This course is an introduction to computer programming within the context of the arts. Each participant will build a foundation in basic programming that will be applied to a series of exercises and projects. This foundation serves as a platform for future learning within the MFA program. The class is taught as a series of workshops, with demonstrations and time to work in the studio.
In addition to coding, we will consider how technology—and digital technology in particular—have impacted our world, our politics, and our practice as artists. We will attempt to answer—from the inside in a sense—how are we altered by seeing, thinking, making, and communicating through digital technology? What are the effects of these changes on our perception, our art, our sensibilities, our aesthetic decisions, and our relationship to the world? How are we, as artists, are responding to and reflecting upon our increasingly technologically mediated lives? Does computation and programming operate as a medium? Analogous to paint? Or is this an antiquated idea brought in from historical arts discourse? What role does technology play in the work we make, and why?
We will attempt to answer these questions on multiple fronts: by reading and discussing recent theory, criticism, and artists’ writings; learning to write code as a tool for art making; and creating work based on our newfound skills and understandings.
You must attend class, participate in discussions, and complete all assignments.
Grading is based on the coding exercises, a final project, and on active participation during the class meetings.
Punctuality, focus, articulation of concepts, and contribution to class discussions are all part of class participation.
Classes start at 12:30 PM. If you are 15 minutes late, you will receive a tardy. 3 tardies will turn into 1 absence. Every absence equals 1 full grade down (A to B), 3 unexcused absences result in a failing grade.
If there is an emergency and you will be late or absent from the class, please email me.
Required Reading / Viewing
- Casey Reas and Ben Fry. Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists. MIT Press, 2014.
- Dan Shiffman's Computer Programming for the Total Beginner
- Weekly reading assignments