• by Corrina Espinosa

DIGITAL ART 2 Fall 2017 Syllabus


ARTS 4126/5126 | VAC 1B23

T/TH 5:00-7:20PM

Instructor: Corrina Espinosa

Office hours available by appointment

(Best time is T/TH 7:30-9PM)


Digital Art 2 is an intermediate Contemporary Art course focused on the student’s use of digital technology as a medium to create art. This course will continue to develop the student’s individual art practice while expanding their skillset to new tools, software and advanced digital art themes. The students will gain a knowledge of physical computing, interactivity, live video mixing and projection mapping as well as explore significant and pertinent ideas in the discussion and production of digital art.

Using theoretical and practice-based techniques, students will evaluate the interconnectedness between traditional forms of artistic expression, modern day digital technology, and technologies that have yet to be discovered. Throughout the semester, the class will experiment with multiple analog and digital formats. The technology incorporated within the class is intended to influence, but not dictate, the type of work produced during the semester. In addition, students will engage in a critical and theoretical discourse about digital art practice. The curriculum will provide artists with a starting point for creating a substantial body of digital work. The course will prepare students for additional courses within the digital art area, namely Performance, New Directions, History and Theory of Digital Art and Remix. Prerequisites are ARTS 1010, 1020, 2126 and ARTH 1300 or 1400.


  • To be immersed within a digital art community and participate via making, listening, viewing, reading, writing and discussing topics related to digital art. To question, “what is digital art?”

  • To use digital technology as a tool for developing an idea and/or aesthetic and to engage in the practice of digital art. I will show you some specific tools, and you are free to explore a wide range of possibilities with my support.

  • To apply concepts and theories to a body of work and to produce concept driven works of digital art in preparation for a Final Show!!!

  • To explore new digital tools, and learn to to use multiple research approaches to find solutions to creative problems and to participate in a broader DIY digital community.

  • To depart from traditional or comfortable ways of thinking, to explore, to wander, to get lost, to journey down unfamiliar channels and emerge with evolving perceptions.


  • Develop a community where students feel confident, valued and can contribute to the overall learning environment.

  • Encourage appreciation for diversity. Share your unique skills with the group in a respectful manner. Be open to multiple points of view, use your own research and critical thinking to find your own conclusions.

  • Learn to trust one another in discussion: Begin to value the verbal comments and opinions of other students; do away with the notion that what the instructor has to say is automatically more valuable or insightful than your peers. Share your unique expertise.


In addition to the criteria below, your grade is determined by the completion of your work, attendance, preparedness, respect of others, determination, work ethic, progress, and participation in discussions and critiques.

  • Homework w/blog / 40pts.

  • 4 major projects / 400pts.

  • 4 critiques / 200pts.

  • 8 Project Blog posts / 160pts.

  • 2 reading w/blog /100pts.

  • Final Show!!! / 100pts.



  • Homework. 40pts

  • Create a blog, give it an aesthetic!Choose a blogging site and create a blog! Already have one? Great! You can either use it or create a new one just for this class. Give your blog an awesome look. The aesthetic of your web presence is important, play with it. Send me a link.

  • Write your first blog! Digital Artist Statement (250 word, 5 image minimum, gifs and vids bonus!) This is about your digital art practice in general, not any specific piece. It should be about your overall approach/perspective, on digital art making. Why do you make it? What’s your predominant medium? What does your art say? How does it say it? What is your art about? What would you like to make/say/do in the future? What is your drive/passion? Etc. Include examples of previous work, exhibitions, explorations and influences, inspirations. (This is your first assignment, due next week)

  • 4 Major Projects/400pts - 100pts each

  • Project 1 Conceptual Selfies - The history of self portraiture belongs to the artists! We are taking back “selfies” from the sloppy hands of pop culture and social media by using the adobe suite (illustrator, photoshop, after effects etc.) to create a series of 5 “self portrait” images (jpg, gif, mov, etc.), which transcend our physical beings and capture the essence of our true selves.

  • Project 2 Digi-log Collision! - What happens when digital crashes into the analog world? Use digital tools/concepts to create physical objects/experiences. Eg. 3D print, laser cut, physical computing, processing, physical pixel, or other “in and out of the computer” processes. Mid-term exhibition on campus!

  • Project 3 Light Pollution - Guerrilla style BYOB (bring your own beamer), projection mapping! We will learn some VJ and projection mapping software, test smaller objects in the classroom and then hit the streets to splice up the campus scenery with colored lights & moving images.

  • Project 4 WOW/Wide Open Whatever - The final project will be included in a professional, off campus exhibition. It is conceptually open-ended and can be created with any “digital media” you choose. By now we will have discussed a variety of conceptual possibilities and I will have shown you a variety of digital tools and resources. You have officially earned the responsibility/authority of “creative freedom.” Fly, digital birds… FLY!

  • All projects must be fully resolved and thoughtfully created, they should demonstrate intention, visual literacy, attention to detail, have a superior level of craft and be consistent with your unique and ever developing body of work.

  • 4 Critiques/200 - 50pts each

  • Projects will be evaluated in a group critique. This is a critical time to receive feedback on your work and give feedback to your fellow students. You will be graded on how well you participate in group critiques. Participation in critiques is mandatory! You must attend all critiques on time and MAY NOT leave early. Think of critiques as “tests.” If you do not show up for a critique, even if it is not your day to present your work, your project grade will be lowered one full letter grade.

  • 8 Project Blog Posts/160pts - 20pts each

  • 4 WIPs/Work in Progress posts (150 word, 5 image minimum gifs and vids bonus!)

Document progress on each of your projects in a blog post and write about any

of the following:

inspiration, process, concept, history, research, progress, problems, successes,

future ideas, aesthetics, theories, elements and principles of design.

  • 4 Artist Statement/documentation posts (150 word, 5 image minimum gifs and vids bonus!)

Document each of your final projects in a blog post with an official artist

statement. Write the statement for the way you think would be most successful on exhibition application, etc. in the contemporary art world. Here are some useful links for writing your artist statement. (*Humor is ok, but it has to be informative, creative and clever.)




  • 2 reading w/blog (250 word, 5 image minimum, gifs and vids bonus!)

Create 2 individual blog posts that do one of the following: 1. Respond to a

digital art related article or publication of your choice. 2. Share or respond to

any form of digital art research you are doing in your studio practice (art

exhibition, digital experimentation, exciting new media, etc.) 3. Make a technical

DIY contribution post: answer a technical question, explain a process,

troubleshoot a technical problem, make a tutorial etc.

  • Final Show!!/100pts - participation

As a class we will throw a professional digital art exhibition at a (TBD) venue

outside of CU campus. This is our Final Exam. You will work with fellow students

on one of the following committees: PR, curation, reception (more details to



In addition to the criteria above, your grade is determined by the completion of your work, attendance, preparedness, respect of others, determination, work ethic, progress, and participation in discussions and critiques.

To earn an ‘A’ 900-1000pts

‘A’ work has exceeded my expectations. Demonstrates above average craftsmanship for the class level and is meaningful. Assignment demonstrates hard work and growth as an artist ability to think critically and intuitively. 2 absences or less.

To earn a ‘B’ 800-899pts

‘B’ work has met all of my expectations. Work is technically proficient, occasionally thoughtful, but not as consistently or clearly as “A” work. Hard work and growth as an artist is apparent. 3 absences or less.

To earn a ‘C’ 700-799pts

‘C’ work has met most of my expectations. They show technical competence in most areas. However, growth as an artist is shallow. 4 absences or less.

600-699pts D- Work is sloppily made, and signifies little. It is apparent that this work was made at the last minute. No growth as an artist is apparent. 5 or more absences.

0-599pts. F- No work or plagiarized work.

I reserve the right to drop, or raise, your grade based upon your work and what is expected of a University student at an institution of this caliber, including having 5 or more absences.

Please note that plagiarism of work will result in automatic failure for the entire semester. Also note that turning in work that you did in another class will result in failure for the assignment. If you find yourself overwhelmed to the point of deciding to plagiarize, please contact me to discuss the situation. If I find you being unethical I will have to report you, and you will likely be placed on academic probation or even expelled. For more information: http://www.colorado.edu/policies/academic-integrity-policy


Attendance for the class is mandatory and will be of primary importance. Please see the grades portion for amount of absences allowed per grade. These absences can be excused or unexcused. Students with more than 6 absences will automatically receive a failing grade. Students are responsible for keeping track of their own absences. Late arrivals of more than 20 minutes will be counted as an absence.


All work must be submitted on or before class on the day of critique, including the blog posts. Late work will receive an automatic 5% deduction for each class day of lateness. For example,

a project submitted at 12pm on the due date will incur a 5% deduction. Projects will be

accepted (with deductions) up to 2 weeks after the original due date. After 14 days, projects

will not be accepted.


Communication between the student and the instructor is vital for both parties’ success in this class. Email is the best way to contact me and ensures that I have a hard record of our conversation. Please refer to the class blog first and only then clarify issues with me in person or through email later. I will generally be around before and after class, but if you need my full attention schedule a time to meet with me.

*It is your responsibility to keep up with due dates and absences. It is also your responsibility to follow-up through the class blog with what you may have missed during class. If you cannot find any information, ask a friend or email me. If at any time you feel you are falling behind, or not understanding certain concepts or software, please either visit office hours or email me for an appointment. I am here to help, and am actively rooting for your success!


I expect you to act like responsible adults and respect each other, each other’s work, and school property. This includes:

(1) Alcohol and/or other illegal substances are forbidden in the classroom or the lab at any time of the day or night. Violators are subject to expulsion from the class or worse.

(2) Discriminatory or derogatory jokes or remarks towards any person or persons based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, region of the country people live in, color of their hair, socioeconomic status or culture will not be tolerated. Intolerance will not be tolerated.