Network Media / DESMA 161 / UCLA Design Media Arts

Network Media (DESMA 161)
Spring 2018
UCLA Department of Design Media Arts

Tuesday and Thursday, 2pm–4:50pm
Broad Art Center, 4240

Instructor: Kate Hollenbach
(Office Hour: Tuesdays, Broad 3263, 12pm–1pm)

TA: Lena Weissbrot
(Office Hour: Thursdays, Broad 4240, 12pm–1pm)


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.


0: Hello World Wide Web

What is the Internet? How did it get here? How does it work? How do you work with it? You will learn to build a simple HTML page and put it online.

1: Online Identity

How do you represent yourself online? What can you learn about yourself and others by following information trails? You will create a portfolio site or website that represents your Internet identity.

2: Data and Networks

What is data? How do we exist in relation to data? Where is data? You will create a data visualization for the web.


You will create an interactive work reflecting on art, digital communications, and the Internet in 2018.



Grades will be determined with the following % breakdown:

  • Participation: 15%
  • Weeklies: 10%
  • Project 1: 30%
  • Project 2: 25%
  • Project 3: 20%

Work will be evaluated on how well it demonstrates understanding of the class material, conceptual creativity, aesthetic quality, and technical skill.

Late assignments will be accepted, but points will be deducted from the final score.


Participation in a studio class is key! Please show up to class prepared to work, be ready to discuss your work and your classmates’ work, and stay focused. Ask questions in class and share your thoughts during class discussions. Challenge yourself and be encouraging of others as they do the same. Be attentive and considerate to your classmates.

Please do not use your phone or check personal communications (email, Snapchat, Facebook, etc.) during class.


More than two unexcused absences will lower your final grade by one whole unit (for example, A- to B-). Each additional unexcused absence will lower your grade by another unit. If there is an emergency and you must miss class, please email Lena before class. Absences will not be excused after the fact except in extreme circumstances. Illness requires a doctor’s note.

Class starts at 2:00pm. If you are more than 10 minutes late for class, you will be marked tardy. Three tardies become equivalent to one unexcused absence. Your attendance can be viewed here and any disputes should be discussed with the TA within two weeks.

DMA Lectures

There are two DMA lectures this quarter that are related to topics covered in our class. The first, with simulation artist Ian Cheng, is on Tuesday, April 10 at 6pm. The second, with meme artist and rapper Ka5sh Jordan, is on Friday, April 20 at noon. You are required to attend at least one of these two lectures. Missing both will result in an unexcused absence.


Each week there will be a couple assigned readings/viewings and a short activity or question. Create an HTML file containing your response, and link to it clearly from your index page. These should be posted before the start of class each Thursday. Each one is graded solely on completion and represents 1% of your grade. After the first week, they will always be posted at least a week in advance, on the weeklies page. The P/F status of each weekly can be viewed here and any disputes should be discussed with the TA within two weeks.


There will be 3 projects during the semester. Details coming soon!

Commitment to Diversity

In this class we make a commitment towards diversity by acknowledging the different identities and backgrounds we inhabit. A collaborative effort between the students and the teacher is needed for creating a supportive learning environment. If a class member says that something you have said or shared with the group is offensive, remember this is a valuable opportunity for everyone present to grow and learn from one another with further discussion. All class members are encouraged to discuss such instances with the instructor so they can be addressed with greater care in the future. [ voidLab / CC SA ]

Disability Services

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.