Digital Media: History, Theory & Practice

UC Berkeley Course
  ART PRACTICE 160 P 001 LEC

Instructor
  Richard Rinehart

The final assignment will be a collaborative project with Brett Stalbaum of C5 in San Jose and Steve Dietz of the Walker Art Center to create a global online wunderkammer (cabinet of wonder - precursor to the modern museum). Students in the class act as did scientists and explorers of the age of the wunderkammern, collecting strange objects from new lands which they classify and describe to create a conceptual map of the world. In this instance, the Net is the new territory being mined and mapped in this way, using the wunderkammer as a tool for wondering.

All assignments lead toward the formation of the wunderkammer. Students in this course will select/author the initial content of the wunderkammer by choosing items from BAM or Walker museum collections and relating them via authored links to one another or to external net artifacts. These "curated objects" will then have java interfaces added by students in Sunnyvale, and presented as a public art work by the Walker Art Center's online Gallery 9 in Fall 2000, at which point others on the Internet will be able to add new content to the wunderkammer. All information will be submitted via the course website.


Wunderkammker Assignment: Step by Step

Step 1.

Choose an object randomly from the Berkeley Art Museum for the online wunderkammer assignment
or
Search the Walker Art Center Collection for an object of your choice for the online wunderkammer

Step 2.

Write down the URL/address of your object for future reference. Print out the image and carry it around. Think about it. Ask your friends what they think about it. Muse on it for a while.

Step 3.

Ignoring, or deviating from the original context (information) about the object, imagine that you have just discovered this object and must now describe it from scratch. Write a short (300 word minimum) fictional history for the object. This can take the form of a short narrative, or could be prose in which you muse upon the object and consider what it means that this thing exists. Let your imagination roam. Where could it come from? Who created it? Why? How could this thing help you in a current situation in your life? Does it (dis)prove the existance of alien life?

Step 4.

Apply 8 scores to your object. On a scale from 1-10 (1 being least, 10 most), rate your object on all the following scales:
1. resolvable
2. gigantic
3. complex
4. feminine
5. young
6. sticky
7. public
8. proprietary


Assignment Guidelines

Due July 28.

Part 1. Each student will be assigned a work of art randomly from the collection of either the Berkeley Art Museum or the Walker Art Center. Students should treat the object as an artifact they have just "unearthed" from the net that they must classify and describe.

Students must use the AAT to assign their work an official term of classification by object/work type. Students will apply an additional 3 terms to the object, using a range of terms that will be supplied. Students then write a short fictional history of the object (minimum 300 words) based on their personal observations and reactions. Students must choose 1 image file (.jpeg or .gif format) taken from the web, to represent this object. This will most likely be the image of the object, taken from the museum website.

Part 2. Each student will find an "artifact" on the Internet. This artifact could be a movie clip, MP3 sound file, web page, or image. It does not need to be a museum object. Students should treat the object as an artifact they have just "unearthed" from the net that they must classify and describe. Students will apply an additional 3 terms to the object, using a range of terms that will be supplied. Students must use the AAT to assign their work an official term of classification by object/work type. Students then write a short fictional history of the object (minimum 300 words) based on their personal observations and reactions. Students must choose 1 image file (.jpeg or .gif format) taken from the web, to represent this artifact. For instance, if a webpage is chosen as the artifact to describe, one image from that webpage must be selected to represent that page in the wunderkammer.

Part 3. Each student will write a short description (max 100 words) of how the two previous "net artifacts" relate to each other, using any criteria they choose; including but not limited to form, sensibility, history, behaviour. During the last week, each student will give a short presentation to the class about their objects and relationships.

Due Aug 7

Students will work tele-collaboratively via email with students from San Jose who will design java applets as web-accessible interfaces to the above content (images and text).

Due Aug 9

The last week of class, students will present their project to the class.