Arts 130 Digital Optical Culture(4 units)

George Legrady

Lecture/: Tues-Thurs 09:00-10:50 434-121

Course Description

Course Work

Online Community

Digital Optical Culture is an upper division course that examines the impact of digital technologies on the image and potential applications for contemporary art. The course will give an overview of the optical image from its early history to current directions beyond the visible electro-magnetic spectrum.

Courseload consists of lecture attendance, weekly topic reviews, a few small projects, attendance at selected visiting lectures, midterm test, and final exam.

arts 130 forum (http://www.mat.ucsb.edu/forum/viewforum.php?f=41)

Photography & History

[wk 1].......Lecture 01.10

Course Overview | Powers of Ten [wikipedia]

History, Technology


  Image Definitions | Oberving Technologies Timeline | Camera Obscura [wkpd]
Rebecca Cummins | Paul deMarinis | Robert Graham [1,2]| Abelardo Morell | James Nizam

Research and report on what you find about camera obscuras, past & present. Include reference links, and pix

The Photographic Image: Perceptual, Cultural, Technological, Aesthetic
Sisyphus | Legrady

[wk 2].......Lecture 01.17
Artists (Futurists & 1930s)
Digital Artworks


ChronoPhotography: Photographic Image in Time & Motion
Marey [wikipedia] | Muybridge [ytube] | Lumiere | Mach
Bragaglia | Balla | Picabia | Carra | Duchamp | Abbott | Edgerton
Pomeroy | Art+COM [1] | Rokeby [1] | Waliczky | Sol Lewitt

"Marey, the Analytic, the Digital", Steve Mamber

Spatial & Stereoscopic Imagery
Holbein [txt] | GSearch | InteractiveVR (marci/zoltan) |
NYPL | Pomeroy | NASA

[wk 3].......Lecture 01.24


Student Projects

Syntax of the Photographic Image | Peirce Semiotics Basics : Symbol, Index, Icon

Roland Barthes' "Rhetoric of the image" Download article | Panzani Ad | description | Notes | Lexicon | Find and analyze an ad and a snapshot

Obama text video | Summer Heights text| Beautiful Teeth text | Tipalet Cigar text | Nokia Transformer text | Polaroid text |

Structure of the Image: Rodchenko | Moholy-Nagy | Cartier-Bresson | Friedlander | Winogrand | Baldessari || Polke [1] | Simpson | Aesthetic Primitives, Gabriele Peters

[wk 4].......Lecture 01.31



Methods of Classification | Metadata | SPL | PFOM | GenevaWorkshop

Metadata Mon Amour [Manovich]

CLASSIFICATION SKETCH: The assignment deals with analysis and classification of images.
1. Select 5 to 15 digital images from anywhere (preferably found images)
2. Each image must have 4 classiication attributes in common with all the other images
3. Organize the images in a sequence according to another set of classification
4. Assemble the images in the forum site
5. Consider the group as a system: Describe the elements, and their relation to each other using any methods of organization (time, location, colors, volume, brightness, incremental, associative, a to b is b to c, etc.
6. Be Creative - The project is a combination of logical system organization and playful creativity

  Art Examples
Schmid| Richter | Cell Tango [Flickr Source] | Umbrico | Sunsets [EXIF]

Digital Computer Vision

[wk 5].......Lecture 02.07



Classification Project Presentation

"What is an Image", Cohen

Elements of the Digital Image: dpi, resolution, bits/byte, RGB, image processing, compression, noise, img size, etc. |

Pixels | EClouds | Kahn | HypoSurface | Moeller [bitwall][library] |

[wk 6].......Lecture 02.14
MidTerm Exam | Content Review

Computational Photography & the ElectroMagnetic Spectrum

[wk 6].......Lecture 02.16

Image Processing



Computer Vision: motion tracking [fish] | machine Vision | Kinect

image analysis | segmentation | feature extraction | pattern recognition | edge detection

Rokeby [1], Sommer/Mignonneau | Greenaway / Factum Arte

Image, Languange & Belief, [2] Legrady

[wk 7].......Lecture 02.21
Computational Photography
Alien Zone | Esper Machine | FrankenCamera [more] | LightField Imaging [1] | Femto | ThruWalls | Algorithmic Imaging

Final Project
EXPAND THE VISION - The final project is a research presentation in PowerPoint (or equivalent). The topic consists in you identifying a sensing/imaging technology that expands our ability to see beyond current standard ways, and to propose an artwork that explores its use for a museum installation. The PPT will consist of a project title, descriptions, technical detail (to show you understand the technology), and illustrations with web link references that proposes how the artwork uses such technologies.

Consider going beyonds the electromagnetic spectrum as technologies are developed today in industry, the medical world, astronomy, surveillance, art restoration, marine biology, and other sciences that use ways of seeing beyond the human eye. The goal of the project is to come up with an idea for an art project for a museum installation where the public can experience, interact, see, feel, sense something that takes us beyond our vision.

[wk 8].......Lecture 02.28



Robotic Sonic Sensing
Art & Technology | Art-Science
Art+COM [PotsdamerPlatz] | PhotoSynth [1][2] |

Go to Steve Wilson's collection of new media arts projects. List 3 projects of interest to the forum. If you come across URLS that dont work. List them also.

Technology as a Prosthetic Device
X-ray| Medical cameras | Imaging Radar | 3D Forensic Mapping |

| Fujihata [greebeam][2] | Shaw | Stelarc | Oliasson [Tate] [MOMA] [2]
Weiser [yt] | Bohlen | Rinaldo [links] | Fontana | Robotic Chair [1] [2] | Stelarc | S

[wk 9].......Lecture 03.06



Alter Vision Technology |
Electromagnetic Spectrum [more] [NASA] | DNA Mapping | Alien Vision [Megavolt] [pix] [pdf] | Radiohead | neurovision | Satellite Imaging | Sonar [Rowland] |

Research shifts to industrial, scientific technologies. Present 3 to 5 technologies of potential interest

Student Work-in-Progress Presentation

[wk 10].................03.13


LabWork & Individual Meetings Phelps Hall 1518

LabWork & Individual Meetings SSMS 1304

[wk 11]......Lecture 03.20
Final Presentations

Grading Completion of reports, participation & attendance 50%
Classification Project 20%
Final Project 30%: 10% idea/discussion/concept, 10% research, 10% PPT