Syllabus

Spring 2017


PROFESSOR: John Craig Freeman

  • EMAIL: john_craig_freeman @ emerson dot edu
  • PHONE: (617) 824-8862
  • OFFICE HOURS: Ansin 1111, MTW 11:00-11:50 am or by appointment

CLASS MEETS: T 4:00 – 7:45 pm, 3DL Ansin 112

PREREQUISITE: Professor permission

CREDITS: 4

BLOG: VM470/VM604 Blog


DESCRIPTION:

Advanced New Media Projects provides an opportunity for senior undergraduate and graduate VMA students, working in virtual or augmented reality, computer animation, interactive media, motion graphics, digital photography, networked performance, audio, or other forms of new media art, to create advanced portfolio work. Projects, both collaborative and individual, will be developed in the context of peer-based critique and analysis. The focus will be on using new technologies for creative self-expression. Students complete the course with an original portfolio-ready project.

Students will be admitted by portfolio review and artist statement.

Although any undergraduate student who passes the portfolio review can enroll, BFA candidates will need to successfully complete two semesters with a B or better, as well as the 60 total credits within VMA.

COLLECTIVE RESEARCH:
In addition to the development and completion of an original new media art projects, students are expected to make a substantive and quantifiable contribution to the Emerson College new media art research initiative.

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

By the end of the course the student should be able to:

  • Remember: be conversant in key terminology, specific facts, conventions, trends, and theories of new media art
  • Understand: demonstrate an understanding of new media art practices by organizing, comparing, translating, interpreting, giving descriptions, and stating the main ideas of one’s own work, the work of other students in the group and the work new media artists in general
  • Apply: put into practice this acquired understanding by conceiving, proposing, and developing an original new media art project
  • Analyze: examine ones own work and the work of others by breaking information into parts by identifying motives or causes, making inferences and finding evidence to support generalizations
  • Evaluate: present and defend opinions by making judgments about information, validity of ideas or quality of work based on a set of criteria
  • Create (synthesize): complete a capstone project which culminates what you remember and what you understand about visual and media art generally and new media art in particular, based on how you have applied this knowledge and understanding, and your capacity to analyze and evaluate

REQUIREMENTS:

  • Attend every class meeting
  • Complete all required reading
  • Contribute and engage in all class discussions and critiques
  • Come to class prepared to work
  • Participate in collective research
  • Present a project proposal
  • Maintain a project blog
  • Present progress on the project twice
  • Present the completed final project during scheduled exam
  • Graduate students will be required to conduct research of contemporary new media artists or genres based on the required reading, and deliver the research in the form of a mini-lecture to the class with an accompanying paper.

REQUIRED READING:

Together, we will read the first half of this book during the Fall semester and the second half during the Spring. Graduate students will divide the chapters and prepare mini-lectures to be delivered during pre-scheduled class time. Mini-lectures, not to exceed 10 minutes, must include deeper research and examples of work from the artists discussed in the text, other than those examples which appear in the book. Grad lecturers must prepare three questions to ask the larger student group. All students are expected to come prepared to answer.

RECOMMENDED READING:

  • Lev Manovich, The Language of New Media, Leonardo Books MIT, Cambridge, 1001
  • Paul Ford, What is Code

RESOURSES:

SOFTWARE TRAINING:

Students are expected to have the technical skills necessary to produce work in the new media forms that they choose for their project, or at least be fluent enough to solve problems independently. Additional technical training will not be included in the content of the course nor will we work as a group to develop such skills during class time. Students are responsible for developing necessary remedial technical skills independently, although one-on-one help will be provided as time allows.

To Access Emerson College’s Lynda.com site license, follow the Emerson College IT Using lynda.com instructions.

You are encouraged to identify and purchase, if necessary, additional software training materials based on your specific needs.

SUPPLIES:

  • Mobile FireWire or Hi-Speed USB 2.0 removable hard drive. Minimum requirement is 40GB of storage space. 7200 (RPM) speed is preferable. Thumb/flash drives are not recommended for this course.

GRADING: 
The final grade will be determined according to the following criteria based on the corresponding percentages.

  • Presentation One: 20%
  • Presentation Two: 20%
  • Participation: 10%
  • Attendance: 10%
  • Final Project: 40%

Project grades will be based on the following criteria:

  • Technical: Did the project achieve or exceed the technical requirements stated in the project assignment?
  • Conceptual: Does the work represent critical, creative and original thinking? Did it address and demonstrate understanding of the concepts being discussed in class?
  • Aesthetic: Does the work appeal to sensory or sensori-emotional values?

POLICIES: An Incomplete will only be issued if there are extenuating circumstances related to illness or critical personal emergency and only after administrative notice has been received.

Attendance and punctuality is required at all class meetings and will be reflected in the final grade. According to College policy, unexcused absences beyond five will result in a failing grade. Everyone must come to class prepared and engaged and everyone must participate in discussions and critiques. Your undivided attention is required during all discussions and critiques. No chatting, email or browsing will be allowed during these times if it does not support the discussion at hand.

Students should be aware of the College policies regarding creative and academic dishonesty and the penalties for plagiarism and software piracy. While it is accepted that there may be occasion for stylistic or historical inspiration, influence and reference, the student will be asked to produce original work from ones own study and investigation.

If you have a disability that warrants accommodations in this course, please register with the Disability Service Coordinator at 216 Tremont Street, 5th Floor, (617) 824-8415.

Every student in this class will be honored and respected as an individual with distinct experiences, talents, and backgrounds. Students will be treated fairly regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identification, disability, socioeconomic status, or national identity. Issues of diversity may be a part of class discussion, assigned material, and projects. The instructor will make every effort to ensure that an inclusive environment exists for all students. If you have any concerns or suggestions for improving the classroom climate, please do not hesitate to speak with the course instructor or to contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at 617-824-8528 or by email at diversity_inclusion@emerson.edu.

Safety is always a concern in any form of media production. Emerson College supports safety measures and requires safety training through seminars and the VMA Student Production Safety Manual, which is required reading for all students participating in any Emerson College field media production.

Students with questions or concerns should contact the Director of Production and Safety, Lenny Manzo at (617) 824-8126 or email leonard_manzo@emerson.edu.

In case of a safety emergency, call the PRODUCTION SAFETY HOTLINE at (617) 939-1311.


Assignments

CREATIVE PROJECT PROPOSAL: Each student will present a creative project proposal to the class. We will discuss the proposal and either approve the project or recommend changes. Students will be evaluated on the quality of the idea, the proposal and the presentation. Test your work and equipment ahead of time. The proposals must include a concept narrative; a script if applicable, a storyboard, a production schedule, including a software training plan, a floor plan if applicable.

  • The concept narrative should be concise and to the point and should be around 750 words. The content will make up the oral part of the presentation to the class, but should not be read aloud.
  • If a script is applicable to your proposed project, write one.
  • The storyboard should include high quality digital color illustrations.
  • The production schedule should be organized and succinct and must include a software training plan. Include specific dates and benchmarks specific to your needs.
  • Floor plan

Presentations are formal and should be prepared and rehearsed ahead of time. Save the presentation in a folder titled lastname_firstname and place it in the Assignments_In folder prior to the critique.

Summarize as a dedicated blog post titled Project Proposal.

PRESENTATION ONE: Students will present the progress of their project during a pre-scheduled time. Presentation One is not an updated proposal. Work in progress is required. The presentation must include the following:

  • A stand-alone project file or folder titled lastname_firstname(.ext) in whatever format is appropriate for your work and in the format that you intend to complete the final project.
  • Prepare an optimized project directory or directories stripped of all unnecessary files and folders. Be prepared to open production files and demonstrate techniques that you learned in your production process.

Your presentation must be saved in a folder titled lastname_firstname and placed in the Assignments_In folder prior to the critique. Projects that do not conform to these specifications or that are turned in late will result in a lower grade.

Summarize as a dedicated blog post titled Presentation One.

PRESENTATION TWO: The requirements for Presentation Two are the same as Presentation One.

Summarize as a dedicated blog post titled Presentation Two.

FINAL PROJECT: Each student will present the finished project during the scheduled final exam time. Your project should be saved as a stand-alone project file titled lastname_firstname.ext in whatever format is appropriate for your project. All projects must include titles and credits. The work must be placed in the Assignments_In folder prior to the critique. Projects that do not conform to these specifications will result in a lower grade. Late final projects will not be accepted.

Summarize as a dedicated blog post titled Final Project.


Course Calendar

Subject to changes as necessary

Tuesday January 17

Tuesday January 24

Tuesday January 31

Tuesday February 7

  • New York City: Moving Image, Opening reception: Monday, February 27, 2017: 6-8pm, Waterfront New York Tunnel, 269 11th Avenue, Between 27th and 28th Streets
  • Calendar: Important date changes
  • Blog: VM470 Blog
  • Mini-lecture:
    • Jesse Fryburg, pp. 139-169
  • Proposals:
    • Jack Travis
    • Raj Padhye
    • Brendan Regan
  • Break:
  • Open Lab: Work on projects

Tuesday February 14

  • Blog: VM470 Blog
  • Calendar: Next week in New York, Spring Break
  • Mini-lecture:
    • Jordan Fischer, pp. 169-199
  • Proposals:
    • Jesse Fryburg
    • Ben Fuhrmann
  • Break:
  • Workshop: Immersive Video Camera Training

Tuesday February 21

  • Monday Schedule: no class

Tuesday February 28

  • Open Lab: Work on projects

Tuesday March 7

  • Spring Break (no class)

Tuesday March 14

  • Mini-lecture:
    • Postponed
  • Project Presentation One:
    • Postponed due to snow
  • Break:
  • Open Lab: Work on projects

Tuesday March 21

  • Discussion: Exhibition
  • Mini-lecture:
    • Aaron Meritt, pp. 199-229
  • Project Presentation One:
    • Bin Li
    • Jordan Fischer
    • Sophia Calhoun
    • Jon Denton
  • Break:
  • Open Lab: Work on projects

Tuesday March 28

  • Remote: Kathleen Howes via New Media Art Remote
  • VM470/BFA: Fall 2017
  • Exhibition: Site visit Huret & Spector Gallery
  • Mini-lecture:
    • Raj Padhye, pp. 229-259
  • Project Presentation One:
    • Jack Travis
    • Raj Padhye
    • Brendan Regan
  • Break:
  • Open Lab: Work on projects

Tuesday April 4

  • Exhibition: Site visit Huret & Spector Gallery
  • Project Presentation One:
    • Kathleen Howes
    • Jesse Fryburg
    • Ben Fuhrmann
    • Aaron Meritt
  • Break:
  • Open Lab: Work on projects

Tuesday April 11

  • Discussion: Exhibition
  • Project Presentation Two:
    • Bin Li
    • Jordan Fischer
    • Sophia Calhoun
    • Jon Denton
  • Break:
  • Open Lab: Work on projects

Tuesday April 18

  • Discussion: Exhibition
  • Project Presentation Two:
    • Kathleen Howes
    • Jack Travis
    • Brendan Regan
  • Break:
  • Open Lab: Work on projects

Tuesday April 25

  • Discussion: Exhibition
  • Project Presentation Two:
    • Raj Padhye
    • Jesse Fryburg
    • Ben Fuhrmann
    • Aaron Meritt
  • Break:
  • Open Lab: Work on projects

Thursday April 27, 5:00pm to 8:00pm

  • Exhibition: Huret & Spector Gallery

Tuesday May 2

  • Final Critique: All final projects due before class begins