Introduction to New Media / AVT 280

GMU / School of Art

Fall 2019

Monday + Wednesday
Art and Design Building Room 1021

Kathleen Patricia Durkin
Email: kdurkin2@gmu.edu
Office: AB 1021
Office Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays by Appointment

COURSE DESCRIPTION Introduction to New Media explores the potential of Time-Based Media and Digital Interaction for creative expression and communications within the context of visual art and design. This class will include assignments in sound, video, animation, installation, and a mild bit of performance. We'll look at examples of contemporary works and the history of art based in time for inspiration with the understanding that time-based media are uniquely suited to interdisciplinary projects that assume no one formal context or history. This course depends on a desire to critically analyze durational and interactive works as they function in your daily life. All digital and time based media are on the table for critical analysis in this class.

Our goal will be to attend equally to the formal, contextual, and technical aspects of each subject we address. Work will consist of:
• in-class and out-of-class studio projects
• training and proficiency sessions in the computer lab (including but not exclusive to Photoshop, After Effects, Premier, Audition, Audacity, Moca, and Final Cut Pro)
• discussion and critique
• presentations
• viewing of works in various media, in and out of class
• reading of theories, histories, stories



You are required to have some sort of external drive for this class. Editing video, animation, sound will all become more difficult with time if you chose to just use your google drive or cloud. You will run into highly unnecessary headaches in the process of downloading and uploading. Get some physical memory for yourself!

Options: Thumb Drives are portable and you can get hundreds of Gigs on a tiny stick. Drawbacks: sometimes they run slower if editing large files saved on them and you might accidentally wash them in your pants if you aren’t careful. Usually best to have 2 of these. External Hard Drives: This is usually a good life purchase for all of your data in college. Editing is much faster if you have to jump from school desktop to school desk top (solid core is so fast!) Drawbacks: more expensive than thumb drives. Gotta be careful with them when traveling.

Recording Devices: We will focus on using cell phones when we shoot our own video. If you don’t own a smart phone, please come talk to me as this should not limit your production in class. If you prefer your own DSLR/Camcorder/External Microphone, make sure all of your memory cards are CLASS 10 or above!!! Also, zoom recorders can’t handle memory cards above 16 gigs. So keep that in mind if you prefer to work with them.

Notebook/Sketchbook: Have one for drawing draw thumbnail sketches or story boards in. Can be used for other classes. Bring to every class.

The following will be expected of you in this course:
1. WORK: You should expect to spend as much as seven hours a week outside of class on projects (or more if you wait until the last minute). Sometimes you will be asked to work with a partner on these projects; you will be expected to respect this arrangement by contributing equally and showing up for arranged meetings.
2. PATIENCE: Important to the success of this technology-intensive course is your willingness to adapt and problem-solve in the face of unexpected (even disastrous) technical snafus. You will be expected to demonstrate that you have done everything possible to achieve all projects. Creativity in the face of adversity (even, occasionally, at the expense of departing from stated project parameters) will help all of us in our attempts to explore these media.
3. PARTICIPATION: Attendance is mandatory, and timeliness is important to our staying on schedule. You will also be expected to contribute to class discussions and critiques through your thoughtful and relevant questions, comments, challenges, suggestions. It is expected that everyone will attend the full length of lab-days. VERY IMPORTANT - for every three sessions you miss your grade will drop a full level (miss three, your grade will drop from A to B, B to C, etc). If you miss 6 classes you will receive an F (fail) for the class. Absences will only be excused with a note from McKinley Health Services or a note from the Dean. Communicate with me. Email me if you miss or are going to miss.

Your grade in this course will consist of:
1/4 PARTICIPATION: ATTENDANCE! Eighty percent of success is showing up. Material we learn in class is will be difficult to replicate outside of class or office hours with me. Show up or you won’t know what is going on.

1/4 If you want us to critique your work, make sure that you are there for your classmates critiques. Your critique grade depends upon your full participation while critiquing the work of your peers. We will use a diversity of critique structures, so if talking in makes you queazy, you will have other ways of contributing to your peers and reciprocating feedback.

1/2 PROJECT SCORES: you will receive a grade for each project, based on turning the project in on time and adherence to project parameters READ THE PARAMETERS AND ASK QUESTIONS. Scores for projects turned in late will be significantly effected.

MOST IMPORTANTLY if you show up on time to every class meeting, get your work in when it is due, read and follow the instructions for the assignments, don't be afraid to ask questions (technical and content), read the readings, and say what you think in critiques - your grade will reflect your sincere effort.


University and School of Art Policies

In accordance with George Mason University policy, turn off all beepers, cellular telephones and other wireless communication devices at the start of class. The instructor of the class will keep his/her cell phone active to assure receipt of any Mason Alerts in a timely fashion; or in the event that the instructor does not have a cell phone, he/she will designate one student to keep a cell phone active to receive such alerts.

Commitment to Diversity

This class will be conducted as an intentionally inclusive community that celebrates diversity and welcomes the participation in the life of the university of faculty, staff and students who reflect the diversity of our plural society. All may feel free to speak and to be heard without fear that the content of the opinions they express will bias the evaluation of their academic performance or hinder their opportunities for participation in class activities. In turn, all are expected to be respectful of each other without regard to race, class, linguistic background, religion, political beliefs, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, veteran’s status, or physical ability.

Statement on Ethics in Teaching and Practicing Art and Design

As professionals responsible for the education of undergraduate and graduate art and design students, the faculty of the School of Art adheres to the ethical standards and practices incorporated in the professional Code of Ethics of our national accreditation organization, The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Open Studio Hours

SOA teaching studios are open to students for extended periods of time mornings, evenings and weekends whenever classes are not in progress. Policies, procedures and schedules for studio use are established by the SOA studio faculty and are posted in the studios.

Artsbus - Dates for Fall 2019

September 21

October 19

November 16

ArtsBus Credit

* Each student must have up to 5 AVT 300/Artsbus credits before graduation. For credit to appear on your transcript you must enroll in AVT 300. This also applies to anyone who intends to travel to New York independently, or do the DC Alternate Assignment.

* If you plan/need to go on multiple Artsbus trips during a semester and need them towards your total requirement, you must enroll in multiple sections of AVT 300. Please go to the Artsbus website: http://artsbus.gmu.edu "Student Information" for additional, very important information regarding Artsbus policy.

* Non-AVT majors taking art classes do not need Artsbus credit BUT may need to go on the Artsbus for a class assignment. You can either sign up for AVT 300 or buy a ticket for the bus trip at the Center of the Arts. Alternate trips must be approved by the instructor of the course that is requiring an Artsbus trip.

Important Dates:

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Once the add and drop deadlines have passed, instructors do not have the authority to approve requests from students to add or drop/withdraw late. Requests for late adds (up until the last day of classes) must be made by the student in the SoA office (or the office of the department offering the course), and generally are only approved in the case of a documented university error (such as a problem with financial aid being processed) , LATE ADD fee will apply. Requests for non-selective withdrawals and retroactive adds (adds after the last day of classes) must be approved by the academic dean of the college in which the student’s major is located. For AVT majors, that is the CVPA Office of Academic Affairs, Performing Arts Building A407.

Students with Disabilities and Learning Differences

If you have a diagnosed disability or learning difference and you need academic accommodations, please inform me at the beginning of the semester and contact the Disabilities Resource Center (SUB I room 234, 703-993-2474). You must provide me with a faculty contact sheet from that office outlining the accommodations needed for your disability or learning difference. All academic accommodations must be arranged in advance through the DRC.

Official Communications via Mason E-Mail

Mason uses electronic mail to provide official information to students. Examples include communications from course instructors, notices from the library, notices about academic standing, financial aid information, class materials, assignments, questions, and instructor feedback. Students are responsible for the content of university communication sent to their Mason e-mail account, and are required to activate that account and check it regularly.

Attendance Policies

Students are expected to attend the class periods of the courses for which they register. In-class participation is important not only to the individual student, but also to the class as a whole. Because class participation may be a factor in grading, instructors may use absence, tardiness, or early departure as de facto evidence of nonparticipation. Students who miss an exam with an acceptable excuse may be penalized according to the individual instructor's grading policy, as stated in the course syllabus.

Honor Code

Students in this class are bound by the Honor Code, as stated in the George Mason University Catalog. The honor code requires that the work you do as an individual be the product of your own individual synthesis or integration of ideas. (This does not prohibit collaborative work when it is approved by your instructor.) As a faculty member, I have an obligation to refer the names of students who may have violated the Honor Code to the Student Honor Council, which treats such cases very seriously. No grade is important enough to justify cheating, for which there are serious consequences that will follow you for the rest of your life. If you feel unusual pressure about your grade in this or any other course, please talk to me or to a member of the GMU Counseling Center staff.

Using someone else’s words or ideas without giving them credit is plagiarism, a very serious Honor Code offense. It is very important to understand how to prevent committing plagiarism when using material from a source. If you wish to quote verbatim, you must use the exact words and punctuation just as the passage appears in the original and must use quotation marks and page numbers in your citation. If you want to paraphrase or summarize ideas from a source, you must put the ideas into your own words, and you must cite the source, using the APA or MLA format. (For assistance with documentation, I recommend Diana Hacker, A Writer’s Reference.) The exception to this rule is information termed general knowledge—information that is widely known and stated in a number of sources. Determining what is general knowledge can be complicated, so the wise course is, “When in doubt, cite.”

Be especially careful when using the Internet for research. Not all Internet sources are equally reliable; some are just plain wrong. Also, since you can download text, it becomes very easy to inadvertently plagiarize. If you use an Internet source, you must cite the exact URL in your paper and include with it the last date that you successfully accessed the site.

Writing Center

Students who are in need of intensive help with grammar, structure or mechanics in their writing should make use of the services of Writing Center, located in Robinson A116 (703-993-1200). The services of the Writing Center are available by appointment, online and, occasionally, on a walk-in basis.

The Collaborative Learning Hub Located in Johnson Center 311 (703-993-3141), the lab offers in-person one-on-one support for the Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, Blackboard, and a variety of other software. Dual monitor PCs make the lab ideal for collaborating on group projects, Macs are also available; as well as a digital recording space, collaborative tables, and a SMART Board. Free workshops are also available (Adobe and Microsoft) through Training and Certification; visit ittraining.gmu.edu to see the schedule of workshops and to sign up.

Provisions Research Center for Art & Social Change is located in Room L001 of the Art & Design Building. This student resource assists students in exploring and engaging new models for artmaking that lead to a more inclusive, equitable, and connected society. Provisions is also a hub for developing art projects through Mason Exhibitions, the Mural Brigade, and art partners throughout the metropolitan area, and beyond. Feel free to come in and browse the library, study, eat, etc. The University Art Librarian, Stephanie Grimm, will have regular hours in Provisions on Tuesdays at 2pm. Contact Don Russell for more information: drusse10@gmu.edu