Introduction to Digital Media Production, Spring 2006

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Course Outline

Links: Syllabus | Resources | Student Work | S.O.A.P.

Instructor Information

Name Mark Tribe
Office Hours Tuesdays 2:00pm – 4:00pm, or by appointment
Campus Box 1957
Web Site

Course Meeting Times and Location

Mondays 3:00-7:00pm
Tuesdays 5:00-7:00pm

Unless otherwise indicated, all course meetings take place at 135 Thayer Street, Room 102 (Production Two)

Course description

This course explores digital media as an experimental cultural practice, with an emphasis on critical approaches to art and technology. Experiments in online publishing, including blogging, moblogging, and Podcasting/Javacasting. In the first part of the course, students produce independent digital media production projects. In the second part, students break into three groups to collaborate on final projects. Course meetings incluse seminar-style discussions of readings and other materials, critiques of student work, tech workshops, production studios (sessions in which we brainstorm, research ideas, and work on projects), and screenings.

Course Goals

The course combines theory and practice toward five primary goals for students: 1) develop an understanding of the history and theory of digital media art; 2) apply this knowledge in digital media production projects; 3) find creative, intelligent solutions to art-making problems; 4) discover effective ways to realize ideas by developing new skills and collaborating with others who have complimentary skills; 5) learn to critique digital media projects through a three-step process of description, analysis, and evaluation.


At least one MC course. MC 23 recommended.

How To Apply

Please complete the application, which can be downloaded at, and return it to the instructor via email. Enrollment is limited to 12, and written permission required.

A Note on Technical Skills

The emphasis in this course is not on technical mastery but on understanding digital media as tools and sites for art making. Some students will come to the course with extensive digital media experience, others with very little. Advanced digital media skills are not necessarily needed in order to make advanced digital media art. Keith Obadike's Blackness for Sale and Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries' work are two examples of successful and influential digital media art projects that required limited skills to produce. Digital technologies are so numerous and complex, and they are changing so quickly, that keeping up can become a sisyphean task. The most important tech skills you can learn are: how to teach yourself what you need to know to realize your ideas; how to find ways to realize your ideas given the skills and resources you reasonably can acquire; and how to partner or collaborate with others who have the skills you need. That said, there is no substitute for learning by doing. We will organize workshops on key skills, teach one another as we learn, and strive throughout to maintain a playful and experimental attitude toward the technologies we use.

How To Prepare for a Class With Assigned Reading

Assigned readings are required, and must be completed before class.

  1. Print the readings if they are distributed online.
  2. Read them quickly but attentively. Underline and/or take notes.
  3. Bring your copy of the reading to class and be prepared to quote from the reading during discussion.

Students who are not able to demonstrate a thorough and thoughtful engagement with the readings by participating actively in discussion risk failing the course.


  1. Create a blog
  2. Create a moblog
  3. Participate in class project (S.O.A.P.)


Student performance will be assessed in five areas: 1) participation in discussions, critiques, and production studios; 2) engagement with readings, screenings, and other course materials; 3) completion of individual production projects; 4) participation in and successful completion of group project; 5) attendance and punctuality.

Attendance and Punctuality

Attendance and punctuality are simply required. Plan to attend all course meetings. Please contact me in advance if you won't be able to make it to a class due to an unavoidable conflict or medical emergency. Class starts on time, so please make every effort to arrive on time. Students with multiple unexcused absences and/or persistent lateness may not pass the course.


Available at the Brown Bookstore:

  • Bosma, Josephine, ed. ReadMe!, ASCII Culture and the Revenge of Knowledge. New York: Autonomedia, 1999
  • Elger, Dietmar. _Dadaism ._ New York: Taschen, 2004
  • Livingstone, Marco. _Pop Art: A Continuing History ._ New York: Thames & Hudson, 2000
  • Paul, Christiane. Digital Art (World of Art). New York: Thames & Hudson, 2003

Other recommended books:

  • Chandle, Annmarie and Norie Neumark, eds. At a Distance. MIT Press, 2005. ISBN 0262033283. Amazon: $26.37 new,$18.98 used.
  • Fuller, Matthew. Media Ecologies, MIT Press, 2005. ISBN 026206247X. Amazon: $23.07 new, $17.47 used.
  • Greene, Rachel. Internet Art (World of Art), Thames & Hudson, 2004. ISBN 0500203768. Amazon: $11.53 new, $7.00 used.
  • Waldrip-Fruin, Noah and Nick Montfort, eds. The New Media Reader. MIT Press, 2003. ISBN 80262232278. Amazon: $45.60 new, $21.98 used.


OCRA, the online course reserves site, is at:

The password is: digital

Link to Syllabus

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