RE: [-empyre-] ~~NMR

Hi Alan -

I should probably clarify something from my message. I didn't mean to suggest that every new media class should include computer science, or that computer science should be the basis of a new media curriculum. Rather, I think computer science is one of the things that should be studied early in a new media curriculum.

I'm from a family with a lot of dyslexia (and other "coding disorders") so I've some personal familiarity with the challenges. I actually think many tools used in NM art programs (e.g., the last version of Flash I looked at) are harder for dyslexics than many of the tools used by computer scientists (e.g., IDEs). Why? Because things like Flash haven't had (though I understand this may have changed recently) real debugging tools - so if you're missing some stupid semicolon somewhere it can be almost impossible to find if you have any problems reading. Not so with a real IDE with a real debugger.

But I agree with Alan that most intro to CS courses would turn of most NM students, for a variety of reasons. I think Henry's right that it might be best to use a new media environment (e.g., Max) for the course. In fact, I believe I heard that Actionscript 2.0 (which comes with the new Flash) is a real programming language and the code can be edited outside of Flash. So if there's that real debugger, CS for New Media could even be taught with examples in Flash.

At the same time, I disagree with Henry about "Physics for Poets." Physics is not directly related to the work of most poets, whereas CS is directly related to the work of NM students. Maybe it's more like "Statistics for Social Science" vs statistics for mathematicians.


At 12:31 PM -0500 14/1/04, Alan Sondheim wrote:
When I taught NM, I based it (intro and intermediate) on already-existing
programs - Gimp, Photoshop, Blender, FinalCut, Premier, some simple Mac
things, etc. But I also taught a wider field, including performance, etc.
- a number of students were doing VJ work in the Miami clubs, and one of
them was doing documented performance work as well. So there was a
tremendous mix. If we had gone the computer science route, I think that at
least these students would have lost interest; for one thing, the NM area
was in the art department, and there's a considerable amount of dyslexia
present - for another, many of the students came to NM, not from hacking
or an intrinsic interest in computers, but in an interest in the visual,
installation, etc. etc. I think there are numerous approaches to NM, and
one based on CS, even on an intro level, would leave a lot of students
behind or uninterested (a statistic I've heard repeatedly and can confirm
with my own teaching is that 25% of art students have some form of
dyslexia). - Alan Trace projects finger _______________________________________________ empyre forum

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