WEEK 1 - Jan.25, 27

Link to a page of contemporary and historical quotes reflecting a variety of thoughts about control and human agency in the realm of software and cybernetic systems (human-machine communicatons)

Open narrative form (applying idea from systems theory) occurs in many examples of 'primitive' cinema that foreshadow aspects of interactive media as aesthetic form:

  • Thomas Edison and Edwin Porter, "Uncle Josh at the Motion Picture Show",1902 (U.S.)
  • Georges Melies, "The Hilarious Posters", 1906 (France)
  • Hepworth Mfg.Co., "That Fatal Sneeze", 1907 (U.K.)

[Note that there are a number of books examining the complexity of this period of cinema history. An excellent one is Life to Those Shadows by Noel Burch.]

Critical looks at the precise abstractions (interfaces, feedback) of closed technical systems of control:

  • Bureau of Inverse Technology, "Suicide Box", 1996 video
  • Harun Farocki, "I Thought I Was Seeing Convicts", 2000 video

WEEK 2 - Feb.1, 3

Non-narrative open system, in which the intentionality of the viewer is mirrored and intensified through feedback transformations of text or image:

  • Camille Utterback and Romy Achituv, installation documentation. (Viewers play with falling text of a poem. Letters and words respond to the motion of the viewers. The texts can be "caught", "lifted", and the text continues to fall once "let go" by the viewers.
  • Scott Snibbe, "Deep Walls" installation. Movements of viewers who move past the installation wall are captured and recorded as moving silhouettes. These motion silhouettes are then replayed on the wall. The wall is divided into a grid so that 12-16 different motions can be replayed and replaced, as passers-by trigger new recorded motion-captures.

These installation documents were collected in DVDs published the biannual series, ASPECT: THE CHRONICLE OF NEW MEDIA ART.

WEEK 3 - Feb. 8, 10

  • Pianographique, a "multimedia instrument" by Jean-Luc Lamarque (France) with others.
  • Re-move by Lia (Austria) - Lia is a former painter who uses code to as an exploratory and experimental process.
  • Sketches and Software Structures (based on the work of Sol LeWitt) by Casey Reas (U.S.)
  • Qrime by Motomichi Nakamura (U.S.?) - meditations on death and violence with cartoons and literary quotes
  • Stanza, Amorphoscapes

Sources for compression/archiving software (to be discussed in class):

  • Zippist for Mac OSX (free or donate to Unicef)
  • WinRAR for Windows PC (free trial available or $29 purchase)

WEEK 4 - Feb. 15, 17

Video pioneer, Woody Vasulka talks online about history of VJ-ing culture at 2:30pm EST at Montevideo Media Art Institute in Amsterdam . We may tune in to this event during class. Woody Vasulka's website, shared with his collaborator, video artist Steina Vasulka, is at

The following citations relate to the discussion of word systems used in some of your coded Flash projects viewed last week:

  • genesis genesis redux, the filtered Book of Genesis, by Alan Sondheim (U.S., 2005) - This work uses Perl code written by Florian Cramer. It is a Perl script for removing all redundant words from the Book of Genesis and printing out the resulting text comprised of entirely unique words.
  • The discussion of Genesis Redux and the Perl code (displayed at the bottom of the text). Note that, although originally written for processing a specific text, this Perl script can be applied to any other text file.
  • Another example of algorithmic writing: The Oulipo group, founded in 1960, included such writers as Italo Calvino and Raymond Queneau. Their writing practice centers around the literary potential of algorithmic writing systems and structures.
  • by Graham Harwood (U.K., 2001) translates the 19th century poem, "London" by William Blake. The performative dimension of code (where code determines actual system "behaviors") is collided with the metaphoric dimension of language in this Perl script by Graham Harwood. Is it code or is it Perl poetry?
  • Discussion of in relation to other Perl poetry and to the earlier language experiments of the Oulipo group.



Here are 2 summary sheets used in previous classes for Flash Animation and ActionScript: Summary 1 and ActionScript Summary

WEEK 5 - Feb. 22, 24

Two examples of websites that focus on software (as) art:

  • - artist-run online archive established by Olga Goriunova, Alexei Shulgin and others.
  • the exhibition titled CODeDOC, curated by Christiane Paul of the Whitney Museum of American Art

WEEK 6 - Mar. 1, 3

Additional relevant citations for this week:

Other (older) links to Gaming Production and Modding as Artistic Practice

CDROMS on reserve in the Hillyer Art Library that are relevant for our work/discussion:

  • Artintact 3 . CD-ROM magazine (Germany, 1996)
    (including interactive multimedia by artists Perry Hoberman, Ken Feingold, George Legrady). Especially relevant here is the project by Perry Hoberman, "The Subdivision of Electric Light".
  • Fantastic Prayers by Constance DeJong, Tony Oursler, and Steve Vitiello (USA, 1999)
  • Gilliam, Leah. Split: Whiteness, Retrofuturism, Omega Man (U.S., circa 1998)
  • Paccinini, Patricia. The Mutant Genome Project: Genetic Manipulation Simulator (Australia, circa 1995)
  • Gillman, Clive. Advent (UK, 1997)
  • Cmielewski, Leon and Josephine Starrs Dream Kitchen (Australia, 2000)
  • Voyager. The Beat Experience (USA, 1995)


Week 7 - Mar. 8, 10

Week 8 -Mar. 15, 17

Spring Recess - no classes

Week 9 -Mar. 22, 24

Interactive shockwave movies (settings for text, using Macromedia Director):


Week 10 - Mar. 29, 31

Week 11 - Apr. 5, 7

Week 12 - Apr. 12, 14

Week 13 - Apr. 19, 21

Week 14 - Apr. 26, 28