23218 : Surveillance Aesthetics
Description: In the modern world, individuals' activities in both the physical and digital worlds are tracked, surveilled, and computionally modeled to both beneficial and problematic ends. Working jointly with students and faculty from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), this course will examine privacy and security issues at the intersection between the physical and digital world. Coursework will encompass both technical problem sets with substantial programming components and the creation of a capstone interactive art installation following the studio art process. The course will introduce algorithms for processing and modeling various types of data: (i) mobility data; (ii) video data; (iii) audio data; (iv) natural language data; (v) structured information archives. Through both the lenses of computer science and studio art, students will be asked to design algorithms, implement systems, and create artworks that communicate, provoke, and reframe pervasive issues in modern privacy and security. The course will both unpack and re-entangle computational connections and data-driven interactions between people, built space, sensors, structures, devices, and data. Synthesizing technology and aesthetics, the collaboration between UChicago and SAIC will communicate its findings to the broader public not only through typical academic avenues, but also via provocative and compelling public art and media.
Instructor(s): Blase Ur
Offered: Autumn 2022
Cluster(s): Games, Digital Moving Image