Lisa Hutton’s class


Mouchette — A film becomes a web site

Mouchette 1967 

Mouchette is a young teenager living in the tough country. Her mother is going to die, and
her father does not take care of her. Mouchette does not manage to express her rebellion against
the humiliations she undergoes. One night, in the wood, she meets Arsene. Arsene is the poacher
of the village. He thinks he has just killed Mathieu, the rural policeman.
He tries to use Mouchette to build an alibi.

The 1967 film Mouchette is the basis of the Mouchette web site (1996 – Present).

A summary of the film from IMDB reads: Mouchette is a young teenager living in the tough country.
Her mother is going to die, and her father does not take care of her.
Mouchette does not manage to express her rebellion against the humiliations she undergoes…

Mouchette The Web Site

Check out the cease and desist letter under the film quiz.

The site is replication in cyberspace of the troubled character Mouchette with the addition of interaction with an audience.

The landing page on the site reads:

My name is Mouchette
I live in Amsterdam
I am nearly 13 years old
I am an artist
And this is my shop
Le site existe aussi en Français
My next mood is… (reload)

Mouchette Browse Me 


This and that thought by BFFA3AE interactive speaking hexidecimal color chart

This and That Thought takes the form of a narrative to explore the structure of the Internet and the ways in which it unconsciously conditions its users to make use of the medium in a specific way. A formula, in this case the van der Corput sequence, is used to structure our experience of the narrative as well as provide a metaphor to the many algorithms we interact with as a user. By illustrating the hidden mechanisms inherent to the Internet of today, This and that thought. hopes to uncover its structure and help the user glean and interpret from it in a subjective and meaningful manner. [Needs Speakers] with funds from the Jerome Foundation.


Agent Ruby’s Edream Portal 2011 by Lynn Hershman

More Information about Lynn Hershman

More Information about Agent Ruby




VSAR 405
Spring 2014
Instructor Lisa Hutton |
VSAR 405 Class Site | 
Thursday 5:30 - 8:15 pm, University Hall 273
Office Hours: University Hall 273 Thursdays 4:30 - 5:30 PM
This course outline is subject to change.

Jump To Class Schedule
 Project Instructions

This course explores the impact of the rapidly developing information technologies of the arts – film, video, literature, music, performance, and visual art.
This course examines the breakdown of disciplinary boundaries as the interactive multimedia technologies combine video, text, audio and graphic images.
Also explores the social and ethical implications of the new technologies and their relationship to the arts. Students will study artists whose work has
been shaped by information technologies and who are helping to define the electronic interfaces and virtual worlds of the future.

Some of the main topics are: the evolution of the human-computer interface, hypertext narratives, participatory culture, interactivity, digital cinema,
computing history, social implications of technology, the use of agents in cyberspace, telematic culture, and art made and experienced in cyberspace.
Throughout the semester we will view a broad range of work by artists who use the computer as a medium, as a tool, as subject matter or all of the above.

The structure of the course places greatest importance on written material in the advance of aesthetic criticism. The class is primarily a theory course
which utilizes the introduction of various projects and essays to initiate a dialog on the expansion of cyber aesthetics. As the class evolves, the readings
and your writings, will become a difficult material to separate from web-based media, sound, performance, or other visual media. The course situates writing
as the interface to cyber aesthetics. In this sense the development of code, telecommunication, and software which collectively result in the contemporary
interface with cyber or virtual experience, will be investigated through written historical accounts or criticism. It’s important to note that this emphasis
will stress foremost the importance of writing, in the student’s development within the course as the primary technical skill set and method of evaluation
(i.e. your final grade will depend largely on the quality of your final essay. Please see the following section on grading for a more specific breakdown.)
As a 400-level course, these writing requirements will require a minimum of 38 pages for the semester. 

Part I - Here We Are for Digital Natives: Reaching an Understanding of the Consequences of Digital Technology
Part II - History of Art and Technology:  The Foundations for Art in Cyberspace, Mass Media, Computers, Digital Multimedia and the Internet
Part III - The Future of Technology, Telematic Culture, Surveillance, and Art in Cyberspace

Primarily, the course will require a full commitment to the course readings. It is expected that each week readings will be assigned at the end of class
and engaged with in the following meeting. For each week, students will arrive with a 500 word essay reacting to the assigned readings. You will also
upload your essay onto Moodle the day before. During the beginning of each class, these written reflections will be shared and edited in six smaller groups.
Each student will provide five prints of their essay (double spaced so that others can easily comment) and each student will make constructive edits to
the papers of their group.  

Following this period the lecturer will lead a discussion on the assigned readings and engage the class with reflections of their own and their fellow classmates.
The second halfof each class meeting will be used to interact with various media considered within the cyber aesthetic. It’s important to note this progression
may not be chronological in history, but aims to offer a dialectical approach within questions of cyber aesthetics.

A strong sense of commitment to your writing and the readings will be apparent in your work and reflected in your grade. Participation is a large
component of your final grade.  Therefore, your attendance is critical to your success and grade in class.  More than two consecutive absences OR
more than three in the semester are sufficient grounds to drop you.  If you voluntarily choose to drop the class, as a courtesy, please inform me.
Arriving to class unprepared demonstrates a lack of commitment to the course and will adversely affect your ability to successfully master the
theoretical material covered in this course.  This course covers a broad range of material some of which assume the audience to be adult in age and demeanor.

Students with disabilities who require reasonable accommodations must be approved for services by providing appropriate
and recent documentation to the Office of Disabled Student Services (DSS).  This office is located in Craven Hall 5205,
and can be contacted by phone at (760) 750-4905, or TTY (760) 750-4909.  Students authorized by DSS to receive reasonable
accommodations should meet with me during my office hours in order to ensure confidentiality.

Information on what constitutes plagiarism can be found at: here.

Disruptions are not tolerated.  Read  this  for complete information.

Late work is not accepted.  Incompletes are not given.

 Campus Schedule 

Class Contribution - weekly writing assignments, constructive work with your group, constructive contributions to discussion and attendance - 40%
Growing Up Digital - 10%
Second Self Portrait - 10%
Final Paper - Choose from several topics and take a pro or con stance - 40%

A = outstanding execution and delivery + meets parameters
A+ = 100 , A = 95 , A- = 90
B = meets parameters
B+ = 88 , B = 85 , B- = 82
C = average lacking in one or more of B grade
C+ = 78 , C = 73 , C- = 68
D = did not meet parameters at several levels
D+ = 64 , D = 61 , D- = 58
F  = missed assignment = 0

At the end of the semester, you will present a research paper which debates the pros or cons of digital culture from your point of view.  The goal of the
weekly writing assignments is to build content and receive edits for the final paper. The effort you put into the weekly writing assignments will contribute
directly to the final paper. The final paper will be 10 pages double spaced (2500 words) and may include 4-6 images or illustrations. Please choose MLA or
Chicago Style formatting for your paper and its citations. You MUST include 10 citations to the readings provided by the course.  You may also include 5
citations from your own research.

You will choose one subject from the list below for your research paper. The key element of your research will be to take a pro or con stance on your
subject and debate from that stance.  The final paper is not a comparison and contrast essay.  This paper requires you to make an argument for or against
one of the following themes.

Research Subjects:
Dystopian OR Utopian points of view on Cyberspace
Pro OR Con of the use avatars (constructed virtual identities) in Cyberspace
Positive OR Negative effects of Globalization as a result of the Internet
Pro OR Con of Recombinant Culture (appropriation, plagiarism, pastiche, "death of the author",etc)
Pro OR Con of art made and experienced in Cyberspace
If you have an alternative research subject you would like to pursue ask me.

The Digital Divide: Arguments for and Against Facebook, Google, Texting and the Age of Social Networking. Mark Bauerlein, Editor.  Available at the bookstore.

All other readings will be supplied either on-line or in .pdf format.


Lecture: Introduction to the course
Assignment: Purchase “The Digital Divide”
Assignment: Sign up for a Pinterest account

Read: Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants | Do They Really Think Differently? | Learning to Think in a Digital World
Is Google Making Us Stupid? | Your Brain is Evolving Right Now

Goals for reading reflection: How technology changes the way we think and experience the world.  How are traditional technologies
like reading affected?  Describe how old media are subsumed by new media.  How metaphors of technology are used to describe
the brain/mind over time.  Digital natives vs. digital immigrants.  Results of screen time and continuous partial attention vs. multitasking.

1/29 Turn in: Response to week 1 readings (500 words minimum)

Shared Reflections and Writing Editing. Discussion of the readings from Week 1.
Screen: WGBH, The Machine that Changed the World Part 1. 60 minutes.

Assign Project: Growing Up Digital

Read: Identity Crisis | Love  Online | Virtual Friendship and the New Narcissism | Optional reading: The Eight Net Gen Norms

Goals for reading reflection:  Societal implications of technology.  Flexible identities and self expression.  How technology
causes fragmentation and reflects changes in society at large.  The screen as locus for identity and real estate metaphor.
Social networking and the consequences to privacy, authenticity, community and identity.  Social networking playground or
wasteland?  Homogeneity within the group because the individual is neither unique or interesting.  Avoidance of intimacy
mediated by technology.

2/5 Turn in: Response to week 2 readings (500 words minimum)

Shared Reflections and Writing Editing. Discussion of the readings from Week 2.
Screen: SCREENING: WGBH, The Paperback Computer Part 4, 60 minutes.

Read: Nomadicity | Web Squared |Web 2.0 (Keen not O’Reilly) | Judgment |

Goals for reading reflection:  The fate of culture.  Technology as an underlying system knowing, who and where we are and what services
we are consuming.  Sarte’s serialization theory.  Ceding control to machines as a personal shield.  Does this increase or decrease
control of personal and public space? Collapse of distances and time into endless simultaneity.  The information shadow and its real time
analysis.  Data generation and notions of empowerment and democracy meets the cult of self-realization.  Is personalization good or bad?
What are the unintended consequences?  Biological imperative of splitting attention and the art of concentration.  Effects of technology on memory.

2/12 Turn in: Response to week 3 readings (500 words minimum)

Shared Reflections and Writing Editing. Discussion of the readings from Week 3.
Screen: Michael Wesch, The Machine is Us/ing Us

Read: As We May Think by Vannevar Bush | Computer History | Introduction Some Terms to Know

Goals for reading reflection:  The problem with scientific reasoning being limited to logical processes. The role machines play in breaking
free of merely logical processes. Bush describes the basic design and philosophy of the modern search engine and data base management systems.
What problem does Bush see being addressed by this invention? Bush proposes a series of remarkable inventions which have become the foundation
of what we call eCommerce today. Discuss these inventions and the implications behind their wide spread use. What are the basic functions
of Memex and how does Memex fit into Bush's philosophical view of the use of machines during peace time? What contemporary technologies
are these functions precursors to?

2/19 Turn in: Response to week 4 readings (500 words minimum)

Shared Reflections and Writing Editing. Discussion of the readings from Week 4.
Lecture: Desktop Show & Interface Attractions
Presentations: Growing Up Digital

Read:  Vertov’s Dataset | Bitmapping and Desktop from Stephen Johnson’s Interface Culture

Goals for reading reflection:  Doug Engelbart's concept of "information space."  The interface is semantic  (based on symbols) and "traffics
in representation."  The importance of metaphors.  The graphical user interface.  The Greek Agora and the immersive environment of the computer.
Data exists in two forms: physical and virtual.  Direct manipulation of data.  Xerox Parc.  Apple vs. IBM.  Marshal McLuhan's Understanding Media

Vertov’s Dataset Goals for reading reflection:  change from literate world to pictorial world.  Icons of computer interface become global
Esperanto.  Vertov originates new realities of scale.  Machine vision means camera can be anywhere (inner space = medical imaging,
outer space = distant worlds, imaginary space = illustrations based on data => paranormal vision). Cinema allows the viewer to transcend space and
time but note the space they enter is synthetic a realistic representation of a different reality.  Filmic database, zoom, pan, dolly shot,
composite…realization of the full capabilities of the camera—later codified in commercial film and later in computer software.  Flaneur is a
person who goes out to see and be seen in real or virtual space.

2/26 Turn in: Response week 5 readings (500 words minimum)

Shared Reflections and Writing Editing. Discussion of the readings from Week 5.
Lecture: Technology and Art History
Screening: Dziga Vertov, A Man with a Movie Camera (1929)
Tamas Waliczky &

Read: New Media Users Guide by Lev Manovich / How Media Became New 

Goals for reading reflection:  Relationships between different technologies.  Pre-Victorian era computing.  Convergence of industry with science.
Automation for picture making precedes automation for calculation.  The invention of photography.  Democratization of portraiture using photography.
Charles Babbage and Ada Augusta Lovelace.  Jacquard.  Louis Daguerre (de-gare) and his daguerreotype invention copied widely.  Motion pictures
invented.  New techniques for calculating the U.S. census.  IBM is formed.  Alan Turing’s Analytical Engine.  Relationship between cinema
and early computing.  AI and computer games.  MIT Media Lab.  Four principles of new media.  Ways computer games manipulate the players.
The internet and over-abundance.  Customization of new media objects.

3/5 Turn in: Response to week 6 readings (500 words minimum)

Shared Reflections and Writing Editing. Discussion of the readings from Week 6.
Lecture: Self-Referentuality in Art History and New Media

Assign Project: Second Self

Read: Digital Art by Christine Paul

Goals for reading reflection:  Modernism, Dada, Fluxus, post-modernism and conceptual art.  Random access and change.  Instructions as a
conceptual element of the art work become computer code.  Marcel Duchamp's shifting from object-based art work to concept-based (idea art) art.
Precursors to 'virtual objects' found in much of digital art today.  De-materialized art objects.  Emphasis on process in art rather than making
valuable, one-of-a-kind art objects.  Recombination.  Fluxus art and their focus on event-based art, concepts and precise instructions, their
"fusion of audience participation and event as the smallest unit of  a situation.  John Cage and his use of chance.

3/12 Turn in: Response to week 7 readings (500 words minimum)

Shared Reflections and Writing Editing. Discussion of the readings from Week 7.

Read: The Machine Age and Modernism | The Electronic Era and Postmodernism

Modernism Goals for reading reflection:  Early machine-aided vision invention of the still camera and the movie camera. The new image challenges
notions of representation in painting, originality, and authenticity.  Futurists' and the Russian Constructivists' positive view of technology vs.
Dada and Surrealist negative views of technology.  Cubism and simultaniety.  Beginning of hybrid forms of art, time-based, interactive, performative,
and the collage.  Non-narrative.  Avant Garde.  Duchamp raises fundamental questions about the function of art and the ready-made.  Questioning of
art as a unit having monetary value.  Modernism becomes an aesthetic style.   Clement Greenberg's (art critic) true modern art defined by formalism
and aesthetic purity.  Dematerialization of the art object also becomes a major characteristic of contemporary digital art. The Pop
movement-transition to the electronic era and postmodernism.

Postmodernism Goals for reading reflection:  How dada, surrealism and fluxus lead the way into postmodernism.  Shift to conceptual interests.
Dematerialization and conceptual art.  Video, kinetic, and performance art.  Collaboration between artists and scientists.  Lack of critique of
technology.  The Art and Technology exhibition and three categories of work shown.  Photography and Walter Benjamin’s notion of authentic aura.
Feminism.  Postmodern characteristics.  Channel surfing leads to web surfing.  Mediated reality (this is a central theme of this course).
Increased public interaction with art.  Collectives of artists and collaboration and Group Material.  Use of popular media and the art world.

3/19 Turn in: Response to week 8 readings (500 words minimum)

Shared Reflections and Writing Editing. Discussion of the readings from Week 8.

Read: Bruce Sterling, Dead Media Manifesto  

Goals for reading reflection:  Describe your own personal experiences with failed media--examples: antiquated game consoles, crashed hard
drives, bad cell phone connections, vhs tapes, cell phones...Have your personal technological failures been related to user error?  If so
what was this error? What form of messaging does Bruce Sterling attribute to Jaqueline Goddard?

3/26 Turn in: Response to week 9 readings (500 words minimum)

WEEK 10 
Shared Reflections and Writing Editing. Discussion of the readings from Week 9.

Read: Manovich Social Media / The Practice of Everyday (Media) Life

Goals for reading reflection:  Shift from corporate (professional) to personal (non-professional) control of media.  Web 2.0.  Mass collaboration.
Long tail phenomenon.  Growth of user generated content.  How does this content generation mimic the content generation of mass media outlets
that preceded it?  Editing vs. content creation.  De Certeau's tactics vs. strategies. Customization by users provided by corporations.
Social media token exchange.  Conversation moves into new media direct feedback.  Innovative creativity still exists and can be shared.

4/9 Turn in: Response to week 10 readings (500 words minimum)


WEEK 12 
Shared Reflections and Writing Editing. Discussion of the readings from Week 10.
Lecture: Plagiarism, Appropriation, Revisionism aka Recombinant Culture

Assignment: Begin Abstract for Final Paper

Read: Critical Art Ensemble from the Electronic Disturbance Utopian Plagiarism and
Critical Art Ensemble from the Electronic Disturbance Technology of Uselessess

Utopian Goals for reading reflection:  Recombinant culture.  Notion that works of art exist in context and that the context might not
be the correct or best one.  Duchamp.  Plagiarism is skeptical.  Division of labor, cultural and corporate.  Technology changes the
interpretation of cultural productions as discrete, complete, and finished.  Vanevar Bush, Ted Nelson, And Douglas Englebart see the future
of interconnecting and synthesizing information.  At this writing widespread video distribution has not occurred.  Copyright not as protection
for the author but protection for the corporate distributor of the author’s work.  Examples of plagiarist poetry.

Technology Goals for reading reflection:  Narratives of social revolution in regards to technology.  Providence gives way to progress.
Shift from savior in God to savior in technology and science.  Material conditions improve as psychic conditions decay.  If neither of these
arguments are completely correct a third argument may be that most technology is useless.  The consumer does not understand the function of utility.
Sacrifice and excess are hidden in modern societies.  Monuments and the USS Arizona.  Missile systems designed never to be used.  Your response
to the author’s description of Reagan era militarism should reflect upon our era’s war on terror.  All things must remain neutral and thus useless.

4/16 Turn in: Response to week 11 readings (500 words minimum) & Turn In: Abstract for final paper

Shared Reflections and Writing Editing. Discussion of the readings from Week 12.
Lecture: Agents in Cyberspace
Screening: Synthetic Pleasures

Read: The Virtual Body

Goals for reading reflection:  Types of cyborgs, restorative, normalizing, reconfiguring.  Dependence on machines.   Extension of the physical
body.   Problems become engineering paradigms.  Stelarc and Orlan.  Personal and public genetic manipulation, questions of ownership.
Re-designing the body.  Identity personal and electronic.  The illusion of freedom.

4/23 Turn in: Response to week 13 readings (500 words minimum)

WEEK 14 
Shared Reflections and Writing Editing. Discussion of the readings from Week 13.
Production and group workshop of final paper.

WEEK 15 
Production and group workshop of final paper.
Presentations: Second Self

WEEK 16 
Production and group workshop of final paper.

WEEK 17 
5/15 Turn In: Final Paper



Comments are closed.