Curriculum

Digital Media Arts curriculum Map

Course offerings

Foundations

These courses introduce theories, methods, processes and skills, relevant to the fields of media arts and design. Assignments and projects support both University-wide and Department-specific learning objectives.

This course positions digital media arts at the multidisciplinary intersection of art and media. Combining hands-on projects with readings and discussions, students will consider key concepts of new media and question the impact of these media on contemporary culture through creative production. Students will spend the semester studying and developing art projects in a range of digital forms: web pages, raster images, motion graphics, 3d images and prints, and interactive games.

Through a series of hands-on projects utilizing a variety of materials and methods, this course introduces students to the fundamental concepts of visual design: picture plane, figure/ground relationships, scale and proportions, pattern, composition, value, color, methods for conveying time and spatial illusion. In addition to introducing formal design strategies, the course examines issues of content and the historical/cultural context in which works of art are produced.

Studio

Studio courses are designed to reinforce your understanding of the theories, methods and procedures in specific media. Assignments and projects will require demonstrating such knowledge and continuing to build relevant skills.

Creative Coding is a beginning level programming class for artists and makers. Students learn to make dynamic, interactive, expressive applications using Processing, a programming language designed for artists. The course is designed for complete beginners, no previous programming experience is required.  Students develop skills through a sequence of creative assignments; coursework culminates in a major final project and exhibition. The course will also highlight groundbreaking work of artists using these kinds of programming tools and examine how the computer enables new forms of expression.

Technical vocabulary and required skills, parts of the camera, understanding camera controls and options, framing a shot, shooting successfully in different conditions. Participants will also gain knowledge of the history of the development of photography and practice in analyzing and critiquing photographic images.

This course is a hands-on workshop in the fundamentals of using digital video as an expressive time-based medium. By solving a series of creative challenges students will learn the basic properties of video form and master rudimentary technical skills required to shoot, edit, and finish HD video.

The course covers the process of research, ideation, digital concept development and final execution to deliver design solutions that follow rules and trends found in the study of graphic design. Students will study how a page/screen is “read” by a viewer, theories of design and emerging trends in graphic communication.

Web Design is a project-based course covering an overview of internet operations, hand-coding pages with HTML5/CSS3, utilizing an editor, optimizing media for web use, managing site materials, applying visual design principles to web products, analyzing interactive design and usability. Students spend the semester building a website with industry standard tools.

An overview of the development of digital animation as an artist’s tool, work flow processes in animation design and realization, software options and uses for digital animation, storyboard creation and constructing an animation sequence. Students will be working on a number of animation projects during the semester.

Students will gain fundamental electronics, programming, and design skills through breadboarding and soldering electronic circuits, interfacing sensors and actuators with microcontrollers, building multimedia software applications, and using digital fabrication to manufacture physical interfaces for their projects. Students will learn the fundamental terms, technologies, resources, and research practices necessary for developing novel and compelling digital artworks. Whenever possible, students will also work collaboratively with students in other classes, such as studio arts/sculpture.

Camera control in manual operations under different conditions, managing technically complex shots, effectively using lenses and filters. Image adjustment in Photoshop. History of recent developments in digital photography. Tutorials in analyzing and critiquing photographic work.

Students further develop artistry and production skills by producing their own short films. Class topics cover all stages of production from concept to final mix including: idea generation, scriptwriting, pre-production planning, lighting, shooting, editing, sound mixing, output compression and distribution. In addition, students study short film form by watching, analyzing, and discussing a wide variety of short films. Film production is a collaborative endeavor and students will develop collaborative skills by working in small teams to realize film projects. The class will consist of detailed demonstrations, hands-on practice, projects, readings, lectures, screenings, and critiques.

This is a studio-based project course in which students utilize their knowledge of design, typography, and production techniques to produce a portfolio of designed artifacts. The course combines seminar, critiques and lab production. It includes extensive development of design skills through critiques, practice articulating design concepts through peer evaluation, the application of effective design strategies and the study and discussion of design history.

 This is a project-based course in which students learn to harness the full power of HTML5 through the integration of three web technologies: HTML, CSS and Javascript. By building highly interactive web experiences, students learn the fundamentals of controlling visual appearance of the web page through JavaScript programming.  In addition, the course explores the basic principles of interactive design.

Topics include production (location) sound, Foley recording and editing, dialog recording and editing, sound effects (SFX) design, sound design, automated dialog replacement (ADR), music editing, microphone and recording techniques, synchronization, working with clients, and production workflow. Special emphasis will be placed on sound design tools and techniques, including MIDI, synthesis, and sampling.

Students further develop artistry and production skills by producing their own short films. Class topics cover all stages of production from concept to final mix including: idea generation, scriptwriting, pre-production planning, lighting, shooting, editing, sound mixing, output compression and distribution. In addition, students study short film form by watching, analyzing, and discussing a wide variety of short films. Film production is a collaborative endeavor and students will develop collaborative skills by working in small teams to realize film projects. The class will consist of detailed demonstrations, hands-on practice, projects, readings, lectures, screenings, and critiques.

This is a studio-based project course in which students utilize their knowledge of design, typography, and production techniques to produce a portfolio of designed artifacts. The course combines seminar, critiques and lab production. It includes extensive development of design skills through critiques, practice articulating design concepts through peer evaluation, and the application of effective design strategies.

Students will work with the instructor to conceptualize and produce collaborative and independent audio projects. Topics include production (location) sound, Foley recording and editing, dialog recording and editing, sound effects (SFX) design, sound design, automated dialog replacement (ADR), music editing, microphone and recording techniques, mixing, and production workflow. Special emphasis will be placed on sound design tools and techniques, including MIDI, synthesis, and sampling.

Additional Courses

Additional courses help situate the foundations and studio coursework within broader contexts of student’s academic work in the university (interconnected electives), critical theory (Critical Digital Media Theory) and the world of work (internship). The Senior Seminar course serves as a capstone studio course in which students plan and build and exhibit a major digital art work.

Interconnected Electives

Interconnected electives are a way to explore classes from other departments that will allow you to combine gather knowledge and skills out of the digital media arts classroom. These courses are for you to choose and consult with your advisor.

Theory

Whatever 21st century technologies – or human reactions to them – are most scandalous or interesting when the class meets, which are studied via current scholarship in the digital humanities, drawing primarily from the traditions of rhetoric, media, and cultural theory.

LEAP and Internship Opportunities

Internships are a great way to test career interests, build professional skills, earn credit and fulfill the Hamline Plan Liberal Education as Practice (LEAP) requirement. Students are encouraged to participate in two internships over the course of their time at Hamline: an exploratory, entry-level internship as early as their sophomore year and another internship to further career development in the junior or senior year.

Senior Seminar

In this course each student synthesizes technical and critical learning in the discipline through the realization of a major media art project and its exhibition. On completion of the project, students compose a reflective analysis of the realized project and discuss their work with a faculty committee.

Portfolio reviews

All DMA majors are required to undergo a portfolio review in their third year and again prior to completing their senior project. Portfolio reviews are a normal part of any arts-based education program. The purpose of a portfolio review is to help you improve your work and realize your creative and professional goals through feedback from DMA faculty. Reviews will be help remotely via Google Meet. Instructions for signing up will be emailed to you during spring term.

Your portfolio review will:

  • Help you learn how to discuss your work and understand how it fits into the historical and contemporary media arts landscape
  • Allow you to receive direct feedback from your professors
  • Help you develop a strong senior project idea
  • Guide you towards your creative & professional goals

Reviews will last 30 minutes total. You will present your creative work during the first 20 minutes, which will be followed by 10 minutes of questions and discussion. To stay on schedule, your presentation must not exceed 20 minutes, so please practice your presentation ahead of time. During discussion you will receive feedback from faculty outlining improvement areas and suggestions for resources, further research, senior project development, etc.

Please arrive 5 minutes prior to your scheduled time-slot.

You will assemble what you consider to be your best creative work (no more than 10 pieces). The work you choose should represent your skills, growth, and areas of interest as an artist. Then you will prepare a ten-minute presentation in which you discuss your work. Your presentation must address all the following points:

  • Give a brief background on your creative interests and practice
  • Describe the creative work you’re doing
  • Explain the themes, issues, and ideas your work explores and why
  • Explain what and/or who influences or inspires your work; give specific names/examples
  • What are your strongest/weakest skills and how will you apply/improve them?
  • Provide an overview of your final project proposal from ENG 3710 and how it may inform your senior thesis project
  • What do you plan to work on in the future and how you plan to reach new goals?

The work you choose should be displayed at the highest possible quality. For example, if you are displaying digital prints they should be high resolution (not compressed). Same goes for video and audio files; video should be displayed in HD and audio files should be presented in a lossless format. Your work will be presented digitally via Google Meet so you should prepare a slideshow, PDF, or website portfolio that you can easily share with DMA faculty. Physical media (such as sculpture) should be presented as documentation (video/audio).