Minor in Interactive Media Arts

Expand your creativity through digital expression with the new Minor in IMA.

Interactive Media Arts (IMA) has designed a minor for Tisch students who are interested in pursuing studies focused on the proposition that computation – the ability to code, learn new software, manipulate data and create physical and digital interactions – is an essential creative capability. 

This minor is open to Tisch students only.

Minor in Interactive Media Arts Curriculum

The IMA Minor curriculum consists of at least 4 classes and no fewer than 16 units:

2 Required Courses (8 units)
2-3 Elective Courses (totalling 8 units)

Core Courses

Core components of the minor, totalling 8 units.

Communications Lab

IMNY-UT 102 | 4 units | Instructor: Check Albert

In this foundation course, designed to provide students with a framework to effectively communicate through digital means, students will explore the possibilities of digital media by successively producing projects that make use of digital images, audio, video, and the Web. Students learn in a laboratory context of hands-on experimentation, and principles of interpersonal communications, media theory, and human factors will be introduced in readings and investigated through discussion. Imaging, sound, and video  will be examined, in the context  of fundamental web languages, such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript  to establish a diverse digital toolkit. Both traditional and experimental outputs, including online and interactive media platforms, will be explored. Weekly assignments, group and independent projects, as well as project reports will be assigned in each of the core areas of study. 

Course carries a media fee. 

Check Albert for course schedule

Creative Computing

IMNY-UT 101 | 4 units | Instructor: Check Albert

In this course students will be asked to think beyond the conventional forms of human computer interaction (i.e. the keyboard and mouse) to develop interfaces that consider the entire body, the body’s capacity for gesture, as well as the relationship between the body and it’s environment. Students will learn the fundamentals of electronics and programming as they build projects using the Arduino microcontroller platform. Arduino is a small computer based on open source hardware and software. When used in conjunction with various sensors and actuators, Arduino is capable of gathering information about and acting upon the physical world. In addition to these physical computing techniques, students will also learn to harness the methods of traditional computation. The fundamentals of programming: variables, conditionals, iteration, functions and objects, will be explored through the use of the Processing programming language. Students will gain a deeper appreciation of the expressive possibilities of computation as they learn to author their own software, and not simply use that which has been provided to them. Additional topics will include digital modeling and fabrication using 3D printers and laser cutters, the manipulation, presentation, and exchange of data, algorithmic drawing and animation techniques, as well as control of images, video, and audio. Structured weekly exercises are aimed at building specific skills, however students are free to pursue their own diverse interests in their midterm and final projects.

Course carries a media fee.

Check Albert for course schedule

Elective Courses

Students must complete 8 units of any IMNY-UT and/or ITPG-GT courses.

The courses listed below are a sample of what may be available during a term, so please check Albert for a comprehensive list of all available IMNY-UT & ITPG-GT courses.

Big Ideas in the History and Future of Technology

IMNY-UT 203 | 2 units | Instructor: Check Albert

“Big Ideas in the History and Future of Technology” is designed to provide students with a critical perspective on current issues in technology in the context of the history, controversies, consequences, and ethical questions in emerging media. This first course in the series includes: in the first half –some seminal early works that imagine a future in which technology enhances/augments human intelligence and capabilities and how that might affect society; in the second half–2 classic works of fiction and some podcasts/ audio lectures that address questions relating to “What is Human.”

Course carries a media fee.

Check Albert for course schedule.

The Code of Music

IMNY-UT 222 | 4 units | Instructor: Check Albert

Prerequisite: Creative Computing (IMNY-UT 101) or equivalent programming experience.

This course explores the elements of music through the lenses of computation and interactive design. Each of the five course units focuses on one element of music (rhythm, melody, timbre, harmony, and structure), approaching it from the perspective of music theory, computation, and design. For each element, students listen to examples from different periods and styles, represent and manipulate the element in code, and create an interactive study around it. As students work toward their final projects, the class takes a more self-directed approach. Final projects can take the form of digital applications, spatial installations, or physical devices.

In-class coding and assignments will be done in P5.js, but students will be free to use other languages and frameworks for their final projects.

Course carries a media fee.

Check Albert for course schedule.

Designing Interfaces for Live Performance

IMNY-UT 243 | 4 units | Instructor: Check Albert

Prerequisites: Creative Computing (IMNY-UT 101) OR A Quick Introduction to Physical Computing (IMNY-UT 103)

This course is designed to provide students with hands-on experience working with sensors and other electronics to design interfaces for a live multimedia performance.  Students will explore the expressive properties of sensors to control a variety of outputs such as light, sound, projection, and/or other media. The forms and uses of physical computing, computational media, and its application are explored weekly in both a hands on laboratory context, as well as weekly discussions of readings and existing performances.

Course carries a media fee.

Check Albert for course schedule.

Fairy Tales for the 21st Century

IMNY-UT 283 | 2 units | Instructor: Check Albert

Prerequisites: Communications Lab (IMNY-UT 102) OR equivalent coursework

Fairy tales, myths, and stories of magic have always served as a way for both children and adults to make sense of the unpredictabilities of the world around them. How do these stories serve us today? How do new technologies allow us to reinterpret them so that they have new meaning for our times? Through readings, weekly exercises, and a final project,  students in this course will explore the historic role and structure of fairy tales as well as the potential contemporary frameworks that allow us to entertain the impossible. Students will work with stories of their choosing however we will examine their implementation through traditional material and book art techniques, as well as projection mapping, 3D and VR (using Unreal Engine.)

Course carries a media fee.

Check Albert for course schedule.

Immersive Experiences

IMNY-UT 282 | 4 units | Instructor: Check Albert

Prerequisites: Communications Lab (IMNY-UT 102) OR equivalent coursework

This course is designed to provide students with hands-on experience working with interactive and emerging applications for creating immersive experiences, with a focus on designing for virtual reality headsets. The class will also touch on related technologies, methods, and fields including experience design, virtual painting, augmented reality, interactive installation, and 360 video/audio. The course materials will also include readings and discussions on prior art/relevant critical texts.

Course carries a media fee.

Check Albert for course schedule.

Introduction to Assistive Technology

IMNY-UT 0241 | 2 units | Instructor: Check Albert

Prerequisites: Creative Computing (IMNY-UT 101) OR A Quick Introduction to Physical Computing (IMNY-UT 103)

Assistive technology is a term that includes a wide variety of technologies for people with disabilities. This two-point survey course is designed to provide students with an overview of the field of assistive technology. Field trips, readings, and guest speakers will provide students with an understanding of current research and development as well as processes used in determining appropriate technologies. Weekly assignments and a final research project are required.

Course carries a media fee.

Check Albert for course schedule.

Introduction to Fabrication

IMNY-UT 242 | 2 units | Instructor: Check Albert

An introductory course designed to familiarize students with all the IMA prototyping shop has to offer.  We will cover everything from basic hand tools to the beginnings of digital fabrication. You will learn to use the right tool for the job. There will be weekly assignments, created to develop your fabrication techniques. There will be in class lectures, demos, and building assignments. Emphasis will be put on good design practices, material choice, and craftsmanship.

Course carries a media fee.

Check Albert for course schedule

Networked Media

IMNY-UT 223 | 4 units | Instructor: Check Albert

The network is a fundamental medium for interactivity. It makes possible our interaction with machines, data, and, most importantly, other people. Though the base interaction it supports is simple, a client sends a request to a server, which replies; an incredible variety of systems can be and have been built on top of it. An equally impressive body of media theory has also arisen around its use.

This hybrid theory and technology course will be 50% project driven technical work and 50% theory and discussion. The technical work will will utilize JavaScript as both a client and server side programming language to build creative systems on the web. Technical topics will include server and client web frameworks, such as Express, HTML, CSS, templating, and databases. The theory portion of the course will include reading and discussion of past and current media theory texts that relate to the networks of today; included in this will be works by Marshall McLuhan, Wendy Chun, Lev Manovich, Philip Agre, Tiziana Terranova, and more.

In short, this course will be about developing full-stack web applications (such as anything from the beginnings of Google, YouTube, and Twitter to class registration systems and other purpose built system) as well as thinking, reading, and discussing the implications with a culture and media theory perspective.

Course carries a media fee.

Check Albert for course schedule.

Reading Writing Electronic Text

IMNY-UT 221 | 4 units | Instructor: Check Albert

Prerequisite: Creative Computing (IMNY-UT 101) or equivalent programming experience.

This course introduces the Python programming language as a tool for reading and writing digital text. This course is specifically geared to serve as a general-purpose introduction to programming in Python, but will be of special interest to students interested in poetics, language, creative writing and text analysis. Weekly programming exercises work toward a midterm project and culminate in a final project. Poetics/text analysis topics covered include: the history of computer-generated writing in arts and literature; plain text transcription and character encodings; ethics and authorship in the context of computer-mediated language; poetic structure and sound symbolism; performance and publishing. Programming topics covered include: data structures (lists, sets, dictionaries); strategies for making code reusable (functions and modules); natural language processing; grammar-based text generation; predictive models of text (Markov chains and recurrent neural networks); and working with structured data and text corpora.

Course carries a media fee.

Check Albert for course schedule.

Grades

All Tisch students declaring a Minor must receive a grade of C or above in order to have the course count towards a Tisch Minor.

Course Allocations

Students cannot substitute required classes for the Minors. Classes from other departments cannot be used as a substitution for IMA courses.

As of spring 2015, regarding double-counting of courses for Tisch students: students who have any combination of Tisch majors/minors will only be permitted to count one course towards both areas. Tisch minor courses can be double-counted between two Tisch minors.

Declaring a Minor

Visit Albert to declare the minor online. Tisch students must seek out departmental approval before submitting a declaration to minor in IMA.