STA 380 : Sec. 001
T/TH 3:00-5:50
Kresge Art Center, RM 37 & RM 5
Spring 2018
Course Credits: 3

Instructor: Professor Adam Brown
Office: Room 27B, Kresge Art Center
Office hours: Wednesday 10-noon (office or the Intermedia Lab, Room 5) or by appointment
E-mail: (preferred method of contact)

Connect to course on D2L

This is an introductory electronic and intermedia art production course designed to explore the intersection of art, science, technology and culture. Lectures, workshops and activities will address how knowledge is acquired, produced, distributed and incorporated into artistic practice. In addition, current trends within electronic and hybrid media and their relationship to Intermedia will be discussed. Some of these concepts will include investigations of topics such as digital imaging, interactivity, sound, and hybrid media. Class time will consist of artist screenings, technical lectures/workshops and creative projects as well as the practical use of digital tools. STA 380 is intended to provide a foundation for more advanced study in Electronic Art and Intermedia.

No prior computer experience is necessary, but it is recommended that you have a basic knowledge of Macintosh OS or Windows.

Course Objectives:
• Develop strategies to work with computer software and hardware as it relates to contemporary art practice.
• Learn how to communicate ideas using digital tools.
• Develop an epistemic methodology by incorporating research, experimentation, experience and play into the art process.
• Cultivate and understanding about the relationship between art and science.
• Understand the history of Intermedia

Course Requirements:
• Students must complete a series of projects and class workshops.
• Maintain a comprehensive notebook.
• Actively participate in class critique.

• Radical Walks: Throughout the session we will be visiting different labs and research facilities to inform our creative process.
• Write a well-researched artist statement.
• Spend at least 5 hours per week outside of scheduled class time on projects.
• Attend lectures and workshops from the BRIDGE Artist in Residence Lecture Series.
• Take detailed notes

Students are expected to regularly consult the course website for project and homework due dates. You should expect that the schedule will be adjusted periodically throughout the semester, and it is your responsibility to stay informed via the website and regular class assignments.

Reading Assignments and Lectures:
Reading assignments will be comprised of articles, books and web pages. The assigned reading materials and guest lectures are designed to complement the imaginative process and provide a context as well as inspiration for creative projects. Students are expected to have the readings and a corresponding 2-3 paragraph written reaction posted to D2L completed before class as indicated on the schedule.

Participation and Critique:
It is very important that students come to class prepared and participate to their fullest level of ability. Group critique and discussion is an essential tool for developing comprehensive artistic knowledge and vocabulary. Therefore, it is critical that students learn how to talk about their own art and the work of other artists. During critique and class discussion, strive to offer constructive feedback. Listen to the comments made by your peers and the instructor to evaluate the effectiveness of your work. It is important that you express ideas clearly, and have fun. Projects must be complete to be included in a critique.
Please pick up after yourself and keep the computer lab clean.
Phone use, texting, e-mailing, and non-course related web surfing is not permitted during class time.

Evaluation and Grades:
Overall grades are based on in-class participation and completed projects. I will be looking for development of conceptual clarity, evidence of research, aesthetic application of software and technology, understanding of project concept and problem-solving abilities. Expectations will be explained in detail for each project when it is assigned. If anything seems unclear, you are responsible for asking the instructor for clarification far in advance of the due date. In order to receive a grade, students must turn work in by the due date outlined in the syllabus. Work that is not turned in on time will result in a reduced grade.

Projects will be evaluated on the basis of:
• Technical and conceptual quality
• Evidence of the incorporation of thoughtful research into the art

• Development throughout the course (strive for excellence)
• Quality of documentation
• It is expected that all work will be revised and all work will be re-evaluated
• All projects must be documented online to receive a grade.

Grades will be computed according to the following breakdown:
60% Projects
20% Workshops/Participation
10% Writing/reading responses
15% Quiz

Attendance is mandatory. Interaction and collaboration are an important aspect of the learning process and are critical for establishing trust among your peers. Please note that three unexcused absences are permitted without penalty. After the third unexcused absence, your grade will be reduced by a half letter grade with each absence. Being late to class is very disruptive. Please make sure that you arrive to class on time. Attendance will be taken at 3:15. If you arrive after attendance has been taken you are considered to be late. Three late arrivals are equal to one absence.

Incompletes “I” are intended for the rare circumstance when a student who has been successful in a class has an unexpected event occur shortly before the end of the class. I will not consider giving a student a grade of “I” unless the following three conditions have been met.
• It is within two weeks of the end of the semester.
• The student has a grade of C or better in the class.
• The reason that the student cannot complete the class is properly documented and compelling.

1. Absence during a critique day will result in a zero for that project.  See the instructor for extreme circumstances (i.e. documented serious medical issues, death, or involuntary incarceration through no fault of the student) if you know in advance you will not be present.
2. Absence during a critique on a day you do not present will impact your participation grade.

Have your university supplied email account 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. Contact me as soon as possible so we can discuss accommodations necessary to ensure full participation and facilitate your involvement in this class. Accommodations for persons with disabilities ( may be requested by contacting me at the start of the term.

Materials and supplies:
** see D2L for the complete list
• Adafruit Audio FX Sound Board
• Arduino Uno R3 and Budget Pack
• USB Flash drive (at least 3 GB) – I like the SanDisk Cruzers $10-$20 -You MUST be able to back up your work. Each project should be backed up twice on something other than the computers in the lab. Students have lost – and failed – entire projects by not backing up their work.
• A digital still camera. The more mega pixels the better. $50 – <$5000
• A new notebook or sketchbook
• MSU microscopy fee ~ $35
• It is highly recommended that you purchase an external hard drive. Good 1TB hard drives are available for as little as $85.
Note: Video files are often 1 to 4 GB in size, Final Cut Pro X cannot save files directly to a USB.

Access to the computer labs in the Kresge Art Center is available to students enrolled in Department of Art and Art History courses. To get access, fill out the Computer Lab Access Form and return it to Alex Nichols in the Visual Resources Library.

Academic Integrity:
In accordance with MSU’s policies on “Protection of Scholarship and Grades” and “Integrity of Scholarship and Grades,” students in STA 380 are expected to honor principles of truth and honesty in their academic work. Academic honesty entails, among other things, that students will not plagiarize. This means (1) students 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 students (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.

Emergency Protocol:
In the event of an emergency arising within the classroom/lab, the instructor will notify you of what actions that may be required to ensure your safety.  It is the responsibility of each student to understand the evacuation, “shelter-in-place,” and “secure-in-place” guidelines posted in each facility and to act in a safe manner.  You are allowed to maintain cellular devices in a silent mode during this course, in order to receive emergency SMS text, phone or email messages distributed by the university.  When anyone receives such a notification or observes an emergency situation, they should immediately bring it to the attention of the  instructor in a way that causes the least disruption.  If an evacuation is ordered, please ensure that you do it in a safe manner and facilitate those around you that may not otherwise be able to safely leave. If a shelter-in-place or secure-in-place is ordered, please seek areas of refuge that are safe depending on the emergency encountered and provide assistance if it is advisable to do so.”

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.