Course Essentials

Course Description

New Media History and Theory is an overview of the pioneering artists and scientists who have brought about the dissolution of boundaries that have traditionally existed between the artistic and technological disciplines. The course will survey the work and ideas of artists who have explored new interactive and interdisciplinary forms, as well as engineers and mathematicians who have developed information technologies and influential scientific and philosophical ideologies that have influenced the arts. There will also be a study of the invention of information technologies and new human-machine paradigms that have come to define the medium of the personal computer as it has impacted the arts and design. The course introduces key concepts and paradigms in media history through a study of media art prior to and including the digital era.

Aims and Objectives

Students will gain a critical understanding of new media concepts and historical trends that find their origins in seminal writings, artworks, and technologies emanating from the media arts and the information sciences. The course provides a broad analysis of 19th, 20th and 21st century artistic forms and technologies that illuminate a greater understanding of the contemporary digital arts and its aesthetics, strategies, trends, and socio-cultural concerns.

Online Research and Writing

The course will make use of Open Source Studio (OSS), an online learning platform developed specifically for studio courses in the arts. Students will work extensively in OSS, a virtual studio environment that introduces a broad range of Web tools for research, online writing, and media documentation.

Grading & Rubrics

Grading for class participation is broken down into the following:

  • Class Participation and Attendance – 15%
  • OSS – 5%
  • Research Critiques – 25%
  • Symposium Hyperessay – 20%
  • Final Hyperessay – 35%

Grades for the course are based on the following general criteria:

  • The commitment to engage the process of research, writing, and dialogue
  • Incorporate concepts and techniques drawn from the study of new media history and theory into critical research and writing assignments
  • Complete work on time
  • Points are given for each assignment, such that students are responsible for the accumulation of the final score/grade (much like a game!)
  • Grades are allocated according to the standard NTU system of percentages

Grading will be assigned for all assignments & attendance:

  • Symposium Hyperessay: 50 points
  • Research critiques: each 10 points
  • Final Hyperessay: 100 points
  • Class attendance: 3 points per class (total 39 points)
  • Evaluation of OSS site: 10 points

Marks Criteria

A+ Outstanding

As below but difficult to see how the work/design can be improved within the resources allowed.

A Excellent

  1. Work is entirely suited to the project and direction.
  2. Demonstrates originality.
  3. Good understanding of each assignment is apparent.
  4. Strong evidence of commitment to the assignment.
  5. Critical skills exceed expectations
  6. Develops effective research/communication and engagement of subject
  7. Good level of professional practice

A- B+ B B- Good

  1. Work is generally appropriate to the project and direction.
  2. Good level of imagination.
  3. Able to grasp the main ideas of each assignment.
  4. Evidence of commitment to the assignment.
  5. Critical skills meets expectation.
  6. Develops useful research
  7. Acceptable level of professional practice.

C+ C Satisfactory

  1. Work is appropriate in parts.
  2. Work is relevant but not particularly inspiring.
  3. Able to grasp the main ideas of each assignment with some errors.
  4. Lack of commitment to the assignment
  5. Critical skills do not always meet expectations.
  6. Research adequate but basic.
  7. Passable standard of professional practice.

D+ D Mediocre

  1. Work shows little more than the basic grasp of the task
  2. Work is ‘ordinary’.
  3. May not fully understand the assignment.
  4. Inconsistent commitment to the assignment.
  5. Critical skills fall short of expectations.
  6. Research incomplete.
  7. Lapses in standards of professional practice.

F Fail

  1. Work is not appropriate.
  2. Work is lacking and/or lacking understanding of concetps and principles.
  3. Lack commitment to the assignment.
  4. Critical skills do not meet expectation at all.
  5. No research apparent.
  6. Absence of any research.
  7. Demonstrated unprofessional behavior.
  8. Poor assimilation and too little to sustain investigation.
  9. Inadequate knowledge of the subject.

Course Policies and Student Responsibilities

  1. General – You are expected to complete all assigned readings, activities, assignments, attend all classes punctually and complete all scheduled assignments by due dates. You are expected to take responsibility to follow up with assignments and course related announcements. You are expected to participate in all project critiques, class discussions and activities.
  2. Punctuality – You are expected to be punctual for all classes. If you are more than 30 minutes late, you will be deemed as absent and will not be able to sign on the attendance register.
  3. Absenteeism – In-class activities make up a significant portion of your course grade. Absence from class without a valid reason will affect your participation grade. Valid reasons include falling sick supported by a medical certificate and participation in NTU’s approved activities supported by an excuse letter from the relevant bodies. There will be no make-up opportunities for in-class activities.

Academic Integrity

Good academic work depends on honesty and ethical behaviour. The quality of your work as a student relies on adhering to the principles of academic integrity and to the NTU Honour Code, a set of values shared by the whole university community. Truth, Trust and Justice are at the core of NTU’s shared values.

As a student, it is important that you recognize your responsibilities in understanding and applying the principles of academic integrity in all the work you do at NTU. Not knowing what is involved in maintaining academic integrity does not excuse academic dishonesty. You need to actively equip yourself with strategies to avoid all forms of academic dishonesty, including plagiarism, academic fraud, collusion and cheating. If you are uncertain of the definitions of any of these terms, you should go to the academic integrity website for more information. Consult your instructor(s) if you need any clarification about the requirements of academic integrity in the course.