Advanced Electronic Art and Intermedia Workshop




STA 480 (4 credits) – A forum for collaboration and exchange of knowledge among disciplines within and outside of the arts.

Spring 2011 – MW @ 3 pm

STA 480
MW 3-5:30
Kresge Art Center, Form From Thought Laboratory (Room 5)
Spring 2011
Course Credits: 4

Instructor: Associate Professor Adam W. Brown
Office: 314 Kresge Art Center
Office Hours: Tuesday 1-3 pm or by appointment


Cell: 405-605-9079
Office: 517-432-2465

Course Description:
Advanced Electronic Art and Intermedia (EAI) Workshop is a new class within the Department of Art and Art History that is open to, and encourages enrollment from, graduate and advanced undergraduate workshop participants in art, sciences, humanities and engineering and other disciplines.

Workshop participants will investigate new paradigms of creative practice that will be manifested in a set of individual or collaborative projects. No prior art experience is required, though workshop participants should be sufficiently entrenched in one or more academic disciplines.

EAI Workshop is an advanced course where artists, scientists and scholars present their own ongoing research and creative projects within an interdisciplinary framework. Workshop participants help shape the trajectory of the class, which will create an environment where they can evolve conceptually, theoretically and aesthetically. Participants will be encouraged to share knowledge from their own discrete areas of study to create novel forms. One of the inherent challenges of working across academic disciplines is learning the associated language, working habits, and attitudes of other fields, and this course will help bridge such divides.

As a group, we will learn about Intermedia, a philosophy that historically explored the intersection among art disciplines. Expanding on this framework that describes the fusion of art genres (which are now ubiquitous), we will apply this method within the broader academy to establish new forms of research and creative activity. When knowledge, information and discipline specific language is shared in an environment the result of this collaboration is the creation of novel objects, processes and forms.

We will simultaneously investigate Intermedial strategies to work among disciplines. Students will learn to relate theories, concepts, principles and skills of one discipline to another. From this creative analytic and synthetic process, we will be able to use the language of one discipline to solve problems in another and to create new objects, processes and forms.

The class is designed to break down the walls among disciplines and share knowledge. The intention of the class is to allow workshop participants to continue with their research in a different environment with the hope that they will make new discoveries and/or connections with the knowledge you will acquire from colleagues.

Course Requirements:
The first month of the workshop will be dedicated to the exchange of information among workshop participants. Everyone will have an opportunity to formally present their research/work to one another during the early weeks of the semester. In addition to this presentation, workshop participants will have to develop and deliver a one hour “how to” lesson to the class; the content of this lesson is based on the participants’ respective discipline(s). For example, a ceramicist might demonstrate how to make a 2-part mold, a computer scientist might give a demo on how to program a micro controller, and a conservationist (you fill in the blank).

Readings will be assigned throughout the semester and several lectures will be offered around notions of interdisciplinarity, Intermedial philosophy, and strategies about collaboration will be provided. Workshop participants are encouraged to bring in additional articles and readings that will inform participants.

During the remainder of the semester the trajectory of the class, will, in large part, be determined by the participants and their respective interests. Workshop participants may choose to collaborate on a project with one or more people, engage in a large group project or simply work on their own. It is expected that all workshop participants engage in some variation of collaborative activity. However, collaborations exist on a continuum. On one side of this continuum, collaboration might simply mean getting information from another and somehow incorporating that knowledge into a project. On the other end of this continuum there exists a deeper level of cooperation where there is a mutuality of disciplines, a place of mutual benefit. These details will be determined collectively by course participants.

Evaluation and Grades:
Students will be evaluated based on participation and the completion of a presentation, tutorial, and collaborative project.

Interaction and collaboration are an important aspect of the learning process and are critical for establishing trust among peers; therefore, attendance is required.

Make sure your MSU email account is properly forwarded to the location where you read email.


Reasonable Accommodation Policy:
Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Accommodations for persons with disabilities, with documentation from the MSU Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (, may be requested by contacting me at the start of the term. Contact me as soon as possible so we can discuss accommodations necessary to ensure full participation and facilitate your involvement in this class.

Access to the computer labs in the Kresge Art Center is available to workshop participants enrolled in Department of Art and Art History courses. To get access, fill out the Computer Lab Access Form and return it to your instructor or to the Visual Resources Library. To reserve and check out equipment such as video cameras, data projectors or for information about the printing lab go to the VRL Info for Faculty and Workshop participants page and/or contact Alex Nichols


Academic Integrity:
In accordance with MSU’s policies on “Protection of Scholarship and Grades” and “Integrity of Scholarship and Grades,” workshop participants in STA 491 are expected to honor principles of truth and honesty in their academic work. Academic honesty entails, among other things, that workshop participants will not plagiarize. This means (1) workshop participants will not submit someone else’s work as their own (e.g., they will not submit another student’s paper or project, etc., nor will they hand in a paper copied from the web or another published source). Academic honesty also means workshop participants (2) will not knowingly permit another student to copy and submit their work as that student’s own and (3) will not use unacknowledged quotations or paraphrases as part of their work. As provided by university policy, such academic dishonesty or plagiarism may be penalized by a failing grade on the assignment or for the course. Failure in a course as a result of academic dishonesty will also result in written notification to the student’s academic dean of the circumstances. Additional discussion of cheating or academic dishonesty is available on the Ombudsman’s web page.

Copyright notice: Many of the materials created for this course are the intellectual property of Adam Brown. This includes, but is not limited to, the syllabus, lectures and course notes. Except to the extent not protected by copyright law, any use, distribution or sale of such materials requires the permission of the instructor.