CS 395: Animate Arts I:

        Perceptual and Mathematical Spaces



T/Th 3:30-5, Computer Science 381

Assignment submission



Web site






Sodipodi or

Adobe Illustrator



Adobe Photoshop  

Nyquist (maybe)  

This course is part of a pilot program to teach computer science and art (broadly construed) in an integrated manner that brings out their commonalities. The course is open to all students, regardless of background. 


We will discuss the basic parameters of visual and auditory modalities, such as color, weight, and pitch, as well as relations between them, such as balance, consonance and dissonance. These issues will be explored in both aesthetic and mathematical terms and will be used as backdrop for teaching the basics of functional programming, a type of programming popular both in introductory programming courses, and in artificial intelligence programming. We will also explore the processes used in both programming practice and artistic practice, and the cultural and philosophical heritage of the two traditions.


Instructor: Ian Horswill + various

TA: Robin Hunicke, Rob Zubek

Texts: Sturken and Cartwright, Practices of Looking
  Tony Godfrey, Conceptual Art
  William Gibson, Count Zero
Tues. Jan 6  

Introduction & Administrivia:

Unit 0, Unit 1 

(Mondrian house)

Thurs. Jan 8   Guest Lecture: Valerie Lamontange 

     see her work @ Switched On Jan 9-Feb 14 2004


Tues. Jan 13  

Modernity and Computation:

Unit 2 

related links: Descartes and the Fly

Alan Turing (Did you know he was gay?)

read about it (and other stuff) in the Cryptonomicon

or stretch your brain around Godel, Escher, Bach

Thurs. Jan 15  

The Exquisite Corpse, Meta:

Unit 3, Unit 4 

experience randomness in our class game sentences

The mother of the mother of the mother of the TA of this class. Sort of.


Fri. Jan 16   your First Assignment, due Tues. Jan 20

Before running it: install the latest release of Meta



Monday Jan 19   There is now a new version of Meta

Homework submission instructions are here.


Tues. Jan 20  

Metaphors, Appropriation and Scope:

Unit 5, Unit 6, Unit 7  

Barbara Kruger on PBS's "Art 21"



Thurs. Jan 23  

Compound Procedures, Geometry and Light:

Unit 8, Unit 9, Unit 10



Tues. Jan 26  

Colors, Rasters and Visual Perception:

Unit 11, Unit 12

More wacky visuals: Ambigrams.


Wed. Jan 29   Exercise 2, due Sunday Feb 1


Thurs. Jan 30  

Recursion and Chiaroscuro:

Unit 13, Unit 14


(Hercules and Avarice in chiaroscuro)


Tues. Feb 3  

Ideology and Interpretation I: Barthes and Myth
Unit 15

Discussion:  Practices of Looking, Chapter 1


Reading notes.



Thurs. Feb 5  

Ideology and Interpretation II: Althusser and Ideology
Unit 15


Computing with lists

Unit 16


Exercise 3, due Tuesday February 10

Read Chapter 1 of Conceptual Art



Tues. Feb 10  

Texture and Material

(Jill Wissmiller)

Preview: Exercise 2 submissions



Thurs. Feb 12  

Phenomenology and Video Games
Different room: Louis Hall 119



Joint session with RTVF 575

MFA Thesis Seminar on Narrative



Tues. Feb 17  

Procedural painting
Unit 18

Thurs. Feb 19  

Unit 19


Tues. Feb 24  

Narrative and Narrative Theory

(Michelle Citron, RTVF)


Michelle's Films


Exercise 4 out, due Tuesday March 2

Thurs. Feb 26  

Hacking practicum

Code examples from class



Tues. March 2  


(Jill Wissmiller, RTVF)


Thurs. March 4  

High-level operations in the vector graphics language
Computational stained glass
Unit 20

Code examples from class


Exercise 5 out, due Tuesday March 9
Critiques of exercise 2 available on web server

Critique assignments for exercise 4 now available on web server (due Thursday March 11)


Tues. March 9  

Chance operations

Unit 21


Thurs. March 11  



Exercise 6 out, due Wednesday, March 17