Spring 2011

Graduate Course Descriptions (Archived)

600-level courses :: 700-level courses

500-LEVEL

DMS 501 ADVANCED CINEMATOGRAPHY
Caplan :: TR 1:00pm-2:50pm :: CFA 232
REG# 38020 Grad only

This is an advanced film production course designed for students who have successfully completed the intermediate film production or intermediate video production class. 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. $100 Lab Fee. Attendance is mandatory.

 

DMS 510 ADVANCED DOCUMENTARY PRODUCTION
Elder :: TR 3:00pm-4:50pm :: CFA 235
Reg #28662 Grad and Undergrad

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.

 

DMS 512 FILM THEORY
Staff:: MW 9:00am – 10:50am :: CFA 235
Reg #TBD Grad and Undergrad

This course will guide you through the maze of “pre-” and “post-,” “-isms” and “-ships” in film studies, including the theories of authorship and spectatorship, realism, formalism, cognitive criticism, semiotics, psychoanalysis, post-structuralism, feminism and post-feminist studies, as well as the theory of the senses. The assigned readings will include excerpts and articles by Bazin, Eisenstein, Vertov, Baudry, Metz, Balasz, Gunning, Arnheim, Mulvey, Bordwell, Deleuze, Marks, Sobchack, and Naficy, among others. Following Thomas Elsaesser’s enticing approach and focusing on the role of the spectator in cinema, we will study classical and contemporary film theories through the interaction between Moving Image, Senses, Body and Mind as well as such metaphors of filmic experience as Window and Frame, Door and Screen, Mirror and Face. Watching such films as The Piano by Campion, Soy Cuba by Kalatozov, April by Iosseliani, Persona by Bergman, Onibaba by Shindo, Stalker by Tarkovsky, The Scent of Green Papaya by Anh Hung Tran, Pather Panchali by Satyajit Ray, The Hand by Wong Kar Wai and animations by Jan Svankmajer, we will interpret not only the ways we “see” and “hear” films, but also explore them through our senses of touch, smell and even taste. In addition, we will talk about puzzle films, mind-game films (Elsaesser), and forking path films (Bordwell), embracing Gilles Deleuze’s statement of “the brain as the screen”. As Elsaesser points out, “film and spectator are like parasite and host, each occupying the other and being in turn occupied”. This unique approach of confrontation and conflation with the screen through our mind, body and senses will open for us new modes of knowing and representing the world through film and media.

 

DMS 518 METHODS OF MAKING 2
E. Conrad :: Friday 11:00am – 2:40pm :: CFA 246
Reg# 26149 Grad only

$100 Lab fee.

 

DMS 519 NON-FICTION FILM ANALYSIS
Elder:: R 6:00pm – 9:40pm :: CFA 235
Reg #28665 Grad Only

This course examines popular American documentary films looking at diverse representations of American culture. We explore independent award-winning contemporary works with themes of gender, ethnicity, popular music, sexual orientation, murder, justice, rock stars, racism, disability and history. Particular focus is on the curious relationship between the images of reality and reality itself, and on America’s love affair with reality media. Emphasis is placed on understanding the thin shifting line between fiction and non-fiction and challenging the notion of documentary “truth.” Students develop analytical and interpretive media skills that are applicable to all film and video. Students learn non-fiction critical theory including Nichols, Winston, Ruby, and Renov and analyze artistic elements of non-fiction film and video including visual narrativity, storytelling, spontaneous camera work, editing, audio, and common elements for artistic and commercial success. The class explores different documentary styles including experimental docs, cinema verite, fake docs, diary and reflexive docs, collaborative making and cutting edge contemporary work. We address the ethical and artistic considerations of filming real people and real communities. Works of Wiseman, Pennebaker, Kopple, Maysles, Freidrich, O’Rourke, Riggs, Morris, and more. Attendance is required as well as two papers and a take-home exam. Be prepared to see a lot of great films

 

DMS 523 PROGRAMMING GRAPHICS
Pape:: TR 11:00am – 12:50pm :: CFA 242
Reg # 32952 Grad & Undergrad

This production course will introduce students to the concepts and practice of programming 3D computer graphics and audio using OpenGL and other libraries. The major focus will be on creating interactive art or games experiences by programming both graphics and sound. The course has three goals: to demystify computer code – we get behind the Graphic User Interface to the machine below; to explore the potential of programming – writing our own code means we can create customized computer tools as well as customized visuals; and to teach the fundamentals of graphics programming. Prerequisites are experience in a programming language such as Python, C, C++, or Java (DMS 121, CSE 113/4/5 or equivalent). Permission of Instructor required. Lab fee $100. Contact: dave.pape@acm

 

DMS 530 METHOD OF MAKING 1
Lee :: MW 1:00pm – 2:50pm :: CFA 235
Reg # 30640 Grad only

This graduate level course will explore and experiment with the media of film, video and sound through a series of short projects geared toward establishing a proficiency in media production. Improvement of technical skills will be emphasized and creativity encouraged. This course will guide students through the acronymic maze of HD and SD, BNC, VGA, RCA and HDMI, mpeg2 and h.264; through circles of confusion surrounding film stocks, F-stops and depth of field; sample rates, signal to noise and pick-up patterns. Students will be introduced to the array of equipment available to them in the Media Study Department, from 16mm film loopers to the latest solid-state high-definition camcorders, and will be given hands-on instruction as to their use. Other specific topics to be covered will include film and video formats, camcorders and projectors; compositional concepts and shooting techniques; sound recording & editing; lighting for the studio and the field; digital video editing (Final Cut Pro) and DVD authoring (DVD Studio Pro); preparing video for the web and additional topics to be decided. Regular screenings of experimental, documentary and narrative work will be included. A lab fee of $100 is assessed for this course

 

DMS 531 GRADUATE SEMINAR I
Anstey :: M 5:00pm -7:50pm :: CFA 232
REG#29928 Grad Only

This critique seminar introduces conceptual and theoretical issues in media practice with an emphasis on individual development of a practice-led research methodology. How do we position ourselves within the professional discourse of independent media practice? How can we evolve a personal methodology that is informed and responsive to this broader discourse? How do we present and communicate our work as contributors to the field, toward the goal of making significant contributions? Weekly topics will be complemented by occasional readings / viewings, guest lectures, and field trips. The goal of the course is to provide a context for synthesis of practical, theoretical, and historical studies as addressed throughout the required curriculum. Students will develop and refine a body of references to support their practice-led research and creative inquiry, building the early foundation of the thesis process. The class will be comprised of a mix of group meetings and critiques. Two short writing assignments (a grant proposal and an artist statement) will be due at midterm and at the end of the semester, respectively. The course culminates in a final critique in which students present their work in an integrated fashion ? i.e. work produced should be supported through a summary of one’s artist statement and annotated bibliography

 

DMS 533 ADV. DIGITAL ARTS PRODUCTION
E. Conrad :: TR 3:00pm – 4:50pm :: CFA 244
CFA 244 Reg# 34773 Grad and Undergrad

 

DMS 543 MEDIA ROBOTICS 1
Staff :: W 9:00am – 12:40pm :: CFA 246
Reg# 26868 Grad and small undergrad section

MediaRobotics I: Physical Computing is the first in a series of courses that exposes students to concepts and techniques that enable them to begin appreciating, designing, constructing and programming behaving artifacts for complex environments. This course introduces basic concepts and techniques for creating objects, spaces and media that sense and respond to their physical surroundings and the actions and events that transpire there. Moving beyond the interface paradigm of screen, keyboard and mouse, physical computing enables alternate models for interaction with (and through) computers that afford more subtle and complex relations between a range of human and non-human actors. Combining readings, presentations and discussions on the theory of computer enabled art forms with a series of hands-on technical workshops in computing methods and techniques, the course provides a critical context for emerging forms of experimental practice. Topics include fundamental ideas in computing (languages, representation of thought), embodied interaction (situated actions, responsive systems), practical aspects of hardware design (electricity, electronics, microprocessors, components, sensors and actuators), functional programming (variables, datatypes, control structures, functions, objects, communication protocols), and various material fabrication techniques (wood, metal, plastics, elastomers, fabrics). This is an introductory course open to artists, architects, engineers and all other media makers. No prior expertise in computing required. Curiosity about how things work is a must. Lab fee $100

 

DMS 555 ACCESS NEW YORK (TITLE AND CONTENT PENDING)
T. Conrad :: Days and time arranged
Reg# 29207 Grad only

This is an opportunity to network and utilize resources in New York City with Media Study Faculty. Most meetings will take place in Buffalo but students must be able to visit New York City at least three times during the semester at own cost. Permission of instructor

 

DMS 598 PROJECT SUPERVISION (1 – 6 CR. VARIABLE)
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 Dean Sanborn in 231 CFA.

 

DMS 599 SUPERVISED TEACHING (4 CR. VARIABLE)
Permission of Instructor

See Dean Sanborn in 231 CFA.

600-LEVEL

 

DMS 600 INDEPENDENT STUDY (1 – 8 CR. VARIABLE)
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 Luann Zak in 231 CFA.

 

DMS 604 LARGE-SCALE BIOSENSING SYSTEMS I – FOUNDATIONS
Bohlen :: MW 3pm – 4:50pm :: CFA 246
Reg #31474 Grad only

This course module will cover fundamental concepts of sensing systems and introduce students to critical texts on sensing theory and practice. Topics include: Biosensing and bioindicators, human, animal and insect sensing, synthetic sensing including sensor signal generation, sensor design, fundamental limitations of sensing, sensor data analysis, biometrics and biometric decision landscapes, large scale sensor networks as well as privacy design for the collection, transmission and storage of personal data. The course will include a survey of state of the art biosensing systems from various research labs, as well as programming for and analysis of large datasets. Furthermore, situated sensing, such as the ‘sensing’ of landscapes and natural phenomena across various time scales will be considered. The course will also discuss unconventional and experimental approaches to sensing, including contributions by activists, artists and designers. A custom built, annotated and searchable database of pertinent current research contributions from several fields will be available to students.

 

DMS 606 VISUAL MEDIA POETICS
Glazier :: T 3:00pm – 6:30pm :: CFA 232
Reg #33388 Grad only

 

DMS 612 VIDEO ANALYSIS
T. Conrad :: TR 6:00pm – 7:50pm Lec CFA 112
Reg #24541 & 31178 Grad and undergrad

Professor Tony Conrad: “I have a collection of about 600 contemporary video works by artists, more than anybody would be able to watch. Some of these are also viewable online, many are not. I am organizing Tuesday evening screenings for Video Analysis (and for students in the Graduate Video Analysis Seminar DMS 422). Then — on Thursday evenings — we will have a general discussion of the work, and of related topics of media arts interest. On several Thursdays I will communicate with the Thursday class via skype, accompanied by ‘visiting’ artists in New York, London, Texas, and Canada. There will be plenty of review of the in-class screenings possible, by watching related work online. I will make tons of articles and other readings available online too, so you will be able to follow up your interests. However, the assignments will be simple: journal entries on videos screened or seen, with accompanying citations from online sources. I have structured this course specifically to provide you with access to the most contemporary media arts information that is available to me — but that is almost completely inaccessible otherwise in Buffalo — and then by providing a forum for discussion and developing our own ideas.” No lab fee. Attendance is mandatory.

 

DMS 627 SUPERVISED READING (1 – 8 CR. VARIABLE)
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 Luann Zak in 231 CFA. Lab Fee: $100

 

DMS 627 A-X SUPERVISED READING
Staff *** :: ARR, ARR – ARR
Reg.#000000

 

DMS 690 MEDIA ARTS INTERNSHIP

 

DMS 691 CAP CAPSTONE INTERNSHIP
ARR :: ARR – ARR
Reg.#000000

Contact the Media Study Department for registration.

700-LEVEL

 

DMS 700 STA THESIS GUIDANCE
Staff *** :: Permission of Instructor :: ARR, ARR – ARR :: CFA ARR
Reg.#000000

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 Luann Zak in 231 CFA.

 

DMS 700 A – W THESIS GUIDANCE
Staff *** :: ARR, ARR-ARR :: CFA ARR
Reg.#000000

Contact the department for registration.