Interactive Media (IM-UH)

IM-UH 1010  Introduction to Interactive Media  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
With the advent of digital computation, humans have found a variety of new tools for self-expression and communication. Thinking about how we interface with these tools beyond the mouse and key-board, we can approach software and electronics as artists and designers, exploring new interactions with machines and each other. This introductory course will provide students hands-on experience with screen and physical interaction design through programming and electronics using microcontrollers, electronics, and software development. Weekly exercises encourage students to experiment freely, creating their own novel interfaces and controls for working with machines. The course culminates with a final projects exhibited at the program's end-of-semester showcase.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Art Art History: Visual Arts/Practice Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Art History Elective for Visual Arts Track
  • Bulletin Categories: Film New Media: Practice Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media: Required
  • Bulletin Categories: Pre-Professional Media, Culture Communication
  • Crosslisted with: Art Art History
  • Crosslisted with: Film New Media Major: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Film New Media
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media Minor: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media
  • Crosslisted with: Pre-Professional Media, Culture Communication
  
IM-UH 1011  Communications Lab  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
Communications Lab is a production-based course that surveys various technologies including web development, 2D design, digital imaging, audio, video, and animation. The forms and uses of these communications technologies are explored in a laboratory context of experimentation, collaboration, and discussion. Much of class time will be spent introducing and surveying equipment and software essential to media production and contemporary storytelling. Each technology is examined as a tool that can be employed and utilized in a variety of situations and experiences. The World Wide Web will serve as the primary environment for content delivery and user-interaction. Principles of interpersonal communications and media theory are also introduced with an emphasis on storytelling fundamentals, user-centered design, and interactivity.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Design Minor Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media: Required
  • Bulletin Categories: Music: Technology Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Pre-Professional Media, Culture Communication
  • Crosslisted with: Design
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media Minor: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media
  • Crosslisted with: Music Major: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Music
  • Crosslisted with: Pre-Professional Media, Culture Communication
  
IM-UH 1012  Communication and Technology  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
From early alphabets to modern virtual reality experiences, this course will explore the development, reaction, and impact of some of humankind's most transformative innovations - its forms of communication. How have these inventions, such as writing, printing, the telegraph, television, radio, the internet and beyond, influenced human behavior throughout the course of history. How have humans shaped their development and direction? And what role are they playing in shaping our lives both today and tomorrow? Toward the end of the course, students will speculate on the future of communication technologies in a connected world by proposing their own transformative innovation. Readings and discussion will cover communication theory, technical processes, creative applications, and critical investigation. Writing assignments will be paired with practical assignments where students will be challenged to bring their analysis and ideas to life. The web will also be utilized as a test bed for experiencing and experimenting with various forms of communication both old and new.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Core: Arts, Design Technology
  • Bulletin Categories: Design Minor Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Digital Arts Humanities Minor: Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media: Required
  • Bulletin Categories: Pre-Professional Media, Culture Communication
  • Crosslisted with: Core: Arts, Design Technology
  • Crosslisted with: Design
  • Crosslisted with: Digital Arts Humanities
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media Minor: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media
  • Crosslisted with: Pre-Professional Media, Culture Communication
  
IM-UH 1013  Understanding Interactive Media - Critical Questions & Theories  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
This seminar course is an introduction to the theories, questions, and conditions that encompass interactive media. Students will engage in readings that critically examine both the impact that interactive media and technology have on culture and societies as well as the ways in which social contexts shape the development and application of these technologies. The contexts become apparent by examining interactive media and interactivity through the lenses of relevant perspectives including politics, ethics, race, gender, and cybernetics. Throughout the semester students will leverage theory to analyze interactive media works and build a vocabulary for making sense of our increasingly mediated world. The course thus serves to lay a conceptual foundation for students to inform and direct their own creative practice. Readings, discussions, research, and writing constitute the body of this course.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media: Required
  
IM-UH 1110  Circuit Breakers!  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
Circuit Breakers! is a course designed to introduce students to the world of hardware hacking and circuit bending for artistic and mainly sonic ends. By literally opening up common battery powered objects such as toys and finding their circuit boards, one can change the behavior of the object by interrupting the flow of electricity, creating novel, unexpected, outcomes. This technique has both predictable and unpredictable outcomes, but it is almost always satisfying. In addition to hacking off-the-shelf toys, students will also build their own circuits with a minimum amount of components. Many of the projects in this course center on common integrated circuits, which students will cajole, trick, and abuse in order to create art.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media: Physical Computing Elective
  
IM-UH 1114J  Interactive Media in the World  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered January term  
This course explores the principles of Interactive Media put to use in the real world. Interactive Media is technology in the service of inventors, artists, designers, developers, educators, and other creatives, who use it to create experiences and devices that are insightful, critical, and thought provoking. Participants will learn the principles of Interactive media (programming, electronics, and design) and how to build projects using the Arduino prototyping platform. We will visit galleries, museums, studios, workshops, classrooms, and labs. We will hear from artists, designers, inventors, teachers, and other practitioners. Israel/Palestine's art, design, and technology scene and community of artists, educators, museums, designers, inventors, and entrepreneurs is an opportunity to explore the contemporary world of Interactive Media. Visits will include many diverse locations, and students who speak the local languages - Hebrew and Arabic - are especially encouraged to join; however, English will be used everywhere we go. Students will work both individually and in groups. Technical and critical readings and discussion will culminate in a production project that will respond to what we've learned. This course will be held in Tel Aviv for the J-Term 2023 session.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media:Media Design Thinking Elective
  
IM-UH 1511  Introduction to Digital Humanities  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
What happens when the arts and humanities are represented in digital form? What kind of new insights can we have when by looking at the data of the humanities? This course will look at intersections between computers and the humanities, a form of inquiry known as "digital humanities." The course is structured around a broad examination of concepts important in today's society (computational thinking, digital identity, text as data, dataset, pattern, algorithm, network, location). Students will discuss these concepts critically, explore real-life examples and put them into practice in hands-on activities. Examples of such hands on work might include, but are not limited to, creating accessible web design, analyzing text digitally, building and visualizing a dataset, curating an open bibliography, thinking about art as data, building a Twitter bot, teaching a computer to recognize human handwriting, visualizing social networks or making digital maps. The course assumes no prior technical skills, but a willingness to explore new technologies is essential for success.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media:Media Design Thinking Elective
  
IM-UH 1512J  Super-human  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered January term  
We live today at the forefront of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Rapid progress and accessibility of disciplines and technologies such as robotics, sensors, artificial intelligence and machine learning, nanotechnology, rapid prototyping and global communications networks are all building on and amplifying one another, making us superhuman. Smart systems - homes, factories, farms, grids or entire cities - will help tackle problems as diverse as climate change and waste management to human health and happiness. Alongside these technological advances are a set of broader socio economic, geopolitical and demographic disruptions with nearly equivalent impact to the technological factors. In this course, students will explore fundamental building blocks of technology-enhanced and human-aware rapid product design through a combination of design thinking and design doing. This course makes full use of the liberal arts to connect and constrain in order to challenge students to be creative in both their application of technology and their design of solutions with a real-world impact.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Design Minor Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media:Media Design Thinking Elective
  • Crosslisted with: Design
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media Minor: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media
  
IM-UH 1513  Temporary Expert: Developing a Research-based Art Practice  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
What does it mean to become a "temporary expert?" How does one develop one's own creative research-based practice? This course will address these questions by engaging with Abu Dhabi's environmental and social dimensions as a subject for research, context and imaginative art and design opportunities. Students will adopt a wide variety of tools and strategies in order to lay the foundations for a research-based art practice that considers materials, media, context, and audience, as well as one's personal strengths and desires. Over the course of the semester, students will develop art and design projects that interface with a multiplicity of other disciplines, and engage in idea exchange with experts in the field. Through hands-on practice, case studies, and readings on systems thinking, communication, and the idea of "the public," we will explore method, documentation and presentation of research, as well as the merits of both success and failure.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Art Art History: Visual Arts/Practice Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Art History Elective for Visual Arts Track
  • Bulletin Categories: Design Minor Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media:Media Design Thinking Elective
  • Crosslisted with: Art Art History
  • Crosslisted with: Design
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media Minor: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media
  
IM-UH 1514J  Resourcefulness: Ethiopia  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered January term  
Innovation in the context of a developing society is not the process of speculation, but the product of resourcefulness and necessity. Communities in the developing world often lack what many take for granted, yet they are surviving and thriving in their own ways - by building schools, supporting entrepreneurship, caring for the environment, turning waste to energy and many other activities. This course aims to help students appreciate and impact these innovations through a combination of case studies, solution design and on-the-ground project fieldwork in Addis Ababa and rural Ethiopia. Students will gain understanding and experience applying ethnographic methods towards the design of innovations in a cultural and economic context through on-location fieldwork. For example, helping local honey entrepreneurs reach larger markets, helping local teachers improve STEAM curriculum, connecting students to the broader NYU Abu Dhabi community of scholars, improving waste management and others.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: African Studies Minor: Arts Humanities Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media:Media Design Thinking Elective
  • Crosslisted with: African Studies
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media Minor: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media
  
IM-UH 1515J  Video Game Economies  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered January term  
This course approaches video games through the lens of political economy. This means examining games foremost as commodities, transactional goods through which various modes of economic life occur. This course is designed to introduce students to the structure and economics of the game industry since its emergence in the 1970s, particularly across the United States, China, and Japan. Special attention is brought to the dramatic industry changes catalyzed by digital distribution, mobile gaming, live streaming, and other contemporary developments.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: BOS: General Business Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media:Media Design Thinking Elective
  • Bulletin Categories: Pre-Professional Media, Culture Communication
  • Crosslisted with: Business, Organizations, and Society
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media Minor: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media
  • Crosslisted with: Pre-Professional Media, Culture Communication
  
IM-UH 2113  Machine Lab  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
The saying goes, "If all you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail." What if all you have is a 3D Printer? In this course, students will be introduced to, and engage critically with, a range of contemporary machines inside and around the Interactive Media Lab. Leveraging historical perspectives, current use-cases, and hands-on making, the course will explore how machines enhance, or limit, our creative processes. Readings and discussion will be paired with practical designing, prototyping, and making of creative computer controlled devices, such as drawing machines, musical instruments, and a collaborative Rube Goldberg contraption. Over the course of the semester, students will be exposed to a variety of tools, materials, and fabrication techniques as well as learn how to use micro-controllers and software to give their machines unique behaviors and abilities. By thinking about machines, using machines, and making machines, the course will offer insight into our creative relationships with our tools.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Art Art History: Visual Arts/Practice Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Art History Elective for Visual Arts Track
  • Bulletin Categories: Design Minor Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media: Physical Computing Elective
  • Crosslisted with: Art Art History
  • Crosslisted with: Design
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media Minor: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media
  
IM-UH 2117  Performing Robots  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
Intelligent robots living amongst ordinary people used to be a storyline relegated to the world of science-fiction. However, the 21st century has witnessed a rapid adoption of automated machinery in many aspects of daily life. In this course, students will explore the significance of today's robots through the context of art by learning about and building experimental robots for theatrical performance. Robots will be defined broadly, incorporating a wide range of machines both autonomous and remote-controlled. Students will be exposed to critical analysis regarding the historical and contemporary use of machines in art and theatrical performance. In parallel, students will also learn about electronics, programming, robotics and mechanical construction techniques. Over the course of the semester, students will iterate through multiple projects exploring how robots can convey meaning and emotion. The course will culminate with a final public performance by the robots. Experience with physical computing through Introduction to Interactive Media or a course equivalent is highly encouraged.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: IM-UH 1010 or INTM-SHU 101 Interaction Lab or IMNY-UT 101 Creative Computing or DM-UY 1133 Creative Coding.  
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media: Physical Computing Elective
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media Minor: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media
  
IM-UH 2315  Software Art: Image  (2 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
An introduction to the history, theory and practice of computer-aided artistic endeavors in the field of visual arts. This class will focus on the appearance of computers as a new tool for artists to integrate in their artistic practice, and how it shaped a specific aesthetic language across traditional practitioners and newcomers alike. We will be elaborating and discussing concepts and paradigms specific to computing platforms, such as system art, generative art, image processing and motion art. Drawing on those areas, students will explore their own artistic practice through the exclusive use of their computers. The course will also serve as a technical introduction to the OpenFrameworks programming environment to create works of visual art. As such, Software Art: Image will be an art history and critical studies course with a studio component. Software Art: Image is a complement to Software Art: Text, a 7-week course approaching software and computation from the perspective of poetry and fiction. The two courses can be taken in series or independently.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: IM-UH 1010, IM-UH 2310, IM-UH 2318, MUSIC-UH 2417 or CS-UH 1001 or INTM-SHU 101 or IMNY-UT 101 or DM-UY 1133 Creative Coding or or CSCI-UA 101 or CSCI-SHU 101 or CS-UY 1122.  
  • Bulletin Categories: Art Art History: Visual Arts/Practice Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Art History Elective for Visual Arts Track
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media: Computational Media Elective
  • Crosslisted with: Art Art History
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media Minor: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media
  
IM-UH 2316  Software Art: Text  (2 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
An introduction to the history, theory and practice of computer-aided artistic endeavors in the field of prose and poetry. This class will focus on the appearance and role of computers as a new way for artists to write and read both programming and natural languages. While elaborating and discussing concepts and paradigms specific to computing platforms, such as recomposition, stochastic writing and ambiguity, students will be encouraged to explore their own artistic practice through the exclusive use of their computers, by writing their own programs. As such, Software Art: Text will be a literary history and critical studies course with an active writing component (in both Python and English). Students will be exposed to new creative perspectives on reading and writing in the digital age. Software Art: Text is a complement to Software Art: Image, a 7-week course approaching software and computation from the perspective of the visual arts. The two courses can be taken in series or independently.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: IM-UH 1010, IM-UH 2310, or CS-UH 1001.  
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media: Computational Media Elective
  • Bulletin Categories: LITCW: Creative Writing Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Literature: Creative Writing Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media Minor: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media
  • Crosslisted with: LITCW: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Literature Creative Writing
  
IM-UH 2318  Decoding Nature  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
How can we capture the unpredictable evolutionary and emergent properties of nature in software? How can understanding the mathematical principles behind our physical world help us to create digital worlds? And how can implementing these code-based simulations offer insight and perspective on both environmental and human behaviors. This course attempts to address these questions by focusing on the programming strategies and techniques behind computer simulations of natural systems using p5.js (a JavaScript library in the spirit of Java's Processing framework). We will explore a variety of forces and behaviors that occur naturally in our physical world. This includes properties of movement, physics, genetics, and neural networks. For each topic, we will write code to simulate those occurrences in a digital environment. The results will usually be visual in nature and manifested in the form of interactive animated coding sketches.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media: Computational Media Elective
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media Minor: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media
  
IM-UH 2320  Games and Play  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
Games and play are deeply embedded in human culture. Play suggests a range of human experiences not easily contained by a common form. Games use their playable form to speak to the cultural spaces in which they reside. There is freedom in play. There is structure in games. How do they work together? This course explores how games structure play to serve their purpose, and how play inspires games to push expectations of popular culture. Informed by game studies and theories of play, students will study analog and digital games to consider the technological, spatial, artistic and social structures that shape a play experience. Utilizing web-based technologies and the Unity game engine, students will assume the role of both game designer and developer, experimenting with building game experiences that convey meaning as well as express aspects of humanity beyond contest and conflict. Some programming experience is preferred but not required.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: IM-UH 1010 or CS-UH 1001.  
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media: Computational Media Elective
  
IM-UH 2321  Software Art: ASCII to Algorithm  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered occasionally  
ASCII to Algorithm is an introduction to the history, theory and practice of computer-based artistic endeavors in the field of visual arts. It traces the path of early encounters with the computer as a tool for artists and surveys the computational foundation that positions contemporary software art as more system than object. We will be elaborating and discussing concepts and paradigms specific to computing platforms, such as data representation, generative art, image processing and computational creativity. Drawing on those, students will explore their own artistic practice through the exclusive use of their computers. This computational playground will highlight and reflect upon the broader impact of digital technologies on our relationship to art, and on our understanding of the artistic process. Programming experience in JavaScript is preferred but not required.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Art Art History: Visual Arts/Practice Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Art History Elective for Visual Arts Track
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media: Computational Media Elective
  • Crosslisted with: Art Art History
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media Minor: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media
  
IM-UH 2322  Live Coding  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
Live coding is a performing arts form and creativity technique where music and visuals are improvised through live edits of source code. Live coding is most visible in performance, however the 'live' in live coding refers not to a live audience but to live updates of running code. Working across genres, live coding has been seen in algoraves (events where people dance to music generated from algorithms), jazz clubs, and concert halls. Code is projected during performances, exposing the underlying algorithms at work, and thus the patterns of creative thought the performer is developing in real time. Programs are instruments that can change and algorithms are thoughts that can be seen as well as heard. This course explores this new art form and the related themes of algorithmic thought, pattern transformation, artificial language, information theory, improvisation, listening, perception, and structural composition. Students will learn how to create music with code, as well as how to create advanced computer graphics. Students will develop algorithmic audio/visual pieces individually as well as in groups. The course culminates in an algorave.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media: Computational Media Elective
  • Bulletin Categories: Music: Practice Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Music: Technology Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Sound Music Computing Minor: Music Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: Arts Practice Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media Minor: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media
  • Crosslisted with: Music Major: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Music
  • Crosslisted with: Sound Music Computing
  • Crosslisted with: Theater Major: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Theater
  
IM-UH 2323  Data: Code It, Make It  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
Data Physicalization is an emerging research area. It explores new techniques to design and encode data into physical artifacts through geometry or material properties. Recent advances in Computational Design and Fabrication offer novel opportunities to complement traditional screen-based visualizations enhancing people's ability to discover, understand, and communicate data. This course uses a data visualization approach to define new methods of computational design and digital fabrication. Students will create unique, data-driven, everyday objects and sculpt meaning into them. Through the use of platforms such as Rhinoceros: a 3D modeling software, and Grasshopper: a visual programming language, students will be introduced to fundamental computational methods for designing and fabricating, as well as the understanding of digital fabrication strategies for parametrically generated design.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media: Computational Media Elective
  
IM-UH 2324  Connections Lab  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
From intelligent chat-bots and video-sharing apps to social media platforms and virtual reality hubs, our world is infused with mediated, networked systems for communication. While these tools were a luxury a couple years ago, today they are almost a necessity. Every day we are knowingly or unknowingly using a handful of connected applications to communicate with people across the world. With this course we want students to be more than participants in these tools, but also become active creators. In this course, students will design and develop their own creative connected web applications. By coding (using JavaScript) and producing original online experiences that bring people together in playful yet purposeful ways, students will gain valuable insight into the inner-workings and implications of our connected world. The course will culminate in students creating their own connected applications that can be used by peers.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: IM-UH 1010, CS-UH 1001, or by instructor approval.  
  • Bulletin Categories: Digital Arts Humanities Minor: Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media: Computational Media Elective
  • Crosslisted with: Digital Arts Humanities
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media Minor: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media
  
IM-UH 2513  Future Punk  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
The future: let's patch it together from scraps. Future studies and strategic foresight are methods of guiding businesses and politics. Punk means to take the master's tools apart, repurpose them to serve our own goals, to outsmart our adversaries, and to prevail. The compound of the words future and punk, just like in cyberpunk or steampunk, indicates that in the case of future punk, future itself would be setting the stage for the narrative, provide the condition against which the human beings in the world of the story would have to struggle: So in the good old punk tradition, we, too, want to take futurism and use it for our own creations. This class introduces speculative fiction and the more scientific forms of speculation as a means to students to envision, draft, and draw and paint their own images and imaginations of alternative worlds. Students will apply the futurist methods to creative projects and in addition, discuss and critique the field.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Art Art History: Visual Arts/Practice Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Art History Elective for Visual Arts Track
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media:Media Design Thinking Elective
  • Crosslisted with: Art Art History
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media Minor: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media
  
IM-UH 2514E  Bioart Practices  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
In this course we will take a tour of the materials and techniques utilized by artists in the emerging field of biological art - that is art which uses life itself as a medium. This hybrid art and science class will introduce concepts in genetic engineering, personal genomics, the microbiome, epigenetics, microscopic imaging, tissue culture/bioprinting, biopolitics, and bioethics as sites for artistic exploration. Organized in thematic modules students will learn basic lab techniques while studying the work of artists in this interdisciplinary field. The three core areas are: Input/Output (imaging and printing with biology, tissue culture), identity after the genome (genetics, personal genomics, microbiome, epigenetics, portraiture), and final projects. Weekly readings and written responses will supplement lab activities. The course will culminate in the creation of original biological artworks by each student, which will be exhibited in the Interactive Media Showcase at the end of the semester.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media:Media Design Thinking Elective
  
IM-UH 2515  Designing Virtual Worlds  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
This studio lab course is designed for artists to explore user engagement and storytelling in virtual reality. User Experience Design (UX) is pivotal in developing engaging immersive interactions. In this course students will prototype and test different models of interaction that are emerging in Virtual Reality. Students will develop skills in Unity to develop immersive interactive environments. Students will learn how to prototype interactive models and design complex solutions for virtual environments. By the end of the course students will be able to think critically about virtual reality immersive worlds and have applied research developing virtual reality environments. Students will explore themes such as landscape, narrative and sound for virtual reality through applied coursework.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: IM-UH 1010, IM-UH 1011, IM-UH 2310, IM-UH 2318, CS-UH 1001 or ENGR-UH 1000.  
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media:Media Design Thinking Elective
  
IM-UH 2516  Virtual Reality Research and Applications  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
The course is designed to introduce students to basic immersive virtual reality (VR) concepts and technology with a strong emphasis on the use of VR as a tool for conducting scientific research and developing scenarios for real-world applications in education, psychology, neuroscience, and psychiatric and medical treatment. The course consists of lectures, in-class discussions on selected topics, and hands-on VR lab sessions, where students will learn the basic principles of experimental design to be able to use VR technology to build immersive experiences for hypothesis testing. The goal is for students to gain both practical experience and to understand the fundamentals of human perception and cognition that should be considered when using the medium. Students will learn through first-hand experience of developing VR-based research applications how to assess and evaluate user experiences while maintaining best ethical practices. This work will be complemented by a series of guest lectures by researchers in the field from the industry and other institutions.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media:Media Design Thinking Elective
  
IM-UH 2517  Breaking the Code: Gender, Art, and Interactivity in the Digital Age  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
In this course, we will focus on gender as a central mode of identity exploration in contemporary art within the digital age, adopting a multidisciplinary and interactive approach. Over a course of six sections, we will analyze how contemporary artists, from diverse backgrounds, delve into various facets of gender identity within the context of digital art history. This exploration will encompass their interactions with new media styles, mediums, reception, and critical analysis. We will raise essential questions: How does technology in interactive art contribute to gender equality? To what extent does an artist's gender identity influence the interpretation of their digital work? We will critically engage with gender studies, examine gender's profound impact on digital creation, and explore the socio-cultural influences at play. Through weekly readings and group interactive activities, class discussions, and a final VR exhibition on a related topic of their choosing, students will explore gender's relevance to digital art creation, examine materials highlighting how gender shapes digital art, analyze socio-cultural factors influencing gender and sexuality in digital contemporary art, and apply their insights to interactive media.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: IM-UH 1010 or IM-UH 1011 or IM-UH 2310 or IM-UH 2318 or IM-UH 3310, CS-UH 1001 or ENGR-UH 1000.  
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media Minor: Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media:Media Design Thinking Elective
  
IM-UH 2520J  Making Education  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered January term  
Making Education is a regional seminar course that will focus on education theory, instructional design, creative collaboration, and production of site-specific "maker" learning materials. Rooted in the Interactive Media culture of openness, accessibility and making, students will be challenged to thoughtfully navigate the education system in Kathmandu, Nepal and meaningfully effect learning opportunities in collaboration with our local partner organization. Iterative design cycles and project-based work will be paired with semiformal research, theoretical analysis, ethnographic interviews, reflective writing, and project documentation. Students will experience a unique opportunity to apply the processes and principles of the Interactive Media Program onto a real-world use case. Ideally, a combination of making, teaching, and learning will result in insights that are both personally significant, locally relevant, and globally transferable.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Art Art History: Visual Arts/Practice Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Art History Elective for Visual Arts Track
  • Bulletin Categories: Design Minor Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media:Media Design Thinking Elective
  • Crosslisted with: Art Art History
  • Crosslisted with: Design
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media Minor: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media
  
IM-UH 3112  Network Everything  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
This course explores the possibilities and challenges of designing alternate physical network interfaces. Through weekly readings, class discussions, and a series of projects, students will create physical objects that talk to each other over distance. Various wireless communication mechanisms such as radio (Bluetooth, Zigbee, WiFi, and raw), infrared, and ultrasonic are used in the context of creating novel "smart" devices. Topics of discussion in this course include networking protocols and network topologies; network time versus physical time; mobile objects; and wireless networks. Opportunities to build collaborative and creative campus-wide networked projects and systems will also be explored.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media: Physical Computing Elective
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media Minor: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media
  
IM-UH 3114  Sensors, Body, & Motion  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
Using computer vision, machine learning, gesture recognition, wearable technology, projection mapping, a variety of sensors, and OpenFrameworks (C++), students will create interactive art and performances that leverage the full potential of the human body. Directly injecting "people-sensing" into an artwork via these readily accessible open source technologies, generates a unique feedback loop, or dialogue-like relationship, where a person and a computer are continuously reacting to each other's senses. This course will examine this feedback loop, specifically how a person is directly integrated into the artistic expression of the work. Ultimately, students will create interactive installations and performances where the human body is the central component of the artwork.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: IM-UH 1010 or IM-UH 1011 or IM-UH 2310 or IM-UH 2318 or IM-UH 3310 or CS-UH 1001 or ENGR-UH 1000.  
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media: Computational Media Elective
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media: Physical Computing Elective
  • Bulletin Categories: Theater: Arts Practice Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media Minor: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media
  • Crosslisted with: Theater Major: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Theater
  
IM-UH 3115  Virtual Body Performance  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
The distinction between human bodies and computational tools (which are increasingly viewed as essential extensions of our biological form) has become blurry as a result of modern technology. Similarly, accessible data, mobile computing, and technologies that combine aspects of the real and virtual worlds are making it more difficult for humans to maintain our orientation within geo-physical space. This course examines the fundamental and advanced technological aspects of digital body reconstruction in relation to human interaction. Students learn from a variety of sources such as hybrid identities, posthuman embodiment, and artistic interpretations of the cyborg to learn how to adapt and alter human body representations in mixed reality. The class uses a variety of techniques in narrative, cinematic, interactive, sculptural, and performative approaches to explore conceptual topics by examining motions that both mimic and transcend the boundaries of reality. Topics include human-computer interaction and user experience, design principles, storytelling, and mixed reality development (virtual, augmented, and extended reality).
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media: Computational Media Elective
  
IM-UH 3310  Politics of Code  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
While our relationships between ourselves, our environment, and other people are inherently political, computer technologies and technology companies consistently claim to remain "neutral". This course will assume the opposite - software is political - and focus on how software applications share commonalities with political systems, how they affect their users as political actors and how we can build alternatives to those systems. This course is aimed at deconstructing the design and implementation of software as a political medium, such as Facebook's timeline algorithm, city officials' use of computer simulations to orchestrate urban life, blockchain-backed proof of ownership and algorithmic criminal assessment. Along with an introduction to political theory and media studies, coupled with an exploration of the underlying political impacts of those systems, students will work on several hands-on projects to offer functioning alternatives to those systems. To that end, this course will include several workshops in JavaScript and Python.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: IM-UH 1010, IM-UH 2310, CS-UH 1001 or ENGR-UH 1000.  
  • Bulletin Categories: Digital Arts Humanities Minor: Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media: Computational Media Elective
  • Crosslisted with: Digital Arts Humanities
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media Minor: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media
  
IM-UH 3311  Alternate Realities  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
This course will introduce students to the design and development of Virtual Reality experiences. We will examine these increasingly popular means of delivering content and social interactions and identify their unique affordances over existing platforms. Students will be challenged to harness the specific advantages of VR from conception through functional prototype. The class will also cover case studies of effective use of VR in information delivery, as well as social and artistic experiences.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Design Minor Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media: Computational Media Elective
  • Crosslisted with: Design
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media Minor: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media
  
IM-UH 3312  A.rt I.ntel  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
Artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms affect many aspects of our lives whether we realize it or not: banking transactions, healthcare treatments and diagnoses, entertainment recommendations, smart car functionality, customer service agents, financial trading… the list goes on and on. The power of these algorithms lies in their ability to leverage computers to "study" and "learn". Instead of programming a computer to do a specific task, we program the computer to train and teach itself how to do any number of tasks. As artists, how can we harness the power of these algorithms and apply them towards creative endeavors? This class will explore that basic question. Through a combination of high level applied machine learning techniques, speculative design of artificial intelligence, and some basic understanding of how these algorithms work at a low level, students will explore this rich new field. With their machine counterparts, they will create images, sounds, text, intuitive interactions, chatbots, and more.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: IM-UH 1010, IM-UH 2310, IM-UH 2318, CS-UH 1001 or ENGR-UH 1000.  
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media: Computational Media Elective
  
IM-UH 3313  Robota Psyche  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
What can machines tell us about the human condition? Is something that appears to be intelligent, really intelligent? Is a device that appears to have likes and dislikes "alive"? As robots and Artificial Intelligence become more powerful and prolific, what makes us unique? This course will address these questions by exploring a series of increasingly complex software "creatures" which seem to have qualities usually associated with living beings. This course will primarily follow a classic text that proposes "experiments in synthetic psychology", with excursions into cybernetics and how it relates to art. Course material will incorporate both theoretical and practical components. Readings include critical analysis regarding the historical and contemporary theories and practices in these fields. Students will develop software "vehicles" which will embody the ideas being explored. By creating and simulating multiple and increasingly complex vehicles, interactions and behaviors will be explored.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media: Computational Media Elective
  
IM-UH 3315  Desert Media Art  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
How does bringing an artwork outside change its interaction with people and the environment? What new possibilities exist if we create an electronic artwork that can travel with us and be installed anywhere? Desert Media Art is a production-based course where students research, propose, produce, install, and document an electronic artwork designed for Abu Dhabi's desert. The desert is an iconic landscape with a rich history of use by artists as an alternative to the white box of the gallery. We will study historical and contemporary outdoor art practices as well as local ecology and culture. Students will work in groups to create an Arduino-based project that is battery powered and ready to be taken into the field. The project will be installed in the desert, documented, and then presented in an indoor exhibition. Technologies used will include Arduino, 3D printing for enclosure design, rapid prototyping using laser cutting, battery power, and video production. Students will not just build a project and install it in the field, but also learn how to communicate their work to the public using video documentation and indoor exhibition.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: IM-UH 1010.  
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media: Computational Media Elective
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media: Physical Computing Elective
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media Minor: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Interactive Media
  
IM-UH 4000  Capstone Seminar  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
The Capstone Seminar course is the first part of a year-long Undergraduate Capstone in Interactive Media. The beginning of the Seminar focuses on reflection and conceptualization, emphasizing the need for a strong thematic approach and foundational inquiry underlying the Capstone Project. Design and ideation exercises will help students frame their multidisciplinary work in terms that are personally relevant as well as accessible to a wider audience. Through additional research, prototyping and iteration, students will work towards creating a production plan for an interactive work to be designed and developed during the Capstone Project course. A collaborative spirit will be infused across the Seminar through constructive input and critical feedback of Capstone peer's project development along with student-led discussions of texts and works that have helped inform their creative direction. By the end of the course, students will produce a statement of creative intent that will include the research question and relevant conceptual contexts with which they want to engage along with a roadmap outlining the practical steps towards the realization of the Capstone project.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: Declared Interactive Media major and senior standing.  
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media: Capstone
  
IM-UH 4001  Capstone Project  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring  
The Capstone Project builds upon the conceptual and iterative design process of the Capstone Seminar and serves as a semester-long production course for Interactive Media majors. Students will leverage the skills they have learned in terms of software, hardware, interaction design, media study, and design thinking to create and innovate on their proposed project. This process will involve rigorous planning, testing, and documenting that follows a trajectory from low-tech prototypes to a finished work that is polished and robust. Students will be expected to share their project with the Interactive Media community as well as offer support to their Capstone peers through involvement in practical user testing and exhibition of each other's work. Upon completion, students will have demonstrated an ability to build, deliver, and reflect upon an interactive media product or experience that meaningfully addresses a chosen topic of inquiry and pushes the boundaries of the form. Emphasis also lies on professional production practices and presentation through the sharing and re-examining of the work, be it commercial, social, or artistic in nature.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: IM-UH 4000.  
  • Bulletin Categories: Interactive Media: Capstone