Fall 2018

  1. Augmented Spaces

    This course explores the relationships between new  media languages and physical space.

    Building from the history and aesthetics of instal lation art and relational theater, and based on co nceptualizations such as "Relational Architecture" by Lozano Hemmer and the "Poetics of Augmented Spa ce" by Lev Manovich, we will learn to leverage int eractive and audiovisual elements in order to enha nce and re-contextualize spatial experiences that  are media-rich, relational, and responsive.

    We will use softwares, video-projectors, micro-con trollers, sensors and VR equipment to investigate  various interactive techniques including video-map ping, video-audio design, surround sound systems a nd computer vision. We will learn to deploy not on ly vision, but also hearing, olfaction, and touch  to create true immersive and multi-sensorial envir onments.

    The class comprises of lectures, hands-on workshop s and individual projects. The students will gain  a deep understanding of topics of spatial thinking  and user-generated experiences related to space,  as well as a theoretical and critical understandin g of the history of installation and interactive a rt.

    Also offered as DM-1536; Register in the course for which credit is desired.

  2. Collaborative Study

    A Collaborative Study Project (CSP) allows two students to work collaboratively to complete a faculty supervised project of indepedndent study.

    Usually, a CSP is supervised by two faculty members, but with approval it may be supervised by one faculty member. Its purpose is to meet individual student needs by providing an alternative to regularly offered courses, though it is not a substitute for a course if that course is regularly offered.

  3. D+M Graduate Studio/seminar 1

    This course supports the exploration of theoretical, social, material, technical and contextual research and concerns in new media arts practice during the first year of the first year of the D + M MFA program. It is a combined studio and seminar forum for Digital + Media first-year students. Participants become familiar with a vocabulary of multiple practices within digital media and, through a rigorous, hands-on approach, develop a thorough understanding of computational media as it applies to her/his individual creative practice. Students are introduced to a core set of methodologies and technologies from basic electronics and programming to interaction design to installation, and are encouraged to break comfort zones and practice through experimentation. Students conceptualize and discuss their studio-based work and their ongoing practice. Readings in critical cultural theory, media art theory, philosophy, semiotics and other areas further ground the conceptual approach of students in the Digital + Media department. The course is a mix of individual meetings, a required lecture and workshop series and group critiques. Some guest lecturers and visiting critics may also become involved with this class in terms of critical/research aspects. With a focus on studio experimentation and production, students will conceptualize and discuss their works-in-progress while beginning to work with new materials and systems in combination with a broad range media. Each student will practice articulating their ongoing studio art process and work, and will contribute to the dialogue concerning the research and work of their classmates.

    Estimated Materials Cost: $100.00 - $300.00

    Graduate major requirement; Digital + Media majors only

    Registration by Digital + Media Department, course not available via web registration.

    Open to first-year graduate students

  4. D+M Graduate Studio/seminar 3

    This course supports the exploration of theoretical, social, material, technical and contextual research and concerns in new media arts practice during the third semester of the D + M MFA program. Students conceptualize and discuss their studio-based work and their ongoing practice as they begin the thesis process. Working artist bibliographies are developed - both projects and texts. 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 in the Digital + Media department. The course is a mix of individual meetings, an optional lecture and workshop series and group critiques. 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 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: Digital + Media majors only

    Registration by Digital + Media Department, course not available via web registration.

  5. Digital Media Perspectives: History Of Media Art

    In this historical survey, we analyze the aesthetic conventions, narratives, and formats of works in new media. We 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 address the social and political contexts in which new media are disseminated, interpreted and privileged. We make connections across decades by focusing on the recurring themes of language, futurism, simulation, hyper-reality, transnationality and information.

    Graduate major requirement; Digital + Media majors only

    Registration by Digital + Media Department, course not available via web registration.

    Open to first-year graduate students

  6. Enquire Within Upon Everything

    In this course we will critically inquire into way s artists and thinkers reimagine digital technolog ies as we ourselves work to do the same. We will e xperiment with digital photography, video, nonline ar storytelling, digital networked performance. Th roughout the semester, we will work on a series of  short projects and a final individual or collabor ative piece. We'll cover works by Keith + Mendi Ob adike, Nam June Paik, E.A.T., Meriem Bennani, Laur ie Anderson, MONGREL, VNS Matrix, Madeline Gins, S igne Pierce, Roy Ascott, Lilian Schwartz among man y others!

    Also offered as DM-1537; Register in the course for which credit is desired.

  7. ISP Major

    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.

  8. ISP Non-major Elective

    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.

  9. Professional Internship

    The professional Internship provides valuable exposure to a professional setting, enabling students to better establish a career path and define practical aspirations. Internship proposals are carefully vetted to determine legitimacy and must meet the contact hour requirements listed in the RISD Course Announcement.

  10. Research Studio: Technological Landscapes

    Participants in the Technological Landscapes research group are passionate but critical observers of today's living environment in relation to ubiquitous, integrated, and emerging technologies. It is important that we draw inspiration not necessarily just from art, design, but from real-world events influenced or caused by technological advancement and/or failure.

    This research group will foster a dynamic, and highly collaborative environment through discussions, readings and excursions. Participants are expected to drive and determine the focus and interests of the group through conversations and consensus. In turn this will feed each participant's artistic sensibility and will form the conceptual foundations necessary for building a strong critical art work. Participants will explore research methodologies and various forms of research as material, social, and symbolic creative practice.

    The projects, individual or collaborative, should be thought of on a scale of landscape physical or virtual. One is encouraged to exploit the imaginative, speculate possible near futures and position them where the poetic crosses between science fiction and the built reality.

    Each year the group works together to locate and secure an exhibition space and or develop a site-specific work within the site/topic of study for that year. Each year the site/topic of focus changes, please contact faculty for current information.

    Estimated Materials Cost: $100.00 - $200.00

    Permission of Instructor required. Course not available via web registration.

    Please contact the Instructor with any questions and for more details.

    Open to graduate students and upper level undergraduates from both Architecture and Design and Fine Arts Divisions.

  11. Sonic Practices

    Sonic Practices is a graduate-level research group focused on acoustic, electronic, and/or computer-based means of sound production and reception. Participants explore audio culture and technology while developing experimental approaches to composition, performance, recording, and/or listening.

    Areas of investigation include, but are not limited to: audio programming languages, embedded/mobile computing for sound and music, spatial audio, sound synthesis, audio electronics, sonification and auditory display, electroacoustic music composition and improvisation, field recording and soundscape studies, sound installation and performance, and sonic interaction design.

    Each semester, course content changes in response to a new unifying theme upon which students base individual and team-based research projects. Meetings consist of discussions, workshops, critiques, and collaborations that support students' individual inquiries, the exchange of ideas, and the exploration of research methodologies.

    Estimated Materials Cost: $100.00 - $200.00

    Elective

    Open to seniors, graduates.

    Permission of Instructor required. Course not available via web registration.

  12. Systems and Power

    This cross-disciplinary studio course explores sys tems and their relationship to power, economy, soc iety and culture, through interventions in, disman tling of, hacking within, or building our own syst ems. In the late 1960s, American culture began to  transition from being object-oriented to being sys tems-oriented. Fifty years later, global systems s uch as supply chains, social media algorithms, neo liberal policies, surveillance infrastructure, and  systemic oppression seem at the forefront of conv ersation. Meanwhile, the intersection of systems a nd power has become a dominant thread in artistic  discourse. In this studio, students will choose a  system from the contemporary world that they wish  to explore, and will make work that employs or wor ks against aspects of this system. Students will c omplete small assignments and work towards one sig nificant final project. We will look at internatio nal artists and writers such as Hito Steyerl, Trev or Paglen, Zach Blas, Jill Magid, Cameron Rowland,  and more. These individuals (in order) make work  about the global circulation of images, the ethics  of government vision systems, the gendered politi cs of pattern recognition, the poetics of bureaucr acies, and the prison system's role in systemic op pression. By discussing these individuals' works,  amongst others', students will leave the class wit h the skills necessary to deconstruct complex topi cs, critique artworks through the lens of power, d istill nuanced perspectives into their works of ar t and design, and make works that center on the wa y things are done instead of on the things themsel ves.

    Open to all students.

    Also offered as CTC-1538; Register in the course for which credit is desired.

  13. Writing

    This studio course is comprised of intensive writing sessions, group critiques, and one-on-one meetings designed to support each student in assembling a comprehensive written thesis. Within this class, students will develop a critical, conceptual understanding of their studio work and process. Students will explore strategies for communicating the conceptual underpinnings of their studio practice clearly and effectively within a comprehensive document. To accomplish this we will address: thesis rationale, development of concepts, and an analysis of source material that may include relevant philosophical, aesthetic and theoretical issues as well as working process. Structure, layout, documentation, and the mechanics of formatting will also be explored in depth.

    Graduate major requirement; Digital + Media majors only.

    Registration by Digital + Media Department, course not available via web registration.

    Open to second-year graduate students.

Wintersession 2019

  1. Collaborative Study

    A Collaborative Study Project (CSP) allows two students to work collaboratively to complete a faculty supervised project of independent study.

    Usually, a CSP is supervised by two faculty members, but with approval it may be supervised by one faculty member. Its purpose is to meet individual student needs by providing an alternative to regularly offered courses, though it is not a substitute for a course if that course is regularly offered.

  2. Flowers

    People send flowers when you're ill, when you're well, when you're born and when you die. We print flowers on clothing, we stitch flowers on upholstery, we paper our walls with flowers. They appear in songs, plays, poems and food. Flowers adorn our architecture, furniture, clothing and bodies. We use perfume to smell like flowers. We name our children after flowers. The world is (nothing but) flowers.

    In this studio/seminar students will be exploring flowers as both artistic subject and medium. The class will gain a deeper understanding of how flowers have been used throughout art history; from 17th Century Dutch still life to Obama's presidential portrait. In order to comprehend the semiotics of flowers we will investigate how the their meanings vary between traditions, locations, time periods and cultures through class lectures, assigned readings, guest speakers and field trips. Students will also learn some basic botany, species identification and care.

    The goal of the course is to inspire student investigation and expand their visual and critical vocabulary. They will discover and define their own practice of artistic research, a methodology which can be applied to any topic or subject. Students will present work regularly in class for critique. The work, however, can take any form; from pencil drawings to virtual reality. Students are responsible for folding the topics and themes discussed in the course into their own practice. The intention of the course is to inspire work, not dictate it.

  3. ISP Major

    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.

  4. Introduction To Projection Mapping

    Introduction to Projection Mapping is a studio-based course focused on using projection mapping as a way to combine physical and virtual spaces together. Projection Mapping is using technology to project objects onto a surface. The purpose of this technique is to stay away from flat screen projecting. This class serves as a comprehensive introduction to methods for creating projection mapping for beginners. Our exercise during the studio will be recognizing how the video content relates to the shape of the surface, making animation, and projecting onto a simple 2 or 3-dimensional surface through mapping skills. Using a combination of media, such as photography, video, animation, sound, sculpture, and installation, you will learn the basic principles behind projection mapping and then apply them to a final project that will involve a 3D projection map on an art object of your choice. You will design a video and sound component that will be mapped onto your object, bringing it to life and challenging the viewer's perception through a clever use of light and sound. During the course, you also will learn how to scale up your work for a large gallery or an architectural application. In the discussion section, students will discuss how mapping allows an audience to experience an augmented reality in which virtual space and reality overlap, as well as the expanded illusion of space in projection mapping. Historical and contemporary works of projection mapping will be presented and assigned for analysis. After Effects, Cinema 4D, Madmapper and Millumin will be the main softwares for the class.

  5. Tangible Structure

    Technology is becoming a part of every conversation we have. What influence does it have, and how can we leverage it to create new possibilities? The objective of this course is to create and work with physical materials through the lens of technology. This class explores the various ways material may be analyzed, generated, and affected by computation. We'll be exploring how our day to day art practice can be enhanced by media and technology. Technological components will be incorporated in experimental media creation. This course is intended for object-makers who wish to introduce motion and technology into their sculpture, installation, performance, etc... Historical and contemporary works will be presented and discussed to provide a context for studio projects. Class time will consist of discussions, critiques for projects, technical workshops, trouble-shooting, studio visits, and 1 on 1 meetings. Students will be introduced to Arduino, motors, sensors, and microcontrollers in the making of art.

  6. The Art Of Going Viral

    In the year 2018, social media is more that just a platform to message your friends; it is the primary means in which we consume the majority of our information. People are living more and more of their lives online, which in turn means that art itself is existing more and more on these platforms as well. The artist who does not embrace platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Tumblr for their work is the artist who will be left behind in the dust. Yes, you can take a class on tools like laser cutting or gouache or Final Cut, but it is social media platforms are arguably the most powerful tool at an artist's disposal. If an artist wants their work to reach the masses, they are better off mastering the art of going viral than they are getting their art into the Met.

    This is a studio and seminar based course. For the seminar aspect of this class, we will focus on various questions such as: How has our consumption of art changed as social media has evolved? Have these platforms enhanced or hurt art? What is even the definition of "art" on social media? Is a meme art? What about a GIF or a youtube video? What makes a piece of art go viral...and does "viral" necessarily make it "good"? How as artists can we take advantage of "viralness"? For the studio portion of this class, students will have the opportunity to create a number of social media based art projects with the goal being to make their work go viral.

Spring 2019

  1. Critical Theory + Artistic Research In Context

    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; Digital + Media majors only.

    Registration by Digital + Media Department, course not available via web registration.

    Open to first-year graduate students.

  2. D+M Graduate Studio/seminar 2

    This course supports the exploration of theoretical, social, material, technical and contextual research and concerns in new media arts practice during the first year of the first year of the D + M MFA program. It is a combined studio and seminar forum for Digital + Media first-year students. Participants become familiar with a vocabulary of multiple practices within digital media and, through a rigorous, hands-on approach, develop a thorough understanding of computational media as it applies to ones individual creative practice. Students are introduced to a core set of methodologies and technologies from basic electronics and programming to interaction design to installation, and are encouraged to break comfort zones and practice through experimentation. Students conceptualize and discuss their studio-based work and their ongoing practice. Readings in critical cultural theory, media art theory, philosophy, semiotics and other areas further ground the conceptual approach of students in the Digital + Media department. The course is a mix of individual meetings, a required lecture and workshop series and group critiques. Some guest lecturers and visiting critics may also become involved with this class in terms of critical/research aspects. With a focus on studio experimentation and production, students will conceptualize and discuss their works-in-progress while beginning to work with new materials and systems in combination with a broad range media. Each student will practice articulating their ongoing studio art process and work, and will contribute to the dialogue concerning the research and work of their classmates.

    Estimated Materials Cost: $100.00 - $300.00

    Graduate major requirement; Digital + Media majors only

    Registration by Digital + Media Department, course not available via web registration.

    Open to first-year graduate students

  3. ISP Major

    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.

  4. Performance-on-the-internet

    This interdisciplinary studio course explores the critical perspectives of internet-based performance art. Students will be provided with the conceptual frameworks and historical contexts necessary to make compelling performances that either exist on the internet or make use of networked technologies like routers and IP cameras. Students may perform using their bodies, simple machines, twitter bots, or any medium of choice for one's followers, algorithms, strangers, trolls, and even viewers IRL. If a platform exists online, whether it is YouTube or email, Yelp or Reddit, then it is relevant to this course and ripe for performance. We will analyze performances by Ann Hirsch, Dynasty Handbag, Jayson Musson, and Michael Mandiberg; and read work by Hito Steyerl, Marvin Carlson, Micha Cárdenas, and many more.

  5. Research Studio: Technological Landscapes

    Participants in the Technological Landscapes research group are passionate but critical observers of today's living environment in relation to ubiquitous, integrated, and emerging technologies. It is important that we draw inspiration not necessarily just from art, design, but from real-world events influenced or caused by technological advancement and/or failure.

    This research group will foster a dynamic, and highly collaborative environment through discussions, readings and excursions. Participants are expected to drive and determine the focus and interests of the group through conversations and consensus. In turn this will feed each participant's artistic sensibility and will form the conceptual foundations necessary for building a strong critical art work. Participants will explore research methodologies and various forms of research as material, social, and symbolic creative practice.

    The projects, individual or collaborative, should be thought of on a scale of landscape physical or virtual. One is encouraged to exploit the imaginative, speculate possible near futures and position them where the poetic crosses between science fiction and the built reality.

    Each year the group works together to locate and secure an exhibition space and or develop a site-specific work within the site/topic of study for that year. Each year the site/topic of focus changes, please contact faculty for current information.

    Estimated Materials Cost: $100.00 - $200.00

    Permission of Instructor required. Course not available via web registration.

    Please contact the Instructor with any questions and for more details.

    Open to graduate students and upper level undergraduates from both Architecture and Design and Fine Arts Divisions.

  6. Sonic Practices

    Sonic Practices is a graduate-level research group focused on acoustic, electronic, and/or computer-based means of sound production and reception. Participants explore audio culture and technology while developing experimental approaches to composition, performance, recording, and/or listening.

    Areas of investigation include, but are not limited to: audio programming languages, embedded/mobile computing for sound and music, spatial audio, sound synthesis, audio electronics, sonification and auditory display, electroacoustic music composition and improvisation, field recording and soundscape studies, sound installation and performance, and sonic interaction design.

    Each semester, course content changes in response to a new unifying theme upon which students base individual and team-based research projects. Meetings consist of discussions, workshops, critiques, and collaborations that support students' individual inquiries, the exchange of ideas, and the exploration of research methodologies.

    Estimated Materials Cost: $100.00 - $200.00

    Elective

    Open to seniors, graduates.

    Permission of Instructor required. Course not available via web registration.

  7. Thesis Project

    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 Digital + Media Thesis Guidelines and Policies for clarification of the goals and expectations of the RISD D+M MFA.

    Estimated Materials Cost: $100.00 - $300.00 Graduate major requirement; Digital + Media majors only

    Registration by Digital + Media Department, course not available via web registration.

    Open to second-year graduate students

Departments

Apparel Design Architecture Ceramics Digital + Media Film / Animation / Video Furniture Design Glass Graphic Design History, Philosophy + the Social Sciences Illustration Industrial Design Interior Architecture Jewelry + Metalsmithing Landscape Architecture Literary Arts + Studies Painting Photography Printmaking Sculpture Teaching + Learning in Art + Design Textiles Theory + History of Art + Design