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NM 438
Senior Capstone Project

Instructor: Curt Cloninger / curt at lab404 dot com

NM 438 is a capstone project for seniors. Students design, develop, and implement a long-term collaborative art project in media of their choosing that demonstrates in-depth understanding (both conceptually and technically) of new media. Prerequisite: one course from NM 310, 320 or 350.

Throughout the project's development, emphasis will be placed on the creative process itself. Students will be evaluated on their ability to: 1. execute, document, evaluate, and justify their decisions at given stages of the creative process; 2. give, receive, and act upon peer critique.

Additionally, students will be introduced to concepts in new media art; to historically accepted creative processes; and to various strategies, tools, templates, paradigms, and work habits used by leading artists and designers. Research, written response, and class discussion will supplement the major project development process.

The project phases and other assignments required in this class are time-intensive and require an average of 9 hours per week on the computer, either in a campus lab or on your own computer that contains the software used in the class.

Student Learning Objectives
In this course you will:
  • Work in a team to develop a large-scale new media project
  • Generate concepts based on research and intuition
  • Understand common themes and forms in new media art
  • Practice a historically accepted creative process
  • Justify the merits and identify the flaws of various creative approaches at given stages of the creative process
  • Understand the inherent strengths and weaknesses of any theoretical creative process
  • Identify personal creative strategies that optimize individual strengths and characteristics
  • Develop an aptitude for creating under conditions of high uncertainty
  • Improve technical software skills by creatively applying them to the specific project constraints
  • Identify ways in which innovative new media can contribute to positive social change

Assignments will explore the following subjects:
  • The nature and value of new media art and design
  • The origin of ideas
  • Differences between inspiration, imitation, and rip-off
  • Differences (and similarities) between art and design
  • Balancing the theoretical and the particular
  • Balancing research and intuition
  • Nurturing creativity

Required Materials:
Bulldog email account -- check regularly
Student web hosting space (for posting work)
flash drive, notebook or sketchbook, graph paper, pencils, and pens

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