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Academic Year: Fall/Winter 2013/2014

Term: 2

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Sally McKay


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 417

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23675

Office Hours: Tuesday, 10:00-11:00 am (TSH 417)

Course Objectives:

Working individually and in groups, students will be introduced to concepts, questions,research strategies and contexts related to art production. An integrated approach will combine dialogue, production and information gathering utilizing sketchbooks, digital technologies and University collections. This course will provide an introduction to new media applications for contemporary art. Students will learn how to use the technological tools they already have available to create artworks and produce effective documentation. Through hands on practice, class discussion, independent research and field trips students will become familiar with online strategies used by contemporary artists for both self-promotion and art production as well as the various institutional models of Canadian art galleries and publications.

Mark the date! This course includes a project to be publicly presented during the multi-disciplinary Choral Animations event on the evening of March 14th. Students are expected to attend this event and participate in set-up beforehand and clean-up afterwards.

Note: Students will be expected to pay for their own transportation on class excursions to Hamilton art galleries.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Studio fees: $25

Note: Students will be expected to pay for their own transportation on class excursions to Hamilton art galleries.


Method of Assessment:

Assignments Breakdown

Participation _______________________________________­_____________10%

Weekly Assignments______________________________________________30%

            1) Drawing the Device (Jan. 7)

            2) Digital Colouring (Jan. 14)

            3) Before-and-After Digital Image Editing (Jan. 21)

            4) Animated GIF (Jan. 28)

            5) Video 1 (Feb. 4)

            6) Video 2 (Feb. 11)

            7) Video 3 (Feb. 25)

            8) Video 4 (March 4)

            9) Art Magazine Analysis (March 11)

            10) Art Institution Analysis (March 18)

Digital Collage for Temporary Tattoo (file due Feb. 11)__________________10%

Choral Animations Project (event on March 14) ________________________30%

Online Presentation Project (due April 1) _____________________________20%


Assignment Details


Participation 10%

This course has a particular focus on risk and experimentation. For this reason, it is of utmost importance that everyone participate fully by attending all classes and remaining welcoming and open to points of view that differ from our own. The atmosphere of the classroom should be characterized by courtesy and mutual respect. Participating in group discussion is an important part of providing constructive feedback for your peers. Active questioning and differences of opinion, respectfully expressed in a spirit of collaboration and mutual exchange, contribute to a positive and supportive group dynamic. Missing classes, coming late, leaving early or failing to contribute positively to the class dynamic will impact your grade.


Weekly Assignments 30%

Course evaluations will be based on both independent projects (see below) and weekly, in-class assignments. Each week, students will be given specific instructions on how to prepare for class the following week, which may include completing assigned readings, downloading software, prepping files or gathering materials and media to bring to class. It is your responsibility to pay careful attention to these instructions and make sure you come to each class fully prepared. In addition, please bring your mobile phones/digital cameras and laptops (if you have them) to every class, and make sure the batteries on these devices are fully charged. Attendance and participation are mandatory. There will be no make-up accommodations for missed in-class assignments.


Digital Collage for Temporary Tattoo (file due Feb. 11) 10%

Students will create digital files for temporary tattoos. Assignment details and instructions will be provided in class. Temporary tattoo paper and printing will be provided.


Choral Animations Project (event on March 14) 30%

Students will collaborate on a class project, the presentation of video works to accompany a live choral concert on March 14th. Tasks will include creating video inspired by assigned choral pieces, video editing, set design and performance planning, event set-up, video projection, clean-up, and more. Details will be thoroughly discussed in class.


Online Presentation Project (due April 1) 20%

Students will work independently to create an online art project or presentation. Details will be thoroughly discussed in class.

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Any assignments that are not completed on time will automatically be assigned a grade of 0. Exceptions to this policy will only be made in specific instances where a student is eligible to file a McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

This is a self-reporting tool for undergraduate students to report absences DUE TO MINOR MEDICAL SITUATIONS that last up to 5 days and provides the ability to request accommodation for any missed academic work. Please note, this tool cannot be used during any final examination period. You may submit a maximum of 1 Academic Work Missed request per term. It is YOUR responsibility to follow up with your Instructor immediately (NORMALLY WITHIN TWO WORKING DAYS) regarding the nature of the accommodation. If you are absent for reasons other than medical reasons, for more than 5 days, or exceed 1 request per term, you MUST visit your Associate Dean's Office/Faculty Office). You may be required to provide supporting documentation. This form should be filled out immediately when you are about to return to class after your absence.

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.