Art 610 Advanced Projects in Conceptual Information Arts

FA 538   Tu/Th  7-10 (**special times to be arranged- see below)   Spring 08

Professor Stephen Wilson
Fine Arts Annex 539, 338-2291, email:
Office hours  tu/th 12-2 (best to confirm)        Lab Fee: $0
Class web page: http://userwww.sfsu/edu/~infoarts/cdmain/art610.syllabus.html
Class Ilearn page -

More information about Conceptual Information Arts (CIA) Program (

Course Description and Prerequesites

Course Description: Art 610 is an advanced course in the Conceptual /InfoArts sequence.  It is designed to enable students to create polished works that make use of technical and conceptual skills learned in previous CIA courses.  It requires considerable individual focus and motivation.  Many students use it to develop works they include in their portfolios.

Prerequisites: Art 410, Art 412, at least one Art 511 and consent of the instructor.
  It may be taken for either one or two semesters.

Course Objectives, Requirements, Attendance and Grading

In this course the objective for students is to design and implement two major projects, and one site-specific mini-project. The nature of the projects will be determined during discussions with the instructor.  In addition students will be required to read essays related to their projects and attend community events/lectures.  Students will be required to complete the following:

Major Project 1
Major Project 2
Site Specific Mini Installation
(Presentation of work in Senior Show)
Postings of proposals and documentation to class wiki
Art Futures Reflection Paper
Essay Reading and Discussion
Attendance at 3 shows/lectures in community
A self-evaluation analysis

Details about assignments are explained below.

Attendance, Grading

Students must complete all projects with significant quality to pass the course.  A grade of A requires all projects done with superior polish and extra work over and above the requirements.  A grade of B requires all projects done with excellence.  Students working at C or lower level will be encouraged to drop the course.

Since there are so few class meetings, unexcused absence is not allowed (see details below).  Late work will not be accepted except through special arrangements with the professor.

Acadmic Probation

If you are on academic probation, make an appointment as soon as possible to work out what you need to do to meet the terms of your probation.

American with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accomodation

The Disability Programs andResource Center provides university academic support services and specialized assistance to students with disabilities. Stiudents with disabilities who need reasonable accommodatons are encouraged to contact the instructor.  The Disability Programs and Resource Center (DPRC)  is available to facilitate the reasonable accommodations process.  The DPRC is located in the Student Service Building and can be reached by telephone (voice/TTY 415-338-2472) or by email (

Health and Saftey

Working with computers and electronic devices poses certain hazards to muscles, sight, posture.  Students need to be aware of these dangers and the precautions that can be taken.  Please consult the CIA safety guidelines.
CIA health and safety guide

Independent Projects

Students are encouraged to establish their own directions, stemming from immediate life experiences and/or theoretical concerns, and implemented with tools and concepts accrued to date. It is important for students to understand that they are working on independent projects. Unlike the previous CIA courses, the project parameters are not assigned. The instructor functions as a consultant and facilitator.

Because this is an advanced course, the proposals and the projects are expected to be cleanly executed with care and polish. Proposals are to be professionally prepared with computer tools, such as might be presented to a foundation or a gallery. Projects must demonstrate significant thought, research, and preparation. The research component must be carefully documented. The research can draw on library, web, or observational methods. Some of the research should incorporate art historical or theory references. The goal is to help students prepare for actions in the art world where standards are more unforgiving than at SFSU Careless work will not be accepted. You may be asked to redo the project.  The projects must be completed within the semester. Students will be asked to post short image/text proposals  and documentation on class Ilearn wiki site. 

Meeting Schedule:

**Note: The class does not meet every week. The time is being freed up for students to pursue major projects and to develop their own strategy about scheduling. Class meetings will occur periodically during the semester on Thursday evenings and some Tuesdays. While there will not be regularly scheduled Tuesday evening meetings, students should leave the time open because of the need to sometimes schedule class. The schedule is tentative as now scheduled. We will attempt to give warnings of additional meetings and excuses of other scheduled events will not be accepted. If other classes are taken in the time slot, you must warn the professor that you may have to occasionally miss. Art 610 must take priority because there are so few meetings.  If this will not work for you or the professor, don't schedule another course.

Students will meet with the instructor in individual meetings throughout the semester. These meetings will occur during professor's office hours (tues-thurs 12-2) and occasionally Tues or Thurs Evening.  Other communication will take place via email and the class Ilearn site.  

Students must attend every scheduled meeting. Since there are so few meetings absence will result in automatic withdrawal from the course. Regular progress is expected each week. Maintaining a special sketchbook for the projects and presenting it at each individual meeting is highly recommended.

Class Schedule

First Meeting - Orientation - Thursday, Jan 24

Project 1 Proposal  -  Thursday, Feb 7  ////   Presentation Thursday March 6  (possible overflow into Tuesday  3/11)

The first week of the semester should be used in experimenting to develop a direction. On Thursday, Feb 7, a specific project proposal must be presented orally to the class (a web version of the proposal must be posted on the studentís website with the link posted in the class wiki.  The final presentation/critique will be Thursday, March 6  (and on tues 3/11 if necessary.)  Documentation must be posted to the class wiki by 3/13.

Project 2 Proposal -  Post to Ilearn site Sunday, March 16 -Meet to discuss proposals Tuesday, March 18 ///  Preliminary version presented at Senior Show (April 12)  /// Final Presentation Thursday, May 8

On Sunday, March 16  a specific proposal for project 2 must be posted to Ilearn class site.  It must be presented orally to the class on Tuesdya, 3/18. ). These projects will be presented in the CIA show that is part of senior show/MFA show opening day (April 12??).  A final revised version will be presented in the next to last week of the semester (May 8)

Site Specific Mini Project - (to be scheduled)

One corner of the main CIA area will be devoted to Site Specific Mini Projects. Each student will have the space for a week. You are encouraged to create experimental conceptual work that addresses the architectural, sociological, spatial or other site specific qualities of that corner of the room.

Each student must design and install an exhibit in the Northwest corner of the large CIA area Room 525. This work should be a site specific work that explores some aspect of that location ó architectural, spatial, sociological, or whatever. It cannot stretch outside the marked area. It is called a mini project because it can be a quick conceptual study and does not necessarily require the polish of the major projects. Each student has the responsibility of deinstalling their work and restoring the space to its pristine glory on the Friday at the end of their assigned week. The installations run from Monday to Friday. Other students have the responsibility to view the work and make notes about their reactions, which will be shared at the next group meeting.

Art Futures Career Analysis Thursday 2/21

Students are asked to generate an "Arts Futures" essay in which they identify their own goals related to their art activities in the next years. One class session (2/21) will be devoted to discussing art options. (see guidelines below)

Reading/Theory Discussion - Thursday 4/17

Students are asked to read at least 3 articles related to cyber culture and issues in art & technology. At the class meeting each member will be asked to identify a critical issue raised in each reading as a stimulus to discussion. Suggestions for readings can be found in the CIA links pages.

Community Events/shows/lectures (to be scheduled)

Students are asked to attend at least 3 events related to issues in art & technology. .

 Self Evaluation

Please write a reflection on your experiences this semester related to art 610.  What have you learned? What accomplished?  What has been read?  What has been problematic?  Please include an indication of the grade your would recommend to represent your effort (no guarantee but I will consider it.).  Standard guidelines for cia self evaluations are at:

Summary of Tentative Dates
Thurs 2/7 (project 1 proposal) Thurs 2/21 (art futures) Thurs 3/7  (project 1 presentations)

possibly also tues 3/11

Sun 3/16 (project 2 proposal posted)
Tues 3/18
meeting to discuss proposals
April 12 Senior Show  (all 610 present in cia show) Thurs 4/17 (theory/reading)
Thurs 5/8 (final presentations  **

Mini-site ( to be scheduled)                 Community Events - (individual scheduling)

Art Futures Reflection

Being an Artist in the 00's will not be easy. The old career paths are under assault pragmatically, economically and conceptually. On the other hand, culture industries are changing so that old categories such as high and low culture, mass media and fine art, commercial and non-commercial are being questioned. New technologies and industries are emerging in forms that cannot be anticipated. New opportunities exist but they will require vision, initiative, and persistence to realize.

Each student is asked to write a two-page reflection on career hopes and goals and analysis of steps to be taken. This document should be carefully thought out and produced on a word processor. Obviously, many of these ideas may be tentative at this time, but it is useful to continue to formulate and refine them. Try to answer questions such as the following:

A class session will be scheduled to discuss these reflections and to consider concrete information related to the following:

Site Specific Mini Project Schedule

3/10 darren
3/17 ethan
3/31 vanessa
4/7 emily
4/14 casey
4/21 chad
4/28 philip
 5/5  kyoko

View Art 610 Proposal Pages

(Class Ilearn page