Department of Art & Art History
This course examines how data can be used as ‘material’ in art and design projects. Beyond straightforward ideas of ‘data-visualization,’ this studio course seeks to investigate how we construct meaning from sets of information, and how the construction of those sets determines the meaning itself. This course also investigates different display aesthetics and how this is also a strategy for generating meaning. Artists studied include those who use various forms of personal, public, and social data as part of their practice. Historical examples from conceptual artists and other genres are considered along with contemporary artists working with data in digital or hybrid digital/physical formats. Our daily activities and communications are constantly being monitored, analyzed, and commoditized; what are the implications of a metricized life? How are artists, designers, policy makers, and scientists navigating the massive sets of data that are now available? Through a series of hands-on labs, students will develop projects using a combination of methods and discussions will address data/information theory today; collection, processing, storage, & policy concerns. Students will be introduced to code development within the context of the visual arts using Processing. We will develop projects using 3D scanners, as well as analog methods associated with traditional art making. Students will be expected to complete short readings, tutorials, videos, and audio lectures outside of class. We will begin with process-specific projects that are intended to quickly introduce methods. Students will then have the opportunity to develop these methods in their Final Project. No previous programming experience is required. During the course, students will learn to work creatively with data processing code environments, operate 3D acquisition tools and modeling software, integrate traditional art making processes with data-driven technologies, approach critical issues related to art and cultural production in the information age, and discuss work in the context of contemporary art and in relation to popular culture.
Course description adapted from text provided by department.