Wintersession 2021

  1. This course introduces students to the fundamentals of digital imaging/video, creative coding, and theory using ecology as a theme. We will explore links between digital technologies, the geophysical environment, and natural history through readings, class discussions, workshops, and presentations. Students will learn to collect, create, and alter digital media using Photoshop, Premiere, Max/MSP/Jitter, and experimental processes. Projects will emphasize reusing, repurposing, and recycling, and ask students to examine the environmental origins and impacts of digital media technologies.
    Estimated Materials Cost: $100.00
  2. The Independent Study Project (ISP) allows students to supplement the established curriculum by completing a faculty supervised project for credit in a specific area of interest. Its purpose is to meet individual student needs by providing an alternative to regularly offered courses.
    Permission of instructor and GPA of 3.0 or higher is required.
    Register by completing the Independent Study Application available on the Registrar's website; the course is not available via web registration.
  3. This course approaches computer-generated images and three-dimensional models from both a technical and conceptual perspective. Students will be able to enhance their artistic practices through gaining introductory skills in 3D production, as well as explore histories of digital image-making and their function as a conceptual vehicle. Communicating ideas with an audience and decoding media texts through developing understandings in media literacy, cultural production, and how 3D design and its interfaces shape user's understanding of the world around them will inform student's making process. Through cumulative investigation, students will build upon skills of critical analysis and knowledge of digital production's history.

    In tandem to building ideological understandings of media, students will develop an entire 3D production workflow and be inspired to claim ownership of their individual research methodologies. Fully immersed in the digital production realm, the importance of self-learning and researching will contribute to student's semester projects. Instead of staying with one software to solve everything, students will be exposed to a range of softwares in order to engage with 3D production efficiently and effectively. Students will experience 3D making as a creative process that enhances their existing art and design practice, rather than trying to merely replicate reality. Student's work will not only reflect on the digital production process and its technical elements, but also be created with an awareness of broader cultural context through deep conceptual development.
    Estimated Materials Cost: $100.00
  4. In this course, we will develop techniques for remixing digital materials within the public domain. Through class discussions, we will re-evaluate originality as an artistic merit, examine the institution's role in distributing knowledge, and work to define ethical re-use practice given current legal frameworks on intellectual property. Casting a wide net to accommodate diverse research interests, we will learn to navigate databases and archives maintained by NASA, Prelinger, C-Span, Phenocam, and others. With an emphasis on open-source software, the course will introduce tools for collecting and recomposing audio, visual, text, and 3-D samples. Through ongoing individual research, students will scrutinize sources for encoded messages and interpret digital artifacts in relation to social, cultural, and environmental issues. Through assignments and group exercises, students will translate, juxtapose, and re-contextualize their digital collections through other forms - including, but not limited to: print, audio, film, sculpture, and architecture.
    Estimated Materals Cost: $40.00
  5. - In your pocket lies money. Printed money. A system of control. -Above the drinking fountain is a flyer. Event tonight. A system of control. -You stand on the side of the street and stick out your thumb. A car stops. A system of control. -You sign into a webpage. Access denied. Systems of control. Our lives are full of systems of control. As scary as "systems of control" sounds, they have just as much potential to be a force for good as they can be monstrous. In practice, helpful and harmful systems are quite tangled together. In this course we will be seeking to detangle these knots and deliberately make knots. Specifically we are looking at how recent events (i.e. global pandemic) have created new systems of control in our everyday lives as individuals and artists. Students will explore the role of the artist as a printmaker, creative researcher, an innovator, a liar, and a design fiction theorist. Using printmaking, CNC processes and collaborative techniques students will dissect what it means to create art as a system.

    In order to comprehend, transgress, and dismantle the structures that we participate in and perpetuate we will be reading works by Donna Meadows, Edward A. Shanken, Jena Osman, and Frances Robertson. In combining printmaking and digital fabrication methods, this class aims to explore the possibilities of conventional printmaking to conceptualize, design, and produce art with respect to systems and creativity.
    Estimated Materials Cost: $100.00
    Also offered as PRINT-1516; register in the course for which credit is desired.

Spring 2021

  1. The BioInteractive Surfaces studio will examine the applications of programmable living cells technology and biosensing. Students will design interactive surfaces to facilitate communication between humans and their surroundings for a healthier and sustainable future. Experimenting with various material systems to host biochemical interactions, such as microfluidics, biomaterials, and fabrics, students will develop interactive surfaces ranging from responsive textiles to urban displays. This course is part of the Hyundai Collaborative research initiative Adaptive Ecologies, exploring new relationships between advanced technologies, public environments, and personal experiences. This course is supported by Co-Works Research Lab and students will have access to equipment and space under social distancing guidelines.
    Permission of Instructor required.
    Open to juniors and above.
    Also offered as CTC-2044; Register in the course for which credit is desired.
  2. This seminar course analyzes the aesthetic conventions, narratives, and formats of works in new media. As a group, we will examine the impact digital technologies and new media have had on existing media, as well as the ways in which new media function as a unique system of communication. While investigating the aesthetic conventions, economic conditions and infrastructures that affect the production of new media, we will address the social and political contexts in which new media are disseminated, interpreted and privileged.

    Within this course, students will be expected to identify, analyze, and critique readings that critically inform and underwrite the foundations of their written thesis and studio practice. Students will contribute to the focus of the course through discussions and writings that contextualize their own work as it relates to critical theory. Class time will be mainly used for discussion of readings and concepts, critique of work and to introduce methods and theory.
    Graduate major requirement; D+M majors only.
    Open to first-year graduate students.
    Registration by D+M Department, course not available via web registration.
  3. This combined studio and seminar forum supports Digital + Media first-year graduate students during their second semester as they research and develop the theoretical, social, material, technical, and contextual aspects of their emergent arts practices. Students are encouraged to break comfort zones and practice through experimentation. Students pursue and refine individual interests, as well as collaborative projects within the department. Students conceptualize and discuss their work and their ongoing practice. Readings in critical cultural theory, media art theory, philosophy, semiotics and other areas further support the contextualization and grounding of the innovative practical and conceptual approaches of students. Each student is responsible to select readings and works important as references in individual research and to co-lead a discussion on a set of self-chosen readings and artists' works during the semester. The course is a mix of group discussions, group critiques, and individual meetings. Guest lecturers and visiting critics may also become involved with this class in terms of critical/research aspects. Each student will practice articulating their art process and work towards their thesis, and will contribute to the dialogue concerning the research and work of their classmates.
    Estimated Materials Cost: $100.00 - $300.00
    Graduate major requirement; D+M majors only.
    Open to first-year graduate students.
    Registration by D+M Department, course not available via web registration.
  4. If today's technologies are built upon yesterday's science fictions, it matters which fictions we embrace and it matters what technologies we speculate. In this course we will employ a science fiction lens as we co-create future worlds which value ethical, equitable, and sustainable relationships. Imagination is our greatest resource for reaching beyond 'techno corrections' and dismantling oppressive systems. We will study artists, activists, and theorists whose works casts light on mass resource extraction, racial bias in tech, surveillance capitalism, and climate migration. We will also look into Octavia Butler and Ursula K LeGuinn's works of fiction as we examine the interrelationship between those worlds and the broader culture.?
    Estimated Materials Cost: $100.00
    Elective
    Open to seniors and graduate students.
  5. The Independent Study Project (ISP) allows students to supplement the established curriculum by completing a faculty supervised project for credit in a specific area of interest. Its purpose is to meet individual student needs by providing an alternative to regularly offered courses.
    Permission of instructor and GPA of 3.0 or higher is required.
    Register by completing the Independent Study Application available on the Registrar's website; the course is not available via web registration.
  6. This course supports the practical, conceptual, theoretical and historical development of the M.F.A. thesis (exhibition and written document). Students are required to work independently and in individual consultation with their thesis committee to develop and finalize the thesis exhibition and written document for presentation at the end of the year. The exhibition and written thesis should articulate one's personal studio art / design practice in an historically and theoretically informed context. Formal group critiques are required at the midterm and end of the semester. A major final critique with visiting critics is held in the context of the final MFA Exhibition. The accompanying written thesis is expected to be of publishable quality and is also placed within the public sphere through electronic publication and filing with the RISD Library. Final submissions for this course include the presentation of a final exhibition, submission of the final written thesis, and timely completion of work for preliminary deadlines throughout the semester (draft theses, exhibition plans and press materials). Please see Digital + Media Thesis Timeline for a clear sequence of required deadlines. Please refer to the DM Thesis Guidelines and Policies for clarification of the goals and expectations of the RISD DM MFA.
    Estimated Materials Cost: $100.00 - $300.00 Graduate major requirement; D+M majors only.
    Open to second-year graduate students.
    Registration by D+M Department, course not available via web registration.