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.

Thursday, 8:20am – 12noon


Active student participation throughout all aspects of this course will make your experience much more meaningful and is necessary for the successful 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:

The first portion of the term will be focused on learning the skills necessary to build a personal website for you to house your ongoing creative work etc. We will look at principles of web design, information architecture, image optimization and best practice strategies.

Final Project:

Building on class readings and skills acquired student create 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.)

>> Late work is not accepted! <<


All students are expected to contribute in class 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 regularly and include all of your work for this course. In-class presentation materials should be located on your website.

Reading responses:

Students are required to write brief responses to all readings from Internet Art. These should not exceed one page in length and can focus on a specific projects discussed in the reading. Be sure to include links to work that you discuss. Responses should take the form of a web page and be housed on the student's website for the class.

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 or online):
Rachel Greene, Internet Art, Thames and Hudson, 2003.

Available online at Amazon:
David Sawyer McFarland, Dreamweaver 8, The Missing Manual, O'Reilly Press, 2005.

Strongly Recommended:
Elaine Weinmann, Peter Lourekas, Photoshop CS for Windows and Macintosh : Visual QuickStart Guide
Katherine Ulrich, Macromedia Flash 8 for Windows and Macintosh : Visual QuickStart Guide, 2005.

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

Session 1: February 22

Introduction to the course. What is digital art?
Intro to HTML.
Session 2: March 1

Handout: Christiane Paul, “Digital Technologies as a Medium: Forms of Digital Art” page 66-95, 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 8

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 1-28

More Dreamweaver, Tables.


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 15

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

Image optimization with Photoshop/Image Ready.
Site architecture.


Table Tutorial from "Missing Manual" page 272-292. (Tutorial files)
Reading response.

Session 5: March 22

User Centered Design and Page Design from Web Style Guide.

Review work to date. CSS.

Site map/outline for student pages, draft ideas for design. Individual meetings with Robert.

Session 6: March 29

Review. Snippets. Work on sites in class.

CSS tutorial from "Missing Manual" page 314-326 .
Present revised site map/outline and design to the class for input. Assets for site should be ready (photographs, writing etc.)

Session 7: April 5


Student webpages complete, on student server and working. Class critique.

Session 8: April 12

Long Weekend: NO CLASS

Session 9: April 19

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

Introduction to Flash.

Reading response.

Session 10: April 26

More Flash.

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

First draft of ideas for final project, individual discussion with Robert.
Session 11: May 3

More Flash.

From Internet Art: “Themes in Internet Art” Page 144-171.


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

Session 12: May 10

Review work to date. Work on finals.

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

Session 13: May 17

Work on finals in class.

Session 14: May 24

Final projects discussion and critique.

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 2007 Bennington College
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