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MMAS 450 – Digital Video Art

MMAS 450 – Class Website


This course is designated as a Diversity-Intensive course. It is designed to introduce students to entering the digital video revolution while learning and developing core computer art, fine art, and critical thinking skills. It is an exploration of aesthetic, conceptual and technical aspects of digital video in relationship to performance and installation art. The emphasis is placed on exploring video as a medium, utilized by artists of different class, gender, race, and religion, as well as other people who are under and/or mis-represented by mainstream media. From a historical perspective, we will explore power dynamics in political, social, and cultural situations and other identity formations through studying video artists and their works that have related with these issues since the1960’s. Artists may include but are not limited to: Joan Jonas, Bruce Nauman, Orlan, Nam June Paik, Bill Viola, Gary Hill, Matthew Barney, Tony Oursler, Shirin Neshat, MTAA, Cai Guo-Qiang, Zhang Huan, Vito Acconci, Carolee Schneemann, VALIE EXPORT, Lucy Gunning, and Nayland Blake. Our primary emphasis will be on the practical applications of using digital video and video installation for artistic expressions.

The class will combine lectures, tutorials, screenings, group discussions, online projects, field trips, research and presentations. Class time will be split between learning the medium from hands-on, in-class demos, and more conceptual issues related to creating and editing video art. Some class time each week will be devoted to screenings, presentation and discussions.

This is a course in which you will be asked to use your analytic, critical, technical and creative skills to talk about video art and express your point of view using the media. Students will work with digital video cameras and studio lights, and learn audio and video recording and editing. Software may include: Adobe After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Flash, Max/MSP/Jitter and DVD Studio Pro.

Assignments may include large-scale collaborative projects as well as small-scale self-directed projects. There will be freedom in the projects to encourage experimental, creative and innovative ideas. Students will be encouraged to create personal narratives, use unconventional or appropriated source imagery and sounds, and integrate non-digital, creative skills into their projects such as performance, music, collage, sculpture, theater, fiction and poetry, etc. While digital video can be an overwhelmingly technical field, the focus of this class is to use video to SERVICE YOUR IDEAS and create your own style. Projects will be graded on creativity, resourcefulness,invention and technical proficiency.

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