Time: Tuesday and Thursday 12:30-1:50 pm
Place: 216 Music and Media Building
Professor Christopher Dobrian
Office hours by appointment
211 Music and Media Building
This course undertakes a study of artistic issues and programming techniques involved in the development of interactive computer art and music. It includes some study of theoretical background in computer-human interaction, basic tenets of programming, practical exercises in programming interactive computer multimedia art, and the conceptualization and design of a complete work of interactive music and/or art.
Class will consist of interactive lecture-demonstrations on general issues of interactive arts programming, concentrating on the Max/MSP/Jitter programming environment. Students will also be expected to study Max/MSP/Jitter actively on their own outside of class sessions. Students will complete specific programming assignments every week, and will also work on an ongoing, constantly developing, software project of visual and/or sonic art.
This seminar will deal specifically with the Max/MSP/Jitter programming environment. A graphic programming environment, Max/MSP/Jitter is an application for writing your own application or for designing interactive programs. It's a suitable environment for programming music performances, sound and art installations, animations, and video, particularly for situations involving human-computer interaction. Each student in the class will be required to become very fluent in this programming environment and to design and realize artistic projects with it.
Technical topics to be covered include: basic tenets of programming (variables, data structures, data transforms, testing, flow control, encapsulation, debugging, user interface design, etc.); the Max/MSP/Jitter programming environment; review of specifics of the MIDI software protocol, digital audio, and digital video; algorithmic composition of animation, video processing, and/or music; algorithmic computer cognition of user input and gestures; and "artificially intelligent" computer behavior.
Students will be presented with specific assigned programming tasks, and will also be required to design and implement their own programming project/artwork.
Class sessions will consist of a) participatory lecture/demonstrations on the above-mentioned technical topics, b) group work on programming assignments and projects, and c) presentation and discussion of student projects in progress and the specific technical and aesthetic issues encountered. Work outside of class will include reading, self-teaching/research, and (primarily) design and programming of assignments and interactive art projects.
Below is a week-by-week plan for the class sessions. This plan is subject to ongoing revision based on the interests and needs of the students.
Week 1, March 31/April 2 Basic tenets of programming Overview of Max/MSP/Jitter Writing simple programs in Max Week 2, April 7/9 Basics of MIDI, digital audio, digital video, animation Data mapping: mapping relationships between MIDI, audio, video, space, color Week 3, April 14/16 Control functions in audio, music, and animation Audio processing in MSP Digital video processing in Jitter Week 4, April 21/23 Temporal form, the experience of time, timing in Max Algorithmic composition of notes, sounds, and images Uses of randomness and probability Guest lecture: Multimedia and music performance, by Abbie Conant and William Osborne Week 5, April 28/30 Composition and design considerations for interactive realtime performance Midterm project presentations Week 6, May 5/7 Development of final project concept, proposal, and timeline Network communication and telematic performance issues Week 7, May 12/14 Audio processing in MSP (cont.) Digital video processing in Jitter (cont.) Week 8, May 19/21 Sonification of mathematical and logical formulae and data Issues of cognition: detection of characteristics in data Week 9, May 26/28 Artificial Intelligence Iterative functions and recursive functions Emergent systems and artificial life Week 10, June 2/4 Rehearsal/discussion/critique of final projects Final Exam, Thursday June 11 Presentation of projects, 9:30-12:30 (note that this begins one hour earlier than the officially scheduled final exam time)
Grading for the course will be based on timely completion of all the course requirements. Since every assignment is considered a vital part of the educational experience of the course, serious and high quality work is expected at all times. Grading will be based on three levels of programming assignment:
It is suggested that students exchange information, criticism, discussion, etc. via online group discussion and/or email whenever they have a question (or a discovery) of potentially general interest to the group. An electronic "MessageBoard" (online discussion group) has been established for this class. A group email address has been also established for this class, allowing you to send email to everyone in the class at once.
Collaboration between students in this course is strongly encouraged. Students are urged to exchange ideas, opinions, and information constantly, and to help each other with learning, development, production, and documentation of programming/artistic projects.
Plagiarism of any kind is in direct violation of University policy on Academic Honesty, and penalties for plagiarism can be severe. However, in most programming circles it is common practice to excerpt small portions of existing tested, reliable software which has been developed in one's own workgroup (in this case, by the members of the class) for inclusion in a larger programming effort. Whenever this is done, the original programmer should be credited for the included code. In this class you will be expected to attribute due credit to the originator of any ideas, words, images, sounds, or work which you incorporate substantially into your own work.
This page was last modified March 20, 2009.
Christopher Dobrian firstname.lastname@example.org