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Digital Media Workshop

Experiments in ARTificial Intelligence

art with machines


Years taught: Fall 2021
[background: Uumwelt, 2018 by Pierre Huyghe - segment]

  • UF Catalog

    Bridges the study of digital media and broadly envisioned professional practices in the field. Emphasis on portfolio and project development for transition to advanced study or professional, expressive or applied practices in integrated media.

  • Course Description

    ART 4612C/6925C Digital Media Workshop is a revolving topics, studio workshop. This semester we will explore ARTificial Intelligence. We will learn about the history and theory of AI in computing from a scientific, mythological, and material viewpoint. We will investigate it from a “pharmakological” position that is deeply critical, yet simultaneously analytical with regard to its potential. Not only will we gain a literate understanding of AI, but we will learn “heuretically”: we will learn through the act of making. Students will materially engage AI as a medium for the production of art works. Experience with digital image practices, computer modeling and programming are recommended, but not required.

    The class is a hands-on, art studio, experimental workshop. It is project-based and students will propose work that explores their own practice using artificial intelligence as a medium or source of inspiration. Sample project ideas include but are not limited to: simulations, networked experiences, generative audio, generative imagery (still and motion), info-viz, general research, etc.

    As a Senior-level and Graduate-level course, you develop your own project ideas (with our help). Your primary task is to challenge your own abilities and push the boundaries of your current knowledge.

  • Course Details

    Credits: 3; Prereq: ART 2620C (Net Art) or with permission of faculty.

     Jack Stenner, Ph.D
     Associate Professor, Art + Technology
     Office: FAC 304
     Office Hours: Th 11:30am-12:30pm
     352.213.0997
     stenner@ufl.edu
    
     Undergraduate: ART 4612c Section 11633
     Graduate: ART 6925c Section 11699
     Class: PHYSICAL - Fine Arts Bldg C Room 302
     Time: T/Th 8:30AM - 11:30AM
     Website: http://jackstenner.com/teaching/ai
     Listserv: Class contact will be made UF email and via Discord (evite to be provided).
  • Learning
    Things you might learn/explore:
    • Experimental imagery production
    • Experimental video
    • Tactical media works
    • Dynamic simulation via game engine
    • WebGL and/or node.js network experience
    • Generative experiences
    • Participatory works that collect and manipulate data
    • Bots that produce poetry or disinformation
    • Surveillance, sousveillance, computer vision
    • and more....
    Tools you might use to enable the list above:
    • PyTorch, TensorFlow
    • Game Engines: Unreal, Unity3d
    • Programming: Python, Java, C#, etc.
    • Video Streaming
    • Form [static and dynamically driven]: Maya, Rhino, Blender
    • Rapid Prototyping/manufacturing, generative models
    • Microcontrollers and Sensors: NVIDIA Jetson Nano (hopefully), etc.
    • Network/Database: Apache, PHP, MySQL, Node.js, etc.

Objectives

Over the course of the semester, the goal is to help you develop your art practice in the following ways:

1.

Context

Become aware of the history and material foundation of AI.

2.

Synthesis

Learn the appropriate integration of digital processes.

3.

Criticality

Engage meaningful discussion and develop criticality.

4.

Awareness

Gain an awareness of related work in the field.

5.

Communicate

Propose ideas in a way that clearly demonstrates intent.

6.

FUN

Have FUN!

  • Attendance

    Requirements for class attendance and make-up exams, assignments, and other work in this course are consistent with university policies that can be found at:
    https://catalog.ufl.edu/ugrad/current/regulations/info/attendance.aspx.

  • Grades

    Grades will be based 90% on projects, reviews, and class assignments. 10% will be based on class participation. See below for the breakdown. Participation means you are expected to constructively criticize your peers and participate in class discussions. Failure to do so will impact your participation grade.

    Detailed, specific info on grades and grading can be found at:
    https://catalog.ufl.edu/UGRD/academic-regulations/grades-grading-policies/

    Notwithstanding the description of grades above, generally, grades are conceived in this way:

    A(Excellent) Student’s work is of exceptional quality and the solutions to problems show a depth of understanding of the program requirements. Project is fully developed and presented well both orally and graphically. Student has developed a strong and appropriate concept that clearly enhances the overall solution. The full potential of the problem has been realized and demonstrated.

    B(Good) Student’s work shows above average understanding and clear potential. All program requirements are fulfilled and clearly and concisely presented.

    C(Fair) Student’s work meets minimum objectives of course and solves major problem requirements. Work shows normal understanding and effort. Quality of project as well as the development of knowledge and skills is average.

    D(Poor) Student’s work shows limited understanding and/or effort. Minimum problem requirements have not been met. Quality of project or performance as well as development of knowledge and skills is below average.

    F(Failure) Student’s work is unresolved, incomplete and/or unclear. Minimum course objectives or project requirements are not met, and student’s work shows lack of understanding and/or effort. Quality of project or performance is not acceptable.

    Instructor’s evaluation of student’s interest, motivation, attendance, proficiency and overall development or improvement during the semester will be taken into consideration in determining the final course grade. This syllabus is subject to refinement and development throughout the semester based on feedback and class interaction. Policies and grading criteria are absolute and will not change. Any substantial changes will be discussed with the class prior to implementation.

    Grading breakdown:

       Assignments (5) =  50%
       Reflections (10) =  20%
       Final Project =  20%
       Participation  = 10%
       
  • Evaluation

    Students are expected to provide feedback on the quality of instruction in this course by completing online evaluations at https://evaluations.ufl.edu. Evaluations are typically open during the last two or three weeks of the semester, but students will be given specific times when they are open. Summary results of these assessments are available to students at https://evaluations.ufl.edu/results/.

  • COVID-19

    POLICY LANGUAGE PROVIDED BY UF: In response to COVID-19, the following practices are in place to maintain your learning environment, to enhance the safety of our in-classroom interactions, and to further the health and safety of ourselves, our neighbors, and our loved ones.

    If you are not vaccinated, get vaccinated. Vaccines are readily available at no cost and have been demonstrated to be safe and effective against the COVID-19 virus. Visit this link for details on where to get your shot, including options that do not require an appointment: https://coronavirus.ufhealth.org/vaccinations/vaccine-availability/. Students who receive the first dose of the vaccine somewhere off-campus and/or outside of Gainesville can still receive their second dose on campus.

    You are expected to wear approved face coverings at all times during class and within buildings even if you are vaccinated. Please continue to follow healthy habits, including best practices like frequent hand washing. Following these practices is our responsibility as Gators.

    Sanitizing supplies are available in the classroom if you wish to wipe down your desks prior to sitting down and at the end of the class.

    Hand sanitizing stations will be located in every classroom.

    If you are sick, stay home and self-quarantine. Please visit the UF Health Screen, Test & Protect website about next steps, retake the questionnaire and schedule your test for no sooner than 24 hours after your symptoms began. Please call your primary care provider if you are ill and need immediate care or the UF Student Health Care Center at 352-392-1161 (or email covid@shcc.ufl.edu) to be evaluated for testing and to receive further instructions about returning to campus. UF Health Screen, Test & Protect offers guidance when you are sick, have been exposed to someone who has tested positive or have tested positive yourself. Visit the UF Health Screen, Test & Protect website for more information.

    Course materials will be provided to you with an excused absence, and you will be given a reasonable amount of time to make up work. If you are withheld from campus by the Department of Health through Screen, Test & Protect you are not permitted to use any on campus facilities. Students attempting to attend campus activities when withheld from campus will be referred to the Dean of Students Office. Continue to regularly visit coronavirus.UFHealth.org and coronavirus.ufl.edu for up-to-date information about COVID-19 and vaccination.

    FROM ME: Please refer to the Center for Disease Control Section 3: Guidance for Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) Where not Everyone is Fully Vaccinated for minimal precautions.

     

  • Materials/Fees

    Required materials will depend on the proposed projects submitted by students. Students will design projects and set budgets based on the goals of the work. See the Schedule of Courses for any attendant fees related to this course.

  • Readings

    Readings will consist of .pdfs and URLs available on the class website. While not required, I highly recommend Atlas of AI by Kate Crawford.

  • Policies

    Be sure to read the University of Florida Policies regarding academic honesty, the honor code, accomodations for students with disabilities, wellness, computer use and acceptable use policy, disruptive behavior, health and safety, email and communications, and late work policy.

  • H.B. 233

    On July 1, 2021 faculty were provided guidance from United Faculty of Florida as to how to respond to Governor Ron DeSantis' "Viewpoint Discrimination" Bill, otherwise known as H.B. 233. Among other things, I will be following their recommendation to reserve the right to record classes I teach. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to ask and we can discuss it further.

Projects

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