Art 412 Conceptual/ Information Arts - Intro to Art & Technology

Assignment 2:  Hypermedia - Everyday object (newspaper) as artistic source

1. Anything can be an art focus:  pick an item from the newspaper

Contemporary artists often focus on everyday events and artifacts as centers of attention. They look at what everyone else does, but they try to see it differently. They cultivate "scanning" skills. They systematically develop disciplines of monitoring sources, references, physical locations, cultural niches etc. They learn to look carefully at detail.

Search the newspaper for items to which you would not usually pay much attention. Search for items to which you think you can add unusual perspectives These can be news items, advertising, images ... anything in the newspaper. For this assignment focus on the newspaper from Sunday, xx,xx. Pick specific items as a focus, not large sweeping themes - for example, a particular quote, event, diagram, advertising claim etc., not "the middle east" or "the budget" in general..

Project activities:

2. Hypermedia Design - Navigation - Interactivity- Non-linearity - Reader as author

Hypermedia is the name given to media that is non-linear. That is, there is not one pathway through it. Readers make choices that determine the sequence in which they encounter media (image, text, sound, etc.)  Some theorists note that  readers have always been partially  authors - constructing meanings based on their backgrounds, expectations, etc even when the presented "text" stayed constant.  For example see "Death of the Author" by Roland Barthes.  In Hypermedia the technology externalizes the process and makes the variation and choice obvious.  Please read

Hypermedia can vary any of the constituents of normal media.  For example, in narratives it can offer variations in plot lines or views of the events from the perspective of different characters involved.  It can offer different sound or image experiences based on the virtual position chosen by the viewer.  It can offer different interpretive perspectives customized for different audiences - eg male and female viewers or people with different political perspectives see a slightly different event.

Read the articles

Stephen Wilson The Aesthetics and Practice of Designing Interactive Computer Events
George Landow   The Definition of Hypertext and Its History as a Concept
Erkki Huhtamo - Seven Ways of Misunderstanding Interactive Art
Wiki article on Death of the Author with links
Pick at least one other article from the artlinks text links (section on the hypermedia/interactivty.)

Visit the suggested sites:

Mark Amerika  Grammatron
My Body, A Wunderkammer -  Shelley Jackson
Pick at least one other artist site from the artlinks artists links  (working with hypertext)

Project activities:

This assignment asks you to create a mini-study of the concept of Hypermedia.  Incorporating (in some way) the item you picked from the newspaper  (and optionally the body part focus), you are asked to create a short set of sequences that vary depending on choices made by the viewer.  You are asked to create a work that is radically different based on user choices.  Two people who have visited your event and have chosen different opitons should feel like they have had very different experiences when they discuss it.  Here are the steps:

3. Design Constraints - Technical Requirements

4. The Body (optional focus)

Theorists note that the advent of technology has radically altered our relationship to our bodies.  This has become a major theme for contemporary technological artists.  Several themes impact on our conceptualizations: Read the articles
Critical Art Ensemble - Utopian PromisesóNet Realities  (
Stephen Wilson  - Excerpts from Information Arts focused on the body (chapter 2.5 and 7.1 theory section) (
Pick at least one other article from the artlinks text links (section on the body.)
Visit the suggested sites.
Stelarc (projects on the modified body)
Eduardo Kac  (Transgenetic Art)
Victoria Vesna  (Bodies Incorporated)
Pick at least one other artist site from the artlinks artists links  (working theoretically on the body)
Project activities:   Information about CIA Program