Academic Publication Practice
This course aims to build a viewpoint for academic research. Developing connections to academic context of work is important to extend creative activities for artists and designers. In this class, students will experience to acquire viewpoints for research aspect. As basic skills, students will learn basic technical writing skills for academic paper, video documentation and presentation. At the same time, we will discuss the latest research topics in fields of interaction design.
Art, Science and Technology
This is a general education onsite and online course that satisfies visual and performance arts analysis and practice requirements. This introductory course explores how technologies such as artificial intelligence, neuroscience, biotechnology and nanotechnology are driving new forms of art and science. It broadly surveys the historical development of scientific and technological innovations and focuses on work inspired by the collaboration between art and science, the idea being that art encompasses contemporary forms of expression that are technologically driven.
Students will view lectures online and do weekly blogging related to the topics covered and meet in person with the Professor at the beginning and the end of the semester to discuss and deliver their final project proposal based on a particular art/science topic of interest covered in the course.
In this lecture we explore the possibilities of interaction of midi, audio and video data and the use of algorithms within the graphical programming environment Max Msp Jitter. Max Msp Jitter is a programming language, specially designed for media artist and musicians. By connecting objects, which are representing programming routines, you design the flow of data and its processing.
Auditory Interfaces / Sound Design for Interactive Commodities
Increasingly, physical artifacts of everyday use are endowed with information and communication technologies. These "interactive commodities" provide exciting new possibilities for sonic interaction design: The visual modality is often restricted by size or the peripheral use of such artifacts, and most importantly, they are physical objects with a complex, narrative and performative identity which suggests the use of sound beyond simple beeps.
In this workshop we will explore the interaction with artifacts, their sounds and the possible relationships between them. We will investigate narrative sound design strategies inspired from highly evolved fields like film and game sound, learning to use sound to provide interpretative clues and to leverage the expressive potential of sound. These strategies then will be applied for developing contextualized scenarios and improvisational prototypes of sounding interactive commodities.
The Communication Guerilla uses the established language, aesthetics and habitus of mainstream media, advertisement and politics and subversively transforms the actual content with artistic or political means. This practice often increases the potential audience, since it can reach the inexperienced consumer, who would usually not respond to alternative social, political or economic approaches. The class will discuss the history and current movements of the Communication Guerilla and will practically explore the topic by example.
Fashionable Technology investigates the relationship between technology, fashion, craftsmanship, and design. The course builds on the foundation knowledge developed by students in Interface Culture. Contextual analysis, developed in group projects, reveals and defines the aspects of communication, aesthetics and functionality with specific focus on the idea of the garment as interface.
The first part of the class involves a theoretical discourse on the next generation of wearables, its history, its evolution, and its present state. The second part of the class focuses on developing a project focusing on textiles, wearables & technology. In this phase students will be mostly involved in applied research for the project. Students will participate in the entire design process from concept to completion. Through this process, students will gain understanding of the challenges and possibilities of designing technologies for the body.
Games Workshop I
Games Workshop I aims at both conveying an introduction to game studies as well as applied game design, thus combining theory and practice:
students are expected to challenge basic game study notions, including rules, the magic circle, game versus play, or Ludus and Paidia, with the development of experimental games. As a large variety of created game projects is hoped-for, game development is not restricted to particular genres or media:
results may range from board or card games to digital games, from zero- to multi-player games, or from casual to time-consuming games.
Concerning the theory of games, essential ideas concerning game studies, game cultures, and game design, are presented and discussed, particular weight is given to value transfer as well as current game directions that stretch to the outside of the game virtuality.
In this course students will get an overview of prevalent examples of interactive computer art, the various artists, designers and developers who shape this field. Works and examples analyses will include interactive installations, net art, software art, robotic art, interactive environments as well as new and experimental forms of interface applications and interaction design in industries and entertainment.
Besides getting to know these practical examples a special focus of the course will also be a theoretical reflection through analysing the writings and theories about this field.
Interface and Interaction Design
The aim of this course is to make students comfortable with the key design elements of content publishing on the screen-based interaction environments such as web sites, multimedia applications, interactive DVDs, etc. During the course, students will focus on the role of the interface, principles of interface design, and the process of interface. Since effective interface designs are good combinations of different fields such as information science, visual language and human-computer interaction, the course also aims to present the principles of non-linear navigation concepts, organizing content for digital publishing and interface metaphors by displaying various examples from different platforms and mediums.
This lecture tries to connect interactive art with the principles of interaction design. We will focus on understanding the philosophical and technological principles that conform the basis of many interfaces and devices.
It will probably lead us to an uncontrollable intention of finding artistic reinventions, interventions, conceptual hacks or creative reimplementations of interfaces that were supposed to be industrial standards. Or not?
Journal Club & Academic Publishing
The Journal Club is organized as an academic reading circle covering the relevant publications in the area of Human Computer Interaction and Media Art. The course is synchronized with the Academic Publishing classes, which will cover the according writing task for scientific publications. After an initial introduction to the relevant journals and conferences in the field, the students have to read, summarize and present an individual selection of articles in each bi‑weekly session.
Students finally proceed to writing their own research papers and posters and are supported in the preparation of eventual conference submissions about their ongoing research.
The course is rather practice based than theoretical. However the theory has its importance as well. Each semester there is a certain topic that serves as an inspiration for a project or homework. Concerning the outcomes of the course, students will be asked to deliver a realized project or homework. In the class the main interaction methods and techniques will be introduced _________________________________________________________________________
Unlike conventional media history, this class is intended to reveal a hidden history of media. This "secret" or "forgotten" media history deals with parallel, presumably lost, little regarded, perhaps even merely fictive strands in the development of today's media apparatuses. In an age of the rapid development of constantly new technologies, which become more and more quickly obsolete, it is interesting to create archeologies of individual media. For example, this could be an archeology of mobile media (as suggested by Erkki Huhtamo), an archeology of operating systems (Neal Stephenson), or even an archeology of dead media, as Bruce Sterling calls for in his "Dead Media Manifesto": "Plenty of wild wired promises are already being made for all the infant media. What we need is a somber, thoughtful, thorough, hype-free, even lugubrious book that honors the dead and resuscitates the spiritual ancestors of today's mediated frenzy. A book to give its readership a deeper, paleontological perspective right in the dizzy midst of the digital revolution. We need a book about the failures of media, the collapses of media, the supercessions of media, the strangulations of media, a book detailing all the freakish and hideous media mistakes that we should know enough now not to repeat, a book about media that have died on the barbed wire of technological advance, media that didn't make it, martyred media, dead media.The handbook of dead media. A naturalist's field guide for the communications paleontologist." _________________________________________________________________________
Media Art History
Reflecting Ars Electronica from the beginning on this lecture will offer an insight overview of media art development at-a-glance. Key projects,singular events and performances, cultural and political strategies behind scenes will offer a personal perspective over three decades of media history at the example of Ars Electronica reported by founders of Ars Electronica.
This course focuses on "beyond cinema" metaphors in the digital era. There are several points for departure within this context: one is that we can ask ourselves how to use video hosting service such as YouTube as a platforms for art distribution. The second question is how can we use mobile displays, such as the surface of a smart phones. And the third question is how we can use small cameras such as the ones on smart phones or on drones to explore new ways of seeing the world differently. And there are of course even more dimensions when the artwork is connected through communication networks, or if we use real-time streaming services. In this course we will look at the various new artistic possibilities that arise from these technical changes.
In this course students will learn how to design interactive mobile applications through rapid prototyping. In the first half they get an introduction to the rich variety of modern smartphone features and how to program these by using a scripting programming language. Features included are motion sensor, GPS, touch input, bluetooth, Wi-Fi communication, camera, video recording, sound recording, midi playback, messaging, graphics, screen UI design etc. Combining such features into a single application enables to create new types of mobile interfaces and applications for human computer interaction, but also to innovative novel mobile interactive services. In the second half of the course students build mobile applications based on their own ideas by participating in the entire design process from concept to completion.
Multimodal User Interfaces emphasize the role of the various modalities such as the visual, auditory, haptic and olfactory channels in Human Computer Interaction. While visual interfaces represent a well explored territory, the work with alternative modalities can still be highly experimental and therefore of increased interest within an artistic context. After introducing the properties and application areas for specific alternative modalities, the course focuses on experimental design by the example of Edible User Interfaces. These do not only involve olfactory and taste feedback, but also play with the haptic and acoustic properties of food and the related interaction paradigms such as chewing and swallowing for example.
Playful Interfaces I (New Musical Instruments)
Within the course the focus is set on playful musical interfaces and emerging artistic practices on NIME (New Interfaces for Musical Expression).
Electronic music is often played with a keyboard and mouse. Laptop musicians often sit at a desk and give performances that feel like watching someone work in their cubicle. The idea behind NIME is to go beyond the mouse and keyboard and beyond even piano keys and drum pads. It seeks to present performance systems that make the most out of the new opportunities for musical expression afforded by interactive technologies.
The course will focus on the design and creation of electronic musical instruments. Music in performance is the primary subject of this class. We will approach questions such as "What is performance?", "What makes a musical interface intuitive and emotionally immediate?" and "How do we create meaningful correlations between performance gestures and their musical consequences?" Over the semester, we will look at many examples of current work by creators of musical interfaces, and discuss a wide range of issues facing technology-enabled performance. Readings and case studies will provide background for class discussions on the theory and practice of designing gestural controllers for musical performance.
Students will invent and prototype a musical instrument - a complete system encompassing musical controller, system for mapping input to sound, and the sound output itself. Students will focus on composition and performance techniques as they prepare their instruments for a live concert. The class will culminate in a musical performance where students will play their instruments. Students are also permitted to invite other performers to join them on stage.
Introduction to programming using the Processing language and environment. The course objective is to provide a basic but solid understanding of programming, starting from the basics (variables, operators, functions, control loops) and later moving on to intermediate topics (objects, algorithms, graphics and sound). The course is destined for students with none or little experience in programming and will focus primarily on the paradigms of imperative and object-oriented programming, practised through and illustrated by audiovisual applications. The course introduces students to the C++ programming language, focusing on the usage of OpenFrameworks ‑ a multi‑platform (Windows, Mac, Linux) library framework for audiovisual programming. The aim of this course is to extend students' previous knowledge of imperative, object‑oriented programming to include the C++ language and usage of the OpenFrameworks library. Students will learn to set‑up C++ projects in an Integrated Development Environment; how to create, compile and run their project's source files; and how to develop their audiovisual projects with the OF library and it's current extensions. Focus on extended components of the OF library will be taken according to the students' wishes and needs for their own projects.
The robotics workshop aims to introduce students to the history, width and breadth of machine‑based arts, to invite them to see that working with physical devices is both easier and more complex than they have imagined, to be involved in a development process and to get their fingernails broken in a confrontation with hardware. The workshop starts with a few small meetings before moving into a three to four day workshop at the Time's Up workshops in the Industrial harbor which completes with a small presentation of the work and, most importantly, the process of developing the work.
Scientific Research Methods
This course is based on the intermediation of different research methods, methodics and modells. The participants should get a good overview on standards in writing papers for confercens, applications for research projects, presentation techniques a.s.o. Different perspectives and theoretical dimensions of artistic and scientific research are presented and discussed. Within this framework the support for actual artworks, research projects and theoretical considerations are made, with a strong focus on international connectivity and language skills.
Sensors and Microcontrollers and Advanced Microcontrollers
This course offers an introduction to sensor technology through the development of an interface. This interface is a universal analog to digital converter equipped with a micro‑controller. Building this interface will enable students to acquire sensor data from computer software like Max/Msp, Pure Data, processing, or any software that has a connection to a serial port. Electronic sensors (like light cells, temperature, motion, pressure, angular, acceleration, acoustic...) will then become available for experimentations during the course. An advanced course is also proposed to develop personal projects and provide a deeper understanding of the electronic media.
The goal of this lab is to create interactive situations for stage and installations with basic technologies like frame difference, blob tracking and sound input, which are easy to learn or probably most of you have used already.
The focus is not on the technologies itself but rather on their creative use. The software for these examples will be MAX 32-bit(!).
The hardware will be a webcam (PS3 Eye), Kinect and a microphone. Skills in handling video cameras and editing software are required.
On top of that we will discuss the following topics:
integration of different media
camera view – choreographer’s/director’s view – audience view
levels of interaction: triggering – controlling – communication
real-time generated content
the digital system as a performance partner
Student Project Support
The course is meant for students’ personal coaching and guiding for applying for the festivals, exhibitions, art residencies, etc. If there is a wish for the support in terms of the documentation and presentation of an artwork, it will be provided as well in the frames of this course.
Tangible User Interfaces allow the seemingless integration of the digital world within our physical environment. This lecture provides an overview on tangible interface concepts in general covering human computer interfaces focusing on touch and the interaction with physical object. The practical workshop also introduces the various technologies and hardware design issues for this type of interfaces. Using the TUIO and reacTIVision framework, a flexible development environment for tangible interactive surfaces, students can develop concepts for their own table‑based tangible user interface such as musical instruments, educational toys, design tools or other interactive table installations.
Dr. Christa Sommerer
Mon, Tue and Wed:
7.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m.
T: +43 (0)732 7898 480
T: +43(0) 732 7898 483
Mobile: +43 (0)676 84 7898 483
University of Art and Design Linz
4020 Linz | Austria