Spring 2010

Graduate Course Descriptions (Archived)

600-level courses :: 700-level courses


Caplan :: TR 1:00pm-2:50pm :: CFA 32
REG#306112 – split between grad and undergrad

This is an advanced film production course designed for students who have successfully completed the intermediate film production class and have produced at least one short 16mm film. This course will explore the key components of independent production. Students will develop a major project from pre-production through the initial stages of post-production. Students are required to come to the class with an initial concept for a substantive project to be completed during the spring semester. Students will maintain a journal, produce a pre-production package, produce a production book and a fine cut of their final film project. In Addition, students will make a short autobiographical film and explore Narrative, Documentary, and Experimental elements in filmmaking. Students can expect to spend $450 for materials and processing for the course. Students will receive some assistance with supplies and film stock.


Conrad :: TR 11am – 12:50 pm :: CFA 232
Reg #469469 � Mostly Grad

This course is a very hands-on introduction to the real world of the producing and exhibiting video maker. It focuses on some of our most central and troubling creative problems: What kind of project should I make, and why? How do I organize my project? How important is our cultural environment for our work? Is it important to create as individuals or in groups? And what do I do with my work when it’s “done”? In this course each individual will develop their own approach to the production of video projects; some will do work that can be completed quickly (preferred!), others will work on longer projects. Some will work alone, others in groups. Much of the class time will be devoted to observing one another’s working processes and progress. Each student will be responsible for discussing or showing their work or ideas, or presenting a summary of an assigned topic, during a four-minute time slot each week. In addition, there will be lectures, workshops, and discussions of technical and aesthetic issues including advanced editing, audio, and special effects. Other course activities (productions, showings, field trips) are also an option. Students will use both studio and field production equipment, and will work on nonlinear editing facilities. There is a lab fee for Advanced Video, in addition to which the student should plan for up to $100 in additional costs, including a standard video production text for reference. Regular and punctual attendance at course meetings is mandatory. Grades are based on the number of classroom presentations made (60%), personal progress in work completed (25%), participatory attendance (7.5%), and periodic quizzes on course topics (7.5%). Lab Fee $100.


Elder :: MW 3:00pm-4:50pm :: CFA 235
Reg #108305 Grad

This course is an advanced workshop in which students create an original documentary project in video (or film, still photography, audio or web-based formats with the permission of instructor). Creativity and originality will be stressed with exercises to encourage “seeing”, “listening” and artistic risk taking. Individual projects may go in many creative directions including the political, personal, humorous, experimental, conventional, transgressive, ethnographic, client-based or activist. Students will gain a solid understanding of contemporary non-fiction forms and the particular problems which non-fiction makers face. Films by contemporary artists will be shown on a regular basis with special attention to experimental documentary work. We will look at dramatic structure, story telling, and narrative/non-narrative forms of editing. Emphasis will be given to production techniques which bring access and intimacy to the video subject and integrity to the documentary. The course will explore ethical issues and problems of privacy and intrusion. Students will develop production skills in research, fieldwork, collaboration, interviewing, location sound recording, camera skills, and production management. Each student will produce one short documentary piece, with supporting assignments in shooting, sound, and digital editing on the Media 100. A written production book will be required. A class film festival ends the semester. Prerequisite: DMS Basic Documentary, or DMS Basic Video and DMS Intermediate Video. Lab fee: $100. Attendance is mandatory.


Capuzzo :: M 7:00pm – 10:40pm :: CFA 246
Reg #370381 Grad Only

From comparative film analysis some parameters for the comprehension of cinema as a possible instrument to expand the senses and consciouness will be established, potentializing the perception of the real. This first course will be focused on models of utopian constructions that cinema developed, mainly in Latin-American cinema production. Students must conduct original research on an approved topic, and present a final paper for successful completion of the course.


Hand :: F 11:00am – 2:40pm :: CFA 232
Reg #308250 – Grad only

This course explores the creation and implementation of 3d models constructed in Autodesk Maya. We will learn the pipeline for creating objects, textures and animations that can then be imported into various 3d environments, game mods, engines and virtual worlds. Projects will focus on collaborative development of asset sets into simple games or projects in satellite classes. Can be applied towards Intermediate Production Course, Non-Production Course, or towards Electives. Co-req: DMS 418 LAB Concept Content Critique. $100 lab fee.


Bardin :: MW 11:00am – 12:50pm :: CFA 112
Reg #114143 Mostly Grad with undergrad section

This advanced course in film analysis will give students the opportunity to develop their analytical and writing skills in relation to the theories and methodologies surrounding the themes of dystopia. We will explore this broad topic through the close analysis of myriad film genres and through the lens of film theory and critical theory. Films are likely to include Children of Men, Alphaville, Dark City, 28 Days Later, Metropolis, Blade Runner, If and Minority Report. Authors will include Plato, Laura Mulvey, Slavoj Zizek, Godard, John Berger and Walter Benjamin.


Larsen :: mW 6:00pm – 7:50pm :: CFA 112
Reg #017430 Mostly Grad with undergrad section

What defines the future of the Internet? The strategic tag cloud of tomorrow includes terms like The Internet of Things, RFID, Web2.0, Grid Computing, LambdaRail, Internet2 and many others. Social Web Media maps online group formation and emerging computing technologies that amplify cooperation and distributed creativity. While most of the theory in this field is dominated by entrepreneurial management rhetoric, we will focus on independent social web media in the cultural sector. What is worth defending about the current end-2-end Internet? The middle-class household Internet of the developed world enables a culture of sharing in the unregulated commons, free culture (i.e. file sharing, open source culture), cultures of participation and generosity (i.e. citizen journalism, open archives, open journals, knowledge repositories), and network culture (i.e. the ability for self-organized social networks to form). Today, more often than not we are users *and* producers online.


Glazier :: T 3:00pm-5:50pm :: CFA 235

In this course we will strive for a self-reflective, creative setting that allows for critique and well-informed debate of your work. We will investigate net cultures with both, the due euphoria and the necessary criticism. The group will examine the potential for creative, innovative and surprising uses of emerging networked media. The course offers you a specter of role models that artists using emerging networked media inhabit: from the virtual intellectual to the net.artist, from HTML slave to online guerilla. “Screen-Based Culture” will draw from net criticism, art (history), cultural studies, anthropology, critical theory, poetry, and the news.


Henderson :: MW 9:00am – 10:50am :: CFA 235
Reg #080697 Mostly Undergrad

This course gives students first-hand experience with all the primary aspects and stages of preproduction planning (scriptwriting, storyboarding, and structural diagramming) of a feature film. Script analysis will be a major component of the course. Open to DMS majors who passed portfolio and for Critical Studies majors who obtain permission of instructor.


Larsen :: MW 5-6:50pm :: CFA 244
Reg #155313 – Grads for New Media Certificate only.

This course provides an introduction to design and the production of interactive multimedia. The content of the class will focus on the theoretical and practical aspects of creating and integrating digital media with authoring/presentation tools. This class will lay the foundation for creating interactive projects for the web and CD-ROMS, and will integrate art, journalism, and music through hands-on developmental projects in our Mac lab. Students will learn the process and skills necessary to create a web site and an interactive CD-ROM which integrates animation, graphic design, sound, and text, working in Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Dreamweaver, and Flash animation. Lab fee $100.


Staff :: TR 11:00am – 12:50pm :: CFA 235
Reg # 170505 Grad and Undergrad

“The future belongs to the film that cannot be told.”-Germaine Dulac, 1928 This course lays the groundwork for an ongoing critical engagement with films made by women. We will examine the relationship between feminist film theory and filmmaking, and pay close attention to how directors articulate theoretical models through cinematic tactics. We will screen and analyze films by such maverick makers as Maya Deren, Ida Lupino and Trinh T. Minh-ha, and learn firsthand why and how they have come to act as touchstones of feminist scholarship and production practices. Some contemporary directors will present their work in person. Study of subject matter, material conditions (i.e., economic, social, political), formal experimentation, and narrative complexities will shine light on the innovative qualities of both individual films and the collective body of titles. In addition to writings by the directors, texts by Laura Mulvey, bell hooks, B. Ruby Rich, and others will animate our readings of the films. The seminar will address in depth such topics as “the male gaze” and its subversion; the (dis- and re-) remembering of women in film history; representations of otherness; race, gender and sexuality; self-reflexivity and intertextuality; film as art and film in relation to other arts; author/auteur-ship and speaking subject or voice; and anti-illusionism and active spectatorship. The course will conclude with a focus on short experimental films and art videos. Assignments include a term paper, weekly readings, short essays, presentations of readings, and participation in class debate.

Hand :: M 6:00pm – 9:50pm :: CFA 242
Reg # 292433 – Co-requisite: DMS 611 LAB

Experimental Animation in Autodesk Maya is a course in which we will explore the fundamentals of animation, followed by in conventional usages of the platform. We will deal with both imperative process of animation, then move into dynamic an procedural methods of animation. Finally, we will cover further rendering issues, and post processing in Adobe After Effects. $100 lab fee.

Bohlen :: MW 9:00am-10:50am :: CFA 246

This course is dedicated to understanding data and data acquisition in the context of digital media arts. Reliably acquiring and interpreting data from external devices is an important part of building non-trivial behaving artifacts. This course will allow students to better understand both the concepts as well as the techniques underlying a variety of data acquisition methods. The course will expose students to fundamental ideas behind sensing, sensor design and sensor interfaces. A substantial part of the course is dedicated to machine vision, an area of active research in both the engineering sciences as well as the arts. Course materials include readings in perception theory, sensor design, fundamentals of machine vision as well as documentation of select art works that engage in advanced sensing methods. Our lab has a wide array of sensor types, an industry grade commercial machine vision library as well as an open source research grade vision library, small footprint microprocessor based ccd cameras, ieee1394 compliant digital cameras, analogue video cameras with fast frame grabber cards and an open source C++ programming environment. With this infrastructure and instructor guidance, students will be able to explore all aspects of data collection. More info at: www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~mrbohlen/machinevision.html. Lab fee $100.


Capuzzo :: R 5:00pm – 8:40pm :: CFA 112
Reg #149906 Mostly Grad

Comparative analysis of the development of three-dimensional synthetic characters in cinema with examples from early stop motion films to contemporary 3D digital animation. Students must conduct original research on an approved topic, and present a final paper for successful completion of the course.


Shepard :: M 1:00pm – 4:40pm :: CFA 246
Reg #457512 Grad Only

Locative Media is an emerging field of art and technology practices that incorporate location, data, mobile computing and wireless networks in positing alternate modes for inhabiting contemporary public space. Some of these practices offer new insights into issues related to place and modes of spatial occupation. This seminar – open to both Architecture and Media Study students – will focus on Locative Media practices situated within urban environments, and seek to establish a critical context within which to evaluate some of their key claims and aspirations. Drawing on a broader discourse involving the technological mediation of urban experience, the course will combine readings in social theory, spatiality, technology and urban form with an examination of specific art practices of the Surrealists, the Situationists, conceptual and performance art from the 60’s and 70’s, and more recent projects in Locative Media. Concepts of mapping, pyschogeography, participatory networks, and hybrid spatial experiences will be examined in relation to how we locate and orient ourselves within, navigate through, and inhabit the contemporary city. Students will have the option of producing either a research paper or a project, working independently or in collaboration with others.


Staff :: R 3:00pm – 6:40pm :: CFA 232
Reg #166996 Grad Only

This course about the field of media curating will provide students with the tools to conceptualize, develop, and – with the purpose of combining practice and theory – realize curated media programs and events. In addition to engaging in a step-by-step process to reach this goal, we will review diverse strategies taken by contemporary curators across the United States, view select programs of media art (film, video, web art, etc.), read various materials, and attend outside lectures and screenings. Special attention will be paid to the often novel approaches of activist collectives and individuals and/or groups confusing distinctions between artist, curator, and educator. As media curating is a relatively untheorized mode of cultural production, the course is an experiment in paving new territory and forging articulations-through debate, articles, media programs, and so on – of curatorial strategies, histories, and theories. Catalysts for the course’s own cultural productions will include feminist and postcolonial thinkers, like bell hooks, Judith Butler, Homi Bhaba; activist and roaming artist-curators such as Group Material, Termite TV, and Fred Wilson; alternative media exhibition groups such as Other Cinema in San Francisco, as well as the Filmmaker’s Cooperative in NYC; and finally, critics like Liz Kotz, Manohla Dargis, and Jim Hoberman.


Pape :: TR 3:00pm – 4:50pm :: CFA 242
Reg# 168330 Mostly Undergrad

This is a course in videogame design. We are less concerned with becoming videogame developers and more concerned with becoming videogame designers. Of course, the boundaries between the two practices are not discreet, and we will, as a practice of creating good game design, create, i.e. develop, games. In our exploration of game design, we will look at several gametypes, starting with traditional board games and working our way through major movements in videogame design. We will consult critical texts to illuminate our discussions of these games, as well as to provide us with direction in our own game experiments. Students will divide into game design teams to complete the bulk of the coursework. Students are expected to perform their responsibilities to the team to the best of their abilities, and peer evaluations will be used in determining each student’s individual grade. Students in this course are expected to be driven and possess a great deal of personal initiative. This is not a course where students are hand-fed the skills they need to carry out their creative vision. Rather, students will depend greatly on their existing skills and the skills of their teammates.


Permission of Instructor

A student may enroll for this course after completing course requirements and while working on the thesis project. This course is for non-written projects only. One to six credits of the “project supervision” may be applied toward the MAH degree. Course syllabus form should be prepared prior to semester start and one copy should be on file in the Media Study office. Lab fee: $100. For registration information, see Nancy King in 231 CFA.


Permission of Instructor

See Nancy King in 231 CFA.



Permission of Instructor

Students may arrange for special courses of study with faculty through “independent study.” The instructor will set the guideline for the course on an individual basis. It permits the student to study independently in an area where no course is given. Course syllabus form should be prepared prior too semester start and one copy should be on file in the Media Study office. For registration info, see Nancy King in 231 CFA. Lab Fee: $100. For registration information, see Nancy King in 231 CFA.


Bohlen :: MW 1:00pm – 2:50pm :: CFA 232
Reg# 108349

Ambient Intelligence (AmI) refers to research and development of electronic environments that are sensitive and responsive to the presence of people. Born in the technophilic 1990s, AmI is a product of the cybernetics legacy, technological utopia, and profit-oriented experience industries. These conflicting vectors make AmI both a fad to avoid as well as an opportunity to embrace; a chance to rethink the possibility of technology in both private as well as public spaces. In this seminar we will attempt to map a broad understanding of AmI and to expand the default utilitarian role of information processing technologies. Information control and modification is slated to become, just as environmental control already has, a critical design problem within architectural and media arts practices. Readings will range from texts on early cybernetics, robotics, sociological studies of home appliances, pop-culture, to AmI research such as Smart Homes, Ambient Agoras and more. Seminar participants will be challenged towards conceiving satisfying engagements between information processing technologies and built structures in discussions as well as individual and team-based designs.


Conrad :: TR 3:00pm – 4:50pm :: CFA 286
Reg #203890

During the last decade the practices in independent media art have widened, even as funding support for independent media centers has stagnated. Today independent media artists are engaged in several significant hybrid practices, giving them access to a spectrum of galleries and alternative presentation spaces. This seminar will approach these practices from both theoretical and pragmatic perspectives. That is, the student will be expected to produce simple examples of works that challenge or exemplify contemporary tendencies or issues in arts practices, while incorporating diverse elements or approaches arising in areas such as sculpture, music, dance, theater, “multimedia”, installation, performance art, photography, painting, literature, or architecture. There will be readings, discussions, viewing of media work, critiques, and field trips. Regular attendance and participation will be mandatory.


Bardin :: W 3:00pm – 4:50pm :: CFA 286
Reg #214848 Grad only section

This course will explore the trajectory of art through conceptualization, content creation and finally critique of the finished piece. Students will learn how to talk and write about their own practice as well as the work of others in the class. Through an examination of creation and critique processes students will learn how to establish a healthy critical distance from their work enabling them to engage in a more successful and well rounded practice. The class is open to students creating in any medium. Readings will include work by Roland Barthes, Immanel Kant, Walter Benjamin, Hans Haacke, Joseph Beuys. A large portion of the course will constitute critiques from curators and artists from the community, UB Professors from a variety of disciplines as well as visiting curators and artists. This lab is a Co-Requirement for DMS 415 and DMS 418 but others welcome if seats are available. Contact instructor for permission.


Caplan :: W 10:00am – 12:40pm :: CFA 286
Reg #279118 Mostly Grad

The Art of Vision is a course structured to increase student sensibility toward the art of filmmaking. Through intense weekly production, lecture, selected screenings, and a high degree of experimentation, students will be guided individually to develop their own filmmaking skills. Students will be responsible for choosing their direction of production, which can incorporate any number of genre including thesis work. Students who attend this class should be prepared to work hard and achieve results. $100 Lab fee.

Permission of Instructor

This course permits a student to do independent reading in an area where no course may be given. The instructor will set the guidelines for the course on an individual basis. Course syllabus form should be prepared prior too semester start and one copy should be on file in the Media Study office. For registration info, see Nancy King in 231 CFA. Lab Fee: $100



Staff *** :: ARR, ARR – ARR

Contact the Media Study Department for registration.





Contact the Media Study Department for registration.



Staff *** :: Permission of Instructor :: ARR, ARR – ARR :: CFA ARR

A student may enroll in this course after completing course requirements and while writing the thesis. This course is for the written thesis only. One to six credits of  Thesis Guidance may be applied toward an MAH degree. Permission of the instructor is required. Course syllabus form should be completed before the semester s start, and one copy should be on file with the department. For registration info, see Nancy King in 231 CFA.


Staff *** :: ARR, ARR-ARR :: CFA ARR

Contact the department for registration.