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The Ohio State University, Department of Art, Art & Technology Course Syllabus
Autumn Semester 2012

Art 2601: Media Tactics

Location: Hopkins Hall 0346
Days and Time: TuTh 6:55PM - 9:40PM
*1 Semester sequence; 2- 3 hr. labs per week; 3 credit hrs; repeatable once.
Prerequisites: -
Instructor: Austin Stewart
Email: TBD
Phone: (614) 292-5072, Art Department Phone, Please Leave Message
Mailbox: Room 258 Hopkins Hall (Art Department Main Office)
Office Hours / Availability Outside of Class Time: before or after class or by appointment.


I. Course Description

In this studio art course, students students analyze, create, and disseminate their own media artworks, with an emphasis on alternative forms of distribution and intervention. Artists have a rich tradition of repurposing media platforms for their own goals. Students will be exposed to a variety of image- and sound-based media artworks, contexts, formats and critical frameworks. Students will practice an array of traditional and non-traditional approaches to producing and distributing image- and sound-based artwork. Each student will develop a personal media art aesthetic, approach, vocabulary and voice.

I1. Course Objectives

• To develop several digital media artworks
• To gain proficiency with image- and sound-based media production
• To gain proficiency with a variety of approaches to media distribution
• To practice critical analysis of media artworks, production methods and modes of dissemination

II. Student Learning Outcomes

Students demonstrate an understanding of and facility with image- and sound-based media creation.
Students demonstrate an understanding of and facility with a variety of platforms for media distribution.
Students display ability to crtically analyze and discuss approaches to media production and distribution.
Students develop a unique creative voice and a personal approach to media creation and dissemination.

III. Course Content and Procedures

Through hands-on demonstrations, lectures, video screenings, discussions, critiques, writing and artmaking students will explore pertinent issues and discourses around media art dissemination platforms. Classes consist of viewing artworks, instructor-directed lessons on media creation and distribution, group critiques, and discussions. Out-of-class assignments include both media production and dissemination, as well as reading materials on reserve in the Fine Arts Library, etc.

IV. Requirements and Evaluation

Grades will be assigned in the following manner:
10 % Media Tactics project 1
10 % Media Tactics project 2
10 % Media Tactics project 3
30 % Media Tactics project 4
20 % Quality and clarity of written work - includes artist statements and reviews
20 % Quality of class participation in discussions and critiques
Each project will be evaluated equally on these four criteria:
Concept - idea, intention and content
Creativity - originality of thought and expression
Composition - arrangement and organization of elements
Craftsmanship - skillful use of technique and attention to detail

Work submitted at the graduate level is expected to demonstrate higher order conceptual and visual skills and should be significantly higher quality than work produced at the undergraduate level. Writings must exhibit correct form, style, and grammar and demonstrate the student's ability to communicate clearly and effectively. See assignments for further differentiation.

Late assignments will drop one full letter grade for each class period.
-Attendance in a studio course is extremely important. 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 second absence - and again for each additional absence. 3 late arrivals or early departures = 1 absence. V.

Grading Scale

Grade Scale: 93 -100% A
90 - 92% A-
87 - 89% B+
83 - 86% B
80 - 82% B-
77 - 79% C+
73 - 76% C
70 - 72% C-
67 - 69% D+
63 - 66% D
0 - 62% E

VI. Recommended Texts

These websites will serve as the technical resources for this course:

Texts - on reserve in the Fine Arts library:

Arnheim, Rudolf, Visual Thinking. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1969
Bernard, Sheila Curran. Documentary Storytelling for Video and Filmmakers. Massachusetts: Focal Press, 2004.
Block, Bruce. The Visual Story: Seeing the Structure of Film, TV and New Media. Massachusetts: Focal Press, 2001.
Murch, Walter. In the Blink of an Eye: a perspective on film editing. 2nd edition. Los Angeles: Silman-James Press, 2001.
Audio – available online
Glass, Ira. This American Life, National Public Radio broadcasts

VII. Topical Outline

Schedule is subject to change.

Week 1:
Introductions to each other and the computer lab. Syllabus review.

Week 2:

Discussion: A Frame for Understanding and Creating
Critical analysis: What is criticism?
Description, Interpretation, Evaluation, Theory
What are production values?

Week 3:
Narrative techniques
Prop’s functions. From Samuel Pepys to hubris
Self documentation (podcast examples)
Three act structure put to rest
Simply Quickly…editing for meaning and message

Week 4:
Narrative environment
Character. Sound. Location
Production tips
Copyright, Copyleft, Creative Commons
DUE: Written review of podcast #1

Week 5:
Video Production
Final Cut Pro Basics.

Week 6:
Sound Production
Logic Pro Basics.

Week 7:
Group Critique
DUE: Project #1 Bio Project

Week 8:
Blogster accounts accounts (or an OSU web space for hosting)
Understanding RSS
Aggregator accounts: iTunes, FeedBurner, Yahoo…
DUE: Artist statement reflecting on project #1

Week 9:
Alternative Media.
Podcasting. Compression.
DUE: Project #2 Photo/Audio piece

Week 10:
Group Critique

Week 11:
Alternative Narrative
Moods and media
Video and sound manipulation
DUE: Project #3 Audio/Video without talking

Week 12:
Work in class on Project #4. Individual lessons.

Week 13:
Work in class on Project #4. Individual lessons.

Week 14:
Group Critique. DUE: Project #4. (graduate students’ research papers also due).

VIII. Projects

Each student will be required to create a website and make a minimum of the following 4 creative submissions to the site.
1. Create a 1 to 3 minute creative podcast that is about you (10 pts)
2. Create a 1 to 3 minute creative podcast of an interview with another person (10 pts)
3. Create a 1 to 3 minute creative podcast using audio, but no words (10 pts)

4. Create a 3 to 5 minute podcast that exemplifies your Blog artist/mission statement. (30 pts)

Writing assignments: there will be two artist statements and two required reviews of podcasts, using the Description, Interpretation, Evaluation, and Theory method of analysis. Each writing assignment is to be one to two pages in length. (10 points each, totaling 20 points)IX. Supplies and materials
2 miniDV tapes SONY brand only (about $15)
5 blank DVD-Rs
10 blank CDs for countdown

X. Academic Misconduct

It is the responsibility of the Committee on Academic Misconduct to investigate or establish procedures for the investigation of all reported cases of student academic misconduct. The term “academic misconduct” includes all forms of student academic misconduct wherever committed; illustrated by, but not limited to, cases of plagiarism and dishonest practices in connection with examinations. The use of copyrighted music, images or video in class projects is strictly prohibited. Instructors shall report all instances of alleged academic misconduct to the committee (Faculty Rule 3335-5-487). For additional information, see the Code of Student Conduct (

XI. Disability

Students with disabilities that have been certified by the Office for Disability Services will be appropriately accommodated, and should inform the instructor as soon as possible of their needs. The Office for Disability Services is located in 150 Pomerene Hall, 1760 Neil Avenue; telephone 292-3307, TDD 292-0901;

XII. Escort service
For evening safety, please call the OSU Escort Service at (614) 292-3322..

  Copyright: The Ohio State University (Special Thanks to Nick Bontrager and Dan Shellenbarger for enhancements of this course. )  
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