Contemporary Western culture embraces the mash-up, the designer as problem solver, and embraces a fast and visually oriented culture.  In this context, art and design are powerful mediators of human experience and social discourse.  They communicate, produce, reinforce and disseminate knowledge across political and economic systems, across culture and across history.

But what are the principles which underlie that power?  Further, how are concepts generated and mediated through a digital lens? How does the combination of imagery, typography, poetics, line and color, create meaning and influence behavior?  And how do we understand these elements as tools in our own practice of looking and making?   What are our sources?  What processes can help us find and discover meaningful, expressive and communicative imagery?  What tools and approaches can we develop to communicate our own ideas and the ideas of others?  How can this work be political, aesthetic, and also personal?  What are the roles for creativity, imagination, and craft in this field? And what connections can we make to other fields of work?

Through lectures and dialogue, readings and lots of hands-on making (including this blog!), this course will examine the rhetorical, formal, and visual underpinnings of digital art and design.  Assignments and in class explorations encourage students to investigate formal design aesthetics and the nuances of effective visual communication; as well as to develop a critical analysis of the historical and cultural context of design and the role of the digital media artist in society.



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