Course Description:

This course is an introduction to creative practices within digital technologies. A broad survey of the history of digital arts is examined in tandem with a survey of software including Macromedia Dreamweaver, Adobe Photoshop, and Macromedia Flash. Emphasis is placed on making creative projects for the web. Students apply knowledge and skills to creative projects throughout the term. There are lectures, reading assignments, studio projects and critiques during the course designed to aid the student in developing visual literacy and critical thinking skills in relation to the digital arts.

Tuesday, 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.


Active student participation throughout all aspects of this course will make your experience much more meaningful and is necessary for the successfully completion of the assigned work. There are reading/research assignments, weekly discussions, student presentations, critiques and the production of work during this course. Students are expected to be present for all class meetings. Please email me if you must miss a class. More than 2 absences will seriously jeopardize your standing in this course.

Students will be evaluated based on the following: Participation/attitude, creative/conceptual work, technical dexterity and progress over the term.

Midterm Project:

Drawing upon our readings and skills acquired, students work to create their own non-linear interactive web piece. The project is to be inspired by Olia Olialina's “My boyfriend came back from the War.” The instructor must approve projects and all research is to be documented on personal web sites.

Final Project:

Building on the midterm project, class readings, and skills acquired student’s work to design a web-based project of their own choosing. The instructor must approve projects and all work is to be documented on individual websites. (Final can be created in HTML, Flash, or a combination of both.)

>> I do not accept late work! <<


All students are expected to visit and contribute to the class weblog on a regular basis. Each student is also expected to create and maintain a personal website for this class. All research, documentation, and creative work should be posted on your site for peer review and comments. Individual websites should be updated weekly and include all of your work for this course. In-class presentation materials should be located on your website.

Subscribe to the Rhizome Net Art News List.

Office hours/help:

I am available for technical help or to discuss individual projects via office hours and email. If you would like to schedule a time to meet with me, please check my calendar (link above) and email me an appropriate time that works with both our schedules. Please do not leave voice mail! I am also readily available via email and will regularly respond within a few hours.

Bang-Geul Han is the Digital Arts Technician and has regular help hours each week. For more information, please visit the POD website.


Required (Available at the Bennington Bookstore):
Rachel Greene, Internet Art, Thames and Hudson, 2003.

Available online at Amazon:
David Sawyer McFarland, Dreamweaver MX 2004, The Missing Manual, O'Reilly Press, 2004.

Strongly Recommended:
Elaine Weinmann, Peter Lourekas, Photoshop CS for Windows and Macintosh : Visual QuickStart Guide
Katherine Ulrich, Macromedia Flash MX 2004 for Windows and Macintosh : Visual QuickStart Guide, 2004.

>> This schedule is a guide and is subject to change over the course of the term, please check back often.

Session 1: February 28

Introduction to the course. What is digital art?
Intro to HTML.
Session 2: March 7

Handout: Christiane Paul, “Digital Technologies as a Medium: Forms of Digital Art” page 66-111, From Digital Art, Thames and Hudson, 2003.

Intro to Dreamweaver. Bennington server space/accounts. FTP

Create biographical text-based web page inspired by Heath Bunting's _readme.html.
Session 3, March 14

From Internet Art, “Preface,” "The Internet's History and Pre-History" and "The Art-Historical Context for Internet Art." page 7-30.
From DW Missing Manual, page 1-25

More Dreamweaver, site architecture. Text example.


Write one-page html document in response to the Internet Art reading using Dreamweaver. Be sure to include links and experiment with font, color etc.

Session 4: March 21

From Internet Art: “Early Internet Art” page 31-71.

Review work to date.
Image optimization with Photoshop/Image Ready.


Table Tutorial from "Missing Manual" page 244-264
Site map/outline for student pages, draft ideas for design. Individual meetings with Robert.
Session 5: March 28

From Internet Art: “Isolating the Elements ” page 73-117.

More Dreamweaver/photoshop.

Student home pages complete and located on servers.
Session 6: April 4

From Internet Art: “Themes in Internet Art" Page 119-144.

Frames. Work on frames/midterm projects, individual meetings with Robert.
Session 7: April 11

No Class
Session 8: April 18

Ideas presentation and draft version of site architecture for Midterm project inspired by Olia Olialina's “My boyfriend came back from the War.” Frames. Work on midterm projects.


From Internet Art: “Themes in Internet Art” Page 144-171.
Review Frames Chapter in The Missing Manual Pages 299-320.

Session 9: April 25

Midterm projects due. In class presentations and discussion.

Session 10: May 2

From Internet Art: “Art for Networks” Page 173-212.

Introduction to Flash.

First draft of ideas for final project, individual discussion with Robert.
Session 11: May 9


Presentation of ideas for final project. Description of the project along with sketches, site map etc should be located on your website.

Session 12: May 16

Final project discussions and work.

Session 13: May 23

From Internet Art: “Themes in Digital Art: Beyond the book: text and narrative environments, Gaming, Tactical media, activism, and hacktivism, Technologies of the future.” Page 189-215

Final project discussions and work.
Session 14: May 30

Last Class. Final projects due. (All work from the term must be complete and located on student web pages by the start of class.)

  Robert Ransick Introduction to Digital Arts, Spring 2006 Bennington College
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