Time: Monday and Wednesday, 8:30 – 11:20am
Location: CFA 307 + CFA 318 (College of Fine Arts building, CMU)
Instructor: Caroline Record– recordcaroline gmail…
Office hours: By appointment

Electronic Media Studio: Introduction to Interactivity is an introduction to software programming and physical computing within the context of the arts. In this course students develop the skills and confidence to produce interactive artworks using audiovisual, networked and tangible media.


Intro + Syllabus: What is New Media Art? A little history + in class drawing activity.
Assignment: watch Clouds and do your first blog post.

Creative Coding (P5.js)

LIA - Sum05
LIA – Sum05

Getting started with P5.js: Get started with P5.js. Variables, colors, position, and shape.
Assignment: Draw a face using at least 10 graphic elements.

Drawing Machines: Randomness and how to use it to control shape, color and movement. Basic mouse movement, events, creating a function. History of computer art part 1.
Assignments: Order to Chaos. Make a sketch that moves from order to chaos as the mouse moves across the screen. make a composition that is different every time it is clicked.

Pattern Making:  loops and iterations. History of computer art part 2.
Assignment:  create a pattern procedurally using iteration (and randomness if you want) and print it out.

Timing: Information visualization, timed behaviors, milliseconds and a little math.
Assignment: Make a creative interpretation of a clock.

Pixels: arrays and images.
Assignment: read in an image from a given set of numbers, make a composition that changes color depending on what image that you give it.

Harnessing Complexity: Generative art and game mods.
Assignment: Take either a game or a generative algorithm as a starting point and turn it into your own art piece.

Getting Physical

Scumak No. 2, 2001 by Roxy Paine
Scumak No. 2, 2001 by Roxy Paine

Projection: Venturing off the screen, how projection has been used in installation and performances, the nuts and bolts of working with projection.
Assignment: Find an edge in the real world and project a sketch on that edge that interact with it.

Gestural Computing: OSC, Using gesture in computing, and sound.
Assignment: Make a sound reactive piece using either the kinect or face tracking.

Hello Arduino: Simple sensors and actuators, an overview of some hardware based art.
Assignment: some blinky lights and a potentiometer.

Networked Object: Social hacking, Mechanical Turk, APIs.
Assignment: make an object that tweets or posts to social media or one that physically reacts to the weather.

Final Project

On Touch by Janet Cardiff and George Miller
On Touch by Janet Cardiff and George Miller

Make something that engages with the concepts and / or skills that you learned in this class.

Learning Objectives

  • To have an understanding of the underlying concepts of digital computing and physical computing and their roles in the arts.
  • To be proficient in creating basic computer programs and electronic devices capable of responding to user interaction.


Plagiarism and “collaborations”: in programming the concept of plagiarism is somewhat elusive. We are working with open source tools and libraries, building upon the work of a multitude of people. You are encouraged and expected to tap into resources available online, copy-paste and tweak code you may not fully understand.
However it is categorically forbidden to outsource work to people outside the course (e.g. your friend from CS). Showing up to class with something made by others is the worst offense and is considered equivalent to plagiarism.

Attendance: three or more unexcused absences result in the drop of a letter grade.

Absences: you are responsible for what happens in class whether you’re here or not. Organize with your classmates to get class information and material that you have missed.

Participation: you are invited, encouraged, and expected to engage actively in discussion, reflection and activities.

Net addiction: you can exist for few hours without tweeting, facebooking, chatting, texting or emailing. Any device for mediated communication is banned during theory classes, crits and discussions. A 1% grade reduction will result from being found using them.
During the lab hours you will be allowed to network as long as your behaviour is not disruptive.

Assignments: late assignments are only accepted with permission of instructor. You lose 10% of your points per day late up to a max of 7 days late.

Tardiness: 1st tardy = free.
Less than 10 minutes late = 1% grade reduction.
Over 20 minutes late = absence (unless justified).

Take care of yourself:  Do your best to maintain a healthy lifestyle this semester by eating well, exercising, avoiding drugs and alcohol, getting enough sleep and taking some time to relax. This will help you achieve your goals and cope with stress.

All of us benefit from support during times of struggle. You are not alone. There are many helpful resources available on campus and an important part of the college experience is learning how to ask for help. Asking for support sooner rather than later is often helpful.

If you or anyone you know experiences any academic stress, difficult life events, or feelings like anxiety or depression, we strongly encourage you to seek support. Counseling and Psychological Services (CaPS) is here to help: call 412-268-2922 and visit their website at Consider reaching out to a friend, faculty or family member you trust for help getting connected to the support that can help.

If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal or in danger of self-harm, call someone immediately, day or night:

CaPS: 412-268-2922

Re:solve Crisis Network: 888-796-8226

If the situation is life threatening, call the police:

On campus: CMU Police: 412-268-2323

Off campus: 911


*Header image: Brody Condon