edit upload recent print


Zack McCune

Woody Schneider

Liat Berdugo


Site » Syllabus


This course is a project-oriented workshop to explore techniques for effective and innovative use of text in digital media. We will investigate a broad range of examples of electronic writing as well as non-digital works that influenced writing in new media, such as visual poetry, hypertext, animation, soundscapes, and games. Throughout our investigations, we will emphasize issues of design, interactivity, and usability.

Course Web site: http://technekai.com/ewriting/wiki/

Meeting Time: Tuesdays 3.30-5.50pm, lab Thursdays 5-6.20pm

Instructor: Aya Karpinska :: contact me


Students are expected to arrive on time to all sessions, complete weekly assignments, and contribute to class critiques and discussion. Students will put together an online portfolio to showcase their work, and complete a final project.

Please be on time. If you are more than fifteen minutes late, you will be considered absent. If you have to miss class for any reason, let me know, and be sure to check with me or your classmates for work you may have missed. Assignments are due at the beginning of class. Make sure you back up your work - lost or corrupted files do not excuse you from handing in assignments.


We will use the labs to cover basic digital media skills (scanning, digitizing video, recording sound) and software (Photoshop, Flash, Dreamweaver). You may wish to purchase a USB memory stick as well as CDs/DVDs to back up your work.


Below is an outline of the semester's topics and assignments. This schedule is not written in stone, it's written in a wiki, thus it is subject to change at the discretion of the instructor. Be sure to check this Web site for the latest version.

11 September, Week 1 :: What is digital literature?

Syllabus and overview of course.

Examples: Julius Popp : Bit.Fall. Typographic Illustration. Mai Ueda : Domain Poems. Michael Joyce : Afternoon. CODeDOC: W. Bradford Paley. Paul Notzold : TXTual Healing

Assignment: Visit UBUWEB and find one piece that appeals to you, to share next week in class. Read Brian Kim Stefans : What is Electronic Writing

18 September, Week 2 :: Just the text, ma'am

Review UBUWEB works. Manipulating text: cut-ups, erasures, and general dada madness.

Examples: Florian Cramer : Cut-ups Self-Explained. David Hirmes : erasures.

In-class exercise: Paper-based erasures (handout). Play Exquisite Corpse, using these rules.

Assignment: Read William Gillespie's The Oulipo: Constraints and Collaboration. Write an original one-paragraph creative piece for next week, then transform using all three of the Triple Anagram methods. Edit to your satisfaction.

25 September, Week 3 :: Language games, indoors and out

Share Triple Anagram pieces.

Examples: Richard Kostelanetz : A Poetry-Film Storyboard: Transformations. e. e. cummings : r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r. Typocity.

In-class exercise: Go to town with the Dymo Label Maker. Document your work, present.

Assignment: Document through images (photo, hand drawing) all the words in your life for one day. Get it into digital form. You should have 25+ images. Complete Roberto Simanowski's survey for the Reading Digital Literature conference and e-mail to me by end of day Monday, October 1st.

2 October, Week 4 :: Curse the alphabet

Share day-in-the-life word documentations. Letter as image, words as part of our daily landscape and as documentation of our experiences.

Examples: Apollinaire : Calligrammes. Kenny Goldsmith : fidget.

In-class exercise: Based on the images you took, "fill in the blanks" with new text or re-arrange to create patterns.

Assignment: Read Johanna Drucker : The Art of the Written Image. Attend the Reading Digital Literature events! Stitch your day-in-the-life images into a new work, use techniques and ideas from MovieAssembly if you choose.

9 October, Week 5: A thin line between text, image and space

Discuss pieces from the RDL conference; discuss Drucker article. Share last week's assignment.

Examples: Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries : Dakota, The Struggle Continues. Rafael Lozano-Hemmer : 1000 Platitudes, Subtitled Public.

Assignment: Drawing on images from the day-in-the-life assignment, or a completely new set, create a new piece that mixes image and text. You will have two weeks to complete this assignment. Collaborative projects are welcome.

16 October, Week 6: Visual narrative

Examples: geniwate : rice. Funny Garbage: Experiments. Flickr : Signs. Mission Stencil Story.

Assignment: Write up three ideas for your final project and email them to me. Continue working on your image/text piece.

23 October, Week 7: I like to move it move it

Share visual narratives.. Paper-based prototyping. Planning animation with flip-books, storyboarding.

In-class exercise: Index-card animation.

Examples: Andreas Müller : For All Seasons. Brian Kim Stefans: Dreamlife of Letters. Dan Waber : Strings. Jarrett Moody : Say What Again.

Assignment: Visit poems that go and write a one-page response to a poem of your choosing. You will present your findings in class next week.

30 October, Week 8: Kinetic

Examples: Compare Ken Perlin : Kinetic Poetry and FlashComGuru : Just Letters. Film titles - Saul Bass: Psycho, North by Northwest. Richard Greenberg : Altered States.

Assignment: Read Kevin Concannon : Cut and Paste. Record yourself (or someone else) reading out loud, minimum 2 minutes in length.

6 November, Week 9: Sound poetry

In-class exercise: Interpreting sound poetry scores.

Examples: Kurt Schwitters : Ursonate. Jackson Mac Low : Phoneme Dance. Jaap Blonk : Ursunography.

Assignment: Using the sound you've recorded, create a short piece (1 minute minimum). Pick one of your three ideas for the final project, develop it further and email me the description.

13 November, Week 10: Sound poetry

Share sound poems (consider live reading on top of recorded piece).

Examples: Caroline Bergvall : About Face. Joerg Piringer : Bilder, Schwarzweiss.

Assignment: Watch Jonathan Harris' presentation at TED.

20 November, Week 11: Networked

Examples: Christophe Bruno : The Google AdWords Happening. Jonathan Harris : We Feel Fine.

Assignment: Begin work on your final projects. Collaborations are encouraged!

27 November, Week 12: Documentation

Planning your online portfolio page, documentation as artform - Kelly Heaton : Reflection Loop.

Assignment: Continue working on your final project. You will be presenting your work-in-progress next week.

4 December, Week 13: First round final project presentations'

Documentation continued; share final Projects-in-progress. Tips for performance – shortcuts to work, “cover” page/image, no hunting through files and apologizing, having a plan B.

Assignment: Polish up your final projects for next week.

11 December, Week 14: Second round final project presentations

Share final projects.

Page last modified on October 09, 2007, at 11:04 AM EST