Art 122w  

Introduction to Projects In-class papers Reviews Mid-semester Exam End-of-semester Project Participation Grading Matrix

Mid-semester Exam

The questions for this exam are written in relationship to Chapters 1 – 3 in the text, The Language of New Media.

Directions and Due Date

General: The Mid-semester Exam is a take-home exam thus it is acceptable for you to consult course notes and texts as you develop your responses. You are required to respond to two questions. For your first question, you may choose Exam Question 1 or 2; Exam Question 3, however, is required. Your responses should be between 300 – 400 words (1 1/2 to 2 pages) per question. Please do not confer with classmates about this assignment. Your responses to the exam questions are to be developed and written independently and not approached as a joint or group project. Disregard for this direction will be treated as a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy of this course.

Exam deadline: The Mid-semester Exam is due by 12:00 Midnight on Wednesday, March 1. The exam must be submitted electronically to the drop box assigned to "Mid-semester Exam" that is listed under the "Lessons" section of the course's ANGEL site. All files must be submitted in Microsoft Word (.doc) or Rich Text Format (.rtf) file format.

Submission of late assignments: Any exam or part of an exam that is submitted after 12:00 Midnight on Wednesday, March 1 will be considered late. Work that is submitted late will be penalized 25% of the exam's total possible grade for each 24-hour period that elapses between the time it is due and the day the work is submitted to and received by the ANGEL drop box.

Exam Questions

Select One of the Following to Answer:

Exam Question 1. Chapter One of The Language of New Media ("What is New Media?") introduces five principles that the author claims differentiate new media from old (traditional) media. The author describes these as: 1) numerical representation, 2) modularity, 3) automation, 4) variability, and 5) transcoding. Select a new media/digital art object that we have not studied in class and discuss how these principles do (or do not) apply to this particular object. Support your discussion with specific examples and provide documentation of the object you discuss.

Exam Question 2. Chapter Two of The Language of New Media (The Interface) discusses how conventions of print, cinema, and human-computer interfaces shaped the language of cultural interfaces. Using this analysis as an example, present a discussion of the role played by conventions of older media in new media/digital art. Focus your discussion in one older media form (e.g., music, architecture, theater, or television). Make your analysis concrete by showing how particular older conventions operate in particular new media/digital art objects, such as web sites, computer games, software interfaces, digital art projects, etc.

Examples of possible topics to discuss:

  • The conventions of television or radio that are used on the Web such as what we find in the interfaces of media players such as RealTime, Windows Media Player, or Apple QuickTime.
  • The office, studio, and workplace metaphors found in the typical interfaces of software programs such as Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop; Macromedia Flash, Quark Express, etc.
  • The architectural conventions that are found in so many adventure-based computer games.

This Question Is Required:

Exam Question 3. The introduction to Chapter Three of The Language of New Media (Operations) states: "Regardless of whether a new media designer is working with quantitative data, text, images, video, 3D space or their combinations, she employs the same techniques—copy, cut, paste, search, composite, transform, filter" (Manovich 2002, 118). This chapter examines two of these techniques, selection and compositing, in depth to demonstrate how software influences the design process in new media and, by extension, our broader "ways of working, ways of thinking, and ways of existing in a computer age" (p. 218).

Write a response to this statement using your experiences in creating and working with the images for the Mini Project 3: Altered Images assignment as a reference for your response. If you agree with the author's assertion that software shapes users' ways of thinking and working and existing, support it by supplying concrete examples. If you disagree with this statement, then prove your point by discussing concrete examples of how the structure of new media objects created using software is not determined by the way we interact with these programs. Don't try to analyze every command or interface feature of the software program that you used to create your Altered Image project, focus on just a few examples.

Evaluation Criteria

The Mid-semester Exam contributes 20% to your final grade for the course. The exam is graded on a 100-pt. scale and evaluation will include the following criteria:

“A-level” work:
90–100 pts.

Your responses should demonstrate the following characteristics fully and completely:

  1. An understanding of the purpose and objectives of the assignment and a meeting of all requirements and deadlines for submission of work;
  2. An understanding of the concepts, terms, and ideas discussed in the course text that are referred to in the exam questions;
  3. An investigation of the exam questions and topics chosen for each question;
  4. Evidence of independent critical thinking that is logical (i.e., coherent and relevant) and clearly expressed;
  5. Provide persuasive supporting arguments that include evidence and/or examples;
  6. Use insightful, unified, and persuasive statements in the presentation of ideas;
  7. Support claims or facts through the use of appropriating documents (paraphrasing, quotations, etc) and uses standard means to cite sources;
  8. Present a focused, well organized, and rational discussion;
  9. Use direct language that is appropriate for a university-level writing; and
  10. Be free of errors in grammar, punctuation, word choice, spelling, and format.

“B-level” work:
80–89 pts.

Will generally realize very good quality in items (1) through (8) but may not demonstrate an exemplary sense of thoroughness or independent thought. A “B” project may also contain a few minor technical errors or conceptual flaws.

“C-level” work:
70–79 pts.

Realizes items (1) through (8) in an adequate and generally competent manner but contains minor technical errors or flaws. A "C" project may demonstrate a sense of independence and thoroughness, but is compromised by poor or careless writing. A "C" project is adequate in all regards but needs additional conceptual and technical refinement.

“D-level” work:
60–69 pts.

Exhibits some elements of (1) through (8) adequately but contains several relatively serious errors or flaws or many minor ones. A "D" project is less than adequate in all regards.

“F-level” work:
59 pts. or below

Does not exhibit several elements of (1) through (9) adequately and contains numerous serious errors or flaws as well as many minor ones. An "F" project usually contains fatal errors of thought or execution that severely compromise its clarity and ability to be comprehended by its intended audience (the instructor).



Manovich, L. 2002. The Language of New Media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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