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VIS 145A / ICAM 102


Spring 2007

Instructor Contact Information:

Jeff Knowlton 661-555-1212
e-mail: kn***lton(-#-)
Please include "ICAM 102" in your subject line, so you don't get deleted.
Skype name:je**knowlton

Office Hours: Monday, 4 - 5 PM
(e-mailing ahead is a good idea.)


Teaching Assistants: Unknown at writing.

: Monday
5:00pm - 6:50pm

Lab - one of the three sections:
All lab sections meet in VAF 228


Text: Texts will be available online and in print form. There are both required and optional readings for the course. You may want to purchase a Flash/ActionScript book. We will look at a variety of media, including traditional and digital work, throughout the class.

Prerequisites: VIS 40 and 140. NOTE: Materials fee required


Readings, class participation, projects, a short final paper.
When a reading is due, please come to class with at least three questions/arguments you'd like to pose about each reading.

Grading is based on:

1) Attendance + participation - 20%

2) Projects:

#1 - 20%
#2 - 30%

Each project will include both a short written project proposal and the project itself. The project proposal is to be completer before work on the project is begun. It is a starting point that can be departed from, but will include:
The Premise - one paragraph on why I am interested in the project
The Synopsis - a two paragraph summary of the project
Treatment - blow by blow of some of the highlights and what it looks like


3) Your final paper, which will be based on readings and class discussions - 30%


You are permitted one unexcused absence from a lecture and one from a lab.
Beyond that, you are required to provide a doctor's note or other acceptable written excuse.
If you don't provide such documentation, your grade will be reduced.
Your projects must be turned in on time. A late project will result in grade reduction by one letter grade for that project.
Projects and papers should be emailed to j**** This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as well as your TA and presented in class.


Back up numbered versions of your work! Lost data is not an excuse for missing work.


Standard Content Disclaimer:
Some of the material we will cover may push some boundaries. Art is supposed to do that. If you feel that your boundaries have been breached, try to stick it out and see where things are going. If you need to leave the room, please write a one page paper explaining your reaction to the material.


Course Outline:

This class will advance the concept of computer, internet and computation as medium rather than computer or software as tool or playback and delivery system. We will examine traditional and digital work. The class with use Flash.


Note - The syllabus is just a trajectory and always up for change. Some elements will mesh together better than others. Enjoy the ride.








Wk. 1, March 31: The Medium is the Medium (and class intro)
How does technology effect our lives? What is art?

Sonnet XVIII Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616
As We May Think Vannevar Bush, The Atlantic Monthly, July 1945
The Curse of Xanadu Wired Issue 3.06 | Jun 1995
The Man Who Invented the Web - Part 2

Reading (due in section for week 2): " Look Who's Talking" Wired Issue 7.01 | Jan 1999


Wk 2, April 7: HyperText & Completion vs. Clicking

Reading (due this class): " Look Who's Talking" Wired Issue 7.01 | Jan 1999.
Be prepared to talk about the reading.
Lair of the Marrow Monkey & Chroma and others.
Amish used buggy dealer - I'm not kidding!
Amish Table Lamp - What do you use when you live "off the grid"?
Storburn toilets -for the outhouse
Lehman's -online shopping for the Amish

Wk 3, April 14: Conventions
Directions are good. Helping the user out is good isn't it? Who are your users? Who is beta testing your work?
Everyone is required to bring in a list of no less than 7 usability conventions to class. Its part of the participation grade.


Reading (due class 4): Social Networks, Class, Visualization and Change - Josh On


In sections Proposal for projects.



Wk 4, April 21: Networks, Systems and Structures
Notation systems, Structure of information
Anthony Braxton, Sol Lewitt, Josh On & Future Farmers

Reading (due this class): Social Networks, Class, Visualization and Change - Josh On


Josh On : They Rule
IXI Software : Various sound software projects
Sol Lewitt : Wall Drawing at SFMOMA, GuggenHeim Arts Curriculum

John Klima : Ecosystm
Karl Sims : Galapagos , Evolved Virtual Creatures
Anthony Braxton : 1 , 2, 3 , 4, Notice the sweater


Work on your project in Section. Reading will be handed out for the next weeks lecture.


Wk 5, April 28: Signifier-Signified.
Allegory, Metaphor & Semiotics
Charles Sanders Peirce
Ferdinand de Saussure


Presentation of a few MidTerm projects in class.


Wk 6, May 5: Visualization
Something will happen this week, but your guess is as good as mine.

Flickr Tag Graph: Sunsets by time
Flickr Tag Graph: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Gnom -nice stuff here
Organic HTML
proyecto Quiasma
information aesthetics
coterie chat visualisation
Yahoo versus Google
Social Circles


Josh On : They Rule,
Ben Fry : Valence, Anemone
W. Bradford Paley : TextArc, TextArc Overview PDF
Mark Napier Riot
I/O/D : WebStalker (download .zip file)
Maciej Wisniewski : Netomat


Some nice Images:
Boxes and dots
Weather Viz
Kaleidoscopic Visualization
Scroll down to the maps





Wk 7, May 12: Locative Media & Mapping.
Locative media, Cartography and so on.......
Robert Smithson, John Klima, Blast Theory, Pete Gomes, Lisolette Brunberg, Jeff Knowlton, Annina Ruest and many others
GPS The Global Positioning System
Radio-frequency identification
Jeremy Wood: GPS Drawing
GPS Drawing Gallery
Surface Patterns
Christian Nold BioMapping
Traces Of Fire
Mobile Assassins
Uncle Roy All Around You
Backseat Playground
Sonic City
Track The Trackers
Pete Gomes : Work, Place
34 North 118 West
Jeremy Hight : Narrative Archaeology
Mobile Art Links via Netzwissenschaft




Wk 8, May 19: Interactivity.
We will discuss your project proposals in class. Any time remaining after the your proposal presentations will be spent on the interactivity lecture


Final Paper due:
a short (minimum 5 pages) paper will be due, incorporating class readings and discussions with original thought processes.




Wk 9, May 26: Memorial Day.




Wk 10, June 6: Visiting Artist Gustavo Rincon will lecture on Computational Architecture.
Final Projects due.


Plan ahea
d. Don't think that you will get the help you need to start your project in the last week. You shouldn't be in the middle of your project either. This is the time to be handing things in. OK. Done. Finished. Fini. No one will be sympathetic to lost data, so back up.