Artists in Cyberspace



Course Syllabus


Fall Semester 2002



Instructor:                      Phillip Bensaid               415.370.6295

John Sappington            415.577.0807


Class Schedule:            Lecture – Monday          1-3:45 pm – 4:15 – 7 pm





Artists in Cyberspace  focuses on the technical, aesthetic, and critical skills integral to the creation and interpretation of internet art. Through the writings of artists, scientists, and theorists, and the work of contemporary net artists, we will examine issues surrounding Internet culture: its history, evolution, and impact on art, society, and the human condition. Central to this study will be the identification of trends, issues, and key concepts critical to our understanding of the emerging contemporary net culture. The course will also focus on design strategies, tools and applications used in website production. We will apply this technique to the creation of new forms that are net-specific, as well as those that bridge virtual and physical space. Students are expected to produce net projects, a home page/on-line portfolio, independently research and critique net artworks, engage in class discussion and participation in the online forum in which they will collaboratively record their reflections on the issues presented.







Students are required to obtain some form of storage media.

·        100/250MB Zip disk

·        ReWritable/Writable CD’s


Students are required to have an e-mail account. Email communication will be essential to participation in this class. Assignment grades, class progress, and general class announcements will be reported via e-mail.




50% of student grades will be based on class participation.  Students must attend class in order to effectively participate.


30% of student grades will be based on the completion of assigned exercises.  These exercises will not be graded for skill or content, but will be checked only for completion.  Incomplete assignments will be considered undone.   Grades will correspond to the percentage of exercises completed as follows.


95 – 100% completed          A

90 – 94% completed            B

85 – 89% completed            C

80 – 84% completed            D


20% of student grades will be determined by averaging grades on three evaluative class assignments and one final exam.




Students are expected to attend all of every class meeting unless they have received prior permission from the instructor. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class meeting. Anyone absent when attendance is taken will be assumed absent from the class.   If you are late to class it is your responsibility to make sure your attendance is acknowledged by talking to the instructor. 


If a student misses three weeks of class without being excused, it can be assumed that the student is intending to drop the class.  Because this class meets only once a week that means three absences will be grounds for the instructor to drop you from the class. 


If you are intending to drop the class, it is your responsibility to drop the class.  You should not assume that the instructor will automatically drop you because of absences.  If you stop attending classes, you do not drop the class, and the instructor has not dropped you from the class; the instructor may be required to give you a grade of F for the class.






Artists in Cyberspace



Course Schedule

(subject to change)


Fall Semester 2002

Class web site:



Week 1 (8/26)           Faculty/Student Introductions,

overview of course and class resources. In-lab assignment. Notes: introductions, pass out forms/syllabus, review postings, comment on postings, sign up to rhizome and redproject, assigned readings (in-class for discussion and as assignments)


Week 2 (9/2)             Labor Day Holiday – No Class


Week 3 (9/9)             1.1 The internet as network.

Notes: commincation theory. Alternative transports (ICQ, Pings…)

2.1 What is HTML? Where does it come from?

Basic page structure. Hand written coding experiment.


Week 4 (9/16)           HTML applied, One week HTML Exercise


Week 5 (9/23)           Review work Media Types

1.1 Overview (gif, jpg, streaming audio/video, mp3, wmp, mov)

2.1 Compression, compression, compression

One week HTML with Media Applied Exercise


Week 6 (9/30)           Review HTML/Media Types applied, intro to DHTML

1.1 Media, time based and automated capture (i.e. sureveillance)

2.1 Guest: Richard Reinhardt


Week 7 (10/7)           Net Authoring (creating art intended for the internet).

Assign a two week project

1.1 Lee Montgomery

2.1 Linear/Non-linear narrative


Week 8 (10/14)         Review/refine projects

1.1 Review in session lab

Guest: George Legrady

2.1 Review in session lab



Week 9 (10/21)         Mid Semester review

Outline BIG project

Assign project plans



Week 10 (10/28)       Review project proposals

1.1 Communities

2.1 Dynamic publishing


Data collection and display

Guest: Bob Kissinger/Nick Mealy



Week 11 (11/4)         To be determined

In class review/lab time


Week 12 (11/18)       1.1 Guest: Lynn Hershmann

Artificial intelligence, virtual reality


Week 13 (11/25)       Fall Break – No Class


Week 14 (12/2)         Issues of Authorship:

Copyright Appropriation, collaboration, violation

Paul Klein


Week 15 (12/9)         To be determined

In class review/lab time


Week 16 (12/16)       Final Presentations & Critique

JS and PB present


Artists in Cyberspace






Email Address:


Technical Proficiency(circle all that apply):







programming (any)


Net Authoring Experience:







What would you like to gain from this class?







Additional Comments: