DESMA161: Network Media

Syllabus

Tuesdays and Thursday 9-11:50am
UCLA Broad Art Center 4240

Professor: Lauren McCarthy (lmccart@ucla.edu)
(office hours: Thursdays 5-6p, Broad 3246)

TA: Hirad Sab (dma@hiradsab.com)
(office hours: Tuesdays 12-1p, Broad 5240)

Description

Network Media explores the creative, technical, and critical tools to realize web-based projects. Workshops on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are framed by cultural discourses examining the Internet. Conceived for artists, designers, and technologists, the course is focused on gaining a deeper understanding of the technical concepts in web design while learning the history of the Internet as well as its social, political, and philosophical implications.

Expectations

Grading. Grades will be determined according to the following breakdown:
  • Project 1 10%
  • Project 2 10%
  • Project 3 10%
  • Project 4 10%
  • Project 5 10%
  • Final project 20%
  • Final project documentation 10%
  • Participation 20%

Outstanding or exceptional work will receive As, good work will receive Bs, and sufficient work that does nothing more than meet requirements will receive Cs.

Projects

Projects. Projects are due at the start of class on the date assigned via the project spreadsheet. Projects may be turned in up to one week late for a one letter grade deduction off the project grade. Work that is more than one week late will not be accepted. If you are absent, you are still expected to turn in projects online by the deadline. Extra time will not be given for work lost due to save issues, editor or browser errors, computer crash, etc. You should regularly click File > Download to save a copies of your work in progress as zip files. It would also be smart to make a backup of these online or on an external harddrive or USB stick in case your computer is lost.

Discussions

Discussions. We will have seven discussions during the quarter. Each week, you are required to read/watch/listen to at least one of the posted media in advance. In addition, each person will be responsible for leading one 30 minute discussion, along with 1-2 other people. You can sign up for your preferred discussion week by emailing dma@hiradsab.com with your top three choices. Hirad will assign based on order received. Your group and discussion assignments can be viewed in the discussion spreadsheet. We will take the libery of assigning you to a discussion group if you fail to sign up in time.

For the discussion you lead:
  • Consume all posted media.
  • Prepare a few slides to focus the discussion (include key points from the posted media and a couple relevant external references or examples that you find and add).
  • Prepare a set of questions to guide the discussion.
  • Meet with Hirad during office hours in advance of your discussion to review your questions and plan. If you aren’t able to attend his office hours, email him in advance to schedule an alternative time.

Participation

Participation. Participation is critical to passing and enjoying this class. Do the work, share your thoughts, ask questions, prepare for meetings, offer feedback during critiques. This class is meant to be a safe space in which you feel encouraged and supported in learning and taking creative risks. This means being aware and considerate of different backgrounds, perspectives, and identities. Respect each other and this space we are building together. Don’t assume. Try to remain open to learning at all times. Help each other in this. If there are concerns please let me or Hirad know as soon as possible.

Attendance

Attendance. You get one unexcused absence, no questions asked. Each unexcused absence after that will result in one full letter grade deduction. Three unexcused absences will result in a failed grade in the class. If there is an emergency and you must miss class, email dma@hiradsab.com before class. Absences will not be excused after the fact except in extreme circumstances. Illness requires a doctor’s note. If you are more than 10 minutes late, you will be marked tardy. Three tardies results in one unexcused absence. Your attendance can be viewed in the attendance spreadsheet, any disputes should be discussed with the TA within two weeks.

Commitment to Diversity and Safer Spaces

We understand the classroom as a space for practicing freedom; where one may challenge psychic, social, and cultural borders and create meaningful artistic expressions. To do so we must acknowledge and embrace the different identities and backgrounds we inhabit. This means that we will use preferred pronouns, respect self-identifications, and be mindful of special needs. Disagreement is encouraged and supported, however our differences affect our conceptualization and experience of reality, and it is extremely important to remember that certain gender, race, sex, and class identities are more privileged while others are undermined and marginalized. Consequently, this makes some people feel more protected or vulnerable during debates and discussions. A collaborative effort between the students, TA, and instructor is needed to create a supportive learning environment. While everyone should feel free to experiment creatively and conceptually, if a class member points out that something you have said or shared with the group is offensive, avoid being defensive; instead approach the discussion as a valuable opportunity for us to grow and learn from one another. Alternatively if you feel that something said in discussion or included in a piece of work is harmful, you are encouraged to speak with the instructor or TA. (tx voidLab!)

Disability Services

UCLA strives to make all learning experiences as accessible as possible. If you anticipate or experience academic barriers based on a disability, please let me know as soon as possible. It is necessary for you to register with the UCLA Center for Accessible Education so that we can establish reasonable accommodations. After registration, make arrangements with me to discuss how to implement these accommodations.

Schedule

WEEK 0 Th 9/26 No class
WEEK 1 T 10/1 Introduction
Hello Network
Workshop: Tools and Setup
Assign Project 1
Th 10/3 Lec: Intro HTML (code)
Studio
WEEK 2 T 10/8 DUE: Project 1
Lec: Intro CSS (code)
Assign Project 2
Th 10/10 Discussion 1
CSS Layout (code)
Studio
WEEK 3 T 10/15 DUE: Project 2
Lec: JS / JQuery (code)
Assign Project 3
Th 10/17 Discussion 2
Studio
WEEK 4 T 10/22 Lec: Surveillance and Identity
Studio
6pm Morehshin Allahyari (required)
Th 10/24 DUE: Project 3
Discussion 3
Assign Project 4
WEEK 5 T 10/29 Discussion 4
Studio
Th 10/31 DUE: Project 4
Assign Project 5
WEEK 6 T 11/5 Studio
Th 11/7 Discussion 5
Studio
WEEK 7 T 11/12 DUE: Project 5
Th 11/14 DUE: Final Project Proposal
Individual meetings / Studio
WEEK 8 T 11/19 Discussion 6
Individual meetings / Studio
Th 11/14 Studio
WEEK 9 T 11/26 Discussion 7
Studio
Th 11/28 No class
WEEK 10 T 12/3 DUE: Final Project
Reviews
Th 12/5 Reviews
WEEK 11 T 12/12 DUE: Final Project Documentation

Discussions

We will have seven discussions during the quarter. Each week, you are required to read/watch/listen at least one of the posted media in advance. In addition, each person will be responsible for leading one 30 minute discussion, along with 1-2 other people. You can sign up for your preferred discussion week by emailing dma@hiradsab.com with your top three choices. Hirad will assign based on order received. Your group and discussion assignments can be viewed in the discussion spreadsheet. We will take the libery of assigning you to a discussion group if you fail to sign up in time.

For the discussion you lead:
  • Consume all posted media.
  • Prepare a few slides to focus the discussion. Include key points from the media, and a couple relevant external references or examples. These examples might be artworks, news articles, quotes, etc.
  • Prepare a set of questions to guide the discussion.
  • Meet with Hirad during office hours in advance of your discussion to review your questions and plan. If you aren’t able to attend his office hours, email him in advance to schedule an alternative time.

Discussion 1: How to Internet (10/10)


Discussion 2: Interface (10/17)

Leaders: Nahee Hong, Katie McNeish, Randy Wu


Discussion 3: Identity online (10/24)


Discussion 4: Crowds and the gig economy (10/29)


Discussion 5: Data (11/7)


Discussion 6: Fake news (10/19)


Discussion 7: Location and decentralization (11/26)

Projects

Projects are due at the start of class on the date assigned via the project spreadsheet. Projects may be turned in up to one week late for a one letter grade deduction off the project grade. Work that is more than one week late will not be accepted. If you are absent, you are still expected to turn in projects online by the deadline.

Project 1: Hypertext (DUE 10/8)


Project 2: Interface (DUE 10/15)


Project 3: Transformation (DUE 10/24)

Review: Create an webpage that transforms between two distinct perspectives or identities through the user's interaction with it. "Identity" could mean aspects of a personality, political perspectives, moods, cultural backgrounds, or anything else. "User interaction" could encompass click, hover, mouseout (leaving element), doubleclick, keypress, window resize, scroll, or anything else. Basically, your page should start in one mode, and look very different during or after user interaction. It is suggested that you make use of JQuery events and JQuery effects, though not all of these will be applicable.

Project 4: TBD (DUE 10/31)


Project 5: TBD (DUE 11/12)


Final Project: Iterate and Refine (DUE 12/3)


Final Project Documentation (DUE 12/12)