Andy Cox. Ask instructor. Not Applicable only $30

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San Francisco State University

Department of Art – Conceptual/Information Arts

Art 412.01 - Art and Technology

(listed as Computer Applications in Conceptual Design I)

Spring Semester, 2011

Instructor: Andy Cox

Office Location: Ask instructor

Telephone: Not Applicable – email only

Email: (protected by spam filter – you must reply to a challenge email)

Office Hours: Ask instructor

Class Days/Time: Tuesday 1410 - 1655 Thursday 1410 - 1655

Classroom: Fine Arts 538 (seminar room) Creative Arts 260 (computer lab) Prerequisites: None

Schedule # 11600

Course Fees: $30

Faculty Web Page

Copies of the course materials such as the syllabus, major assignment handouts, etc. may be found on my blog at

Course Description

Exploration of the concepts and hands-on techniques for creating art works that use and engage with contemporary technology. Approximately 50% of the time will be spent in the classroom and 50% in the Creative Arts Computer Lab – CA 260.

Course Goals and Student Learning Objectives

The general aim of the class is to engage critically with contemporary technology while learning valuable art and design skills. The course emphasizes the


By the end of the class students will understand how technologies relate to economics, politics, communities, and personal experience. This understanding will emerge from research into the history, and cultural impacts of technology and from art works created using the computer. All student work will be documented in a personal blog which will be viewable by the internet community unless requested otherwise by the student.

Required Texts/Readings

Required Text

Unity Game Development Essentials by Will Goldstone. Students may purchase this book for ~$40 or access it free online through the San Francisco Public Library You must be a member of the San Francisco Public library to view the book.


Required readings will either be available online or provided in PDF format. Reading assignments may include selections from the following:

• Art and Video Games, Andy Clarke and Grethe Mitchell, eds • From Sun Tzu to Xbox - War and Video Games, Ed Halter • The Art of Computer Game Design, Chris Crowther

• Hamlet on the Holodeck, Janet H. Murray • Digital Art, Christiane Paul

• Business at the Speed of Thought, Bill Gates • Understanding Media, Marshall McLuhan

• The Society of the Spectacle, Guy Debord (follow link to full text) • (Situationist and Anarchist Texts)

• Cyber-Marx, Nick Dyer Witheford (follow link to full text) • (subscribe to netart news)

• WIRED magazine


• Connections (TV Series), James Burke • Ways of Seeing, John Berger

Other equipment / material requirements

Students are responsible for storing their work on their own portable media such as a USB “thumb” drive.

Classroom Protocol

This is an intensive course. Attendance and participation in all classes is required, 3 hours per class twice per week. Before embarking on this class, please make sure that you can make this commitment. Attendance and lateness will be taken into account in the award of grades as follows:

4 missed classes = deduction of one grade (e.g. from a B to a C) 2 missed classes = deduction of half a grade (e.g. from B+ to a B) 8 late attendances = deduction of one grade

4 late attendances = deduction of one half grade

A missed class is defined as a no-show without notifying me at least 24 hours in advance with a cast iron excuse, for example a doctor’s appointment, or illness. Also, you must make up for the class by preparing a piece of work agreed with me. If you simply miss a class without notifying me, you do not have the

opportunity to do a make up.

Lateness is defined as arriving later than 10 minutes after the start of class, unless you have notified me with a cast iron excuse at least 24 hours in advance. Make ups will be required if more than one hour of a class is missed (with prior approval from me).

The use of cell phones and laptop computers for personal communications during class is not allowed.

Lab Fee

The lab fee for this course is $30. Lab fees are mandatory, as noted in the footnote described in the online course schedule – meaning you must pay the charge as condition of enrollment in this course. If you remain enrolled in this course past the add deadline, a charge for the above amount will appear in your University Account. The Art Department Office will email a notification when your University Account has been charged. Lab fee payments can be made at One-Stop Student Services (SSB 103) or the Bursar’s Office (ADM 155) after the charged appears on your student account. To see if your account has been charged, check your financial


statement on your MySFSU page. Unpaid balances in the student university account can affect registration, graduation or other campus services.

Assignments and Grading Policy

Every week there will be a required reading and/or a research project.

Responses to the readings and research are to be documented on the student’s web page. There will be approximately 4-5 projects spread throughout the

semester. There is no big all or nothing “final project”. The following is preliminary list of assignments with % of grade for each:

Grade Breakdown

Participation in class discussions 10% Blog response to readings / research / games 10%

Domestic technology connections 10%

Computer music composition, video capture, upload 10% Play/research computer game, blog, present 10%

Interactive Island – terrain 10%

Interactive Island – 3d modeling 10% Interactive Island – game element 20% Interactive Island – menus and text 10%

TOTAL 100%


Grades will be awarded as follows: A Excellent > 80%

B Good 70 - 79%

C Satisfactory 60 - 69% D Unsatisfactory 50 - 59%

F Fail < 50%

+ and - grades, e.g. B+ and B- will be awarded for the top and bottom respectively of the above ranges. A+ will only be awarded for outstanding performance and grading of greater than 90%.

At mid term I will provide you with a current mid term grade and progress report. University Policies

Academic integrity

Your commitment as a student to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Francisco State University. The University’s Academic Integrity policy, located at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work.

Instances of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Cheating on exams or plagiarism (presenting the work of another as your own, or the use of another


person’s ideas without giving proper credit) will result in a failing grade and sanctions by the University. For this class, all assignments are to be completed by the individual student unless otherwise specified. If you would like to include your assignment or any material you have submitted, or plan to submit for another class, please note that this requires approval of instructors.

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours.

Appointment of Teaching Assistant

A teaching assistant may be selected to assist with administration and teaching activities.


Do not leave laptop computers and valuables unattended. There have been instances of theft in this area.


412.01 / Art and Technology - Course Schedule

Subject to change

Unless otherwise notified, Tuesdays in FA 538 and Thursdays in CA 260

Week Date Topics, Readings, Assignments, Deadlines

1 Tues 1/25 Thurs 1/27

Introductions. Review of course objective and Syllabus.

Videos: What Is Art? and Connections: Yesterday, Tomorrow and You followed by discussion.

Assignment due Thurs 1/27: bring in digital photo self Demo: Mario Composer, capture and upload

Lab: Access blog, post picture of self with brief bio.

Lab: Compose piece in Mario Composer, capture and upload

Assignment due Thurs 2/3: research for Domestic Technology Connections

2 Tues 2/1 Thurs 2/3

Presentation: Introduction to Art and Technology, followed by discussion

Lab: Photoshop demonstration followed by Domestic Technology Connections – post image and text to blog

Reading: from Ways of Seeing by John Berger

Assignment due Tues 2/15: blog response to Ways of Seeing

3 Tues 2/8 Thurs 2/10

Students present and discuss Domestic Technology Connections

Presentation: Introduction to 3D Graphics and Animation and Unity 3D game programming.

4 Tues 2/15 Thurs 2/17

Discuss Ways of Seeing

Demonstration: how to capture screen images, edit, and post to blog Students play 3D game take screenshot and upload to blog

Lab: Unity 3D game programming

5 Tues 2/22 Thurs 2/24

Reading: Should Videogames be Viewed as Art?

Assignment due Tues 3/8: blog response to Videogames as Art Lab: Unity 3D game programming

6 Tues 3/1 Thurs 3/3

Play America’s Army (provisional) Reading from: War and Video Games

Assignment due Tues 3/15: blog response to America’s Army and War and Video

Games reading 7 Tues 3/8

Thurs 3/10

Unity 3D game programming

8 Tues 3/15 Thurs 3/17

Unity 3D game programming

9 Tues 3/22 Thurs 3/24

Reading with blog posting Unity 3D game programming

10 Tues 3/29 Thurs 3/31


Thurs 4/7

Discuss Reading

Unity 3D game programming

12 Tues 4/12 Thurs 4/14

Seminar / play games Unity 3D game programming

13 Tues 4/19 Reading


Week Date Topics, Readings, Assignments, Deadlines Thurs 4/21

14 Tues 4/26 Thurs 4/28

Seminar / play games Unity 3D game programming

15 Tues 5/3 Thurs 5/5

Discuss Reading

Unity 3D game programming

16 Tues 5/10 Thurs 5/12

Review and critique of Interactive Island projects. Wrap up.





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