Art 2500: Digital Imaging

Art & Technology Course Syllabus Autumn 2016
Department of Art
The Ohio State University

Time/Date: Tue/Thu 3:55p - 6:40p, August 23 to December 6, 2016

Location: Hopkins Hall 356

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: TradeMark (Mark) Gunderson


Phone: email is better, but you can leave a message with the art department at (614) 292-5072

Mailbox: Room 258 Hopkins Hall (Art Department Main Office)

Office Hours / Availability Outside of Class Time: by appointment


Course Description:

Introduction to the creation, manipulation and critical interpretation of graphic and photographic artwork. Includes input and output of digital work as it applies to artists.

Course Objectives:

  • To create art using digital imaging tools (primarily Adobe Photoshop).

  • To gain an understanding of the context of digital imaging as it relates to contemporary art practice.

  • To achieve a level of comfort with the tools and techniques needed to create digital artwork.

  • To experiment with new ways to connect digital technologies to one’s own creative practice.

  • To complete and output a digitally-manipulated artwork for exhibition purposes.

Student Learning Outcomes

Through artmaking, readings, lectures, demonstrations, discussions, critiques and writing students will explore contemporary, experimental uses of digital media. Class time consists of hands-on demonstrations in software and techniques, balanced with presentations of artist examples and discussions. Students will spend some time in class discussing and developing their creative projects, but will be expected to produce most of their assigned art projects outside of class.

Course Content and Procedures

Students creatively communicate ideas through digital art.

Students demonstrate an understanding of tools and techniques used to create digital art.

Students display ability to create visually and ideationally compelling imagery.

Students gain ability to articulate digital art concepts during discussions and critiques.

Requirements and Evaluation - Grading is assigned as follows:

48 points – Assigned digital art projects. (16 points possible on each of the 3 projects)

15 points – Written statements, response papers and/or artist research papers

12 points – Active participation in class activities and discussions, as well as general class citizenship.

25 points – Final project completed and submitted to the juried exhibition in Hopkins Hall Gallery

To receive a letter grade of "C" you must maintain regular attendance, complete all assignments and participate in class discussions and critiques. An "A" in this course will require that you far exceed the minimum expectations for both quality and concept. Your work should show a highly developed understanding of the concepts and techniques of digital image manipulation, as well as an innovative incorporation of this medium into your own developed aesthetic. Your contribution to class discussions and class critiques is vital for an "A". To read the evaluation criteria for the art assignments go to the bottom of the assignments page.

Click here for more information on what letter grades mean - literally and numerically.

Turning in your work

Your work is due at the beginning of class and is considered late if turned in later. Your project is late if ALL portions are not turned in on time. Therefore, your project files must already be uploaded to the appropriate CARMEN dropbox before the start of class on the project's due date.  Due to frequent file glitches, you must also be prepared with a backup of your final project files on on a USB drive. Your project grade will be reduced by one full letter for each class day it is late, regardless of whether or not you were absent.


Class critiques are very important and will be held at the beginning of class on the due date of each project. If your assignment is not complete for the critique your grade on that assignment will be lowered by one full letter for each class day it is late. You are required to attend critiques even if your work is not complete. Critiques are not for my benefit; instead, they are most likely your best method to learn about artmaking - from your fellow artmakers.

Attendance policy

Don't miss class. Don't arrive late or leave early. You are expected to come to class on time, ready to work and with all necessary supplies and materials. Your final grade will be lowered by one full letter upon your fourth absence - and again for each additional absence. 4 late arrivals or early departures = 1 absence. Excused absences are: family emergencies, established religious holidays and illness with an official doctor's note indicating that you could not attend class on that particular day. You are responsible to find out what you missed and complete any missed work.

Policy on student conduct

Students are expected to abide by the Ohio State University's Code of Student Conduct. Any violations will be reported to the Committee on Academic Misconduct.

A few examples of violations you should avoid

  • Turning in work as your own that was created in some part by someone else.

  • Turning in work for this class that has already been turned in for another class.

  • Dishonesty concerning absences.

Disability policy

Any student who feels he/she may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact me privately, as soon as possible, to discuss specific needs. Students need to also be working with the Office for Disability Services (on campus at 150 Pomerene Hall, ph. 614-292-3307) so that we may coordinate reasonable accommodations.


Digital Storage:  You will need a USB flash drive, external hard drive, or SD card to store image files and easily transport them to different computers and for printing. Get one that will store at least 16 Gigs, but get a larger capacity drive (40 gigs or more) if you plan to archive all of your work in this class on this one device. You will be required to follow good digital practices by backing up your important work in more than one place. Flash drive and hard drive crashes and file glitches DO happen, and they are not excuses for late projects.

Cloud Storage:  OSU students have access to 50 GB of free cloud storage space through Buckeye Box. Think of this as a backup for the above digital storage/flash drive, not a replacement.  As you create larger artworks and larger files, it will be quicker saving them to a portable drive than uploading them to the cloud.  We will also establish a shared Buckeye Box class folder.

Digital output:  You will be required to get your artwork out of the computer for one or two of the assignments. This means purchasing output media to print on such as photo quality inkjet paper, gloss paper, inkjet canvas, transparencies, iron-on transfer sheets, back-light film (Duratrans). In addition, the final project, which will be submitted to the final Art and Technology exhibition at the Hopkins Hall Gallery, needs to be a finished piece ready to install in a gallery setting. Depending on what you decide to create for your final piece, you should plan accordingly with supply purchases. For example, if your artwork is a series of inkjet prints, you will need to purchase frames or frame-making supplies.

Notebook:  Taking notes will be necessary in this information-intensive course.

Labs, Equipment and Facilities

Our classroom (Hopkins Hall room 356) will be available for your use 24 hours a day except for reserved class times posted on the door. Your BuckID will be granted swipe access for this classroom as well as the Hopkins Hall building. There is another computer lab just down the hall from our classroom, and OSU Digital Union locations offer computers with Adobe Photoshop.

Want Photoshop?  If you’d like to purchase your own copy of Photoshop for your own computer, OSU has a pretty great discount program for Adobe software.  Students can purchase Photoshop Extended CS6 for $170 (compared to $599 normally).  To get that price you have to buy it from Tech Hub, OSU's computer store at 2059 Millikin Rd (Tuttle Garage).  You can also get the whole Adobe CS6 suite of programs "cheap" for $600 ($2,000 off full price).  It's not required to buy your own copy -- this is just if you want it on your own computer -- but if you even slightly want it, this is the best price you're likely to see for it and is only available while you're an OSU student.

Computer problems?  The BuckeyeBar, located in 60A Thompson Library, offers face-to-face technology consultation and service to Ohio State faculty, staff and students. Common areas of assistance include speeding up a sluggish laptop, clearing up a virus problem, and locating other Ohio State IT resources.

  • No computer?  You do not need to own your own computer and/or Adobe Photoshop to succeed in this class. There are computer labs available to students in the art department and to those taking art and technology classes.  Down the hall from our classroom is an Arts & Sciences computer lab in Hopkins Hall room 346 with better computers but irregular hours.  The newly-upgraded computer lab located in Hopkins Hall room 180 B (located in Hopkins Hall’s annex building) is an open lab for students to pursue their artwork outside of classes. Several other labs on campus have Photoshop, including the Digital Unions in Hagerty, Prior, and Stillman Halls.  There are also more than 230 computers available in Thompson Library and 24-hour access to the 18th Avenue Library.

Equipment Checkout:

In case you need media equipment for the end-of-semester art show or for an ambitious class project, Art & Tech has some equipment for loan at no charge from our Robotics Lab downstairs in Hopkins Hall room 160 including:

  • Digital cameras and camcorders
  • Audio recorders
  • Projectors and screens
  • Mac Minis (occasionally) and other computer accessories

Lending times cannot exceed three days.  Visit Lab 160 during staffed hours (posted on the door) or ask TradeMark in class.

You can also borrow equipment for class use from Classroom Services located at 025 Central Classroom Building (ph: 614-292-3131). You need to fill out and sign a permission form (that your instructor will also need to sign) and turn it in the first time you reserve or borrow equipment. After that, you will be able to check out digital cameras, digital camcorders, audio recorders, projectors, laptops (Mac or PC), DVD players and TVs for class related projects. The best part is that it's FREE as long as you do not break it or return it late. TIP: Plan ahead and reserve items early -- their equipment is in major demand at the end of the semester.

NOTE: Classroom Services has repeatedly said they are about to stop lending equipment, but so far has stayed open and available.  If you visit them and learn any important news, please share it with our class.

Reading and Writing

Our textbook is Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS6, by Richard Harrington (FREE online; see news post in Carmen for details).  Its focus is more commercial than artistic.  Our class will ideally maintain an art-oriented focus on digital imaging, and as such will refer to the textbook only occasionally.

In addition to the book, there will be required readings related to digital art and ideas that will be discussed in class. There will also be short writing assignments on relevant artists and artist lectures as well as written project proposals required for each art project.

Other inspirational readings on digital art

Art and Electronic Media (Phaidon Press) by Edward Shanken

At the Edge of Art, (Thames & Hudson) by Joline Blais & Jon Ippolito

Critical Terms for Media Studies, edited by W.J.T. Mitchell and Mark B.N Hansen

Digital Art, (Thames & Hudson) by Christiane Paul

The Language of New Media, (MIT Press) by Lev Manovich

Snap to Grid, (MIT Press) Peter Lunenfeld

Electronic culture: technology and visual representation, Editor, Timothy Druckrey.

New Media in Late 20th-Century Art, (Thames & Hudson) Michael Rush

The New Media Reader, edited by, Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort

Leonardo, (MIT Press) is the leading international journal for readers interested in the application of contemporary science and technology to the arts and music. It has been around since 1968! It is available in the Fine Arts Library at the Wexner Center.

Neural, Media Art, Hactivism and Emusic magazine. Physical magazine, with lots of online content.

See more online publications on the class Links List