Advanced Digital Media: ART 4020 J01

Class Meets: Tuesday/Thursday 1:00PM to 3:15PM
Location: Media Art Research Studio (MARS)
Professor: Sean Clute,
Class URL:
Office Hours: Monday 10AM-11AM / Tuesday 11:30AM-12:30PM or by appointment

Course Description:
Advanced Digital Media offers a survey of electronic art making processes and tools including sensors, circuits, microcontrollers, video and sound. Intended for students who have background in media arts, the course focuses on the relationship of electronics and design. The course also covers contemporary work in technology-influenced art practice and theory.

Develop language and techniques for creating and critiquing media arts
Learn how to use software and hardware for creative purposes
Learn a variety of conceptual, design and experimental art-based principles
Introduce the history and criticism surrounding media arts
Discover more about ourselves and methods of self-expression through art

Software introduced:
Arduino 1.6
Processing 3
Max/MSP Jitter

Grading Summary:
Assignment #1 (Pecha Kucha) | 10%: You will create a presentation on an artist
Assignment #2 (Hardware) | 10%: You will create microcontroller-based artwork
Assignment #3 (Software) | 10%: You will create a software-based artwork
Assignment #4 (Design/Pitch) | 10%: You will make design for the final project

Final Project: | 30% You will create a final project to be shown at the end of the semester. This project must use some of the techniques we have been developing in class. It may be informed from a previous assignment or a new idea.

Participation | 30%:
Participation is a huge part of your grade!
Each class after three absences I drop your final grade by one (ex. A to B)
If you miss a critique I drop your final grade by a minus (ex. A to A-)
If you miss the final show you fail the course

What happens in class:
Class typically breaks down one of four ways: lecture, demo, lab, and critique
Lectures include me talking about a topic relevant to media 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:
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 type in “smb://” and press connect

Equipment and Materials:
To check out gear go to IT in Martientti Hall between 8AM-4:30PM
We will be using this: Adafruit ARDXv1.3 if you want to purchase one
Free trial of Max/MSP Jitter can be found here:

You can always email me at
You can come to my office hours (see above)
For technical help you can file a report with IT here:

MARS Hours:
MARS is open to you when no class is present. You must get your ID activated at security.

Schedule Details:

Class 1 (Aug 23) – Orientation

Introduction to the class:
Who are we?
Go over syllabus
Class website
What you need
Overview of what we do

Class 2 (Aug 25) – Screening Examples

We will view examples of work in the Sterns Cinema

Class 3 (Aug 30) – Pecha Kucha

Assignment #1 (DUE Sep 1): You will create a pitch using a modified version of the presentation style Pecha Kucha.

* The presentation must include 10 slides

* Each slide will last for 20 seconds
* The slides must be made in Keynote (use my format on ART server)
* First slide introduces yourself

* Other slides focus on a artist, movement, or exhibition, performance, etc.

* Topic must be related to contemporary design, electronics, interactivity, etc.
* A good resource is Stephen Wilson’s Links
* Label file as LastnameFirstname.key

* Place file on ART/_CluteAdvancedDigital/Assignments/1_Pecha

Class 4 (Sep 1) – Assignment #1 DUE

Assignment #1 DUE: We will present in the MARS lab

Class 5 (Sep 6) – Microcontroller I

Assignment #2 (DUE Oct 11 @ 2PM): You will design a prototype for a device, installation, toy or machine using basic microcontroller techniques. The device doesn’t need to fully operate but should be demonstrable to the class. You may work in groups.
* Create a prototype for a device using Arduino
* Brainstorm what the viewer sees, hears, feels, experiences, etc.
* Create mockup circuit with the basic guts of your device
* The circuit may be one we created in class or a modified example
* Extra credit for creating a circuit from Arduino playground or another site
* Transform the circuit into something artistic (add cardboard, plastic, toys, etc.)
* Make a .pdf that includes a title, what the device does, what you envision it doing without technical limitations
* Make a .ai, .pdf, or .psd blueprint of the device
* Label files as LastnameFirstname
* Place files in one folder named LastnameFirstname
* Place file on ART/_CluteAdvancedDigital/Assignments/2_Microcontoller

Lab: Setting up Arduino, code, tutorials 1, 2 (LED)

Class 6 (Sep 8) – Microcontroller II

Lab: tutorials 3, 4 (Motor, Servo)

Class 7 (Sep 13) – Microcontroller III

Lab: tutorial 7, 8 (Buttons, Pots)

Class 8 (Sep 15) – Microcontroller IV

Lab: tutorial 6 (Piezo)

Class 9 (Sep 20) – Microcontroller V

Lab: tutorial 9, 13 (Photo resistors, FSR)

Class 10 (Sep 22) – Guest Artist: Monochrom

Guest: Monochrom, from Vienna, will be in the Sterns Cinema. We will be viewing TRACEROUTE. Read up on it here!

Class 11 (Sep 27) – Lab

Work on microcontroller assignment

Class 12 (Sep 29) – No Class | Attended Show!

There will be no class today. Why? Because there are many incredible things you must see. Pick one of these events to attend and report back to us next class on your experiences.
1: Johannes Talk: Sep 23, 7PM, Fletcher Free Library
2: TRACEROUTE: Sep 24, 7PM, Fletcher Free Library
3: Of Land and Local Opening: Sep 29, 5PM, Shelburne Farms
4: Double Vision: Sep 30, 7PM, Champlain College
5: Maker Faire: Sep 23,24, all day, Shelburne Farms
6: Sean Clute & Al Larsen. Oct 7, 5PM, Burlington City Arts

Class 13 (Oct 11) – DUE: Assignment #2| DUE: Review

DUE Assignment #2 at 2PM:
You will demo your projects

DUE Review:
You will share experiences from the event you attended.

Class 14 (Oct 13) – Software I

Class 15 (Oct 18) – Software II

Class 16 (Oct 20) – Software III

Class 17 (Oct 25) – Software IV

Class 18 (Oct 27) – Software/Hardware

Class 19 (Nov 1) – Assignment #4 DUE

DUE Assignment #4:
You will give your pitches in this order in the VAC 004.
1:00 Krisopher + Richard
1:20 Colin + Mason
1:40 Tim
2:00 Charles
2:20 Kasey + Brady
2:40 Forrest
3:00 Jessica + Christina

Thursday in MARSx
1:00 Ian
1:20 Kali

Class 20 (Nov 3) – Lab

Class 21 (Nov 8) – Lab

Class 22 (Nov 10) – Lab

Class 23 (Nov 15) – Lab

Class 24 (Nov 17) – Lab

Class 25 (Nov 29) – Lab

Class 26 (Dec 1) – Lab

Class 27 (Dec 6) – Install Show

Class 28 (Dec 8) – Final Show

We will show off our amazing final projects TODAY!

Final Meeting (TBA)

Final Meeting:
The final will be an opportunity to meet individually with me and discuss your progress, grades, life, etc.


Cycling74 Max/MSP and Jitter software. Download demo of software.
Arduino The Arduino micro controller.
Hackaday Make things easy and cheap.
Barney’s List I use this all of the time.
Make Magazine DIY projects