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ART 1TI3 Making Art&Underst.Tech&Images

Academic Year: Fall 2016

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: E

Instructor: Prof. Sally McKay


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 417

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23675

Office Hours: Wednesdays, 1:30-2:30, TSH 417

Course Objectives:

Creating art utilizing a range of media, including digital tools and creative research, students will gain an understanding of art, images and cultures of technology. This course offers students from all programs the opportunity to gain a hands-on introduction to digital art making and media while engaging in critical analysis of digital art and visual culture online. Students will gain skills in the effective use of consumer products for art production, composition, form and creative self-expression. Art projects will be linked to assigned readings, class discussions and lectures. Students will gain widely applicable skills in both manipulating and analyzing the communicative power of images. No previous artistic experience is required.

Note: Some of the course material deals critically with subject matter relating to cultural difference, gender and identity. Students are asked to maintain an attitude of open-mindedness, appreciation of difference and respect for a wide diversity of experiences and opinions.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Textbook and Required Readings:

The Circle, by Dave Eggers. Available at Titles Bookstore.

A document listing additional weekly required readings will be posted on Avenue to Learn. These readings will be available online.  


Required equipment and materials:

• a laptop equipped with full Photoshop or GIMP [GIMP is free to download at]

• a digital camera that shoots stills and video [the camera in your phone is fine]

• a means of transferring images from your camera/phone to your laptop during class

NOTE: Please bring all of these materials to each class unless otherwise notified. Please make sure that your laptop and camera/phone are fully charged before each class.


Optional Materials

  • sketchbook
  • pencils: 2b and 4b recommended
  • eraser
  • pencil sharpener

Method of Assessment:

In-Class Assignments   due weekly  (10 assignments, 1% each)     10%

Assignments will be conducted in class and digital files must be submitted to the appropriate dropbox on Avenue to Learn after class each week. In-class assignments will be required every week except the first class (Sept. 8) and last class (Dec. 1). Assignments will be graded on a pass/fail basis, 1 point each. No submissions will be accepted after noon on the Friday following each class.


Digital Art Project 1                due Oct. 20                                         25%

Detailed guidelines will be provided in class and posted on Avenue to Learn. (This assignment will be graded prior to Nov. 4th)


Take-Home test                                   due Oct. 27                                          20%

A take-home test will be posted on Avenue to Learn following class on Oct. 20th. A dropbox will be created on Avenue to Learn and you will be required to post your answers to the dropbox before class on Oct. 27. This test will cover material in the assigned readings and lectures from Sept. 8 – Oct. 20th.


Digital Art Project 2                            due Nov. 24                                         25%

Detailed guidelines will be provided in class and posted on Avenue to Learn.


Exam                                      scheduled during exam period              20%    

A detailed study guide will be posted on Avenue to Learn.

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

It is the responsibility of each student to attend all classes and exams and meet the requirements of submission for coursework. Missed assignments and exams will automatically be assigned a grade of 0. A penalty of one full letter grade will be imposed for every academic day assignments are late.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

A list of required weekly readings will be posted on Avenue to Learn.

1. Sept. 8 – Introduction – Art & Technology Part 1

2. Sept. 15 – Art & Technology Part 2

3. Sept.22 – Net.Art 1

4. Sept.29 – Labour & Corporate Culture

5. Oct. 6 – Surveillance & Military Technologies

Oct. 13 – NO CLASS Mid-Term RECESS

6. Oct. 20 – The Environment

7. Oct. 27  – Net.Art 2 (the “poor image”)

8. Nov. 3 - Appropriation and Self-Representation

9. Nov. 10 – Anonymity & Resistance

10. Nov. 17 – Games

11. Nov. 24 – Cyborgs

12. Dec. 1 – Review