Spring 2011

Undergraduate Course Descriptions (Archived)

DMS 101B BASIC FILM MAKING
staff :: MW 9:00-10:50pm :: CFA 278
REG#35065

This course is intended to provide a basic introduction to 16mm film production. Classes will include screenings, lectures, and demonstrations. Students will learn basic camera operation, lighting, editing, and sound acquisition. In addition, the course will explore the critical relationship between theory and practice in the context of film production. Students will be required to complete collaborative class projects, individual assignments, and a critical paper. Each student will also be required to complete a short, non-sync, 16mm film project. Class materials will cost approx. $150. Lab fee: $100. Class size is strictly limited. Fulfills Basic Production Requirement.

 

DMS 103A BASIC VIDEO
staff :: MW 3:00pm–4:50pm :: CFA 235
REG#25811

This course is a basic introduction to the tools and techniques of video production. Students will become familiar with using video and develop strategies for its application as an alternative medium of communication. Crucial to this project is the concurrent development of a critical perspective on mainstream media culture. Video art screenings and readings in media theory will critically address the relations between viewers, producers, and the media. Students must expect to acquire materials and texts costing approx. $50.00 to be used in exercises in classroom presentations. Access to equipment and editing facilities will be available. Lab fee: $100. Class size is strictly limited. Fulfills Basic Production Requirement.

 

DMS 103B BASIC VIDEO
staff :: TR 9-10:50am :: CFA 278
REG#26441

This course is a basic introduction to the tools and techniques of video production. Students will become familiar with using video and develop strategies for its application as an alternative medium of communication. Crucial to this project is the concurrent development of a critical perspective on mainstream media culture. Video art screenings and readings in media theory will critically address the relations between viewers, producers, and the media. Students must expect to acquire materials and texts costing approx. $50.00 to be used in exercises in classroom presentations. Access to equipment and editing facilities will be available. Lab fee: $100. Class size is strictly limited. Fulfills Basic Production Requirement.

 

DMS 105A BASIC DOCUMENTARY
staff :: MW 11:00am-12:50pm :: CFA 232
REG#27385

This course will present students with the fundamental, theoretical, creative, and technical concerns of documentary and video production. Students will be introduced to methods of research, production design, approach to subject, interviewing and the structuring of information, as well as the technical video skills of camera work, sound recording, and lighting and editing, as they apply specifically to the documentary process. The demands of documentary expression require preparation with a different emphasis from that which applies to the personal and experimental approaches to filmmaking and video making. Materials and texts will cost approx. $50. Lab fee: $100. Class size is strictly limited. Fulfills Basic Production Requirement.

 

DMS 105B BASIC DOCUMENTARY
staff :: TR 11:00am-12:50pm :: CFA 278
REG#30759

This course will present students with the fundamental, theoretical, creative, and technical concerns of documentary and video production. Students will be introduced to methods of research, production design, approach to subject, interviewing and the structuring of information, as well as the technical video skills of camera work, sound recording, and lighting and editing, as they apply specifically to the documentary process. The demands of documentary expression require preparation with a different emphasis from that which applies to the personal and experimental approaches to filmmaking and video making. Materials and texts will cost approx. $50. Lab fee: $100. Class size is strictly limited. Fulfills Basic Production Requirement.

 

DMS 107 FILM HISTORY I
staff :: MW 11:00am – 12:50pm :: CFA 112
REG#27702

This course will introduce students to cinema from its technological and cultural origins in the late nineteenth century through the era of silent cinema, the development of sound film (“the talkie”) in the late 1920s, up to the end of WWII in 1945. This course will closely examine the technological innovations of cinema in the first half of the twentieth century and their effect on the development of narrative form and film style. We will further consider films in their socio-historical contexts in order to understand the dynamic relations among the early cinema’s technological, cultural, and aesthetic development. Since this course may also serve as an introduction to film interpretation, we will pay close attention to the construction of the moving image and the ideological implications behind that image. Fulfills Intro To Interpretation Requirement.

 

DMS 109 FILM INTERPRETATION
staff :: MW 11:00am-12:50pm :: CFA 235
REG#31705

Film Aesthetics have had an enormous impact on the development of media, from television to the internet to video games, as well as on our personal experiences of our everyday lives: “I feel like I’m in a movie!” This course provides an introduction to the main concepts and themes that constitute the rapidly expanding field of Film Studies. In this course, we will learn to recognize the techniques and conventions that structure our experience of cinema – narrative, mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing, sound, genre – in order to understand how these various components combine to yield an overall sense of film form. We will survey global film history, critically viewing examples of silent film, classical Hollywood, world cinema, experimental, documentary, and independent narrative film. We will also examine isolated clips from a variety of films as they relate to the weekly discussion topics. Fulfills Intro To Interpretation Requirement Fulfills Intro To Interpretation Requirement.

 

DMS 110 PROGRAMMING FOR DIGITAL ART
Pfister:: MW 9:00am – 10:50am :: CFA 242
Reg #24214

Beginner programming course geared towards Media Study majors with little to no experience who want to pursue Programming Graphics, Game Design and Virtual Reality. This course introduces basic concepts of Computer Science with the Python programming language, while incorporating a Media Study perspective. Non Majors welcome if space available. Fulfills Basic Production Requirement.

 

DMS 121A BASIC DIGITAL ARTS
staff :: MW 9-10:50am :: CFA 244
REG#35066

This course will present fundamental concepts and methods that underlie the use of computers in generating and processing digital works and examine them in the context of contemporary artistic practice in painting, photography, film, and video. The impact of computers, both present and potential, on the more traditional arts will be discussed. Through the use of imaging audio and presentation software, students will explore the various ways in which computers deal with images, sound and structures, adapting these methods to produce work of their own. Work by contemporary artists working in the digital medium will be shown and examined on a regular basis. The class size is strictly limited. Lab fee: $100. Fulfills Basic Production Requirement.

 

DMS 121B BASIC DIGITAL ARTS
staff :: TR 1:00pm-2:50pm :: CFA 244
REG#25842

This course will present fundamental concepts and methods that underlie the use of computers in generating and processing digital works and examine them in the context of contemporary artistic practice in painting, photography, film, and video. The impact of computers, both present and potential, on the more traditional arts will be discussed. Through the use of imaging audio and presentation software, students will explore the various ways in which computers deal with images, sound and structures, adapting these methods to produce work of their own. Work by contemporary artists working in the digital medium will be shown and examined on a regular basis. The class size is strictly limited. Lab fee: $100. Fulfills Basic Production Requirement.

 

DMS 155 INTRODUCTION TO NEW MEDIA
staff :: TR 9:00am-10:50am :: CFA 244
REG# 30848

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 will integrate art, journalism, and music through hands-on developmental projects in our new state-of-the-art 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, Dreamweaver, Flash animation, and Illustrator. The course will accommodate 48 students. Enroll now! Get the technological edge! Lab fee $100 Fulfills Basic Production Requirement.

 

DMS 212 INDIAN IMAGE IN FILM
Adare-Tasiwoopa :: Mon 4:30pm – 7:20pm :: Clemens 06
Reg # 34179

Course is crosslisted with American Studies. For more information, refer to the course descriptions on the Department of American Studies website. Fulfills the Media & Culture requirement.

 

 

DMS 213 IMMIGRATION & FILM
staff :: TR 11:00am-12:50pm :: CFA 112
REG#31673

By looking at representative examples of American and foreign films, this course will critically examine the role of cinema in the construction and exploration of the figure of the racial, ethnic, cultural and social theory. Our topics will include (1) racial, ethnic and cultural identity and its reciprocal relationship with cinema, (2) the notion of realism in relation to the representation of race and ethnicity in film, (3) the cinematic representation of inter-ethnic and intra-ethnic conflict, (4) the position of cinema in the debate between assimilation and multiculturalism. Films will be screened in class and discussed against the background of focused critical readings. The aim of the course is to provide you with an opportunity to develop your critical thinking and writing abilities through class discussions, close readings of films and critical literature, and writing assignments. The course fulfills the American Pluralism requirement. Fulfills the American Pluralism requirement or Media and Culture or Media Study Elective.

 

 

DMS 341 INTERMEDIATE VIDEO WORKSHOP
Staff :: MW 11:00am – 12:50pm :: CFA 278
Reg #33340 Prereqs: DMS 103 or 105 and Portfolio.
Corequisite : DMS 422
In this course, students will explore and experiment with the video medium through a series of short exercises. Improvement of technical knowledge and skills will be emphasized, and creativity encouraged. Topics to be explored will include: video camera, advanced shooting techniques, sound gathering techniques, microphone placement and selection, non-linear sound editing, lighting techniques for studio and location, non-linear editing. Students learn properties of audio, video and still assets, and practice importing, logging, and insert assembly editing. They also develop a sensitivity to the unique aesthetic and usability criteria of digital video in application environments. Must take DMS 422 concurrently. Fulfills * Intermediate Production requirement.

 

DMS 401 ADVANCED CINEMATOGRAPHY
Caplan :: TR 9:00am-10:50am :: CFA 232
REG# 38021

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. Fulfills Advanced Production Requirement

 

DMS 404 ADVANCED DOCUMENTARY
Elder :: TR 3pm – 4:50 :: CFA 235
Reg #26383

Remember, in order to take this course you must have passed portfolio and taken the “*” intermediate production prerequisite. It can count as your Advanced Production Requirement.

 

DMS 409 NON-FICTION FILM
Elder :: TR 11:00am-12:50pm :: CFA 235
REG# 26880

This course is an exploration of the principal theories of film through a critical reading of texts and a close examination of films. The texts to be perused comprise several groups. Classical film theory includes Munsterburg, Kuleshov, Pudovkin, Eisenstein, Balasz, Arnheim, Bazin, and Godard. The critique of classical film theory includes Burch, Perkins, and Henderson. The course will also explore semiotics, psychoanalysis, and poststructuralism, in Barthes, Eco, Metz , Pasolini, Baudry, Heath, and in feminist film theory, including Gledhill, Mulvey, Silverman, Modleski, Doane, and Studlar. A section on avant-garde theory will include Vertov, Epstein, Deren, Brakhage, Sitney, and Michelson. These topic areas will be set in interaction throughout: e.g., Soviet editing and antirealism are continued in the avant-garde; rhetorical figures such as metaphor, metonymy, ellipsis, condensation, and displacement, can be traced in very different theoretical contexts and in close readings of individual films. Fulfills Advanced Analysis or Media Study Elective.

 

DMS 411 FILM THEORY
Shilina-Conte :: MW 9:00am-10:50am :: CFA 235
REG#

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 418 CREATIVE VIDEO WORKSHOP
staff :: MW 9:00am-10:50am :: CFA 232
Reg# 479165

Prerequisites: DMS 103 or DMS 105. This course is a workshop inthe tools of video. It offers exercises in video production for students who have had some previous experience to video as a creative medium. The course will emphasize the development of technical skills and knowledge which are necessary for the eefective use o video as an artistic tool and for documentation or personal expression. The student will produce a series of project concerning cameras, lighting, editing, and other aspects of production and post-production. Using cross-culture material to create video work, each studetn will need to spend a substantial amount of time working with studio, portable, and editing facilities outside the regular class hours. In addition, some outside videotape viewing as well as short papers will be required. Reading will include classroom handouts in addition to the assigned book. $100 lab fee. This course can count towards the “non- *” Intermediate Production course or as an elective.

 

DMS 419 ADV DIGITAL ARTS PRODUCTION
E. Conrad :: TR 3:00pm-4:50pm :: CFA 244
Reg# 479165

This course will focus on thematic, conceptual and creative issues as students produce computer-based works for interactive media. It will be a place for students to initiate and follow through on substantive projects based both in creative concepts and technical research. It will be open to any and all types of computer-based or technology-driven work, projects designed exclusively for viewing with computer and monitor and projects that involve installation or physical computing elements. Students should come with considerable skills in this area, be motivated to try new things, and be prepared for critiques. $100 Lab Fee.Fulfills Advanced * Intermediate Requirement.

 

DMS 422 VIDEO ANALYSIS
Conrad, T. :: TR 6:00pm – 8:50pm CFA 112
Reg #30003

“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. Fulfills Advanced Analysis, Media & Culture or elective requirement.

 

 

DMS 423 (LECTURE) PROGRAMMING GRAPHICS 1
Pape, D E :: TR 11:00am – 12:50pm :: CFA 242
REG# 36592

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.org Fulfills Intermediate Production

 

DMS 426 SOUND MEDIA POETICS
Glazier :: MW 3:00pm – 4:50pm :: CFA 232
Reg #38158

This course offers the opportunity to study digital media poetics (digital, video, film, text, performance, installation, and art machines). Poetics, in its widest sense, provides the opportunity to question the process of art making. In the case of this course, we will focus on direct/indirect, visual/textual, and semantic/non-semantic reference to words/writing across media. Course will involve reading of texts investigating current issues in digital poetics, including those related to the forthcoming E-Poetry 2011 Festival in Buffalo and special topics such as machine-generation of text. (The E-Poetry 2011 Festival is returning from events in London, Paris, and Barcelona, for its ten-year anniversary in Buffalo.) Included, as desirable, will be readings of other thoughtful critical texts, especially those that express the compelling development of ideas through writing as practice. COURSE WILL FOCUS ON close reading of digital poetry works, including works by Abrahams, Cayley, Mencia, Rosenberg, Stefans, Young Hae-Chang Heavy Industries, and others, depending on student interest. Our investigation will be to focus, enlisting the resources of the Electronic Poetry Center, on a core of central issues that constitute critical discussions in digital poetics. Critiques by fellow students of the written and project portion of the course will be a salient feature of our class activities. COURSE REQUIREMENTS ARE: seminar attendance, weekly response papers, one oral presentation of a close reading of a digital poem, one short, written close reading of a digital poem (suitable for publication), and one final project (due on the last day of class). Students will also be responsible for a contribution to a Bibliography-in-Progress of Core Texts related to digital poetics theory and practice. Special Note: For the Spring 2011 seminar, additional emphasis will be given to specific digital poets who will attend E-Poetry 2011, in preparation for a planned film being planned about the festival. Students will research for interviews, locations, and conceptual settings appropriate for given authors as a preliminary stage in a process of digital media textual editing to take place before, during, and after the May 18-21, 2011 festival. (Students may participate in one or more of these phases.) Students are encouraged to get some hands-on experience through this project and to receive exposure for their participation in this film that promises to receive a noteworthy international reception. TEXTS. Recommended: Digital Poetics (Glazier). Required: TBA, most likely Hayles or Kirschenbaum.
Note: Various opportunities exist for students to participate in this film/media/digital poetics project. Inquiries most welcome to Prof. Glazier (glazier@buffalo.edu).Fulfills Advanced Analysis, New Media Theory or elective requirement.

 

 

DMS 438 VIRTUAL WORLDS I
staff :: TR 1:00pm – 2:50pm :: CFA 242
Reg# 35302

Increasingly we live, play, and work in virtual worlds created by computer graphics, 3D models, scripts and programs; places inhabited by networked people and autonomous computer characters. These worlds have taken on a gendered significance – massively multiplayer online games seem to be male space; virtual places like Second Life seem more inviting to women and to promote social communities. Despite female pioneers like Brenda Laurel and Char Davies the creation of virtual worlds has also become male dominated. People of every gender are encouraged to take this production course, where the creative process will be seeded by a study of virtual, augmented, and mixed reality worlds built by artists, activists, game-designers, trainers, humanists, educators, and scientists.

The production of virtual worlds breaks down into two rough categories: world implementation and asset creation. This hands on production course focuses on world implementation. Using contemporary software (new virtual reality tools and game engines are constantly arriving) we investigate the techniques and problems of building virtual environments, dealing with issues in spatial, aesthetic, interactive and conceptual design. It is useful but not essential to have a background in scripting, programming and asset production (sounds, images, textures, models). Fulfills Adavanced Production Requirement.

 

 

DMS 463 INTERACTIVE FICTION
staff :: TR 1:00pm – 2:50pm :: CFA 232
Reg #38040

 

DMS 485 MEDIA ROBOTICS I
staff :: W 9:00am – 12:40pm :: CFA 246
Reg# 24905

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. Fulfills Advanced Production Requirement.

 

DMS 496 (1- 4 CR VARIABLE) MEDIA ARTS INTERNSHIP
Staff
REG#Permission of Instructor

Media Study majors have the opportunity to gain variable academic credit for internships in local and national media production companies, television stations, cable companies, and media access centers. This is an unpaid internship available to majors. Guidelines are set by an internship supervisor in collaboration with a faculty sponsor to provide hands-on practical experience in an on-the-job training program. For registration information, see Luann Zak in 231 CFA. Media Study Elective.

 

DMS 499 (1-4 CR VARIABLE) INDEPENDENT STUDY
Staff
REG#Permission of Instructor

Students may arrange for special courses of study with faculty through “Independent Study.” The instructor will set the guidelines for the course on an individual basis. It permits the student to study, independently, in an area where no course is given. Syllabus for Independent Study should be prepared prior to semester, signed by the instructor, with one copy on file with the department. For registration information, see Luann Zak in 231 CFA. Lab fee for production work: $100 Media Study Elective.