload audio recordings. Post to the #readingresponses channel in Slack.
You may only submit one response a week, so budget your responses throughout the semester so that you aren't scrambling to complete your responses the last few weeks of class. Submit the Friday after the reading is due, by 11:59p.

General Grading Rubric:
Conceptual: A good concept is a new perspective on a problem, a creative solution to a problem, and/or a deepening and complication of a problem. Artwork that evidences conceptual labor draws from readings, class conversations and lectures, political savvy, and profound observation. In this course, try and look at things differently than usual, and explore what is means to be comfortably uncomfortable and uncomfortably comfortable. Cultivate a curiosity that makes you brim with ideas.
Technical:The technical work of an assignment includes the steps we take to accomplish our vision or goal or concept. In this class we will spend a lot of time with code and other digital tools, which require a lot of attention to step by step processes -- this attention will impact your grade positively. Care, effort, attention and awareness of process are qualities of the technical.
Perceptual: Understanding formal visual aesthetics, social form, interactive aesthetics, and strategies for audience engagement with artworks are a part of this course. How does it look? How does the audience engage with this work? How do the aesthetics reflect the conceptual aspects of the project? The care that you put into your work in the finishing stages is also included within the category of the perceptual, and is essential, reflecting the level of importance you give to your work.

How I Characterize Grades:
A -- Excellent. Student exhibits exemplary conceptual, perceptual and technical ability with assignments, and in class. Student demonstrates a close engagement with artworks and readings reviewed in class. All work is lucid and engaging.
B -- Good. Student completes assignments, and demonstrates a creative grasp of most of the main aspects of each lesson, but not all. Is able to express ideas well.
C -- Satisfactory. Student completes the assignment but may lack enthusiasm or drive to push the work into a detailed conceptual or perceptual space. Student does not demonstrate knowledge of readings, lectures or other visual material. Problems exist in student's work, or the work is underdeveloped.
D -- Unsatisfactory. Student does not complete the work as assigned. Substantial problems exist in student's work.
F -- Fail. Student does not submit work, or work is below unsatisfactory level.

The readings for this course are made available through the course website or handouts
Don't forget to hit the Resources page frequently for technical tutorials, howtos, etc.

Requirements, Policies, and Thoughts on being 'present'
Zoom: Learning via Zoom is a less-than-ideal solution designed to protect ourselves and others from a deadly virus. We will use it as creatively as we can. It is one way for us to be together and consider the possibilities for our creative practice. It is not the only way. Our online and digital practice will be offset by a deep and abiding consideration of place. The places and contexts in which we work and think and dream. For most of us, that will be Hamilton, NY. We will continue to attempt to rethink how we can share artworks in a time of great uncertainty, anxiety, and fear while leaving space and time for both learning and grieving.
Zoom accessibility: Avoiding neoliberal cliches that recast this very real crisis as an "opportunity for growth," I ask each of you to think about what serves you best right now and to communicate your needs via direct message on Slack, or one-on-one meetings during my office hours. While I won't be able to accommodate every single request, I would like to acknowledge that many of you don't have access to high-speed internet, private and quiet learning environments, personal laptops, printers, and screens -- and many of the other things that an in-person education takes for granted. By using a hybrid model, including synchronous and asynchronous teaching (e.g., recorded lectures alongside weekly group sessions), I'm hoping to provide a flexible learning environment.
Attendance via Zoom: If you lose internet connectivity during class, don't panic. First, try to restart your router and reconnect. If this is impossible, send me an email and make sure to watch the recording of the session. If you're on-campus, ITS can help solve technical problems. You can call them at 315-228-7111 or email them at itshelp@colgate.edu.
A Zoom class requires mutual listening in a safe environment. Don't share a Zoom link with anyone. Make sure to sign in a few minutes ahead of time, and once you join a session, double check that your camera is on and your microphone is muted. Please contact me if having the camera on is a challenge or a problem for class.
While you're allowed to choose a virtual background, please don't use anything distracting or offensive. Consider choosing a background that relates to the weekly readings and class' topics.
Your Zoom name should be your full, real name. If you wish, you may add your preferred pronoun. The use of derogatives, slurs, or any other content as your Zoom name will lead to your immediate removal from the session.
Class attendance is mandatory. 3 unexcused absences may result in a 10% reduction of your overall grade. 6 missed classes may result in a fail. 3 lates equal one absence.
Digital Devices We will frequently use digital devices in this class, which means the temptation for distraction will be high for all of us. At the same time, we will often be learning technical processes that require our full attention in order to master. Use the SelfControl app by Steve Lampert to limit possible distractions. Please turn of email, chat, and app notifications during class.
Communicate If your life takes a difficult turn, seek out resources and be proactive. Things only become more difficult if skipping classes becomes the operative means of coping. Communication is key.
- If you are an athlete, be organized and communicate. Give each of your professors a schedule at the start of the term, and discuss how any absences will be addressed.

Email Netiquette
Netiquette, Noun: 1. The social code of network communication. 2. The social and moral code of the internet based on the human condition and Golden Rule of Netiquette. 3. A philosophy of effective internet communication that utilizes common conventions and norms as a guide for rules and standards.
In your subject header, include a couple of words about your question/comment -- ie:

subject: Digital Studio assignment question

Allow for a 24 hour response time from the professor (if it is urgent, please put URGENT in the subject header for quicker response time)

One Other Thing
This syllabus is subject to change at the professor's discretion.