Digital Arts Courses
DA 510 Audio Techniques (3 credits)
This course will prepare students to work with music and sound for both artistic and commercial purposes. Acoustic theory and processing techniques will provide a foundation for the exploration of sound waves in other audio courses.
DA 515 Digital Imaging (1.5 credits)
This course will take a detailed look at the way images are abstracted in digital form and how that information can be manipulated. You will examine the fundamental principles, techniques, and vocabulary of digital imaging and complete a series of creative projects using Adobe Photoshop. Topics include color theory, visual composition, photo retouching, and collage.
DA 520 Methods and Data Structures (3 credits)
This course is a practical investigation of data as a material for art. This may include working with image data, text, social media, and data of the students choosing (such as economic, environmental, or societal data). You will learn methods for navigating data, transforming data, visualizing data, and come to understand it as a flexible material with significant creative potential. Work will focus on the creation of a series of digital artworks guided by different topics and techniques using the Python programming language. Topics may include textual analysis, computational poetry, data visualization, and image processing.
DA 560 Camera Techniques (3 credits)
This course covers terminology, composition, and techniques of video and still photography.
DA 600 History of Multimedia Art (3 credits)
This course will examine the aesthetic and philosophical underpinnings of multimedia creative expression. Students will study the history and theory of multimedia art and apply these trajectories through individual and collaborative creative projects. Topics covered will include: the dialectic between music and visual arts embodied in the works of the Futurist and Dada movements as well as the work of John Cage; how these dialogues expanded into other movements and disciplines such as Fluxus, Video Art and Sound Art; contemporary art focused on socio political engagement culminating in tactical media and public interventions.
DA 610 Media on the Internet (3 credits)
This course will ask you to engage critically with the effect of the internet on art production and distribution. How has the internet changed art? This will be a part-practical, part-theoretical course that will involve getting your hands dirty with basic HTML and CSS code, while also gaining a theoretical background in media politics, remix culture, and internet art history. Through readings and discussion, we will evaluate the political, social, and artistic consequences of living through a global “always on” network, and examine how artists are reacting to it in both supportive and disruptive ways.
DA 611: Cultural Documentation (3 credits)
Cultural documentation provides an orientation and foundation in the methodologies used to understand and engage with the cultural processes and assets of value to communities. This course introduces best practices in cultural documentation, the use of ethnographic fieldwork and digital media to record and understand culture, and the ethical and practical issues involved in appropriately and effectively engaging with people in a variety of community contexts.
DA 612 - Cultural Documentation - Field lab (1.5 credits)
The Cultural Documentation Field Lab provides the opportunity for students to apply the skills, tools, and perspectives they have explored in Introduction to Cultural Documentation to their own work. In this course students will undertake a cultural documentation project in a community selected in consultation with the instructor and will be expected to submit a professional quality body of fieldwork material including notes, resource listings, and media along with a report detailing and reflecting on their findings. Prerequisite: DA611 - Cultural Documentation
DA 615 Digital Media Programming/DA615S Digital Media Programming Studio (3 credits)
DA 617 Contemporary Storytelling (3 credits)
This course explores the numerous overlapping vessels for narrative, develops a syntax for the discussion of narrative across all media, and identifies typical elements of the construction of successful modern multimedia narratives.
DA 618 Agile Software Development/DA 618S Agile Software Development Studio (3 credits)
Students in this course will form a collaborative software development team that will employ the agile software development paradigm. On a regular basis, students will rapidly prototype and ship a minimum viable product that addresses the emerging concerns of a hypothetical "client."
Prerequisite: DA615 Digital Media Programming
DA 621 Physical Computing/DA 621S Physical Computing Studio (3 credits)
Students in the Physical Computing course will develop interactive hardware projects that bridge the gap between analog and digital domains. Students taking this course may need to purchase additional equipment, and should inquire with the instructor for details.
Prerequisite: DA615 Digital Media Programming
DA 622 Motion Graphics (1.5 credits)
This course will enable students to develop several different methodologies for producing motion graphics. Students will develop skill in animation and design techniques. Narrative and visual aesthetics will provide a theoretical foundation.
Prerequisite: Digital Imaging OR demonstrated prior experience in imaging
DA 625 Mathematics, Music, and Imagery (1.5 credits)
This course investigates core issues in music and imagery stemming from mathematic principles. Students will develop their own algorithms towards artistic ends.
Prerequisite: Digital Media Programming; Realtime Interactive Signal Processing also recommended
DA 630 Audio Post-Production (3 credits)
This course places audio engineering in the context of the typical video production studio. Additional topics on digital audio and studio workflow may also be addressed.
Prerequisite: Audio Techniques OR demonstrated prior experience in audio production
DA 635 Composition & Sound Design for Multimedia (3 credits)
This class examines artistic and technical issues involved in conceiving and preparing music and sound for film, video, radio, and theater.
Prerequisite: Audio Techniques
DA 640 Multichannel Sound Design (1.5 credits)
This course teaches students to understand and utilize the multichannel audio protocols required for film, video, and theatre. It will introduce issues in psychoacoustics. Prerequisite: Audio Techniques
DA 641 - Exhibits, Real and Virtual (3 credits)
Museum exhibitions, publications, websites, and other media provide powerful tools for sustaining, strengthening, and showcasing the assets and practices of communities for purposes of education, advocacy, and preservation. Students explore the use of text, image, video, and sound in effectively communicating through the medium of the 'exhibit.'
DA 645 Realtime, Interactive Signal Processing (3 credits)
Students will gain hands-on experience with the manipulation of realtime data-streams with an emphasis on audio and video.
DA 649 User Interface Design (3 credits)
While superb aesthetics may earn admiration and appreciation, excellent interface design leads to clear, almost automatic, action. In this course, students will create and rigorously test the effectiveness of interface designs. They will also experiment with novel interfaces and grapple with their implications.
Prerequisite: DA610 Media on the Internet
DA 650 2D Design for Print and Web (1.5 credits)
This course combines technique with design theory to further develop visual communication.
Prerequisite: Digital Imaging OR demonstrated prior experience in imaging
DA 651 - Visual Ethnography (1.5 credits)
Ethnography is a qualitative research strategy that engages cultural workers with community members to explore and represent cultural phenomena. Literally, ethnography is a means to represent graphically (in writing, photography, film, etc.) the culture (ethno) of a people. This course seeks to help students develop an understanding of how media have been and can be used to represent culture, and to look at important questions about these practices. By looking at historical, contemporary and emerging examples of documentary work, we will enter this dialogue, with a special focus on preparing those interested in working with these representations in public settings.
DA 653 - DA Special Topics (varies)
This course explores new and emerging topics or issues within the digital arts. Course topics will change to address emerging issues and approaches. Topics and issues might include gamification, applications of geographic information systems (GIS) technology, cloud-based and peer-to-peer program design, or any number of other topics pertinent to contemporary practice. The course will engage students in further developing the field of digital arts in emerging theoretical frameworks and modes of practice. Students in this course will deepen their expertise, make connections to their own practice, and contribute to the evolving digital arts landscape.
DA 655 3D Modeling (3 credits)
Immersive environments, character design, 3D printing, and other relevant topics in 3D modeling.
DA 656 Advanced 3D Production (3 credits)
Advanced topics in 3D Modeling and Animation will be covered in this course. Areas of advanced character modeling, surface texturing, character animation, visual effects, compositing, physics simulation, and advanced rendering techniques may be covered.
Prerequisite: 3D Modeling.
DA 665 Interactivity (3 credits)
Topics in interactivity on the web, in video games, in physical space, and others are all potential topics in this part theoretical / part hands-on course.
Prerequisite: 3D Modeling; Media on the Internet also recommended
DA 667: Immersive World-Building/DA 667S Immersive World-Building Studio (3 credits)
World-building makes up the foundation of profoundly immersive experiences. Students in this course will design and implement immersive experiences. Topics will include video game design, virtual reality, and augmented reality.
Prerequisite: DA520 Methods and Data Structures, DA655 3D Modeling
DA 670 Web Development (3 credits)
DA 675 Capstone/DA 675Y Capstone (Yearlong) (6 credits)
Students participate in the conception, creation, and distribution of a multimedia arts project. In collaboration with faculty, the student shall conceive the project, develop funding sources and apply for grants, develop and execute a PR campaign, and realize some aspect of the creative content. The student may work with a team of other content providers and producers to experience the workflow and teamwork approach common to commercial production houses. Students will produce a professional portfolio appropriate to their career path. The student's work will be critiqued by the faculty as well as members of the professional community.
DA 700 Creative Seminar (6 credits)
The Creative Seminar is a course that will focus on critique of MFA student work across fields. The Creative Seminar is split into two portions. The first occurs online is and focused on a major creative work by the student. The second portion is held during a residency, and focuses on critical review of the major work. Both the online and residency portions of the Creative Seminar may include both student critique and presentations by faculty and guest speakers. The intention of the Creative Seminar is to help a student successfully realize a large-scale artistic project suitable for exhibition. An MFA student must complete the Creative Seminar before enrolling in Thesis Document or Capstone credits.
DA 799 Thesis Document (3 credits)
For MFA students, the Thesis accompanies the Capstone, and is taken for credit any time concurrently with the Capstone. While Capstone projects are primarily focused on the realization of a major artistic project, the Thesis is focused on critical theory and analysis relating to the major project. Successful completion of Thesis is tied to the successful defense of the Capstone.