Week 1: January 14 – 20

Introduction and overview of course concepts, final project, topics, syllabus, assignments, rubrics, OSS class site, and the overall Open Source Studio (OSS) approach to networked, collaborative studio art and performance. Discussion of wearable technology: past, present and future. Setup OSS student sites.


Due Next Week: January 21

1 – Reading

Randall Packer (2015). “The Way of Open Source” (pg. 33-34) and “Collective Narrative” (pg. 35-36), Open Source Studio

Be prepared to discuss the essay in class.

2 – Research Critique: Costume & Textile

Research an existing wearable project with costume and sensor that controls the space. Consider the collaboration between the artist/designer and the engineer, the synergy between fields in the construction of wearable technology. Does the project use open source technology? If so, why is this important to its realization?

Here are additional instructions for the research critique:

  • Create a new post on your OSS site
  • Write approximately 250 words to concisely summarize your research
  • Document your research with relevant hyperlinks, images, video, and other media
  • Add a featured image
  • Apply the “Research” category
  • Apply appropriate tags
  • Post a comment on at least one other research post prior to the following class

3 – Using Open Source Studio

Become familiar with the OSS class site and your own site in WordPress:

4 – Micro-Project:  Video Double

Using your iPhone or computer with photo booth (or similar Webcam video software), create a one minute video of yourself that constructs an “artistic alter ego:” the artist you want/choose/aspire to be! For the complete Micro-Project assignment instructions refer to:


  • Virtual Introductions: What does it mean to “touch” in the virtual embrace? How do we engage with one another in the space of the network (third space)? How do we achieve the intimacy of friendships, family and personal relations despite geographical/physical separation? We start the course with an in-class exercise using the Adobe Connect Web-conferencing software to explore these ideas, as well as preparation for our study of media, performance, and Internet culture.

Adobe Connect Virtual Classroom:

  • Physical Introductions: We will now introduce ourselves in the first space.


  • Be sure and check your NTU email on a regular basis for announcements, questions, and general communications.
  • Exchange mobile phone numbers
  • No use of mobile devices in class unless part of the work
  • Always bring laptops and notebooks to class
  • Students need to attend all classes and arrive on time. Check the calendar to avoid any scheduling conflicts, particularly the April 21st performance date.

Review of the course and its online materials

  • Concept of the OSS class: a look at a previous OSS class site
  • About the course, grading & rubrics
  • The final project: Touch
  • Review the class site

Be sure you are able to navigate the OSS class site. We will briefly review the site, including syllabus, project assignments, micro-projects, project hyperessays, workshops, research critiques, and the Flickr feed located on the home page of the site. Each week all assignments are contained in the syllabus, be sure you refer to the assignments section of the syllabus where the following week’s work and reading is assigned. Note that each week of the syllabus is divided into the following: (1) summary; (2) assignments; (3) lecture notes.

IMPORTANT: the assignments always refer to the NEXT WEEK. All due dates are posted. Any late assignments are downgraded with points taken off. Each and every assignment is worth a certain number of points.

On Being a NetArtizen (Randall)

Screenshot 2016-01-13 07.37.00

Since the 1980s, multimedia artist, composer, writer and educator Randall Packer has worked at the intersection of interactive media, live performance, and networked art. He has received critical acclaim for his socially and politically infused critique of an increasingly technological society, and has performed and exhibited at museums, theaters, and festivals internationally.

On Being a NetArtizen: how might a deeper understanding of Internet art and its practice enhance our understanding of the impact of tele-communications in our everyday lives and global culture at large. In this course we are deeply concerned with communication as integral to art and performance, how social media supports our work as artists, and how we become what I refer to as NetArtizens: how we incorporate the Internet into our practice as artists.

Reportage from the Aesthetic Edge, this is my life online, where I record my writings, ideas, and sketches for projects, all organized and archived as a database using taxonomies we refer to as categories and tags. This is an essential aspect of what what it means to be a NetArtizen: learning the art of the networked practice, learning to use the network for everyday research, learning, teaching, archiving, documenting and producing art.

I  consider writing to be an essential part of my practice as a NetArtizen, and the medium of WordPress enables me to integrate all the media as part of the act of writing-composing-creating words, images, sound, and the moving image. One of the objectives of this course is to learn the craft of using the network as part of your own practice.

The Big Kiss by Annie Abrahams

An example of a performance work that uses the Internet as its medium is The Big Kiss by Annie Abrahams.

French performance artist Annie Abrahams uses webcam technology to unite participants in a shared electronic space, the “third space.” In this work, the two performers attempt to kiss through the network. Despite physical separation, there is a sense of intimacy and even sexuality in the telematic embrace. This work provides insight into the “Touch” project and the various ways we can use the network artistically and performatively to critique and better understand social relations and human contact in the third space.

We will discuss The Big Kiss in more detail later in the semester.

Setup OSS student sites (Randall)

Screenshot 2016-01-13 07.52.24

We will now setup student sites in WordPress: I will have created a site for each of you who doesn’t yet have one and you will receive a notification with login instructions. Some of you already have an OSS site, so please be patient as we go through all the steps.  We will go through the setup as described in the OSS Getting Started for Students Tutorial. If you miss anything in class, you can refer back to the tutorial. It is crucial that each student masters all the techniques contained in the tutorial.

  • Logging into WordPress (NTU ID and password)
  • Filling out your profile, creating an avatar, etc.
  • Using the editor to create a post with text, media, and links
  • Creating and using categories and tags: “Research” and “Micro-project”
  • Design and the featured image
  • Menus and the round trip between the student and class site
  • Installing and using the tag cloud widget
  • Aggregating posts to the class site
  • Online discussion through comments
  • OSS Announcements (send test)
  • Post notifications

That is in essence is how the OSS WordPress system works, designed as a collaborative workspace for individual student sites aggregated into the class site. You can see how powerful it is when we use the WordPress multi-site system to aggregate everyone’s work and make it available for all to see.

Review of Next Week’s Assignments