Introduction: The End-of-semester Project provides you with a choice of several different topics to work with as well as a great deal of flexibility in exploring an idea as a work of digital art or design.
Select one of the following topics:
- Digital Subversion. This topic asks you to consider the role of subversion in the art making process. Examples of digital subversion could include: subverting corporate logos, subverting a media advertisement, and creating your own "advertisement" to promote your own ideology. Think about how you would thoughtfully affect another person's way of thinking or promote a specific point of view. Consider Adbusters, Robin Lasser (Click on "Public Art"), and the Guerilla Girls in relation to the idea of subversion.
- Digital Conspiracy. This option asks you to apply your photographic/illusionary skills to a delightfully deceitful end—in other words, to tell a deliberate lie. In this case, though, it should be both believable and convincing based on your documentation. The term "documentation" is open, but it should allow the viewer to "suspend their disbelief." The artists Danny Goodwin, Dino Ignacio, and David Wilson would be good influences.
- Interpretative Narrative of a Fictional Story. If you choose this option, you should select a favorite short story and use it as a departure point for creating a series of new, exciting imagery. (If this option interests you but you can't readily identify a short story to use, try reading Light is Like Water by Gabriel García Márquez.) The origin of these images should somehow trace back to the story you've chosen to work with, but you may consider the story on any level to inspire or direct your digital image making. Don't merely illustrate the story; your images and the original story should both stand on their own. In the words of Edward Weston, who undertook a series of photographs to complement Walt Whitman's poems, you are "undertaking the task of rendering visual the underlying themes, the objective realities" that make up the narrative in your story. Use this as a starting place to develop your own ideas and your own response. Consider this response by Jeff Wall to Ralph Ellison's novel The Invisible Man.
- Interpretative Narrative of a Personal Story. This option is somewhat similar to that for a Fictional Story. Select an important time or event in your personal life and create a visual narrative that depicts your interpretation or response to this moment or event. For those of you with video editing interest or experience, you might want to explore the idea of putting your story into a short video film. For examples, investigate the BBC's Telling Lives series or Creative Narrations' Digital Storybook.
- Interpretative Narrative of a Community History, Personal Travel or Journey, or Factual Event. This option is somewhat similar to that for a Fictional Story. Select an important time or event in your personal life and create a visual narrative that depicts your interpretation or response to this moment or event. For those of you with video editing interest or experience, you might want to explore the idea of putting your story into a short video film. For examples, investigate the the archives of Musarium, One World Journeys or Stories of September 11.
Special note for those who might like to work in a partnership: You may also choose to do the creative work for the project by working in partnership with another student. In the case of partnerships or teams, the creative work and in-class presentation would be increased incrementally for each partner or team member. For example, if you form a team of three members, your team would be required to submit a project that used at least 21 original images and to present a 15-minute in-class presentation. The requirements for the Reflective Essay would remain the same with each member submitting an individual paper.
- An Image Suite consisting of a series of at least seven original images that respond fully and creatively to one of the topics listed above; these may be presented in a form of your choosing but must be primarily digitally based and mediated in some way. You may also use text and sound in any part of the project if you wish but you are not required to.
Your images should contain at least one photographic element, but may also include hand-drawn work, text, or scanned objects.
The Image Suite should reflect your highest creative and technical proficiency.
- A 750 to 900-word Reflective Essay in which you discuss 1) the concepts or narrative explored in your project, 2) in what ways you believe your work represents an especially creative and/or innovative way to convey your response to your topic, 3) the creative processes you used to create the project, and 4) a self-review of the final product itself. The Essay is to be fully edited, demonstrating a high level of conceptual and technical refinement.
- A brief 5-minute In-class Presentation in which you discuss your project and how you realized it in visual form.
Possible Formats for Presentation of the Image Suite
- A series of digital collages
- Digital or printed book (if printed, you must submit the digital image files)
- Short digital video
- Interactive Flash-based movie
- Web-based presentation
- All project materials are to be submitted to the instructor in digital form on a CD.
- Use due diligence in maintaining manageable files sizes. This is especially true if you use Flash as a means for presentation. Total size for all files is not to exceed 10 MB.
Timeline for Project Workdays and Presentation Days
- March 22: Project assigned
- March 27: Visiting speaker during Formal Class; project work during Open Lab only
- March 29: "Mini-projects 4/5: Visual Narrative discussion during Formal Class; project work during Open Lab only
- April 3: Visiting speaker during Formal Class; project work during Open Lab only
- April 5: Field trip to Allen Street Theatre (no project time)
- April 10: Visiting speaker during Formal Class; project work during Open Lab only; submit a brief (100 words) description in which you explain the general theme and story line of your narrative
- April 12: Project workday (open lab and formal class time);
- April 17: Visiting speaker during Formal Class; project work during Open Lab only
- April 19: In-class presentations (Group 1)
- April 24: In-class presentations (Group 2), final deliverables due
This project contributes 20 points to your final grade. Evaluation will be based on the following criteria:
- Project responds fully and completely to the assignment and meets all requirements and deadlines for submission of work (15% of grade);
- Project demonstrates a high quality of conceptual development, sincere effort at technical refinement, and demonstration of a willingness to explore and experiment with the creative process (40% of grade);
- The Reflective Essay presents a thoughtful and reflective discussion and critique of the creative process and the final work produced and is generally free of technical, grammar, and spelling errors (25% of grade);
- A full and thoughtful participation as an audience member for the final in-class presentations (10% of grade); and
- The brief (5 minute) informal discussion of the project with the class provided insights into the conceptual thought and creative processes used for the project. (10% of grade)
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