The single most important thing you need in order to have a career in the arts is persistence. The second most important thing you need is talent. The third most important thing is a grounding in how the online world works. Its that Important
In this course we will produce "Internet aware" works that help others see the unique cultural moment we are living in. Understanding that our technologies are never neutral, our research will not only focus on how various technologies work but also why they work the way they do by exploring the individuals, organizations and ideas that have shaped the development of these technologies throughout history. We will also learn how to recognize bias in technology (embedded by the culture that produced it) and in turn understand how those technologies affect us as environments. Lastly, we’ll aim to make, document and present work that speaks to technology’s biases and/or effects on society as well as consider how we might influence the development of these digital environments through studio work rooted in a digitally literate research methodology. Topics covered will include networks, hacking, the web, social media, memes, remix, originality, algorithmic bias/oppression, automation, artificial intelligence, code, programming, data mining, privacy, digital rights and surveillance capitalism.
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, "the Internet is the great masterpiece of human civilization" (Heffernan). In this studio course, we'll learn what the Internet is, how it works, how it got here and how to engage with it as an artistic medium. This means we'll be learning how to craft it from code, specifically HTML (hypertext markup language) and CSS (cascading style sheets), but also studying its aesthetics, conventions and practices. We'll be drawing inspiration from various internet art movements, from the net.art scene of the 1990s, to the digital folk art of GeoCities at the turn of the century, to the Web design and CSS art scenes of today. The goal of this course will be to cultivate our own piece of internet art, informed by the research, discussions, exercises and experiments we'll make along the way.
Our particular flavor of the Professional Practice Experience will focus on the professional practice of “creative technologists”. This is a term used by various industries (Event Production, Digital/Advertising Agencies, Design Studios, Technology Companies, etc) to describe someone working professionally at the intersection of art and technology. This semester we'll be learning the skills and workflows necessary for success in this field. It's typical for creative technologists to be "generalists", having some background in various creative coding frameworks, creative software (Adobe, Blender, etc) and creative hardware (Microcontrollers, sensors, etc). While the full scope of creative technology is too much to cover in a single course, our focus (Internet/Web based creative projects) is an area of creative technology that encompasses many aspects of the practice.