Digital Imaging Studio Adv.

Course #ARTS-6966 Graduate

Kathleen Ruiz, Assistant Professor of Electronic Art & IT/Arts


phone: 518-276-2539

office: WH G5

office hours: Mondays 2:00 4:00 and by appointment

Digital Imaging Studio - This graduate studio course embarks on the exploration of the computer as an agent to augment and expand conceptualization and expression in art making. The techniques and principals of digital imaging are developed with an emphasis on conceptual, aesthetic and critical issues relating to content.


Prerequisite: Enrollment in the M.F.A. program or permission of the instructor.

Fall term annually 4 credit hours

You will undertake the creation of artworks which are inter-application and interdisciplinary based and many times may relate to your work in sound or video. Students learn to broaden their understanding of the medium and to expand their visual awareness. Inquiry and experimentation are encouraged leading towards a mastery of the skills and techniques needed to create visual art with electronic media. Basic techniques such as scanning and input, image processing, digital photomontage, printing and output to various venues such as the internet are acquired. In addition, an overview of animation and interactivity will be covered.

Short studies mastering these techniques lead to a student directed final project that may, if desired, be collaborative. The final project is a work that goes beyond the gimmicks of "computer art" towards making statements that resonate in depth, substance and meaning. Dialogue of timely issues is encouraged based on readings, videos, CD ROMs, and visits to galleries, museums, WWW sites, and alternative spaces.

Requirements & Evaluation:

Choose either Project based work or Assignment based work by signing Professor's log. Project Based work is for those students who are highly self directed and who have the necessary conceptual understanding and technical skill sets to pursue their midterm and final projects. Assignment based works are for those who need directed experimental small studies to help towards the realization of their final project. The goals are the same: the passage is somewhat different.

Project based:

Develop a body of three works based on a theme of your choice. These works are shown in class critiques either before or on the following dates:

Project # 1 SEPT 27 - experimentation / simple studies = 10%

Project # 2 OCT 25 - application to problem solving / mid term project = 30%

Project # 3 NOV 29 - Final Project - resonating critical feedback gained throughout the semester, with artist statement which expresses intent, methodology, & research references = 50%


Assignment based:

6 short studies at 6.7% each = 40%

Works to be presented to the instructor either before or on the following dates:

SEPT 27 - 3 short studies. (To be determined by student meetings with professor)

OCT 25- 3 short studies. (To be determined by student meetings with professor)

NOV 29 - Final Project with artist statement which expresses intent, methodology, & research references = 50%


Participation in discussions based upon class critiques, readings, gallery and museum visits. = 10%

Attendance at class and assigned gallery & museum shows.

Letter grade equivalents for the course are as follows:

90 - 100 A

80 - 89.99 B

70 - 79.99 C

60 - 69.99 D

0 - 59.99 F

If you are concerned about your work or grade at any point during the semester, please do not hesitate to contact me or schedule an appointment during office hours.

Academic Honesty:

Student relationships are built on mutual respect and trust. Students must be able to trust that their teachers have made responsible decisions about the structure and content of the course and that they are conscientiously making their best effort to help students learn. Teachers must be able to trust that students do their work conscientiously and honestly making their best effort to learn. Acts that violate this mutual respect and trust undermine the educational process. They counteract our very reason for being here at Rensselaer and will not be tolerated. Any student who engages in any form of academic dishonesty will receive an F in this course and will be reported to the Dean of Students for further disciplinary action. The Rensselaer Handbook defines various forms of Academic Dishonesty and procedures for responding to them. All of these forms are violations of trust between students and teachers. Please familiarize yourself with this portion of the handbook.

Studio Practice:

The class is designed to be a hands on studio atelier. Interchange of ideas and techniques is encouraged and is crucial to facilitate active experimentation, discovery-based learning and problem solving. It is hoped that the relationships formed during this class will foster a camaraderie of invention.

Gender-fair language: Because the way we speak and write affects the way we think, everyone in this course is expected to use gender-fair language in all discussions and writing. A guide to gender-fair language is available from the Writing Center and from the Library.

Required materials: An active RCS account and approximately three 100MB ZIP disks. Various output methodologies will be utilized in the realization of the work.

Tips: Always back-up your work frequently. That is, every time you make something you think is worth keeping. Systems crash when least expected and you could loose all your work. It is a good idea to make three backups (on different disks, tapes, cartridges, etc.), as storage media are sometimes unstable.

General: Please keep in mind that manuals are for use in class and lab. They are not to be removed. They are very useful as reference guides. Try not to batter or deface the equipment in any way or lose files and folders belonging to our class or other classes. Please report lab problems to me in class or to engineering staff at other times immediately via the Equipment Trouble Report System at:

By enrolling in this class you have card access to the following iEAR facilities: SAGE 2411 VAST (Visualization, Animation & Simulation Technology Studio), SAGE 2112 Seminar Room, The Multimedia Studio SAGE 1107, and Grad Graphics in DCC.

Please follow the guidelines for working in each studio very carefully, as you will be held personally responsible for problems you incur. * Always save onto your own storage media or into your personal account as files left on the hard drive will be removed. (Please get into the habit of cleaning your files off the hard drives after working.) Please follow the guidelines for working in each Studio very carefully as you will be held personally responsible for problems you incur. Always save onto your own portable media or in your account as files left on the hard drive will be removed.

Addictive Aspets: Also, please keep in mind the highly addictive aspects of working with computers. Many people lose track of time and later wonder why they have severe back, neck and eye problems. It is a good idea to take a rest every 15 to 20 minutes. Look up or beyond your computer or, better still, out at a long distance to relax your eyes. Take a walk or stretch. Fatigue can lead to frustration. Stay in touch with your body's needs. Working with computers can at times be frustrating. Before having a breakdown, take a break.


Short Studies




Expanded Reading List


Field Trips