Credits: 5

Schedule: 18.09.2018 - 29.11.2018

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

I-II 2018-2019

III-IV 2019-2020

Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

This course uses the computer as the mediating tool for engaging in production, post-production, appropriation, re-mixing, and distributing creative works of digital images. The objectives for the course is two-fold:

1. Participants will learn the skills and techniques to input, create, and manipulate images in Photoshop. Participants will learn all of the basic Photoshop tools and begin to delve into the more advanced functions for complex editing.

2. Participants will engage in readings, writing and discussions about how we are already thoroughly immersed and inundated with such practices and are unconsciously conditioned to the production and circulation of digitally manipulated images. By opening pathways for participants to actively interact with and create within these modes of image production, this course will create new lines of inquiry and reflection that critically engage with vital ethical questions of image and media literacy, which is more relevant now more than ever in this post-truth era.

Participants will be expected to develop the following technical and conceptual skills as the semester progresses:
• Creatively communicate ideas through digital art.
• Demonstrate an understanding of tools and techniques used to create digital art.
• Display ability to create visually and conceptually compelling imagery.
• Gain ability to articulate digital art concepts during discussions and critiques.

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Activities will include creating Instagram and Tumblr accounts that will allow us to interact with one another in various ways, as well as connect with extended communities beyond the classroom through our work. Each participant (including myself) will create new accounts and we will follow each other to share images, memes, and comments related to the content of the course. This allows for all participants to bring personal interests into the overall discourse of the course, and reciprocally, it allows us to circulate our work and ideas into the social media environments beyond the class. The students do not have to identify their names through their accounts if they are concerned about privacy. However the class participants will know whose account belongs to whom for the purposes of in-class and out-of-class of discussion as part of the participation of the course.

There will be several mini-assignments that develop basic tools for editing and manipulating, as well as short writing and reading exercises that will contextualize the learning experience through contemporary art, as well as the ethics and politics of images and media in contemporary culture. These assignments will each have various relevant conceptual components that align with the dialogues through the readings, conversations, and presentations as part of the course curriculum.

There will also be three larger-scale Photoshop assignments which will follow the three major themes of the course:
1. Personal (Posthuman) Narratives: Self portrait collage of how technology effects your everyday life (introducing basic PSD tools)
2. Social Media Collectivity: Production of work that explores the impact of social media on society and culture (intermediate PSD tools)
3. Post-Digital Landscapes: Exploring how the notion of 'landscape' has been evolving into a virtual or digital space (advanced PSD tools)

Finally there will be a major final project that is up to the student to determine the theme of the work. The student is expected to incorporate all of the skills and tools learned throughout the semester to complete a polished work or series of works as a culmination of the course. Each student's final project will be first presented as an idea which will "workshopped" both online and offline with the class and even the greater social media-sphere to refine the conceptual and technical focus of the project.

All four major assignments will be accompanied by a one-page written statement (like an artist statement), and the work will be presented to the class and distributed on the Instagram and Tumblr feeds. The class will offer feedback during the presentations, and I will offer detailed written feedback when grading the assignments.

Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Assessment is based on the effort put into the in-class mini-exercises, as well as the effort and development of technical and creative skills through the major assignments (the work of which is produced both during class time and outside of the class sessions).
Assessment is also based on class participation, such as discussing the course readings and contributing to the dialogues in presenting works and offering feedback on classmates' works.

Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

In-class instruction and mentored in-class work on assignments: 60 h
Independent work hours on readings, writing and assignments: 54 h
Personal time to reflect: 21 h
Most of the assignments will be completed during class sessions. This is to allow for the instructor to guide participants through the technical and conceptual processes in class. Additional time is allowed for work to be completed outside of the class session.

Study Material (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

There are no textbooks to purchase for this course: reading materials will be provided as PDFs.
Participants must have access to a computer or computer lab outside of class that has Photoshop installed.
Participants will be given a list of labs throughout campus that have Photoshop-installed on their computers.
Participants may subscribe to Photoshop via Adobe Creative Cloud for installation on their personal computers for a monthly rate.

Prerequisites (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Grading Scale (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Registration for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Further Information (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

UWAS course selection criteria: Registration order is not the primary selection criteria for this course. In order to ensure that students from different programs and schools of Aalto University may take UWAS courses, the selection is also based on the variety of students' disciplines. Master's students are also welcome.


Registration and further information