History and Theory of Digital Art

Instructor:  Professor Anne-Marie Schleiner

Fine ARTS 4316/5316

Email: opensorcery@opensorcery.net

Class Hours T/TH 3:30 - 4:45,  Office Hours by appt.

Digital Art N271


Focus on Net Art as Public Art


a. keep blog on responses to readings and sites visited--due every Monday at 8 p.m.* (50% grade)


b. write a review of an art site or interview artist and present to class (15%)


c. final collaborative public art project in community (25%)


d. participation (10%)



Required Book

Mapping the Terrain: New Genre Public Art

by Suzanne Lacy (Editor)  1994


Optional Books: Internet Art (World of Art)

by Rachel Greene, Thames, Hudson   2004


The electronic disturbance theater by critical art ensemble



Final Project


Do a performance in public space in non art community--intervention or healing,  artist as social engineer--outreach to denver community or colorado springs, interaction outside of the citadel, the univerisity on the hill. Could be performance, a game with cell phones, wireless hotspots, a workshop for teenagers, for eldery , at a specific community center  --will require preliminary research to find a community, work collaboratively with partners and potentially with audience


Requirements: 1. Form a group of 3 collaborating students. 2. Must take place in physical location outside Boulder and offcampus 3. Must be with a community outside of art museum/gallery system 4. Must incorporate some component of technology, neednt be primary aspect of project. (See description above for ideas.) 5. Possible approaches: a. "poetic disturbance" a la michael moore or yes men, take an issue you care about and incite people to think about it, perhaps by making a public spectacle.b. "healing participation"--involve members of the community in the creative process like elderly, womens, or youth center in underpriviledged neighborhood, prisoners or homeless (a la Suzanne Lacy-Crystal Quilt), c. Design a game that combines virtual and physical public space(Blast Theory) 6. Scale your project small enough to be completed by the end of the semester. (You may think of it as a prototype for a larger project.)


Project Phases:


1. preliminary proposal (brainstorm multiple ideas to pitch to community)


2. research: who is the public? what community are you targeting?


3. storyboard


4. production


5. event documentation



Ongoing Blog Assignment :


**I will grade your blog responses to readings every Monday at 8 p.m. unless there was no assigned reading that week**


Do a web search on the phenomenon known as "blogs" or web-logs. You are encouraged to create an experimental "blog" although popular spots like  blogger.com even let you start building and designing your own "blog" at their website if you want to do it the easy way. Throughout the semester, compose a series of 200-300 word entries to your "blog" detailing your thoughts about the various essays, art works, artists, curators, events and discussions you encounter over the course of the semester. Create at least two links from each entry of your "blog" to external sites of relevance. You should have at least 6 entries by the close of the semester. Hint: after you see/hear a visiting digital artist, go back and reflect on what you learned and immediately create an entry in your blog. If your blog can develop a compelling theme over the semester, perhaps one that directly relates to your two web projects, that's even better. Feel free to include digital images, diagrams, animations, and Quicktime movies in your "blogs" in addition to your writing. Keep in mind that these "blogs" should be subjective but can also be playful, fictional (in other voices or from other POVs), or constitute your version of "pure research". Feel free to speculate and offer insights into how the work you are being exposed to this semester is starting to effect your own developing practice as an artist, writer, student, or appreciator of the digital arts. You may want to ask yourself a lot of questions, right in the blog itself, and then set out to answer these questions as best you can. Since these will be online, that means they are "already published" and, as such, are open to the public. Keep that in mind.


Student Blogs: Myah Sarles, Lesley Betts, Adam Cutcchia, Anna Meyer, Jesse Valens, Pua Pakeke, Matt Gleitsman, David Schaal, Russell Miller, Krys Raefz, Sharon Bustamonte

Artist Report:


Your report will be 20 min or 30 min long depending which time slot you chose.Your report should cover (but not necessarily in this order):


-Artist Bio: Where is your artist from, where did he/she study, (sometimes a particular art school or geographic location develops a particular "school" or movement of artmaking--basicallly a group of artists sharing similar stratagies and influences --ie cubists, dadists, etc) Keep in mind net artists sometimes play with false identities as part of their work as in the case of mouchette or n.n. How does geographic location, for example, china, where internet is censured, or latin america, europe or the us affect this artist's work? Does the artist' gender affect their work?


-Description of Work: Which works interest you the most? What is unique or special about this artist' work? How does their work make use of the web as a medium in ways that wouldnt work in a more traditional gallery/museum setting? If you were an art critic what aspects of their work would you be critical of? How has their work changed over time? Is this artist a "first generation" or "second generation" net artist?


-Artist Interview: if possible interview the artist through email. Ask maybe 4 to 5 questions and do not wait to the last minute to request an interview.


-Allow some time in your report for questions. Animations or digital video should not take more than 10 minutes of your report.


Guest Artist


Zulma Aguiar




Tue August 23 Intro, antecedents within art to net art,  dada, happenings,  performance art, video art, mail art, and public art ---ephemeral, performative, collaborative, anti-author, Alternative Public Art:   Joseph Beuys, I Love America and America Loves Me, Tree PlantingGuillermo Gomez-Pena and Coco Fusco--Two Amerindians Visit Madrid, Susanne Lacy-Crystal Quilt,  EDT-Pro Zapitista Electronic Sit-in, Joshua Kinbergs Graffiti Bicycle, Yo Mango  


Thu August 25 Start Blog, Assign Allan Kaprow article and Intro to New Genre Public Art book by Susanne Lacy


Tue August 30

-History of Net Art, natalie bookchin's history , heath bunting and rachel baker-irational.org, alexei shulgun, jodi, olia lialina-my boyfriend came back from the war, incestiousness of that art history, 0111s, switch net art taxonomy.. collaborative, participatory, documentational,ironic etc. postmodern play with languange, hypertext, mark amerika, other net art: database art: lisa jevbratt 1:1, humerous decollage-mark napier-potatoland, shredder, software art, surfing at two levels (html of jodi), spam art to max/nato formalism: meta


-importance of lists in that community--711, nettime, syndicate, rhizome, dadaesque pranksters(jodi), nonsense poetry


-net art --escape from the art world--gallery museum systems. international community--initial pleasure of contact in inital phase, douglas engelberts vision of internet as evolving communites of specialized knowledge, relates to original arpanet for academics and scientists.



at least 3 interviews with artists by josephine bosma --Interview with Vuk Cosic

josephine bosma bio   and bosma interviews with artists


Thu Sept 1 Surfing Day


Tue Sept 6 Surfing Day


Thu Sept 8 Surfing Day


Tue Sept 13 Intervention in public space of non art communities,  rtmark, the arrest of Steve Kurtz from Critical Art Ensemble, (lynn hershmans movie about it). Tamiko Tiel and Zara Hushmand-Beyond Manzanar, escape from woomera, edt--ricardo dominguez, brett stalbaum electronic disturbance theater , --back into physical public, Yo Mango, Joshua Kinberg's Wireless GraffitiBike, las agencias, etoy-  toywar , read the electronic disturbance theater  by critical art ensemble


Thu Sept 15 Net Artist Presentations: 1. on Victor Liu or Marika Dermineur by Lesley Betts, 2. on Mark Amerika by Sharon Bustamonte, 3. on Jody Zellen by Matt Gleitsman


Tue Sept 20 Net Artist Presentations: 1. on John Cabral by Myah Sarles, 2. on Stelarc by Kris Rafacz, (switch?) 3. on Motomichi by Russ Miller


Thu Sept 22 Net Artist Presentations: 1. on Yang Hae Chang Heavy Industries by Anna Meyer 2. on Blast Theory by Preston Billingsley


Tue Sept 27 Cyberfeminism(s) vs. goddess feminism and crossgender technophoria--VNS Matrix, obn, Cornelia Solfrank, Faith Wilding-subrosa, shu lea cheang-Brandon, IKU, Garlic, lynn hershman, switch issue on cyberfeminism, feminist taxonomy, sady plant  read:  donna haraways a cyberfeminist manifesto


Thu Sept 29 Net Artist Presentations: 1. on Mark Napier by Adam 2. on Simon Biggs by David Schaal


Tue Oct 4 Reading Discussion Day 1, Discuss Chapter Two in The Electronic Disturbance Theater,

Media Theory Chart, Discussion Questions


Thu Oct 6 Net Artist Presentations: 1. on Joshua Davis by Jesse Valens 2. on Marc Garrett by Pua PakeleAnd Cabot


Tue Oct 11 music/vj/design/ net art crossovers: Future Farmers-Amy Franchescinni and Josh On , Entropy8zuper-Aurea Harvey and Michel Samyn, Joshua Davis, austrian scene, farmersmanual, turux.org: dextro and lia, re-move, meta, solu -mia

nato, nn legend, max nato etc

Collaboration with other artists and audience collabortion, lab vs. studio model, public art methods from latin america: carolina caycedo,-cambalache collective-museo de la calle, rene hayashi, other non digital digital public artists: temporary services, krystof wodiczko, michael rakowitz, jenny holzer, eteam, nyc surviellance camera players, get rid of yourself show , insite festival

read: Fluidities and Oppositions among Curators, Filter Feeders, and Future Artists(pdf)


Thu Oct 13 Fall Break


Tue Oct 18 Outsider net art, demo community, KiSS, game mod artists: Cracking the Maze, Select Parks, Mutation.fem Read: The Art of Kiss by Blackhawk , Begin Final Project


Thu Oct 20 Guest Artist Joel Swanson


Tue Oct 25 Preliminary Final Project Proposal Due (2 Ideas, 1 paragraph each)


Thu Oct 27 Reading Discussion Day 2 (Fluidities and Oppositions and The Art of Kiss)


Tue Nov 1 Final Project Field Research: who is the public? what community are you targeting?


Thu Nov 3 Lab Day


Tue Nov 8 Final Project Storyboard Due


Thu Nov 10 Zulma Aguiar Guest Artist Presentation


Tue Nov 15 Lab Day


Thu Nov 17 Lab Day


Tue Nov 22 Lab Day


Thu Nov 24 Thanksgiving


Tue Nov 29 Lab Day


Thu Dec 1 Lab Day


Tue Dec 6 Final Project Event Documentation Due, Critique


Thu Dec 13 Last Day of Classes




*Please let me know if you have special needs or disabilities and I will try to accommodate them.