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23631 : Internet Art I

Description: This studio course examines the Internet as an artistic medium (computers, networks and code), as an environment (media ecology) and as "the masterpiece of human civilization" (à la Virginia Heffernan). Our focus will be on producing creative contributions to this collaborative space by learning the core coding languages of the web, HTML and CSS. While we will occasionally be discussing the contributions of self-identified artists (from the net.art movement of the 1990s for example) we will generally be taking a broader cultural view, exploring the histories, philosophies and practices of various online cultural niches. We will learn how hackers use the command line to break into networks and how the open source community use special tools that facilitate large scale collaborations. We'll learn about AI praised by singularity evangelists in the "age of spiritual machines" as well as the digital rights activists who protest against the algorithms of surveillance capitalism. Throughout this journey, we will be learning the craft of the Internet, and in particular browsers and the web. We will be borrowing techniques from demoscensters, meme-makers, cyberpunks and web designers as we learn to produce work with the web's generalized media format (HTML and CSS) as well as how to distribute that work online (deploying web sites).

Instructor(s): Nick Briz

Offered: Autumn 2021

Category: Practice

Cluster(s): Network Art