The Ohio State University > Department of Art > Art and Technology Program > Art 2500
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The Ohio State University, Department of Art, Art & Technology Course Syllabus Autumn 2012

Art 2500: Art and Tech: Digital Imaging
Location: Hopkins Hall. Check your course schedule for specific room number, days and times.
Prerequisites: None
Instructors: Florence Gouvrit, Nathaniel Hartman, Peter Luckner, Tim Smith, Austin Stewart
Email: refer to carment for your instructors email
Phone: (614) 292-5072, Art Department phone, please leave message though email is more direct
Mailbox: Room 258 Hopkins Hall (Art Department Main Office)
Office Hours / Availability Outside of Class Time: by appointment

Course Description:

Introduction to the creation, manipulation and critical interpretation of graphic and photographic artwork. Includes input and output of digital work as it applies to artists.

Course Objectives:

  • To create art using digital imaging tools.
  • To gain an understanding of the context of digital imaging as it relates to contemporary art practice.
  • To achieve a level of comfort with the tools and techniques needed to create digital artwork.
  • To experiment with new ways to connect digital technologies to one’s own creative practice.
  • To complete and output a digitally-manipulated artwork for exhibition purposes.
  • Student Learning Outcomes

    Through artmaking, readings, lectures, demonstrations, discussions, critiques and writing students will explore contemporary, experimental uses of digital media. Class time consists of hands-on demonstrations in software and techniques, balanced with presentations of artist examples and discussions. Students will spend some time in class discussing and developing their creative projects, but will be expected to produce most of their assigned art projects outside of class.

    Course Content and Procedures

  • Students creatively communicate ideas through digital art.
  • Students demonstrate an understanding of tools and techniques used to create digital art.
  • Students display ability to create visually and ideationally compelling imagery.
  • Students gain ability to articulate digital art concepts during discussions and critiques.
  • Requirements and Evaluation - Grading is assigned as follows:

    48 points Assigned digial art projects. (16 points possible on each of the 3 projects)
    15 points Written statements, response papers and/or artist research papers
    2 points – Active participation in class activities and discussions, as well as general class citizenship.
    points – Final project completed and submitted to the juried exhibition in Haskett Hall Gallery

    To receive a letter grade of "C" you must maintain regular attendance, complete all assignments and participate in class discussions and critiques. An "A" in this course will require that you far exceed the minimum expectations for both quality and concept. Your work should show a highly developed understanding of the concepts and techniques of digital image manipulation, as well as an innovative incorporation of this medium into your own developed aesthetic. Your contribution to class discussions and class critiques is vital for an "A". To read the evaluation criteria for the art assignments go to the bottom of the assignments page.

    Click here for more information on what letter grades mean - literally and numerically.

    Turning in your work
    Your work is due at the beginning of class and is considered late if turned in later. Your project is late if ALL portions are not turned in on time. Therefore, your project files must already be uploaded to the appropriate CARMEN dropbox by the start of class on the project's due date. Due to frequent file glitches, you must also be prepared with a backup of your final project files on on a USB drive. Your project grade will be reduced by one full letter for each class day it is late, regardless of whether or not you were absent.


    Class critiques are very important and will be held at the beginning of class on the due date of each project. If your assignment is not complete for the critique your grade on that assignment will be lowered by one full letter for each class day it is late. You are required to attend critiques even if your work is not complete. Critiques are not for my benefit; instead, they are most likely your best method to learn about artmaking - from your fellow artmakers.

    Attendance policy

    Don't miss class. Don't arrive late or leave early. You are expected to come to class on time, ready to work and with all necessary supplies and materials. Your final grade will be lowered by one full letter upon your fourth absence - and again for each additional absence. 4 late arrivals or early departures = 1 absence. Excused absences are: family emergencies, established religious holidays and illness with an official doctor's note indicating that you could not attend class on that particular day. You are responsible to find out what you missed and complete any missed work. There are only 28 days of this class, do not miss them!

    Policy on student conduct

    Students are expected to abide by the Ohio State University's Code of Student Conduct. Any violations will be reported to the Committee on Academic Misconduct.
    A few examples of violations you should avoid
    • Turning in work as your own that was created in some part by someone else.
    • Turning in work that violates copyright law.
    • Turning in work for this class that has already been turned in for another class.
    • Dishonesty concerning absences.

    Disability policy

    Any student who feels he/she may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact me privately, as soon as possible, to discuss specific needs. Students need to also be working with the Office for Disability Services (on campus at 150 Pomerene Hall, ph. 614-292-3307) so that we may coordinate reasonable accommodations.


    REQUIRED BOOK • Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS5, by Richard Harrington, should be available at the Campus Barnes and Noble Bookstore, but might be cheaper online.

    Digital Storage - You will need a USB flash drive to store image files and easily transport them to different computers. Get one that will store at least 16 Gigs, but get a larger capacity drive (40 gigs or more) if you plan to archive all of your work in this class on this one device. You will be required to follow good digital practices by backing up your important work in more than one place. Hard-drive crashes and file glitches do happen - and they are not excuses for late projects. As student, you also have access to 25 Gigs of cloud storage space. Go to and sign-in using your Buckeye Mail Windows Live ID ( and password. More details on this service on this Digital Union Blog post.

    Digital output - you will be required to get your artwork out of the computer for one or two of the assignments. This means purchasing output media to print on such as, photo quality ink-jet paper, gloss paper, inkjet canvas, transparencies, iron-on transfer sheets, back-light film (Duratrans). In addition, the final project, which will be submitted to the final Art and Technology exhibition at the Haskett Gallery, needs to be a finished piece ready to install in a gallery setting. Depending on what you decide to create for your final piece, you should plan accordingly with supply purchases. For example, if your artwork is a series of ink-jet prints, you will need to purchase frames or frame-making supplies.

    Notebook - taking notes will be necessary in this information-intensive course.

    Labs, Equipment and Facilities

    You do not need to own your own computer and/or Adobe Photoshop to succeed in this class. There are computer labs available to students in the art department and to those taking art and technology classes.The computer lab located in Hopkins Hall room 180 B, is an open lab for students to pursue their artwork outside of classes. Several other labs on campus have Photoshop, including: Campbell Hall, room 119 and the Digital Union in the Science and Engineering Library, room 370 and Thompson Library. For information about what equipment and software is available at each student computer center, visit this website or call: 614-292-8400

    Classroom services equipment checkout:
    The place to borrow equipment for this class is Classroom Services, (located at 025 Central Classroom Bldg, ph: 614-292-3131). You need to fill out and sign a permission form (that your instructor will also need to sign) and turn it in the first time you reserve or borrow equipment. After that, you will be able to check out digital cameras, digital camcorders, audio recorders, projectors, laptops, DVD players and TVs for class related projects. The best part is that it's FREE as long as you do not break it, or return it late. *Make sure to plan ahead and reserve items early because supplies are limited.

    Reading and Writing

    In addition to the required book, Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS5, there will be required readings related to digital art and ideas that will be discussed in class. There will also be short writing assignments on relevant artists and artist lectures as well as written project proposals required for each art project.

    Other inspirational readings on digital art

    Art and Electronic Media (Phaidon Press) by Edward Shanken
    At the Edge of Art, (Thames & Hudson) by Joline Blais & Jon Ippolito
    Critical Terms for Media Studies, edited by W.J.T. Mitchell and Mark B.N Hansen
    Digital Art,
    (Thames & Hudson) by Christiane Paul
    The Language of New Media
    , (MIT Press) by Lev Manovich
    Snap to Grid, (MIT Press) Peter Lunenfeld
    Electronic culture: technology and visual representation, Editor, Timothy Druckrey.
    New Media in Late 20th-Century Art, (Thames & Hudson) Michael Rush
    The New Media Reader, edited by, Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort
    Leonardo, (MIT Press) is the leading international journal for readers interested in the application of contemporary science and technology to the arts and music. It has been around since 1968! It is available in the Fine Arts Library at the Wexner Center.
    Neural, Media Art, Hactivism and Emusic magazine. Physical magazine, with lots of online content.

    See more online publications on the class Links List !

    General Schedule *

    Week 1 : Introduction to the class, the computer lab and each other. Also, saving and storing files in the lab and using the Carmen online course system to access your course's most accurate schedule, download files and drop off assignments. Introduction to Photoshop basics, such as navigation, tools, options, palettes and the marvels of undo-ing. Project #1 presented with a lecture on artists who use media techniques to critique the media. Homework: write a project proposal. Read Notes on Scanning, Resolution and Digital Fluff.

    Week 2 : Project 1 Proposals due. Deciphering image resolution and using the flat bed scanners. Technique demos: Making selections - repositioning, transforming, cropping, experimenting with various selection tools and adding and subtracting from selections. Read and discuss: Postmodernism and PhotoShop - by Lev Manovich and the article on Copyright & Art.

    Week 3 : Technique demos - working with layers; adding, organizing, hiding, transforming, copying, moving, linking, merging, duplicating, flattening, opacity changes. Also, working with fonts and a discussion of raster vs. vector graphics. Homework: work on project 1.

    Week 4 : Critique of project 1. Project #2 presented. Viewing and discussing related artwork. Technique demos: Digital painting tools - tool option pallets, painting modes, color palettes, gradients, editing brush shapes, and creating, saving and loading custom-made brushes.

    Week 5 : Project #2 proposal due. Technique demos: Photo retouching using color replacement, hue saturation, levels, the patch tool, cloning stamp, healing brush, sponge tool and the dodge and burn tools. Homework: reserve still digital camera from Classroom Services and bring to next class period - or bring your own camera.

    Week 6 : Demo on using the digital cameras available from classroom services. Technique demos: Advanced selection and masking techniques, layer masks, gradient masking, adjustment layers, levels and histograms. Homework: work on project 2.

    Week 7 : Critique of project #2. Project #3 presented with a lecture on related artists. Technique demos: Advanced layering - clipping layers, managing layers, layer effects, and creating 3D illusions. Homework: write a project proposal and begin research on project 3.

    Week 8 : Project 3 proposal due. Individual meetings and Mid-term grades given. Work on projects in class. Homework: read - Variable Media, by Jon Ippolito - OR - Slides and Prejudice, by Linda Yablonsky. Work on project 3.

    Week 9 : Discuss readings. Technique demos: Photo enhancements using sharpening, red eye tool, lens and perspective adjustments. Also, color management - understanding how color works on the monitor as opposed to a printed page, calibrating your monitor, working with color spaces and ICC profile tags.

    Week 10 : Critique of Project #3. Discuss final assignment, the exhibition and successful student projects from the past. Homework: write a project proposal for your final and begin your research. Technique Demos: Automating tedious tasks - and creating customized actions. In class work: program your own action and show off in to others in class.

    Week 11: Individually discuss proposals for final projects. Work in class on your final project. Homework: Write a one, to one-and-a-half page paper on an artist's work that relates to your final project. Also continue working on your final project.

    Week 12: Artist research paper due. Mid-project critique to show your progress on final project. Be prepared to speak about what you are doing and to show your work in progress to your peers. Homework: work on your final project.

    Week 13: Work in class on final projects + printing or other output

    Week 14: Final Critique! Your work must be printed, framed, or otherwise complete and ready for the show.

    FRI Apr 19 (Day 28): Exhibition set up day - All artwork must be dropped off between 11:00 and 1:00pm in the Hopkins Hall Gallery.Your work must be professionally presented - framed, on a pedestal or installed in a way that makes sense for your art work. You will be responsible for bringing what you will need for the installation of your work. You must also remove the work from the show on Tues, between 4 and 5pm. Expect to help out with the production of the exhibition in some way: clean-up, gallery sitting, the snack organizing or the installation set-up. This show is a group effort. Each student is expected to contribute $4 to the exhibition refreshments fund..

    Week 15: MON Apr 22 (Day 29): Exhibition Opening Celebration from 5 - 8pm . Invite your friends/family!

    TUES Apr 23: Exhibition has open hours this afternoon, then must be de-installed at 4pm. Cleanup space and remove all materials. ***Show take-down is from 4 - 5pm. All leftover work will be discarded.****

    * Note: This is a general schedule, your specific course schedule will by posted on the online CARMEN site.

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    General Art Department questions can be emailed to or phone: 614-292-5072


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