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Class 1 Jan 18
Class 2 Jan 20
Class 3 Jan 25
Class 4 Jan 27
Class 5 Feb 1
Class 6 Feb 3
Class 7 Feb 8
Class 8 Feb 10
Class 9 Feb 15
Class 10 Feb 17
Class 11 Mar 1
Class 12 Mar 3
Class 13 Mar 8
Class 14 Mar 10
Class 15 Mar 15
Class 16 Mar 17
Class 17 Mar 22
Class 18 Mar 24
Class 19 Mar 29
Class 20 Mar 31
Class 21 Apr 12
Class 22 Apr 14
Class 23 Apr 19
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Class 26 Apr 28
Class 27 May 3
Class 28 May 5
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Advanced Digital Media – Documentary: ART 4020 J01

“I hate cameras.  They are so much more sure than I am about everything.”  ~John Steinbeck

“Cloquet hated reality but realized it was still the only place to get a good steak.”  ~Woody Allen

“Everything you can imagine is real.”  ~Pablo Picasso

Class Meets: Tuesday/Thursday 1:00PM to 3:15AM
Location: Media Art Research Studio (MARS)
Professor: Sean Clute, sean@seanclute.com
Class URL: www.seanclute.com/advanced-digital-media
Office Hours: Monday/Wednesday 1:00PM-3:00PM or by appointment

Course Description:
Advanced Digital Media – Documentary covers theoretical and artistic principles in portraying “reality” and “truth” through social-networking, digital photography and video. Students will work on a number of smaller studies to gain skills aimed at producing a podcast. The podcast will be the final project and can be created individually or collaboratively. Throughout the course students will be exposed to work created by innovators of documentary. The class will also provide an environment where students can share their work, ideas and critique each others’ progress.

Develop language and techniques for creating and critiquing documentary
Learn a variety of digital media tools and principles
Learn how to use computers and software for creative purposes
Introduce the history, criticism, and theory surrounding reality and truth in the arts
Discover more about ourselves and methods of self-expression through art

Software introduced:
Camera Raw
Photoshop CS5
Final Cut Pro 7.0

Assignments = 50%
Final Project = 30%
Participation = 20%

Assignment Summary:
Assignment #1 (Digital Identity) | 10%: You will create a digital identity.
Assignment #2 (Geo-Photo Documents) | 10%: You will meta-tag 9 photos.
Assignment #3 (How-to-Video) | 15%: You will create a three minute instructional video.
Assignment #4 (Presentation) | 15%: You will create a presentation/pitch about your final project.
Final Project: | 30% You will create a final project to be shown at the end of the semester. This project must be a short video documentary (podcast).

Participation | 20%:
Participation is a huge part of your grade! Below is the grading structure:
I take attendance. For each class (after two absences) I drop the participation 30%
Critiques are super important! If you miss a critique I drop participation by 45%
Facebook can be a distraction. If I catch you using Facebook I drop participation by 10%
Paying attention in class, asking questions, keeping me informed, etc. are in your favor.

What happens in class:
Class typically breaks down one of four ways into lecture, demo, lab, and critique.
Lectures include me talking about a topic relevant to digital art.
Demos include me showing you how to use software relevant to the lecture and your assignment.
Labs are time for you to work and ask questions about the assignment.
Critiques will occur on assignment due dates. For all assignments you will be required to defend your work.

Other miscellaneous stuff:
No food or drink in the computer lab!
Backup your work!
I give extra credit for attending artist lectures.

Connecting to the Class Server
We have a class server (an external storage device) in which all assignments must be uploaded.
To access the server:
Finder/Go/Connect to Server/Connect
press [command k] when in the finder

If the server address is blank. Then type in smb:// and press connect.

Checking out Equipment or Cameras:
You may check out equipment/cameras for the class.
To check out cameras go to Media Services on the second floor of the Library during busness hours.
I recommend using the Sanyo VPC-CG10.
If you are a TRIO student then you are able to check out laptops with our software installed.

You can always email me at sean@seanclute.com
You can come to my office hours (see above).
You can file a report with IT here: https://servicedesk.vsc.edu/

MARS hours for Spring 2011

Schedule Details:

Class 1 (Jan 18) – Orientation | Computer Basics

Introduction to the class:
Who are we?
Class Website (go green, go paperless)

Computer Basics:
Where is the computer?
How do we turn this thing on?
What is my log in?
What is a mouse?
USB 2.0, Firewire 800, Headphone jack?
What is an external drive?
OSX is an operating system?
What are applications?
What is the dock?
What are folders and files?
How do I organize folders and files using “_” and “1”, “2”, “3”, etc.?
Why not use “!@#$%^&*()<>?/;’|][“ when naming files and folders?
Why will I have to save all assignments as LastnameFirstname?
What are five things I should know?
How do I share files?

Put these Handy Key Commands in your memory banks
n = make new things
s = save
c = copy
x = cut
v = paste
z = undo

Customize your Computer:
How to set background image
How to right-click with mouse
Set up file preferences
What is my personal folder?
What is my personal folder on the server?
Um, the trash can?

Fun with PhotoBooth.app

Watch and review Computer Basics
Bring in a jpeg (photograph) that you would like to stare at for the entire semester.

Class 2 (Jan 20) – What is truth? What is reality?

We will view I’m Still Here

Write down answers to the following questions regarding I’m Still Here
What is truth?
What is reality?
Is there a difference between truth and reality?
Can we trust video to show us what truth and reality is?
What is documentary?
Was I’m Still Here a documentary?
What was the point of I’m Still Here?
Do we care?

Class 3 (Jan 25) – Talk: James Luciana | Discuss: I’m Still Here | Demo: Facebook

We will meet at MARS but then go to an Artist Talk by James Luciana.

Discuss the film I’m Still Here including (but limited to):
What is truth?
What is reality?
Is there a difference between truth and reality?
Can we trust video to show us what truth and reality is?
What is documentary?
Was I’m Still Here a documentary?
What was the point of I’m Still Here?
Do we care?

Demo: Facebook
How to make an account
Navigating Facebook
Updating your Profile
Updating Pictures
Making Friends and Contacts
Updating your Status
Saving a bookmark to the Server

Assignment #1 (DUE Feb 3): You will create a digital identity for either an individual or group. This profile may represent yourself or someone else or something else (like a pet, alien, place, etc.). We will be using the social networking site Facebook to publish our identity.

You must do each of the following two steps in order to pass. If you fail to do either of them, you get a 0 for the assignment:
1) Create a profile on Facebook
2) A bookmark of the profile must be on
ART/_CluteAdvancedDigitalMedia/Assignment1_DigitalIdentity by due date

The remainder of the assignment will be graded according to the following steps:
The identity must have some type of consistency (40%)
Include 3 Profile Pictures in your profile (40%)
Post one thing about yourself on the Wall (10%)
nclude “Basic Information” about your identity (10%)
All other information in the profile will be to your grading benefit (+%)

NOTE: You do not need friends. You do not have to have a public privacy setting. But we do need to view your profile in class for the critique. As always, ask me if you have questions.

Brainstorm ideas for your digital identity. Who do you want to represent? How are you going to represent this person, place, or thing/s?
Starting gathering data/information about this identity.
Bring into class 1 possible profile picture.
Watch Facebook videos.

Class 4 (Jan 27) – Demo: Facebook | Demo: Photoshop I | Lab: Digital Identity

Demo: Facebook
Review Facebook
How do we make a excellent profile?
Peter Shumlin
Marie Antoninette
Physics doesn’t exist, it’s all gnomes
Johnson State College

Demo: Photoshop I
How to make a new project
Tabbed Documents
Panning and Zooming
Copy, cut, paste images (using key commands)
Layer Stacking Order
Background Layer
Selection tools (move, marque, lasso)
Quick Selection Tool
Image Size (resolution)
Free Transform
Modify tools (brushes, clone stamp, eraser)
Crop Tool
Adjustment Layers
Smart filters
File Formats and Saving

Lab: Digital Identity

Watch Photoshop videos
Find and process profile pictures

Class 5 (Feb 1) – Demo: Photoshop II | Lab: Digital Identity

Demo: Photoshop II
Healing Brush Tool
Clone Stamp Tool
Adjustment Layers

Lab: Digital Identity

Work on Assignment #1. Remember the bookmark for your Facebook identity must be uploaded to the ART/ _CluteAdvancedDigitalMedia/Assignment1_DigitalIdentity folder by the beginning of next class.

Class 6 (Feb 3) – Assignment #1 DUE | Critique

Assignment #1 must be uploaded to
ART/_CluteAdvancedDigitalMedia/Assignment1_DigitalIdentity folder by the beginning of class.
We will discuss the profiles.

Upload 1 amazing digital photograph of a place (it can be a picture you took or one you found) to

Class 7 (Feb 8) – Lecture: Photo-documenting the Landscape | Demo: Flickr

Lecture on Photo Documentation and Landscape

Sharing examples of Landscape Photography
What emotions does the subject or place bring out?
How does the photograph focus your attention?
What sound would you expect from this photograph?
What is the photograph documenting and how?

Demo: Flickr
What is Flickr
Preparing files for upload using Bridge
Adding titles, descriptions, tags
Creating Sets

Brainstorm Session
We will (in groups or individually) come up with six ideas for a project.
I will meet with each of you to discuss and narrow down to three ideas.

Assignment #2 (DUE Feb 17):You will create a Digital Sense of Place using digital photography and Flickr. The project is intended for you to utilize digital technology and web 2.0 to describe a conceptual understanding of place. The place may or may not entail landscape, vérité, or people.

You must do each of the following two steps in order to pass. If you fail to do either of them, you get a 0 for the assignment:
1) Create a profile on Flickr
2) A bookmark of the profile must be on
ART/_CluteAdvancedDigitalMedia/Assignment2_SenseOfPlace by due date

The remainder of the assignment will be graded according to the following steps:
The photographs must represent a uniformity in concept (40%)
On Flickr, you must include 3 sets, each of which must represent a different sense of place (15%)
Each set must include 3 photos (30%)
Each set must include a description (5%)
Each photo must include a description and be tagged (%5)
Each photo must be geo-tagged (5%)

Start brainstorming ideas for a concept as well as locations

Class 8 (Feb 10) – Lab: Digital Sense of Place

Lab: Sense of Place
We will meet in class but then break away and go shooting

Class 9 (Feb 15) – Lab: Digital Sense of Place

Lab: Sense of Place
We will name, upload, and document the photographs on Flickr

Class 10 (Feb 17) – Assignment #2 DUE | Critique

Assignment #2 is due by the beginning of class
We will critique the assignment by asking questions such as
What is the concept/idea for the set you have chosen?
How does the way you photographed the subject relate to your concept?
Why did you want us to experience your particular Sense of Place?
Why did you choose this subject matter?

Class 11 (Mar 1) – Lecture: How To Videos | Demo: Final Cut Pro

Welcome back!

Lecture on How to Videos including:
Inflatable Illustrations
How to Grow Tomatoes
How to Grow Wheatgrass
How to make a Monster Cake

Demo: MPEG Streamclip
Because everyone has a different camera we need to make Final Cut Pro happy by doing this step first:

Open MPEG Streamclip
Drag video file into application
Goto File/Export to Quicktime
Set Compression to Apple ProRes422
Select Make Movie
Now… we can import into FCP without getting annoying red lines

Final Cut Pro Basics I:
Show you how the Pros do it (well, kind of)
Dude, it is only a shell, like a container, only data, nothing more
Setting Scratch Disks
The Interface
Getting Around the Interface
The Browser
Editing in the Viewer
Marking and and Out Points
The Canvas
The Timeline
Creating Titles
Exporting Video

Assignment #3 (DUE Feb March 17):You will create a short instructional video based on a topic of your own choosing The project is intended for you to become familiar with expressing simple instructions with video, video editing, and narration. You may work in groups (no more then three people per group).

You must do each of the following two steps in order to pass. If you fail to do either of them, you get a 0 for the assignment:
1)Create a one to three minute instructional video
2)The video must be uploaded to the server by due date
upload to ART/_CluteAdvancedDigitalMedia/Assignment3_HowToVideo

The remainder of the assignment will be graded according to the following steps:
The video must clearly instruct the viewer how to do something (60%)
The video must include sound (20%)
The video must have a title (%10)

Watch Final Cut Pro tutorials
Brainstorm ideas for Assignment #3

Class 12 (Mar 3) – Demo: Final Cut Pro | Meetings

Demo: Final Cut Pro Editing Basics:
Working in the timeline
Moving and arranging clips
Editing endpoints
Blade Tool
Roll Over Tool

I will meet with you individually or in groups to green light your how to video project ideas.

Watch Final Cut Pro Videos
Start Shooting (I expect to see some footage next class, no matter how rough)
NOTE: Next class is the ONLY lab before handing the project in!!!

Class 13 (Mar 8) – Rough Draft | Lab

Rough Draft:
I will watch your rough footage for your videos, give feedback, go over editing and sound.

The rest of your time is to work on editing footage.

Wrap up gathering footage for Assignment #3
Start editing away, remember there are no more labs before the assignment is due!
Thus, if you run into problems I can help outside of class, but will need to know beforehand!

Class 14 (Mar 10) – Artist Talk: Sean Clute

We will meet at the Julian Scott Memorial Gallery.

Recursing Things at Julian Scott Gallery, Johnson, VT


MON March 7 – FRI April 1 [10AM-6PM M-F, 10AM-4PM Sat]

THURS March 10 [1PM]

Julian Scott Memorial Gallery, Dibden Center for the Arts, Johnson State College, Johnson, VT

“To understand recursion, you must first understand recursion.” — Author Unknown

Artist Sean Clute has been swept into an abyss of infinite digital media reproduction. Clute’s series of prints and videos entitled Recursive Things is an amalgamation of learning, writing and editing code with the language Processing. The artwork includes tiny creatures that multiply and arrange themselves according to basic computer programming techniques. “Good” and “intuitive” art-making is becoming less mysterious as technology (ex. fMRI) unveils our ethos. Machine aided recursion can be a method for developing new awareness and extending the human sprit.

If you Photoshop the Mona Lisa with Justin Bieber’s head, are you are still guided by the Golden Ratio? Can the Stanford Frankencamera obey the rule of thirds better then your own eyes? Does the computational mathematics used in online dating services judge potential romantic partners better than you can? As science solves many mysteries of the human heart, the justification of using intuition as a primary method for artistic choice diminishes. Just as Cage and Cunningham used chance to instigate visionary artworks, computers can spark new methods for artistic creation. Relinquishing the artist ego can thereby eliminate old habits and timeless excuses, while avoiding the subjugation of viewers to a chain of remakes. In other words, perhaps it is time to permit machines to make decisions, inform our visions and enlighten human creativity.

Recursive Things includes a series of prints that are guided by Sean Clute and created by his computer. The monochromatic prints show simplistic creatures rotating and clustering in space. While the basic shapes of the creatures were constructed intentionally by Clute, the arrangement and number of creatures in each print was determined randomly by the machine. Clute’s pattern of learning the Processing language and the computer’s process of generating the artwork were informed by recursion. The symbiotic relationship between Clute, the computer, and the idea of recursion are documented with each print.

A video installation is an interactive component of the Recursive Things show. The installation resembles the prints, only now the creatures are in motion: dropping through space and swarming the audience. A camera, computer and video projector together composite images of live audience members with the falling creatures. The computer detects physical edges, thereby allowing the audience to control the arrangement and movement of the creatures. Similar to the randomness generated by the computer the audience acts as an unorganized conduit for the composition.

Class 15 (Mar 15) – Artist Talk: Amy Sodaro

Amy Sodaro will be talking at the Sterns Performance Space. We will meet in class and head over together.
Amy Sodaro, program coordinator of the Transregional Center for Democratic Studies at the New School for Social Research in New York City, will talk about how countries remember genocide, human rights abuses and atrocity through museums and memorials.

Assignment #3 is due on the server before next class!
Running into trouble? Better come by my office VAC 008 Monday/Wednesday 1-3 or email me for help! Pronto!

Class 16 (Mar 17) – Assignment #3 is Due

We will meet in class but go to Sterns. We will critique assignments.

Class 17 (Mar 22) – Lecture: History of Documentary Video

Lecture: History of Documentary Video
Nanook of the North
The Man With the Movie Camera
Don’t Look Back
Grizzly Man
Voices of Iraq

Class 18 (Mar 24) – Go over Final Project | Go over Pitch | Treatment

Final Project (DUE TBA):You will create a short digital video documentary. The project may be created individually or in groups. The final project will be graded in two sections 1) a Rough Cut Screening 2) Final Screening. The requirements are below:

The video documentary must be between 3-7 minutes in duration
The subject of the documentary must be approved by me first
The documentary must include A-Roll (interviews)
The documentary must include B-Roll (supporting images)
The documentary must include sound
The documentary must include a title
The documentary must include credits

I will be grading on the following:
All of the above requirements
An improvement seen based on suggestions during Rough Cut
The clarity of documented subject matter
The interest or relevancy the documentary has to the viewer
Production Value (video, sound, titles, stills)
Rough Cut (DUE April 26, 28):You must show a Rough Cut (also called a rough draft) or your final project. I will be grading the Rough Cut based on the following:

Before screening you must state your mission statement
The Rough Cut must include a title and your logo
The Rough Cut must include both A and B Roll
The Rough Cut must include sound (especially in the interviews)
The Rough Cut may be more then 7 minutes (and no less then 3)
Elements such as transitional effects, final mixing, adding music, color correction, lower thirds, and motion graphics are not required for this assignment
Please bring a notebook and pen to class for the Rough Cut to take notes on your feedback
Pitch (DUE April 12): You must Pitch your final project to the class in order to get the “green light.” A pitch is a concise verbal and visual presentation of an idea, generally made by a creative team to a producer, executive, or independent investor in the hope of receiving the approval for the project’s development. Your pitch must be under 7 minutes long and lay out the concept, uniqueness and essential details of the project along with visual and audio demonstrations, and a clear idea of the genre, tone, and likely audience.

The goal of a pitch is to convince the “executive” that your concept is worth developing, so you or your creative team must become skilled at the art of persuasion. You must do research and provide data to prove that there is an audience for your project. Your team must also convince the executive(s) that you will provide a high quality project, stay within the project timelines and strive to achieve elevated standards of excellence.

Your pitch will be presented using Powerpoint or Keynote and must include:

One slide for your production Logo
One slide for you or your groups names and titles
One slide for the title of your documentary (must have image and text)
One or more slides for your story idea
One or more slides for the voices, perspectives or characters in your story
One or more slides on why your story needs to be told
One slide on who is your audience and why
One slide for your production schedule
One slide that must include your first shoot date and three interview questions for that shoot
One slide that is an ending or conclusion (open to any questions)
The presentation file must be uploaded to server by beginning of presentation

I will be grading you on all of the above as well as the design of your slides, the performance of your presentation, and the strength and uniqueness of your pod idea.

NOTE: you are required to create original slide backgrounds. Consider your color palette, type, font and supporting images. Make sure you have a concise explanation of your idea. You many use short sentences or bullets points.

Once you receive a critique from the class and myself you will make any necessary changes to the project.
Lecture: Pitching and Treatments

Lecture: Interviewing Techniques

Lecture: Tips for creating Non-fiction Documentary

Class 19 (Mar 29) -Demo: Final Cut Pro | Lab

Class 20 (Mar 31) -Demo: Final Cut Pro | Lab

Class 21 (Apr 12) – Pitch DUE

Class 22 (Apr 14) – No Class Today

I will be taking the BFA students to NYC.
Please note! The MARS Lab will be open for your use.

Class 23 (Apr 19) – Lab

Class 24 (Apr 21) – Lab

Class 25 (Apr 26) – Rough Cut DUE First Group | Lab

Class 26 (Apr 28) – Rough Cut DUE Second Group | Lab

Class 27 (May 3) – Lab

Class 28 (May 5) – Lab

FINAL | May 12, 10:30AM-12:30PM

This is our final screening, yeah!
You must have your final video uploaded to the ART server by the beginning of this final![/wpcol_4fifth_end]