IMD 530 Topics

Here are some of the specific topics course we have offered under IMD 530.

IMD 530 Rapid Practices — Public Practices

This is a class that will develop collective urban research and intervention strategies via extended techniques of psychogeographic drift. The class will utilize Detroit as both a site and a model. We will spend a week in Detroit undertaking a serious major collective experiment in interventionist practice. The class will consist of 3 video lectures, 3 skype discussions and 3 assignments in advance of meeting in Detroit, one intensive week in Detroit, and individual project and extended work for the remainder of the semester. Students taking this class must be strong collaborators and independent researchers.

IMD 530  Purpose and Practice without Place

An interdiscilinary course which focuses on writing as a primary artistic practice,

with the on-line experience considered “the” viewing place. (Photography, drawing, sound and video can also be used in tandem with the writing component.) This course asks students to use their writing as a tool for creating work by examining and reflecting upon current events and world conditions. Students will develop their own language and visual documents to amplify life as it is “now” and to look for ways to extend the personal (experience) to the public (world condition) and with a sense of purpose (bridging the two).

Part seminar, part studio, this course highlights the works of Ai Wei Wei. Readings and discussions of other artists and authors will also be woven into the course material. As an extension/reflection of this research, students will create an active, collaborative, on-line presence, which takes into consideration and reflects upon our contemporary cultural climate.

IMD 530 Making Ideas Evident: from Concept to Documentation

Part symposium, part studio, geared toward rapid prototyping for the conceptual artist. When ideas come quickly, we need to respond quickly, holding onto as much of the essence of an idea as possible. This class encourages students to engage in spontaneous forms of research and production, allowing for ideas to move from the idea stage to the production stage in rapid succession. Students will be given a structure for developing ideas and will be required to move through a variety of media within the semester, developing a diverse body of work.

IMD 530 Professional Film Production

The mastery of technical skills and the application of artistic intent are both at the core of video storytelling. We have more access to the tools of video production than ever before, but a high level of technical knowledge (and in many instances, a large team) is required for professional results. This course provides students with the opportunity to work on large scale video projects as part of a trained and driven team. Skill building and hands on application of technique will be an essential part of the learning process for this course. In addition to technical development, the art of film making will be emphasized. Students will screen and discuss historical and contemporary work to improve their understanding of the creative, emotive and cultural processes essential in successful video production. All aspects of film production will be covered, including storytelling, script development, pre-production logistics, shooting, editing, sound recording, score composition and color correction. Students will learn production specific skills with regard to cameras, lighting, and sound and then put those skills to use in the creation of group projects.

IMD 530 Art and Tech: Augmented Reality

This course examines ideas and methods surrounding the use of augmented and blended reality technologies in art. These cutting-edge techniques combine digital artifacts with the physical world, raising basic questions about the nature of perception and shared experience. Readings, case studies, and hands-on development will be combined to build a model for theory and implementation that can be applied to the student’s own artistic practice.

IMD 530 Performance: public + private / place + practice

This is a combination seminar/practicum on performance art: one part lecture/symposium; one part studio/application. Seminars will focus on the history of performance art as well as cover the varied practices of contemporary performance artists. Students will experiment with the medium and will create and perform a new work within the course of the semester. (Students are welcome to utilize video in their works, though video is not a required component nor will the production or post-production aspects of video be taught as part of this course.)

IMD 530 Interaction Design

2005 is the year we began living in the world of common place ubiquitous computing devices. That was year Apple put out the screenless iPod Shuffle, Adidas launched the adidas_1 shoe, and iRobot launched the Discovery-its second- generation vacuum robot. Sadly, even though we live in that world, the user experience design of most everyday ubiquitous computing devices-things you see in gadget blogs-is typically terrible. That’s because we do not address ubicomp user experience design as a distinct branch of interaction design, much as we did not treat interaction design as separate from visual design in the early days of the Web. This class will research for and designed a number of ubicomp user experiences. In the process, we will explore seams between industrial design, interaction design, architecture, and ubiquitous computing user experience design.

IMD 530 Advanced Documentary Workshop

Advanced Documentary Workshop — Students shall develop advanced multimedia documentary reporting and publishing techniques by exploring one or more timely topics using still and video photography and audio recordings. The objective shall be the production of professional quality sound and image slide shows and/or videos that are focused, authoritative and appealing to general audiences. Works shall include an immersion ethnography that deals with the impact of the April 2010 closing of the Stinson Seafood Cannery on the economy and culture of Maine’s Schoodic Peninsula. Students shall conduct traditional research and field observations in Prospect Harbor, Corea, Winter Harbor, Birch Harbor and/or other villages in the Schoodic area and participate in an intensive four-day immersion workshop. Outcomes shall include a solid grounding in multimedia fieldwork production, editing, and presentation techniques and at least one substantive multimedia publication that is suitable for web, broadcast or interactive tablet dissemination. Presentations and discussions of innovative documentaries and analyses of works-in-progress shall occur on a weekly basis.

IMD 530 Interdisciplinary Documentary Workshop

This is a course for seniors and graduate students in media and non-media fields such as anthropology, geography, ecology, forestry and wildlife management who wish to communicate advanced concepts related to their research and creative activities in ways that appeal to uninformed and, perhaps, disinterested audiences such that these audiences grasp and retain essential concepts embodied in this knowledge.  Students shall learn to describe numerical data using graphs; describe geographic data using maps; describe morphological data using illustrations and diagrams; describe character, personality and interpersonal relationships using photographs; summarize and highlight data using charts and breakout boxes; describe processes using sequential images — photographs, illustrations and animations; contextualize graphics using legends — caption research and writing.

IMD 530 Interactive Web Development

The goal of this course is to acquaint students with principles and techniques of interactive system design and to help develop a number of critical skills that will enable students to explore the area of information interactive system design.  This course will use an integrated and cross-disciplinary approach to bring together a range of topics in relation to the problem of developing quality user interaction designs.  Topics covered include usability principles, conceptual models, interface metaphors, interaction paradigms and styles, task description, task analysis, collaborative technologies design, interaction design processes, interface construction and prototyping, emerging technologies, evaluation techniques and frameworks, user testing, and input-output devices.

This course will introduce students to the world of Multi-touch technologies and gesture based interaction.  We will explore several multi-touch technologies including a simple technique that enables robust multi-touch sensing at a minimum of engineering effort and expense.  It relies on frustrated total internal reflection (FTIR), a technique familiar to the biometrics community where it is used for fingerprint image acquisition.  It acquires true touch information at high spatial and temporal resolutions, and is scalable to very large installations. 

IMD 530 The Terrain of Visualization: Ecology, Experimentation, and Technology

 This course will explore emergent and yet to be realized forms of visualization as critical agents in the production of new perspectives and practices. The course will research and develop an embedded relationship to place, and will experiment with cross modal, inter-media practices to question, research, and understand our contemporary context. Through collaborative and individual praxis students’ will develop the tools necessary to move across technology with a pointed and relevant application of theory and materials.

To pursue these ideas and concepts the course takes on a workshop or intensive based structure. Capitalizing on this format allows students time to conceive, experiment, and research in a collective and independent context. During the intensive segments of the course students will directly engage with a variety of ecological systems and the possible perspectives available to observe them. These site visits combine with the experimental application of media, form a departure point in the development experimental visualization tactics. During the remainder of the semester students will apply these ideas to their studio practices, materials, and mediums allowing for the development of experimental visualization tactics relevant to their individual interests and concepts. 

IMD 530 Life Art Studio

How do you ground yourself as an artist? Where do you and your work derive sustenance? How can you leverage the “place” you come from to increase your work’s impact, reach, and depth? Life Art Studio will explore these questions via a local community art project along the Stillwater river. In collaboration with a Sustainability Initiatives grant from the Mitchell Center, you will propose, design and implement an artists’ project to restore the cultural and ecological abundance of the watershed–from campus lot to wetlands, from culvert to woodland stream, from beaver dam to river.

The Life Art project will draw on a variety of artists’ skills: a sound artist who can hear the ‘seven sounds of water’, or a fabric artist who can weave the natural and cultural landscapes together, a video artist who can evoke the story in the landscape, or a photographer who can inspire local neighbors and university engineers to commit to their ground source, an installation artist who can create in green spaces as easily as white cubes, or a performance artist who can evoke the movement of energy across the watershed.

The shape of the project will depend on your particular artistic skills as well as your ability to hear, respond to, and network with the local communities–social and ecological.

IMD 530 Business Side of the Arts

This Course focuses on in class practice and research in creating your own business methodology.  Also, professional artists will join us occasionally as guest speakers, describing their business practice successes and failures, with a Q & A to follow. Course will attempt to cover the following subjects.

  • Creating a practice of finding Art Exhibitions, grant and job possibilities you are right for
  • Creation and Preparation of a Malleable Portfolio from your current completed works.
  • How to prepare and submit material for consideration
  • How to write an abstract used for submissions
  • How one updates and maintains documentation of complete works and completed proposals.
  • Preparation for presentation of actual work
  • Developing basic marketing tools using Blogs, websites, facebook, youtube, petchkutcha, etc. to promote your work.

This course is open to all artists, from any medium, looking to develop a functional business plan.