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Interactive Arts Courses (2013-14)

View titles & descriptions for the Interactive Arts department's courses.

Click a Course's Title to read its description .

Course #Course TitleCredits
IA 100 Intro to IA 3 credits
Students are introduced to the materials, concepts and forms of new media, robotics, games, and sound. Through studio work, lectures, presentations, and discussion, students are familiarized with current practices of integrated digital art making.
IA 202 Introduction to Sound 3 credits
This course is designed to provide a basic framework for recording, editing, and composing with sound in a variety of media. No prior production knowledge is assumed. Classes will focus on creative projects, while establishing a common technical and aesthetic vocabulary through in-class demonstrations and discussions. Sound processing, editing, and performance software such as Reason, Ableton Live, audiomulch, and turntables will be covered.
IA 215 IA 1 3 credits
An introduction to the concepts and practices of IDA, Integrating new media art, games, and systems thinking. Students will be introduced to the relevant technologies, histories, and materials of integrated digital art making. Students will create several projects over the semester, as well as developing a context for their work via lectures, presentations, and critiques.

Prerequisite: FF 210

IA 220 Exploring Materials 3 credits
Intended for electronic media artists and designers who want to integrate the digitally programmed with the handmade, this action oriented class will teach students how to study the properties and behaviors of commonplace materials and how to build with them using traditional and experimental techniques. The class will focus on understanding readily available media as structures, surfaces, textures, and fasteners, and how they affect sound, light and movement. The class is ideally suited for students whose practice incorporates electronics/robotics, games, and sound, and who wish to complement their digital skills with handmade techniques.
IA 225 Game/Play 3 credits
This is an introductory course about game culture, theory, design and development. Students will play, make and analyze games in order to build a common and more extensive vocabulary to discuss and understand the form. Principles from traditional board games, sports games, and party games will be analyzed and this analysis will then be applied to designing two paper-based games over the course of the semester.
IA 230 Sound Art 3 credits
Sound Art is a studio introduction to the development of sound as an expressive, sculptural, environmental, networked & musical medium. Students will be introduced to a broad range of historical, contemporary and hybrid techniques, ideologies and creative approaches used by artists working in the field. The course will also survey such pivotal genres of sound art and the avant-garde as: Musique concrète, Tape music, Electroacoustic music, Industrial & Noise music, Ambient, No Wave, IDM, Glitch, etc. Artists and Composers who helped define these genres will be introduced through lecture and discussion. Concepts of interactive sound installation, acoustemology, deep listening, live performance, networked music and sound in relationship to video & the internet will also be covered.

Prerequisite: FF 210

IA 240 Unity Game Programming 3 credits
Unity is a powerful 3D game engine used to create mobile, web and console based games. In this course students will learn the basics of 3D game programming, level design and C# programming. Students should have taken GamePlay 2 or have other significant programming experience.
IA 252 Network Art 3 credits
Students will learn and apply various new media methods and technologies to create networked art projects. Sound, electronics, games, gaming, play and beyond will be used for the creation of participatory net/web events. Students will work both individually and collaboratively throughout the semester. Studio work and techniques will be supplemented by readings, lectures and discussions on current and historical perspectives on new media, electronic art, systems, and networks.

Prerequisite: IA/IDA 215

IA 260A IDA Wrkshp: Processing 1.5 credits
This workshop will introduce, build, and reinforce foundational skills within the processing programming language (processing.org). the workshop will cover the essentials, including basic programming skills, the development environment, and workflow to support future course work, and/or supplement current classes.
IA 260B IDA Wrkshp: Max/msp/Jitter 1.5 credits
This workshop will introduce and build foundational skills in the multi-media authoring environment max/msp/jitter (cycling74.com). The workshop will familiarize students with the development environment, basic functionalities, workflow, and essential skills for future course work and/or self-directed projects and research.
IA 277 Robotic Arts Introduction 3 credits
This class will introduce the arduino (http://www.arduino.cc) micro-controller, sensors, programming and various output devices (lights/sound/motion) as media for art making. Each student will create their own robotic work for presentation at the end of the semester. Studio work will be supplemented by lectures/presentations, video, critiques, and readings.
IA 305 Game Play 2: Digital Games 3 credits
This class will teach the techniques of creating digital games in Flash. Students will create individual, screen based projects. In addition to creating one’s own unique games, students will learn video game history, theory, and production, including current trends in digital games and gaming.

Prerequisite: IA/IDA 225

IA 315 Hybrid Games 3 credits
This course explores new game design techniques by having students concurrently design, build and playtest a tabletop game and it's digital counterpart. Students will work in teams to build a tabletop and digital RPGs while developing stronger game design and programming skills. The goal of this course is to examine how rapid prototyping of digital and analog games can influence and improve upon a game's design. Students are expected to have a background in either programming, game design or concept art to be considered for the course. This course will work closely with students and faculty from Johns Hopkins University’s Computer Science Department.

Prerequisite: IA/IDA 225

IA 325 The Art of Electric Light 3 credits
This class about making art with various forms of electric light. class members will learn how to use contemporary forms of electric light/lighting, including LEDs, EL wire (cool neon), lasers and more. Through the process of creating their own projects, students will locate their own interests and sensibilities, and develop essential techniques in the medium of contemporary, electric light. In addition to studio work, history and context will be established by readings and presentations. Final projects will be shown publicly at the annual RobotFest in Linthicum.

Prerequisite: IA/IDA 277, Permission of Department Chair, or Graduate Standing

IA 345 Max/Msp/Jitter 3 credits
Max/Msp/Jitter is a powerful, graphical, multimedia authoring environment for realtime sound and/or video. It is ideal for realtime processing of data, such as serial input (arduino/sensors, game controllers), MIDI messages, sound, video, and system messages, and mapping data from one media to another. Projects are created by interconnecting different icons from a library of objects that represent small snippets of code, Max's graphical interface allows non-programmers to create programs without having to learn or to write code. This course will introduce students to the basics of Max's programming interface and teach students to construct their own patches (custom programs created within Max). Each student will work on small, individual projects throughout the semester and create a final project at the end of the course.

Prerequisite: IA/IDA 215 or IA/IDA 277

IA 348 IxDA Media Lab 3 credits
This course is designed to provide a lab based environment for students to explore and develop projects in robotics, sound, and light, using Max/MSP/Jitter, and the arduino microcontroller. Through technical instruction, lectures, discussions, and presentations students will have time to research, contextualize, and realize a personal project over the course of the semester.
IA 351 Open Source 3D Fabrication 3 credits
This class will cover the basics of 3D design and printing in the MICA 3d studio. Students will work with zbrush, rhino, processing, arduino/sensors and other open source applications to create printable, watertight 3D models for their robotic arts, sound, games and new materials projects. 3D laser scanning will also be covered, as will outsourcing fabrication strategies.

Prerequisite: IA/IDA 215 or IA/IDA 277

IA 355 Studio Techniques & Recording 3 credits
This hands-on class will cover studio recording and editing techniques for in studio and live environments. Students will be taught best practices for mixing, monitoring, mastering, microphone design and applications, acoustics, live recording, synchronization, amplifiers, and more.

Prerequisite: IA/IDA 202 or IA/IDA 230

IA 370 Robotic Vision/Digital Light 3 credits
Students will learn how to integrate live video (both from web cams and the kinect 3d camera) into their projects. Object and blob detection, skeletal and color tracking, facial recognition, and more will be covered. In addition, students will study the properties and behaviors of LEDs, Electro-luminescent wire and other digital light sources and learn how to control them by processing live camera feeds and connecting the resulting data streams to the Arduino.

Prerequisite: IA/IDA 215 or IA/IDA 277

IA 390 Remix as Performance 3 credits
This course will focus on the use of remixing as an artistic medium. While using audio as the primary medium, the course will also focus on the use of remixing in other media. Creative projects will involve sample slicing, video remixing, collage, constructing a DJ set, live remix with a cappella vocals, and free improvisation in a performance setting. We will explore the history and techniques of scratch DJing with turntables, finger drumming with samplers such as the Akai MPC series, and MIDI mapping controllers with software, including Ableton Live and Traktor Pro.
IA 398 IA Independent Study 1.5-3 credits

Prerequisite: students at the Junior/Senior level with a Cumulative Grade Point Average of at least 3.000

IA 475 Robotic Arts: Adv. Studio 3 credits
This studio class will focus on making art objects whose contents and processes include robotics, and new/electronic media. Centered around the arduino micro-controller (arduino.cc), sensors, motors, electric light, and interfacing with processing (processing.org) and max/msp/jitter (cycling74.com) will be covered. Studio work will be supplemented by lectures, self-directed study, presentations, readings and critiques.

Prerequisite: IA/IDA 277, Permission of Department Chair, or Graduate Standing

IA 498 Interactive Arts Thesis 6 credits

Senior Interactive Arts Majors Only

IA 499 Interactive Arts Thesis II 6 credits

Interactive Arts Majors only

IDA 260 IDA Workshops 1.5 credits
Series of IDA workshops, each focusing on a different topic or concept.