History and Theory of Digital Art 4316/5316
ARTS 4316/5316
History and Theory of Digital Art
Fall 2004 T/TH 3:30 - 4:45
N275/N274 (Experimental Digital Arts Lab)

Professor Mark Amerika
personal website


This section of History and Theory of Digital Art will study the contemporary practice, history and theory of digital art. Discussion topics will include but not be limited to Internet art, hypertext, experimental audio art, digital narrative, hactivism, data visualization art, mp3/streaming media, network aesthetics, new media theory, online exhibitions, web publishing, copyleft, digital installations, DJ/VJ culture, and blogging.

The prerequesite for this course is FINE 2126. Everyone in the course must have an email account that they check daily as well as the ability to create and ftp web pages.

Our investigations into these new areas of artistic and theoretical development will use an evolving student-built website entitled "Histories of Internet Art: Fictions & Factions" as our primary resource. You can find the 3.0 version of the HIAFF site here. You are also encouraged to begin reading and viewing the various projects located at the Alt-X Online Network.

There will be extensive reading assignments, Internet research, group emailing, and in-class discussions. Everyone will be required to attend all classes, make classroom presentations, and participate in discussions. You will create and/or curate two individual web projects in addition to maintaining an online diary or journal (a so-called weblog or "blog").


Grades will be measured as follows:

  • first curatorial web project (30%)
  • second hypermedia project (30%)
  • blog (20%)
  • Presentations, attendance, in-class projects, and participation in discussion (20%)

Note: It is absolutely essential that you attend class. Prior experience teaching this course consistently reveals that those who attend all of the classes and finish all of their work on time perform the best. There will be no unexcused absences and only one excused absence per semester. After that, each absence will result in a grade drop. Also be aware that coming to class late and/or leaving class early will effect your grade as well (two days early or late counts as one absence). Being prompt and staying the course are required.

Checking email: there will be no checking email during our course hours (3:30-4:45). Checking email during the course shows lack of attention, so it is strongly advised that you do this before coming to class.


As stated above, a considerable amount of online reading will be required. It is suggested that you buy back-up storage media so that you can back up whatever work you create for the class. Losing work with no back-ups is not an acceptable excuse.

I suggest you ask me for a supplemental reading list of books focused on subjects relevant to your project investigations. You will need to reference outside sources on all of your projects.

You will also need to subscribe to Rhizome. The Digital Art area is in the process of getting an institutional subscription.

STATEMENT concerning accommodations for disabled students: Any student eligible for and needing academic adjustments or accommodations because of a disability or due to a religious holiday is requested to speak with the Professor no later than August 26th.

DISCLAIMER: Some of the reading/surfing material in this advanced course is of an adult nature and may be offensive to some. If this is something that concerns you, you need to let Professor Amerika know the first day of class so that we can assess if this is the right course for you to take.

check out the syllabus!