Advanced Digital Media


A continued investigation and further development of the practice of making art using digital media. Students may choose to pursue advanced projects in either interactive design or motion graphics. Emphasis will be placed on developing an individual studio practice through studio work, critical and art-historical readings, and writing.

In this course each student will work for an entire semester developing one digital media project from conception to execution. Every two weeks students will present their project for a critique from their peers and visiting artists. While the central work of the class is the creation and refining of the project we will also work with texts and pieces of art to support and enrich each artist’s practice.  We will look at primary texts including artist statements, interviews, manifestos, artist talks, exhibitions, and individual works. These texts will help us start to answer the questions that shape the contemporary art world. Why do we make art? Where does it come from? What role does the audience play in our work? How does commerce change the role of art? As a class we will try to address these questions while also trying to establish each student’s individual voice in the conversation.


By the end of this course a student who has completed the course successfully will be able to:

  • Use digital media and design tools and techniques to produce advanced motion graphic, animation, or interactive projects
  • Create digital artwork that expresses a clear and individual voice
  • Present a close analysis of an artist’s work orally
  • Develop a list of artists and writers that influence their work
  • Critically analyze and contextualize their work and the work of other digital media artists
  • Think critically about the artists that create a historical and theoretical context for their work


  • Materials needed to complete individual project
  • Subscription to (provided)
  • External hard drive
  • Headphones
  • Sketch book and pencil


Your final grade will be compiled from the grades you receive on your work throughout the semester.

Each grade will be weighted as follows:

Participation: 10%
Research: 10%
Reading Responses 10%
Presentation 5%
Group Critiques 15%
Midterm Project 25%
Final Project 25%

The ability to speak for yourself and your work is one of the most important skills a digital media artist has. In this class there will be many forums for you to practice speaking, including discussions of texts and presentations, critical conversations about artists’ work, and peer critiques. Your participation in these activities will be taken into account in your final grade. If you are distracted in class by your cell phone or work from another class this will also be factored into this grade.

For this assignment you will be constructing a digital file of artists and writers that shape your work by adding a new name to your file every week. Your file can take any form—it can be virtual like a blog or physical like a journal. It just needs enough space for 12 entries and you must post each entry to your student page on this website. Each entry can receive up to three points:one for timeliness, one for completeness, and one for posting it online.

Reading Responses
For this assignment you will be responding to readings and time-based work and posting your response on our website. Each response will be due by the midnight the night before class. Responses should try to situate the readings and viewings within the creative work we are doing in class. The responses will be evaluated by the depth of the analysis, the quality of the writing, and the unique or creative view you present of the material. Responses can receive either an A, C, or F.

Each student will be responsible for presenting the work of one artist to the class. Your presentation will be fifteen minutes and include information about the background of the artist, close readings of their work, and analysis of the critical and historical context for their work. Presentations can receive either an A, C, or F.


Your project will be evaluated in two different ways.

Group Critique
Each student will receive a grade every two weeks for the work shown in the critique. The work can receive either an A, C, or F based on the progress the student has made, whether the student has met their goals, and the amount of work shown. This grade is way of checking in with each artist and making sure that the project is moving forward.

Midterm Project/Final Project
We will schedule individual mid-term and final critiques in the middle and end of the semester. The individual critique is an important opportunity to ask questions and think about the progress of your work in the class.

Each project will be evaluated on the following criteria:

Does the project have strong aesthetic and formal qualities?

Conceptual Framework–40%
Are the concepts or ideas behind the project original, thoughtful and well organized?

Technical skill and technique–20%
Does the project use techniques and skills that are challenging? Does the project demonstrate a mastery of the skills and techniques?


In this class I will create workshops and tutorials to address the individual technical needs of the class. If you want to go beyond these skills you can use the resources available to teach yourself (, If you use skills that are not covered in class the rule that I use in all my classes is that if you get yourself in, you must get yourself out. This does not mean that I do not encourage these explorations. I think they are where some of the richest and most interesting work can happen—I just cannot be responsible for techniques that I haven’t covered.


Attendance in this class is critical. In each class you will learn tools and techniques and discuss ideas that you will build upon in subsequent classes. I keep track of attendance by passing around a sign-in sheet at the beginning of class. If your name is not on the sheet you will be considered absent. I do not distinguish between excused and unexcused absences—instead I consider how the classes and content you have missed will impact your success in the course. Each student is allowed up to three absences. If you have missed more than three classes each additional absence will result in a ten-point deduction from your final grade.

Frequent lateness will also have a negative effect on your performance in the course: every three latenesses will be considered equal to one absence. If you are not in class you must review the material on the website and get notes from a classmate since you are still responsible for the material covered in class as well as any in class assignments. You can also visit my office during my office hours to get an overview of what I went over in class.


In order to complete the assignments for this class, you must be prepared to work independently during the hours that the lab is open. The Digital Media Lab is reserved for students enrolled in Digital Media classes. The lab will be open 24 hours a day and on weekends during the semester through swipe access. We have a lab assistant who is available to help you on your projects; their hours will be posted the first week of classes. You may not use the lab when other classes are in session without prior permission. It is important to familiarize yourself with the lab schedule that is posted on the door to the lab and on the website.


I created this website to accommodate the changing needs of this class. All of the lectures, projects, and workshops that are discussed in class will be on this website. If class is canceled or you are absent you can check the website to see what you need to do for the next class. This is also an excellent resource to review skills and concepts.


In this course there are many opportunities for lively discussion and debate. However it is important to think about how your comments may impact other members of the class. When you speak you must speak respectfully of all people–including your peers and myself. In this class we will work to create an environment that is intellectually safe and has a spirit of collaboration and trust.

Turn off all cell phones and other potentially distracting noise makers during class. Pay attention to what we are doing in class and take notes. Be polite, respectful, and attentive while others are speaking.


If you are a student with a disability and believe you will need academic accommodation, you must formally request accommodation from Meg Hegener, Coordinator for Student Access Services.  You will also need to provide documentation which verifies the existence of a disability and supports your request.  For further information, please call 580-8150 or stop by the office of Student Academic Services in Starbuck Center.


I want each of you to be successful in this class. I want you to make work that that inspires you and your peers. I want you to push me and the other students to find new ways of approaching the materials and the tools we are using. I want you to emerge an innovative and creative digital media artist. I am here to support you in these goals. If you have any questions, small or large, technical or conceptual, please come see me. I have office hours that are posted on this website but I can also make an appointment to meet with you at another time that is more convenient. We also have a Teaching Assistant who can help you with technical issues that arise when I am not at school. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you are having trouble or need help.





Individual discussions
Set up of space
Sign up for blog
Individual Presentation of Work


Research 1 due
Discussion of Reading Topics
Individual Presentation of Project and Timeline


Research 2 due
Critique: Group 1


Artist: Ken Ragsdale
Research 3 due
Critique: Group 2


Discussion: How do artists make art?
Readings: Duane Michaels, Carol Bove
Research 4 due
Critique: Group 1
Duane Michals lecture
Opportunities: Artist talk, Pizza Party, Art Party, Bus Trip, Pixel Project


Research 5 due
Proposals due
Critique: Group 2


Discussion: What role do history and research play in the art-making process?
Readings: Jeff Wall, Thomas Lawson
Presentations: William Kentridge and Jacolby Satterwhite
Research 5 due
Midterm Signup

Critique: Group 1


Spring Break

Spring Break


Discussion: How does failure shape the art we make?
Readings: Sandage, Watzlawick, Bell, Cai Guo Qiang
Visiting Artist: Shana ParkeHarrison
Research 6 due
Critique: Group 2


Discussion: How do artists collaborate?
Readings: Ann Hamilton and Kathryn Clark, Tracey Emin and Harland Miller
Presentations: Gregory Crewdson, Hubbard/Birchler
Research 7 due
Critique: Group 1


Visiting Artist: Jeff Malmberg
Research 8 due

Critique: Group 2


Discussion: How do words shape our understanding of art?
Readings: Susan Hiller, Edward Tufte
Research 9 due
Critique: Group 1


Discussion: How does the site/space/audience of a piece of art change the way we see it?
Readings: Olafur Eliasson, Ray Johnson, Jonas Mekas
Presentations: Stefan Sagmeister, Jan Svankmajer, Camille Henrot, Bill Viola
Research 10 due
Critique: Group 2


Discussion: What happens to art after we make it?
Readings: The Custodians, Hollis Frampton
Presentations: Cory Archangel
Research 11 due
Critique: Group 1


Critique: Group 2