ATS 5010 : Graduate Seminar

Performing Interactivity

Wednesday, 1:00 - 4:00

MI 517

Ben Chang, ben (at) bcchang (dot) com

This seminar course investigates the use of interactivity in electronic art - its aesthetic possibilities, conceptual issues, limitations, and relations to larger questions of human-machine interactions. A survey of historical connections and current practices provides the framework for different theoretical approaches to the complex and rapidly evolving art and technology field.

Course Requirements

2 in-class presentations or studio visits (for example, one on past work, one on current work).
1 short paper
Many weekly readings are online; others will be available for download via the SAIC Portal (
  1. 9/6 Introduction
    Overview of art and technology, new media, electronic art, and human-computer interaction. rhizome
    pasta and vinegar
    San Jose ZeroOne - ISEA 2006
    Ars Electronica
  2. 9/13 Branching and Multiplicity
    Jorge Luis Borges, The Garden of Forking Paths, The Library of Babylon
    Raymond Queneau, A Story as You Like It
    Claude Berge, For a Potential Analysis of Combinatory Literature
    Paul Fournel, The Theater Tree: A Combinatory Play
  3. 9/20 Chance and Indeterminacy
    David Miller, The Shapes of Indeterminacy: John Cage's "Variations I" and "Variations II" (
    William Burroughs, Trak Trak Trak, Cross the Wounded Galaxies, from The Soft Machine

    Show Work: Gwenn-Ael Lynn

  4. 9/27 Hypertext -->
    Espen Aarseth, No Sense of an Ending: Hypertext Aesthetics from Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature
    Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (
    olia lialina
    mark napier
    yael kanarek, world of awe
    young hae chang heavy industries
    lisa jevbratt
    amy alexander

    Show Work: Jan-Pieter Fokkens

  5. 10/4 Ben in Athens (MediaTerra), guest lecturer TBA
    Event: 10/5: Joan Heemskerk and Dirk Paesmans (JODI) @ Conversations at the Edge at the Siskel Film Center
  6. 10/11 Level Up: Narrative vs. Ludology
    Gonzalo Frasca, Simulation versus Narrative: Introduction to Ludology
    Mia Consalvo, Hot Dates and Fairy Tale Romances: Studying Sexuality in Video Games
    JODI, Untitled Game
    Natalie Bookchin, The Intruder (
    Feng Mengbo, Q4U
    Ann-Marie Schleiner, Velvet Strike, O.U.T. (
    Michael Mateas and Andrew Stern, Facade (
    Carlo Zanni, Average Shoveler, (

    Show Work: Mark Anderson, Eric Gelehrter

  7. 10/18 Hacks, Cultural Resistance, Everyday Practices
    Read: Mackenzie Wark, A Hacker Manifesto (
    Critical Art Ensemble, Nomadic Power and Cultural Resistance from The Electronic Disturbance (
    Screen: RTMark
    The Yes Men
    Radical Software Group
    Cory Arcangel
    See Also:
    Street Use hack-a-day 2600 phrack

    Show Work: Margarita Benitez

  8. 10/25 Mobile/Locative/Wearable/Cyborg

    Presentation:Gwenn-Ael Lynn

    Cab Boots pedestrian guidance system
    ImprovEverywhere Cellphone Concert
    Blast Theory

    more links Gisell Beiguelman, art for cellphones, installations with SMS
    Golan Levin's short catalogue of cellphone artworks
    Amsterdam Realtime
    Whisper, wearable computing performance, Thecla Schiphorst and Susan Kozel. (more)
    Jeremy Wood's GPS Drawings
    Sound Mapping, GPS Urban Music Interface
    C5 Corporation. GPS mapping of the Great Wall of China onto California, among other things.

    Show Work: Ji-Hyun Yoon

    Visiting Artist: Peter Sinclair, Sound artist and professor at the Ecole d'Art in Aix-en-Provence || locus sonus
  9. 11/1 Artificial Reality, Mirror Spaces and Interfaces
    Read: Myron Krueger, Videoplace from Artificial Reality II
    David Rokeby, Transforming Mirrors: Subjectivity and Control in Interactive Media (
    Andy Cameron, Dinner With Myron from Art & D
    David Rokeby, Very Nervous System
    Camille Utterback, Text Rain
    Golan Levin, Manual Input Sessions, Messa di Voce

    Show Work: Alan Strathmann, Aaron Henderson

  10. 11/8 Virtuality, Immersion, and Embodiment
    Read: Mark Hansen, Framing the Digital Image: Jeffrey Shaw and the Embodied Aesthetics of New Media
    Jeffrey Shaw, Place - Ruhr, Place - A User's Manual, ConFIGURING the CAVE
    Maurice Benayoun,World Skin
    Char Davies,Osmose

    Show Work: Mark Anderson, Ji-Hyun Yoon

  11. 11/15 Precession of Automata : A.I., A-Life, and Generative Systems
    Read: Simon Penny, The Darwin Machine : Artificial Life and Interactive Art
    Mitchell Whitelaw, System Stories and Model Worlds: A Critical Approach to Generative Art
    Ken Rinaldo, AutoPoiesis, Mediated Encounters, The Flock
    Sommerrer & Mignonneau. Interactive Plant Growing, A-Volve, PicoScan, Still A-Life, Life Writer
    Martin Wattenberg
    Casey Reas
    Mark Napier
    Karsten Schmidt
    Will Wright, SPORE, (video on Google Video), The Sims

    Sol LeWitt, Sentences on Conceptual Art

    Show Work: Yun-Jeong Bae, Eric Gelehrter

  12. 11/22 Data, Visualization, Sonification, Infosynaesthesia Read: Ben Fry, Computational Information Design, (
    Martin Wattenberg, again
    Andrea Polli, T2, datareader, Atmospherics
    Josh On & FutureFarmers, They Rule

    Show Work: Margarita Benitez, Jan-Pieter Fokkens

  13. 11/29 R & D, Art and Science
    art + engineering collaborations; E.A.T. to the Media Lab to Eyebeam. Open Source, developing platforms for artists, approaches to code, seizing the means of production ...

    EVENT: telepresentation, Douglas Stanley, Aix-en-Provence
    Sensorium, 10:00 AM Chicago, (17:00hr Aix-en-Provence)
    Electronic artist and theorist Douglas Stanley will give a presentation live from Aix in the midst of the ENIAROF, a weeklong event that's a cross between an art show, a living studio, a carnival, and a video arcade.

    Show Work: Alan Strathmann, Aaron Henderson

  14. 12/6 CRITIQUE WEEK
  15. 12/13 Final Class, Wrapup