Net Art && Cultures

FVNM 3235-001 (1436)

Tues; 9/10:15AM - 12PM (CST)
Nick Briz
Blake Fall-Conroy
office hours:
Tues; 1PM - 5PM (CST) by appointment only

The Web represents a grand emotional, sensory, and intellectual adventure for anyone willing to explore it actively. [...] For artists, ignoring the imperative to grasp the cultural implications of the Internet means risking irrelevance. [...] As human discourse adapts to its new home, everything we do and think as human beings will be and is being shaped by new values. [...] If it’s ever fair to say that anything has “changed everything,” it’s fair to say so about the Internet.

Virginia Heffernan

Course Description

This studio course examines the Internet as an artistic medium (computers, networks and code), as an environment (media ecology) and as "the masterpiece of human civilization" (a la Virginia Heffernan). We generally accept that computers and the Internet evolved outside of fine art contexts, in fields like science and mathematics. That said, the history of these technologies is a history of creative individuals collaboratively shaping one of the most important narratives of our time. While we will occasionally be discussing the contributions of self-identified artists (from the movement of the 1990s for example) we will generally be taking a broader cultural view, exploring the histories, philosophies and practices of various online cultural niches. We will learn how hackers use the command line to break into networks and how the open source community use special tools that facilitate large scale collaborations. We'll learn about AI praised by singularity evangelists in the "age of spiritual machines" as well as the digital rights activists who protest against the algorithms of surveillance capitalism. We will also be learning the craft of the Internet, and in particular browsers and the World Wide Web. We will be borrowing techniques from demoscensters, meme-makers, cyberpunks and web designers as we learn to produce work with the Web's generalized media format (coding HTML and CSS) as well as how to distribute that work online (deploying web sites).


Learning Goals

Topics, Tutorials and Assignments

mtaa - simple net art diagram