Monday 2:30 - 6:20 PM, Room 1P-231, Spring 2011
Prof. Michael Mandiberg
Office Hours: Monday, 1:00-2:30, Tuesday 2:15-2:45, Friday 11:00-12:00
Office: Room 224F, ph 982-2555
Please sign up for a meeting to insure that I will be able to meet with you.
Course website: 351.00mm.org
From the Handbook
An advanced creative, practical, and theoretical study of digital imaging as it is used in visual communication. Students will enhance their understanding of design and visual practice through thematic digital imaging assignments. Technical topics include advanced features of hardware and software and digital camera use. Theoretical concerns focus on the evolution of digital imagery, digital photography, and representation.
This course will be focused around several interrelated themes theme. The first two assignments are focused on attribution, appropriation and collections of images. The middle assignments are all about impossibilities, fakes and simulations. The first and last assignments are dedicated to work for the greater good. All of this work is directed towards impacts outside of our classroom: we will turn course assignments into two edited photobooks, and other assignments will add to Commons based web platforms like Flickr and Wikipedia.
We will use blackboard extensively to carry on discussions outside of class. While the focus of the course is the production of directed creative work, there are theoretical and historical readings that will help ground your creative work in a context.
- Students will develop advanced digital imaging and compositing skills.
- Students will gain intermediate to advanced level aesthetic and compositional skills for digital imaging.
- All student projects will be suitable for inclusion in a student portfolio.
- Complete projects on time
- Participate in class discussions, and class critique
- Come to class prepared: do all reading before hand
- Maintain an email account, and browse the web
- Attend field trips
COM 250 and 251.
Materials and Texts
Review Text: For review of concepts and skills covered in COM 251, please use the textbook you used in that course (e.g. Adobe Photoshop Classroom in a Book). You may also use the Digital Foundations book or wiki.
Text: Martin Evening, Adobe Photoshop CS3 for Photographers, Focal Press, ISBN 978-0240520285, retail $46.95. You may also use the CS4 version.
Materials and Supplies: USB thumb drive (provided)
Laptops: If you are planning on using a laptop, get it connected to the Wireless network.
If you have a disability that will affect your coursework, please contact the Office of Disability Services in 1P-101; (718) 982.2510, ODS@csi.cuny.edu and notify the instructor within the first two weeks of class to ensure suitable arrangements and a comfortable working environment.
- Turn your phone off. Each and every use of phone or non-class related electronic communication during class will result in a 1 point grade reduction.
- No food allowed in class or lab at any time.
- No private software is to be brought to lab or loaded onto school computers.
- No games are allowed in lab.
- You may only listen to music during work periods if you use headphones.
- Do not even think about listening to music during lecture/critique, you will be asked to leave the class.
Please be aware that technological failures such as printer errors, erased drives, email issues, computer crashes, network failure, viruses, etc. are not emergencies, they are facts of life. You must structure your workflow in anticipation of such scenarios. Backup, backup, backup! You have been warned.
Please consult the syllabus and/or the related assignment before posing questions that may already be addressed there (i.e. due dates, scope, deliverable, etc)
If your question will take more than two minutes or two sentences to answer, it's not a question, it's a discussion topic. Please bring the topic up in class, or I would be happy to discuss it with you during my office hours.
Emails will not be answered immediately or in the depth that they would in-person. Consequently, they are not the most productive way to communicate with me for matters that require more than a sentence or two to resolve.
Read this post on Design Educator for more on writing a good email
We will be covering a great deal of information at a fast pace, so attendance is a strong determinant of your grade: without attending you will not have the knowledge necessary to successfully complete your assignments, as you will have missed thematic and technical lectures, as well as the presentation of class assignments. Furthermore, College of Staten Island Attendance Policy states that after more than 8 hours of absence (15 percent of the course meeting time) you will be assigned a WU (withdrew unofficially).
Repeated tardiness will be cause for grade reduction: first tardiness is excused, all others result in a 1 point deduction. Perfect attendance will be rewarded with 3 extra credit points. If you know that you will be absent on a date that a project is due, you may submit your work before the deadline or arrange to have another student submit work for you.
Projects are due on the assigned date, at the beginning of class. NO EXCEPTIONS. Each day it is late your grade will be reduced one incremental letter grade. Assignments will not be accepted after one week from the date due without prior approval from the professor.
You are required to revise projects by the date indicated in the syllabus. Finished projects turned in on time will be assigned the grade for the revised project; projects that were incomplete at the original due date will be assigned an average of the two grades.
Online Participation 5 points
Help out 5 points
Flickr to Wikipedia 5 points
Collections 10 points
Impossible Spaces 5 points
Frankensteins 10 points
Perfection 10 points
Accumulation 15 points
Final project 25 points
Book 1 Mandatory
Book 2 Mandatory
We will be assembling 2 book portfolios for the course. The first one will be based off project 2, and the second will be based off of projects 3, 4, 5, and 6. These projects are mandatory, and will not be graded, as the quantity and quality of your own work included will be evaluated elsewhere.
Ambient Assignment: Help Out (5 points):
Patrol Sparked.com for ways to contribute, and post your activity back to blackboard.
Assignment 1: Flickr to Wikipedia (5 points):
Assignment 2: Collections, Taxonomies, Specimens (10 points)
Make 2 collections of images that have a symbolic, chromatic, or typological relationship. One collection will be made up found images from outside of Flickr, and the other will be images found inside Flickr. We will make a book from these images.
Assignment 3: Impossible Spaces (5 points)
Using photomerge with an understanding of architectural perspective correction, we will photograph and composite one large expansive image of many photographs of a very small space.
Assignment 4: Frankensteins (10 points)
Make one body from many parts.
Assignment 5: Perfection (10 points)
Retouch a famous/historical image into magazine-cover-ready perfection. In particular, choose an image whose roughness defines its historical importance, and remove that roughness via retouching and recoloring.
Assignment 6: Accumulation (15 points)
Keeping in mind the history of collage, constructivism, collage, and political protest, you will create a large (16 x 20 inch) collage. This college will achieve its effect via the accumulation of many many parts which you will composite together. We will print this at full size on the large format printer.
Final Project: Wikipedia Illustrations (25 points)
I will be announcing events/exhibitions/performances/etc in Manhattan throughout the semester. I will award 2 points extra credit for attendance at these events. You will prove to me that you went by turning in your ticket stub or collecting a press release AND writing a one paragraph review of the event/show. I will give up to 8 points extra credit for this. Also included in this category is attendance at any one of the following museums: MOMA (you get in free), MOMA film (you get in free with your CUNY ID), PS1, The New Museum, The Metropolitan Museum, The Whitney, The Guggenheim, The Cooper Hewitt, The Museum of Arts and Design, or any other major art museum. For those in two of my classes, please note that an individual event/museum can only be 'applied' to your grade in one of these two classes.
Week 1. January 31
Thematic introduction to the course: Fakes, Simulations, Forgeries and Impossibilities
Non-graded class assessment/placement exam, and pre-evaluation
Technical Review Part 1: Resolution, file size, resizing, non destructive editing
Discussion and assignment of first project: Flickr to Wikipedia
Homework: Project 1, Flickr to Wikipedia
Reading: Digital Foundations Chapter 2, Searching and Sampling http://wiki.digital-foundations.net/index.php?title=Chapter_2_Sandbox
Review Reading: Digital Foundations or Photoshop CIB on resolution, masks, adjustment layers, Bridge, cropping, file formats and save for web
Week 2. February 7
Due: Project 1
Images online: searching and sampling
Technical Review Part 2: Bridge, file formats, save for web, cropping, masking, using a digital camera
Tech Demo: Flickr
Homework: Project 2, Collections, Taxonomies, Specimens
Reading: Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
Reading: Photoshop for Photographers Chapter 7, Image Retouching 312-334 (Cloning, and Patch Tool), 348-353 (Vanishing Point); Chapter 8 410-411 (Photomerge), 496-497 Lens Correction
Week 3. February 14
Due: Project 2.1 (online collections)
Critique: Project 2
Principles of photography and image composition
Tech Demo: Photomerge. Perspective correction, Free transformation
Homework: Project 3, Impossible Spaces
Reading: Photoshop for Photographers Chapter 6, Fine-tuned Image Corrections 291-310.
WEDNESDAY February 23
Due: Project 2.2 (.tif layout of collections for book)
Due: Project 3
Critique: Project 3
Lab: book layout discussion, image sequence
Lecture: images, bodies, and body image
Homework: Project 4, Frankensteins
Reading: Photoshop for Photographers Chapter 7, Image Retouching 334-347
Week 5. February 28
Due: Project 4
Due: Project 3 revisions
Tech Demo: Retouching I: Hiding blemishes
Homework: begin work on Project 5, Perfection
Reading: Photoshop for Photographers Chapter 8, Layers, Selections and Masking 355-366, Lens Blur 482-485,
Reading: Susan Sontag, In Plato's Cave (from On Photography)
Week 6. March 7
Due: Project 4 revisions
Guest Lecture: David Horvitz
Tech Demo: Retouching II: Stylization
Homework: Finish Project 5
Reading: Photoshop for Photographers Chapter 8, Layers, Selections and Masking 367-388, 494-495
Week 7. March 14
Due: Project 5
Tech Demo: Compositing workshop, Blend Modes, Sitting things down with shadows, color adjustments for compositing
Homework: Begin work on Project 6, Accumulation
Reading: Photoshop for Photographers 225-267
Reading: reading on History of Dada collage TBD
Week 8. March 21
Due: Project 5 revisions
Tech Demo: Camera RAW
Homework: Continue work on Project 6
Reading: Photoshop for Photographers TBD
Week 9. March 28
Due: Project 6
Guest Lecture: Chad Kellogg
Tech Demo: Printing Large, color profiles
Reading: “Puppet Masters” a Dialogue between Kenneth Tinkin Hung and Cliff Evans
Homework: Finish Project 6
Reading: Photoshop for Photographers 498-507 Liquify and Warp.
Week 10. April 4
Due: Project 6
Critique: Project 6
Homework: revisions to Project 6, any further revisions to project 3-6 before book layout
Reading: Photoshop for Photographers TBD
Week 11. April 11
Due: Project 6 revisions, any further revisions to projects 3-6
Guest Lecture: Joel Holmberg
Lab: layout workshop for Final Group Project
Lab: group image edit
Final Project Assigned
Homework: work on Final Project
NO CLASS APRIL 18
NO CLASS APRIL 25
Week 12. May 2
Due: first two WP Illustration roughs
Desk Critique: roughs
Homework: 2 finished drafts Final Project
Week 13. May 9
Due: first 2 WP Illustrations, second two WP Illustration roughs
Desk Critique: finished drafts and roughs
Week 14. May 16
Due: Final Project, all 4 Wikipedia Illustrations
Critique: Final Project
Final Exam. May 23.
Due: Final Project revisions
We will be assembling 2 book portfolios for the course. The first one will be based off of project 2, and the second will be based off of projects 3, 4, 5, and 6. These will be significant portfolio pieces for all of you to take to other contexts (jobs and internship applications, proof for your parents that you learned something, etc). We will be assembling them on blurb.com as a group. These books will be image centric, and light on text. Only work with a grade of B or above will be included in the book; you must have made revisions suggested in critique for a work to be included in the book. This project is mandatory, and will not be graded, as the quantity and quality of your own work included will be evaluated elsewhere. Description of requirements will be included in the related assignments below.
Sparked.com is a site for Not For Profit (NFP) organizations to solicit micro-volunteers to help them with a range of specialized tasks. One of the things they ask help for involves the kind of expertise you have, including design, imaging, web design, and social networking consultation. Your job is to create an account and patrol Sparked for ways to contribute. This is beneficial to you as well, as you have the potential to create materials suitable for a portfolio. While you may not be able to complete the entirety of the task they are requesting help for, (I believe they have to select your response for you to do further work,) you can provide help by these smaller contributions
- Request further information.
- Vote on other people's comments/suggestions.
- Add your own comments/suggestions.
- Propose solutions to their design/web problems
You should keep an eye out to identify suitable requests that the class as a whole could attempt. If your proposal is selected, you should create the materials and designs.
Post all of your activity back to blackboard.
At the end of the semester, you will post a self-evaluation of your work on Sparked.com to the blackboard site, identifying your contributions, and the ways in which those contributions have impacted the design problem proposed by the organizations.
You will find an appropriately Creative Commons licensed image on Flickr (CC BY or CC BY-SA) and import it into Wikimedia Commons, and place it onto at least one Wikipedia Page for which it could help illustrate. Choose a subject in the field of design, digital media, and new media art. For example, you could find a photograph of John Maeda or his work on Flickr, and add it to the two photographs on Wikimedia Commons, and then include that on his Wikipedia page. Except, because this is the demonstration example, you can't use John Maeda, but you can start by looking at one of these lists of new media artists, contemporary artists, designers, fashion designers, You will have to do a significant amount of research for this project, many of these will be dead ends, but this is part of the research process.
By the end of this project you should be able to:
- Understand Creative Commons license types, and their relationship to Free Culture
- Understand Fair Use, its relationship to freedom of speech, and why images reliant on Fair Use are allowed on the English Wikipedia, but not other Wikipedia sites, nor on Wikimedia Commons.
- Have a user account on Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons
- Be able to upload images to Wikimedia Commons from Flickr, using the
- Be able to make basic edits to Wikipedia using BBCode
1. Learn a little bit about Free Culture:
- What are the four fundamental freedoms?
- What is a Creative Commons license, and what do the BY, SA, NC, and ND clauses mean?
- What does "freely licensed" mean?
- Why is Wikipedia CC BY-SA licenced, and why does this mean that only CC BY and CC BY-SA licensed images can be included?
- What is Fair Use, and why are images that rely on this exemption to copyright law not allowed on some localizations of Wikipedia, but not on Wikimedia Commons?
2. Find a freely licensed image
- Refer to the Finding images tutorial
- Use the Free Image Search Tool (be sure to unselect Wikimedia Commons as an image source) or the CC BY or CC BY-SA search functions on Flickr.
- Use the Wikipedia's lists of new media artists, contemporary artists, designers, fashion designers as a starting point for your searches.
- Check to see if those images are already on the Wikimedia Commons
3. Move that image from Flickr (or another source) to the Wikimedia Commons
- Use the Upload Image tool to move your image from Flickr to Wikimedia Commons
- Input your user name and the url of the image file on the first page (image here)
- Add categories on the second page (image here)
- The third page is a little confusing. First you have to click on the "save page" button at the bottom of the page, then you click on the "click this link" to complete the upload. (image here)
4. Add that image to at least one Wikipedia page
- For reference see the official Wikipedia tutorial, the page edit guide and the image editing tutorial.
- Practice first on the Sandbox
- Your BBCode will look something like this:
[[Image:filename.jpg|thumb|alt=hover text|caption including [[links]].]]
5. Post these links to blackboard:
- Source image (on Flickr)
- Image on Wikimedia Commons
- Image on the Wikipedia page
6. Watch that page on Wikipedia and on Wikimedia Commons. To watch the page, click the star at the top right. More on watching pages here.
7. Return to the page and image in a week, and note any changes.
8. Return to the page periodically during the class, and again at the end of the class. At the end of class you will be asked to write a short description of any events that happened to the image or the page during this time. These may include the removal of your image from the WP page or the WMC entirely, the inclusion of your image on other WP pages, or edits to your image or the text caption.
Make 2 collections of at least 15 images each. Each collection should share one symbolic, chromatic, or typological theme, and the two collections should also bear some relationship to each other. One collection will be made up found images from outside of Flickr that are freely licensed; this will be a "set" and you will tag all of these images. The other collection will be made up of other people's freely licensed images from inside of Flickr that you curate into a "Gallery." See these Flickr FAQ pages for more on tagging, how to use the organizr for managing sets, and how to create galleries.
Some strategies and themes you might consider:
- Quantity: amassing enough of anything will make it interesting or powerful
- Color: if you collect all objects that are a specific color or visual characteristic (e.g. B+W, compression artifacts, etc), it builds comparisons between very different things by virtue of their chromatic sameness
- Type: if you collect things of the same type, we start to see the differences between these same object-types.
- Low vs High: if you take things that are not considered culturally significant (e.g. detritus from Internet pages, photographs of women eating salad, or clip art of devils) and treat them in a dignified manner, it gives you the opportunity to present a case for the actual significance of these low forms.
- Form vs Content: All of these images have a form, and they have meaning/content associated with that form. Consider the meaning you are playing with. Consider the way in which you are matching one or both of these. If you match images by form, does content diverge or converge?
- Edges: are you using images with square borders, or images with variegated borders on white backgrounds, or both?
By the end of this project you should be able to:
- Upload, tag, and organize images on Flickr
- Think critically about the social and political role of collections
- Understand the role of repetition, difference, order and rhythm in the visual construction of a collection
- Relate historical processes of collection of objects to contemporary forms of digital and physical collection
- Understand the role of fair use in this context (see this image for an example.)
- Open Clip Art Library
- Icon sets, such as this one
- Free Image Search Tool
- Flickr Creative Commons search
- Flickr Commons
- Wikimedia Commons
- Specimen trays in Natural History Museums of Insects, Minerals, Teeth, Arrow Heads, etc
- Type specimens and photographs of signage
- Berndt and Hilla Becher's images of industrial architecture (description here)
- August Sander, People of the 20th Century.
- Galton and Bertillon and the scientific racism of anthropometry, as discussed in Allen Sekula's The Body and the Archive
- Craphound Zine
- Ed ruscha's early books, including "Every Building on the Sunset Strip" and "26 Gas Stations."
- Jenny Odell's google earth composites of swimming pools, parking lots, and ships.
- Marisa Olson's IMG_FAN installed in a gallery here.
- NasyNets.com a "surf club"
- Kate Bingaman Burt, 500 Worst Passwords
- Penelope Umbrico, Suns from Flickr, and Broken Sets (eBay)
- Shana Moulton, Squiggles, Trees, Ribbons and Spirals: My Collection of Women’s Health, Beauty and Support Group Logos as the Stages of Life in Semi-Particular Order
- Kevin Bewersdorf, Stock Photography Watermarks as the Presence of God
- Michael Mandiberg, FDIC Insured
- Chris Beckman and Billy Rennekamp, Oops (video)
- Kim Jong Il Looking at Things
- Edith Zimmerman, Women Laughing Alone with Salad
- Abe Sauer, The Best of Sexual Harassment Stock Photography
We will make a book from the images in your collections. The book will be made on Blurb.com. The size will be 7" x 7" paperback, in the "Elegant" style, which means borders are automatically included. You will each have one spread (two facing pages). You will turn in two 6" x 6" files at print resolution (300 DPI) saved as .jpg or .png (Blurb does not accept Tiff files). Bring your files to class, and we will upload and configure the book together.
Your assignment is to create a frankenstein body. You are to join at least 5 different bodies or body parts to form one larger body. This assignment is open ended to allow you to explore and be creative. Your goal is to create a work that clearly is unreal, rather than a work that hides its falseness.
Contrast and surprise are going to be key tools for this; for example, instead of putting a normal-bodied celebrity onto the body of a thinner model in a way that looks realistic, flip the situation start with an normal to overweight body, and composite a model's head and/or arms/legs onto that body. Engage with contrasting body types, skin colors, genders, ages, etc.
You can also aim for impossibility and surreality, by adding too many limbs, eyes, or fingers or by turning human forms into non-human outputs. For example, imagine a hand with hands at the end of each of those fingers (and hands at the end of those fingers...?) Or imagine that same idea of hands coming out of hands as a tree. Or turn it upside down and make a spider out of it.
In all of this, I want you to think about the meaning of the image you are creating. What is its thesis? What is it saying?
You will turn in a 10 x 16 inch phaser print on 11 x 17 paper and trim the image down to its 10.5 x 16 inch borders. You will upload to blackboard a jpg saved at 1200px wide, and turn in a full res psd at the start of class. The image will need to be 300 DPI.
focused on unintentional frankensteins and other misrepresentations of reality
- Photoshop Disasters Blog
- Dove Evolution
- Britney Spears before/after
- Celebrities before/after
- More cover images before/after
- Katy Perry before/after
- More Photoshop disasters
- Megan Fox before/after
- Audrina before/after
- Analog markup of vintage playboy
- Kimora's body double
- Hosni Mubarek on the runway
- US Soldiers
- Iranian Missles
- Decapitated Heads on advertisements
- Aziz and Cucher's skin portraits
- Evan Roth's Detouch
Take an historical portrait and retouch it to look "perfect." Start with an image from the commons from an historical event/period/person; it needs to be from *before* photoshop, so really anything before 1990 could potentially work. Ideally the image should in color, and not in black and white. The more historically recognizable it is, the better. It should be from the commons, meaning it can come from Wikimedia Commons, Flickr Commons, or from Flickr if it is CC BY or CC BY-SA licensed; I think that what we are doing is not transformative enough to trigger fair use doctrine.
Begin your search from Wikimedia Commons by catetory, or search directly for a person. You may also look through the featured images in the people category. You can also use Flickr to search for CC BY and CC BY-SA images for living people, such as these images of the Dalai Lama.
You will use all of the retouching tricks you have learned, in order to make the image more "perfect" than reality. You will use the following: spot healing brush, healing brush, color correction and enhancement, hue/saturation, blend modes, liquify. The Facial Scrub and Foundation Makeup tutorials may be useful. You will want to use the techniques described in the "glamour glow" tutorial and the corresponding skin selection tutorial, as well as eye color adjustment techniques. The 1940s black and white portrait tutorial will be useful, if only for its pseudo-depth-of-field trick from the blurred background.
The image should be at least 1200px on the largest dimension. The maximum size is 2400px on the largest dimension. You should not have to size up your image. You will turn in an untrimmed phaser print on 8.5 x 11 paper at 300 DPI. You will upload to blackboard a jpg saved at 1000px wide, and turn in a full res psd at the start of class.
Keeping in mind the history of collage, constructivism, collage, and political protest, you will create a large (16 x 20 inch) collage. Your theme for this project is open, under the general category of fakes, forgeries, and lies.
This college will achieve its effect via the accumulation of many many parts which you will composite together. We will print this at full size on the large format printer.
You will make a creative brief, with a description of the work, what it aims to achieve, with a sketch and sample images. Take Ryan Trecartin's brief as an example to work from. Your creative brief, with all of your source images is due next week. A draft composition is due the following week, uploaded to blackboard at 1200px wide and placed on the instructor machine as a full resolution.psd. The following week the final prints are due.
Some of the visual references to improvise upon include:
The Beatles, St. Pepper's album cover art
You will be completing two illustrations for the Wikipedia Illustrated project.
In class April 4 - (90mins)
- Short introduction. (20min)
- Write a list of 10 burning topics that comes to mind. (5min)
- Look up Wikipedia (at least) 15 articles on these topics. (30min)
- Rank the articles on a subjective/objective scale from 1 to 10 (5min)
- Choose 4 articles and write the name of the article on one the top of a piece of paper, and a short quote from the article on the bottom (10min)
- All the students place their notes on the wall + short discussion (20min)
- (we can see which articles we have and can start to notice what is the tone of the works. Is there anything in common?)
Due April 11 - Blackboard post with 2 creative briefs on the two chosen articles. The breif must include the quotes from each article, a sketchbook or photoshop draft and the set of freely licensed images to be reused.
In class April 11 - (2hrs)
Desk crit on creative briefs. You will choose one of the two articles to work on, and spend the rest of class period, and the following week:
- Free style initial drafts - using the quote from the note as a reference.
- Create at least 5 initial drafts
- Rank the illustrations on a subjective/objective scale from 1 to 10
- Prepare the illustrations for blog posting (scan drawings or save for web psds)
- First post a draft of your summary post on blackboard.
- Once approved, you may post your draft on the Wikipedia Illustrated blog
Off week, April 27-May 1:
Begin the process with a second illustration, choosing 10 topics, looking up 5 articles on these topics, rank and then choose 2 articles, and prepare creative briefs for both of them (with the qutoes and images)
When your work is ready:
* Upload to Wiki-commons.
* Edit the Wikipedia article or discussion page.