VIS 149/ICAM 130

Fall 2006
Seminar in Contemporary Computer Topics:
"Chaos Never Died": Nonlinear Strategies in Recombinant Culture
Instructor: Tony Allard A.K.A Prophet of @ A.K.A. Toni La Bone
Time/Day/Place: 9:00 - 11:50 AM/Wednesday/VAF 228
Phone: 1-619-517-8696

Seminar in Contemporary Computer Topics:
"Chaos Never Died": Nonlinear Strategies in Recombinant Culture

Course Description
In this seminar nonlinear and rhizomatic strategies for cultural production within the context of recombinant culture will be theoretically and practically explored. We will explore the main seminar topics through readings, hypertextual writing, discussions, the creation of multi-media projects, conceptual aerobics, and panel debates at semester’s end. The readings for the course have been carefully chosen to expand your understanding of the main topics of the seminar and will serve as the base from which all your work stems. You will be required to read and write from a highly critical and analytical perspective, and you will also be required to participate fully in class discussions.

Course Requirements:

Hybrid Hypertext & Multi-media Projects
Each week you will respond to the assigned readings by creating a hybrid hypertext and a multi-media project, both of which will engage the main through lines of thought in the readings. Each week, the hypertextual writing and multi-media projects you produce will be subsequently connected to the following week’s hypertextual writing and multi-media project. The writing you will do must engage what Deleuze refers to as rhizomatic lines that continuously connect up with existing lines (in the readings) and also create new ones (which can be achieved through hyperlinks). The multi-media projects you produce must in some way be telematically linked or physically connected with your hybrid hypertext and can include, among other media: an interactive website, a time-based digital work which may include the use of locative media (such as a cell phone, or GPS), physical computing elements, an online performance, a site-specific installation, or a static work such as a drawing, painting, or printed images.

Each reading has been carefully chosen to create a thematic rhizome that will be launched into ‘perpetual becoming’ as a result of your reading and subsequent writing through the texts. Once put in the motion of becoming, your hypertext and the multi-media projects will have no beginning and no ending, but will be all ‘middle’. Throughout the semester each student will be called upon to respond to a specific reading, which you will do so by referencing your hypertext and your multi-media project. There will be a total of three reviews of your hybrid hypertext and Multi-media Projects.

Conceptual Aerobics
As the name suggests, Conceptual Aerobics is a combination of mental and physical actions that are intended to proactively engage you in theory and practice simultaneously. We will conclude each class with a series of "thought-rays"--actions that are designed to expand on the topic of the day. Each of the exercises are planned out, but will contain opportunities for spontaneous, rhizomatic, nonlinear, stochastic, chance-infused actions. Occasionally, you will be required to do a conceptual aerobics assignment outside of class, which will involve per formative actions and, occasionally, a response paper.

Final Project: panel debates
For your final project you will be part of a panel debate with your fellow students debating the pros and cons of using nonlinear, rhizomatic strategies for making art and cultural production. First, you will take a stance on the issue by making a written thesis statement. Once you have taken a stance, pro or con, you will conduct research to support your thesis and write a paper, You will reference this writing to defend/debate your point of view during the panel debates. In your writing, you must make reference to at least five of the articles on the reading list. Your writing must be linked to your hybrid hypertext, however, you will be required to hand in hard copy the day that your panel presents.

Materials Needed

> You will be required to purchase a standard three ring binder in which you will insert the loose leaf course reader (The three-ring binder is in essence a recombinant book).
>  One potato

Course Evaluation:
20% attendance, participation in discussions and Conceptual Aerobics
50% hybrid hypertext, projects, exercises
30% panel debates


You are expected to attend ALL classes on time and be prepared to fully participate. More than two absences will result in a failing grade. If you miss class, it is your responsibility to inform me of the reason for the absence and, also, find out what you missed and get caught up.

Week-to-Week Schedule
Seminar in Contemporary Computer Topics:
"Chaos Never Died": Nonlinear Structures in Recombinant Culture