Electronic and Time-Based Art
Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Design, Art and Performance, Purdue University


Course Descriptions

AD 23300 - Electronic Media Studio
offered every Fall, multiple sections

The Electronic Media Studio is an introductory course dedicated to the exploration of a range of artistic practices using the Macintosh computer. It consists of technical workshops, creative assignment work and class discussions and critiques. The course begins with a media- archeological investigation of the Phenakistoscope, when still images became moving images, one of the key moments in the history of electronic and time-based art. It continues with explorations into the field of sound and brings together digital images and sounds in a section on animation. In the second half of the semester, we will challenge ideas of traditional "linear" media with experiments in basic interactivity and learn simple programming techniques (using Processing).


AD 30400 - Video Art
offered every Spring, multiple sections

AD 30400 - Video Art is an introductory class dedicated to the artistic potential of digital video. The class consists of technical workshops, creative assignment work and the research, screening, analysis and discussion of existing works related to the field. The class starts with an introduction to the video camera and the digitizing and editing of video footage. In the next step, students explore the use of light and learn compositing techniques. After the acquisition of basic techniques in video production, post- production and distribution, students will mix their knowledge of more traditional video production techniques with contemporary practices in the field of video art that may include: video loops, non-linear narratives, database-cinema and/or circuit bending techniques to create experimental interfaces that can modulate or filter video signals interactively (for interactive installations, performances or VJing). Each thematic unit will be accompanied by student research presentations on relevant artists.


AD 33400 - New Media Culture
typically offered every other Fall

AD 334000 - New Media Culture will explore the cultural significance, social implications and artistic applications of new media technologies. What are the cultural, political and aesthetic possibilities of a society permeated by social media, smart phones, video and digital cameras, computer interfaces, search engines, locative media and video games? How might they differ from ‘old’ media? Through discussion, reading, screenings, guest lectures and creative experiments, we will critically reflect on everyday new media practices – surfing, sharing, uploading, downloading, ‘surveilling,’ programming, hacking, etc. – emerging technologies and their historical origins to understand changing relations between humans and machines in the contemporary American cultural context.


AD 32600 - Physical Computing
offered in the Fall of even years

Physical Computing is a highly trans-disciplinary and experimental area of artistic expression and technical exploration. In this course, students learn to sense and control the physical world with computers using the Arduino interface board and the Processing software sketching environment. The course is composed of three components: technical workshops exploring basic electronic circuits, microcontroller and graphics programming; student research of relevant art works and the creation of expressive responsive systems. The course Physical Computing begins with a basic introduction to electronic circuits, continues with examples of how to connect these circuits to a standard personal computer and concludes with basic computer vision strategies for real-time performances (in dance, theater, music, art). The technical workshops and creative assignment work are accompanied by student research, presentations and discussions of relevant contemporary and historical art works and critical investigations of the technologies used in this course.


AD 41700 - Variable Topics in Electronic and Time-Based Art
offered in the Fall of odd years

AD 41700 is a variable topics course that has been offered with the following topics: "Robots, Art and Culture," "Computer Games," "Electronic Fashion" and "Nature, Art and Technology." This course responds to the fast-developing field of new media art: “In the last few years, new media have grown to include animations, blogs, interactive media, design, games, mobile media, desktop interactive works, websites and internet art, time-based pieces, digital installation, performance, sound installations, sculptural works, kiosks, robotics, biological and DNA art, and networked activities. Between the drafting and adoption of this document, the list will have only grown longer” (College Art Association, 2007).