Digital Art and Culture


Due to the rise of computer technology and cyberspace, many related cultural and theoretical issues need further understanding and clarification. Moreover, how to link these issues to the rapidly developing digital art is also one of the crucial topics for exploring contemporary art. This semester’s course will mainly focus on AI-related problems.
Teaching Objectives:
1. The course aims to cultivate students’ understanding of digital art and culture, including media theories and new media artworks, artificial intelligence’s different approaches and related problems, platform networks and digital leisure, and issues focused on the relationship between AI, art, and creativity.
2. The course aims to develop students’ critical thinking and creative expression and enhance their interdisciplinary learning capabilities


Curriculum syllabus

A. Media Theory and New Media Art 
1. Lin, Chi-Ming, “Image and Communication – Reading McLuhan,” Journal of National Taiwan Normal University: Humanities and Arts, 2002, 47(1), pp. 41-56. 
2. Levinson, Paul (2001). Digital McLuhan: A Guide to the Information Millennium. London: Routledge.
3. Lin, Chi-Ming (2005). “The ‘New’ Artistic Dimension of New Media Art,” Universitas, (“Art and Philosophy Special Issue”), No. 379, pp. 125-136.
4. Manovich, Lev (2002). The Language of New Media. MA: MIT Press. 

B. Artificial Intelligence:
Approaches and Problems
1. What is AI? Four approaches
Russell, Stuart and Peter Norvig (2021). Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, 4th edition. London: Pearson.
2. Turing Test
Turing, Alain (1950). “Computing Machinery and Intelligence,” Mind, 49: 433-460.
3. Film sessions
Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott, 1982 (Director’s cut) 
Dick, Philippe (1968). Blade Runner: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? New York: Double Day.
Blade Runner 2049, directed by Denis Villeneuve, 2017.
EX Machina, directed by Alex Garland, 2014.
Transcendence, directed by Wally Pfister, 2014.
4. The philosophical and ethical problems related to AI
Russell, Stuart and Peter Norvig (2021). Chap. 28 “Philosophy, Ethics, and Safety of AI,” in Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, 4th edition. London: Pearson.
Kissinger, Henry A., Eric Schmidt and Daniel Huttenlocher (2021). Chap. 6 “AI and Human Identity,” in The Age of AI and Our Human Future, New York: Little, Brown and Company.
5. Critical issues: 
Bostrom, Nick (2014). Super-intelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies. Oxford: Oxford UP.
Crawford, Kate (2022). Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence. New Heaven: Yale UP. 
Harari, Yuval Noah (2018). 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. New York: Random House.
C. Network Platforms and Digital Leisure
1. Kissinger, Henry A., Eric Schmidt and Daniel Huttenlocher (2021) Chap. 4 “Global Network Platforms,” in The Age of AI and Our Human Future, New York: Little, Brown and Company. 
2. Galloway, Scott (2018). The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, London: Penguin. 
3. Wearing, Michael (2017) “Consuming Authentic Leisure in the Virtual World of Gaming: Young Gamer’s Experience of Imaginary Play in Second Modernity,” in Digital Leisure Cultures: Critical Perspectives, edited by Sandro Carnicelli et al., London: Routledge, pp. 135-151.
4. Case studies of artworks related to network platforms.
D. AI, Creativity, and Curation 
1. Sautoy, Marcus du (2019), The Creativity Code: Art and Innovation in the Age of AI. Cambridge Mass: Belknap Press, An Imprint of Harvard University Press.
2. Case studies: recent controversial issues and representative artists
3. Curating digital art and curating the digital
Dekker, Annet (ed.)(2021). Curating Digital Art: From Presenting and Collecting Digital Art to Networked Co-Curation. Amsterdam: Valiz.
Richter, Dorothee and Paul Stewart (ed.)(2020). OnCurating Issue 45: Curating the Digital.
Indicative References:
Audry, Sofian (2021). Art in the Age of Machine Learning. MA: MIT Press.
Bolter, Jay David and Richard Grusin (2000). Remediation: Understanding New Media. MA: MIT Press.
Darley, Andrew (2000). Visual Digital Culture: Surface Play and Spectacle in New Media Genres. London: Routledge, 2000.
Ess, Charles (2020). Digital Media Ethics. Cambridge: Polity. 
Everett, Anna and John D. Caldwell (ed.) (2003). New Media: Theories and Practices of Digitextuality. New York and London: Routledge.
Grau, Oliver (2003). Virtual Art: From Illusion to Immersion. MA: MIT Press.
Hasen, Mark (2004). New Philosophy for New Media. MA: MIT Press.
Levinson, Paul (2016). McLuhan in an Age of Social Media. Connected Editions.
McLuhan, Marshall (1964). Understanding media. London: Routledge (1994 reprint).
Miller, Arthur I. (2020). Artist in The Machine: The World of AI-Powered Creativity. MA: MIT Press.
Miller, Chris (2022). Chip War: The Fight for the World’s Most Critical Technology. New York: Scribner, 2022.
Pasquale, Frank (2020). New Laws of Robotics: Defining Human Expertise in the Age of AI. MA: Harvard UP. 
Paul, Christiane (2023). Digital Art. Thames & Hudson (4th edition).
Rush, Michael (2005). New Media in Art. London: Thames & Hudson.
Spiller, Neil (ed.) (2002). Cyber Reader: Critical Writings for the Digital Era. London and New York: Phaidon
Thorburn, David and Henry Jenkins (2004) Rethinking Media Change: The Aesthetics of Transition. MA: MIT Press.
Trend, David (ed.) (2001) Reading Digital Culture. Oxford: Blackwell.