Fine Art
This is a sample curriculum for the Fine Art concentration. Please look under All Courses for other course listings.
1st Year / Fall

Computer Systems I

The purpose of this course is to give an overview of the inner workings of computer systems. It will cover the many facets of computers, including logic, hardware, programming and software, how they communicate to create networks and how to use that knowledge to make informed technical choices. It will review the theory, history and cultural context behind the emergence of computer systems, which has shaped the current technological state of affairs. Students will also learn to configure hardware and software for specific tasks, including motion graphics, 3D animation and fine art.

Creative Programming for Artists I

This course is intended for students who have no prior exposure to programming and who want to build their own tools to create digital art. We will take a close look at the techniques used to program simple manipulations of video and sound works, control these with a broad range of external controllers that are commercially available, as well as with simple camera and motion-tracking techniques. The course will consist of lectures and presentations, with a short assignment after each session. Software and hardware includes: Max/MSP/Jitter and the Processing language tool set; Arduino, iCube, and other I/O devices; Korg Nano, QuNeo and MIDI-based controllers; Kinect, Leap, and other 3D interfaces; iPhone, iPad, and smartphone apps that are able to control the computer.

Digital Art Seminar I

This seminar addresses many aspects of digital art history and theory, including the evolution of digital technologies through an examination of the key theorists and practicing artists who have defined the digital media field. The primary goal is to expose students to the broad range of ideas and forms of expression that the digital arts encompass. Students will clarify and expand their personal creative niche within the context of contemporary art and culture, through research, short written assignments and creative experimentation. This lecture series offers a historical and theoretical foundation in the digital arts, along with establishing a familiarity with contemporary art in New York City through gallery visits, artist talks and guest lectures.

Interface Design: From Ideation to Realization

This course will investigate how to construct ideas through design, research, storyboarding and wireframes. Students will examine what design can accomplish and the impact it has on a larger scale. Assignments will explore specific ways of building usable, effective and meaningful interface designs for mobile devices, tablets, desktop computers and/or any imaginable interactive surface. The goals of the course are to connect the dots of user experience within the flow of a specific activity with different devices.

New Forms in Media

Sixty years ago, video was only seen on television. Today, the electronic moving image is also experienced via the Internet, as live performances, and within sculptures and installations on various digital platforms. This studio course will investigate how to create media art. Lens-based image acquisition with various types of video cameras (surveillance, action cameras, UHD) will be explored, as will cameras that capture RGB and depth in three dimensions. Interactive and performance video forms and their technologies will also be examined through the many ways that media art can be displayed, such as multichannel environ- ments and projection mapping. Emerging media art distribution platforms will be covered. Students will complete a project in at least two of the following mediums: Internet, installation, visual performance, interactive video, sculpture, hybrid forms.

New Media in Contemporary Art

This course will explore artistic developments in new media over the past century, with a particular focus on artistic practices that examine or embrace new circumstances in the media and technologies of our time. Key works will be presented and discussed in light of the evolution of creative expression. Students will also research and discuss the concepts presented by critics and theorists. The term “new media” will be treated broadly to include developments in contemporary art, interaction, Internet-based work, film, photography and radio, as well as the beliefs and expectations that accompany new technologies.

1st Year / Spring

3D for Fine Artists

This course aims to introduce different 3D techniques that can be used to produce artistic content. It is intended for students who are not necessarily pursuing 3D animation as a specialization and will introduce different 3D content creation and acquisition workflows. It will also cover ways to present the 3D content that is relevant for a fine artist, such as interaction using the Unity Game Engine and various ways to display it, including virtual reality and projection mapping. Students will have the opportunity to develop artwork through critique and discussion of historical and aesthetic perspectives of computer art. Assigned projects include still, time-based and interactive works.

Creative Programming for Artists II

Intended for students with a basic understanding of computer programming, this advanced course is recommended for anyone who wants to build his/her own tools to create digital art. By the end of the semester, students should be able to program self-generating artworks and use data from the Internet to create artworks. The course will consist of lectures and presentations, along with short assignments, culminating in a final project. Software and hardware includes what was covered in the introductory course. Prerequisite: Creative Programming for Artists I, or instructor’s permission.

Digital Art Seminar II

This is the second part of a two-semester course. See Digital Art Seminar I for course description.

Game Design

The study of interactive design is at the core of what is unique to making art on the computer. Game design is the creation of interactive, self-contained systems of rules that usually contain a challenge and a victory condition. This course is geared not only toward those interested in the game industry, but also toward those interested in creating compelling and meaningful interactivity. This goal will be met through the exploration and critique of the work of interactive artists and commercial game designers. The course will include guest lectures by artists and game designers, readings, assignments to create paper prototypes for games, commercial and fine art games. Students will research and play games that lie outside the course syllabus and share those experiences in a thoughtful and meaningful way.

New Media Theory

The history and theory of new media from aesthetic, cultural and political perspectives will be outlined in this course. Key texts from science, technology, cultural theory and philosophy will be used to illustrate how mediation in various forms has impacted perception, communication, information systems and cultural production. Prominent theories will be referenced to trace the development of the term “new media.” Other topics include the logic of the database as a new cultural form, as well as notions of software and the power of code’s structures and rules. How networks affect cultural production—from social networking to semantic filtering to intellectual properties and urbanity—will be explored. Through lectures, reading assignments and discussions, new media will be positioned in this larger cultural context.

Touch and Tech Art Lab I

This course is intended for students from all disciplines who want to expand the realm of their virtual work into the physical world with computational media and physical computing. Participants will gain an understanding of future physical/ virtual interfaces, advanced sensing technology, interactive art installations, Microsoft Kinect-based technology, augmented reality, interactive video mapping, generative art, robotic art and interactive performances, among other cutting-edge approaches. Weekly lab exercises will build skills with the technologies reviewed in class, and longer assignments will apply the principles covered in lab exercises to creative applications. Note: No previous experience or knowledge of electronics, programming, or science is required.

2nd Year / Fall

3D Design and Fabrication I

This course will examine several methods of virtual to digital output. It will cover the software programs needed to successfully translate creative ideas into a file format that will be used for printing and cutting, or to machine-build a project. Applications include SolidWorks, Rhino, Modo, SketchUp, Sculptris, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, Geomagic, MasterCam, Vcarve Pro and Cut3D. Weekly assignments will familiarize students with 3D scanning and printing, laser and CNC milling and cutting machines, and other techniques. The works of well-known artists who use these technologies as well as the history of these types of artistic production will be discussed.

Thesis I

The thesis project consists of documented research and a body of creative work. The project should reflect individual direction and interests, attained through an awareness of the creative use of the computer and emerging technologies and its potential in the chosen area of practice. This course is intended to guide students through the initial stages of their thesis. A forum for discussion of content and context, as well as critique of work-in-progress with faculty and visiting artists will be provided. Throughout the year, students will work with a thesis group leader and the department chair.

Thesis Research and Writing I

Intended to help students to refine their research skills and articulate concepts and context, this course will focus on finalizing the thesis proposal, and the thesis research paper. Students will meet with the instructor in groups and individually several times during the semester. The critique and review sessions will be open to all thesis students every week.

Touch and Tech Art Lab II

A continuation of Touch and Tech Art Lab I, this course will go into greater depth in the examination of available technologies. We will keep looking away from the limitations of the mouse, keyboard and monitor interface of today’s computers and start with the countless possibilities of the physical world. Weekly lab exercises combined with individual sessions with the instructor to discuss the computational media needs for each student’s project will be included. Prerequisite: Touch and Tech Art Lab I, or instructor’s permission.

2nd Year / Spring

3D Design and Fabrication II

This course is a continuation of 3D Design and Fabrication I. After mastering the basics of digital and mechanical methods of making art, students will begin to work on advanced projects. Class time will include discussions on the evolving aesthetics of this type of work. Students will produce several projects during the course of the semester, or may use this class as an adjunct for fabricating their thesis projects. Prerequisite: 3D Design and Fabrication I.

Production Issues: Fine Art

Geared toward students working on their own projects in the area of installation art, interactive video, sound art or performance, this course will address issues surrounding creative projects and follow the projects to completion. Topics will include timeline and budgets, contractual issues for hiring musicians/engineers, testing and documentation. We will also discuss networking, press materials, CV, promotion, identifying funding sources and grant writing. How digital artworks can survive in a time of constant technological changes will be addressed.

Thesis II

A continuation of Thesis I, this course is geared to achieving the goals outlined in thesis proposals. Weekly group and individual critiques will be held.

Thesis Research and Writing II

A continuation of Thesis Research and Writing II, this course is intended to help students prepare the written materials needed to introduce their art practice. It will focus on the artist’s biography, statement, résumé/CV, project description and a press release. Students will meet with the instructor in groups and individually several times during the semester. The critique and review portion will be open to all thesis students every week.

Touch and Tech Art Lab III

While the production of the thesis project is the focus of the course, emphasis will also be given to the study of advanced topics in augmented gaming, OSC (Open Sound Control), face detection technology, embedded computers, drones and global positioning technology, among others. Conversely, computational project ideas—whether in the domain of art, design, humanities, sciences, or engineer- ing—will propel students to acquire the skills necessary to realize those ideas. Prerequisite: Touch and Tech Art Lab II, or instructor’s permission.