Instructor section 1: Heather Elliott-Famularo
Email: helliot(@)
Office: 1014 Fine Arts Building
Office Hours: by appointment

Instructor section 2: Wayne Madsen
Email: wmadsen(@)
Office: 1028 Fine Arts Building
Office Hours: T/TH 1pm - 3pm

ARTC 4180 Section 1001-1004
Fall 2012
246 & 244 - Wolfe Center
MW 10:30am - 12:50pm


Senior standing; BFA Digital Arts major. Must be scheduled to Graduate BFA in Digital Arts December 2012 or May / August 2013.

Course Overview

Five studio hours. Fall. For BFA Digital Arts majors graduating in the current academic year. Supervised individual research as it applies to the final exhibition of digital artworks for the BFA degree. Five studio hours. Prerequisite: Senior standing; BFA Digital Arts major. Concurrent registration in ARTC 4090. May be repeated to six hours. Extra fee.

The purpose of this course is to provide the graduating digital arts senior time and feedback to create a final body of work for the BFA show. The student will be required to complete this portfolio (or reel) by the final critique day. The student will also enter this work to the BFA exhibition jury by this date.

The class will be dependent upon your preparation and participation. As a class, we are going to continually critique and challenge each student's work. To achieve this, we will engage in group critiques in conjunction with independent mentoring sessions. While these exercises will challenge the content of your BFA thesis work, minimal time will be spent on technical instruction. Through these exercises, you will learn more about contemporary practice and will need to adapt your work to fit inside contemporary experience.

The focus of this course is to make artwork for the BFA exit show and submit to that exhibition. A formal submission to the exhibition is required to pass this class. If a student does not fulfil this requirement competently, they will receive a failing grade.

This is a required class to graduate with a BFA in visual arts. Failure to pass will require you to retake another semester.

Learning Objectives (Skills Mastered)

Students will create a body of work (or video/animation) for the BFA exhibition. As part of the class, students will complete all necessary forms for the BFA exhibition and be aware of and meet the exhibition deadlines. In addition, students will keep a “BFA Thesis Process Blog” that is a collection of ideas and shows their weekly progress.

By the final critique, students will have completed the following: In order to pass the class, all requirements must be met. Students will be assessed grades (see below) for all of these requirements.

Required Materials and Fees

The student will be required to always have appropriate USB storage, permitting them to work on their work during and outside of class time. Do not expect to get everything done in class -- this will not be sufficient time.

The fee for this class is used to purchase hardware and software that is not maintained by ITS. This includes items such as extra ram, cameras, printers and scanners and software that does not fall under the standard list. Additionally, we contribute money towards the standard software. The fees also contribute to the maintenance of the labs and paid workers to run the print lab. We also purchase instructional manuals and DVDs such as the SIGGRAPH content and the Stash DVDs. These materials, hardware and software are available to this class.

Any prints made through the print lab is the student's responsibility and is not included in the course fee.

All readings are posted online and listed below. No textbook required, but you should print out all documents for classroom discussion.

Mandatory Reading

Tribe, Mark, Reena Jana, and Uta Grosenick. "Art in the Age of Digital Distribution." New Media Art. Hong Kong: Taschen, 2009. 6-25. Read Here.

Barrett, Terry. "Modernity and Postmodernity." Criticizing Art: Understanding the Contemporary. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2011. 30-44. Read Here.

Barrett, Terry. "Postmoderist Approaches to Making Art." Making Art: Form & Meaning. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2011. 202-28. Read Here.


Information presented in class lectures, discussions and demos is the responsibility of each student. Group projects are mandatory and the student will be graded on participation. The class will mostly be studio and critique time and will be tied closely to the student's individual set contract with dates and goals. The instructor will also show and discuss examples of digital art on an individual basis as it corresponds to a student's work. This will serve as inspiration and help students situate their art within the broader digital arts genre. Students will be assigned a calendar of check-in and presentation dates.

Work lost because of computer/software crashes or failure to back up files, will be counted as a zero. Learn to save frequently, and back-up and maintain multiple copies of work constantly distributed across different storage media (including the digital arts server). These are important habits to develop for your career. No excuses for lost work.

It is responsibility of the student to read and understand the assignment sheets. Ask questions directly or via email if you do not understand an assignment, as soon as possible.

Class Rules


Class starts at the scheduled time. Attendance is taken at that time and failure to be seated and working will constitute a tardy. Being late for class three times will count as one absence. Leaving class early without instructor's permission is considered an absence.


There will be multiple large group critiques in this class. You will be given a participation grade based on your contributions. If a high grade is desired, the student will need to offer constructive criticism of other classmate's work.

Grades / Evaluation

Pass or Fail Items:
The following items have to be completed to pass the class. If any of these items are not completed, you do not pass the class: Graded Items:
The following items will receive letter grades:

A (100-90)
Excellent - Above and beyond, research is clear, fluid and demonstrates strong commitment

B (89-80)
Very Good - Beyond requirements

C (79-70)
Average - Met the basic requirements

D (69-60)
Did not meet requirements

F (59-0)
Projects not turned in or completely insufficient

To determine your final grade, each project and assignment will be averaged, along with participation, with the following weights: In other words, Your Final Grade will be calculated by averaging: midterm grade + Blog Grade + averaged weekly progress/presentation grades + participation + Final Project (x2)

Student Projects

Projects created in any Digital Arts course may be used by the ART department for the purpose of promoting the student, the department and/or the university in general. These materials may also be used by the ART department for instructional purposes in future courses. Please inform the instructor if you do not want your projects used.


Any student who wishes to discuss accommodations on the basis of a disability, please come talk to me after class or during office hours. The goal of the Disability Services for Students Office is to help provide equal access and reasonable accommodations to BGSU students with disabilities. Students wishing to discuss their eligibility for such accommodations are encouraged to contact their office at 372-8495 (413 South Hall).

Academic Honesty

Students are expected to maintain the highest level of integrity in their academic work. From time to time, however, issues such as cheating, fabrication or plagiarism in an academic exercise arise. The original jurisdiction and penalty both vary depending on the offense and when it is discovered. Also, there are specific requirements for record-keeping and for notification of the student and academic dean. The complete policy is available in both the Student Handbook (Codes of Conduct) and the Faculty Handbook (Academic Charter).

Get to know your art librarian, as they will have a wealth of information on contemporary practicing artists and how your work will have context.


I reserve the right to change these rules as I see fit in order to facilitate a better learning environment.