Languages of Digital Media

Languages of Digital Media
Digital Studies Conceptualized by V. Kuhn

SAMPLE C3 Student Project II

Surveillance Cameras:
Gateway – front desk
New North
IML building camera
VKC globe/Tommy Trojan – anchoring our position at USC

Places where you scan your ID
Facebook Places
Twitter Places?
Purchases on credit cards – bank statements

Main Character walking through day – show close up shots of all the surveillance going around them

Thievery at New North leads to search for wallet, etc.

Judge hammer thing – cut in between shots
Footsteps (shots of feet running up stairs instead of whole person)

Thief (Josh Woo) - wearing bright colored shirt 
Thief’s friend
Victim’s friend

Film Sequence 

1. Establishing shots (Tommy Trojan, VKC globe, McCarthy Quad)
Front of New/North 
2. Intro to thievery 
Girl standing in New/North Lobby 
Bestfriend calls - DramaLlama!
Ex-boyfriend drama! He followed me using Facebook Places! 
3. Theivery! Lobby of New/North
Takes purse 
4. Call ends, Girl looks down, notices purse is gone. 

5. Look at tapes in New North 
Profile Thief from shots 

6. Thief walking to Gateway (photoshoot going on, takes pictures of thief as he’s walking across) 

7. Go to Gateway, ask front desk if they can show surveillance 
Dead ends

8. Go home (to New/North?), look on bank statement 
Thief has charged tickets to disneyland

9. Thief posts on facebook (extra tickets to disneyland! yeah!) 
Thief says that he’s attending some event 

10. Track thief down to event, fight! 
Fight recorded by some sort of surveillance 

11. Sitting in DPS, explaining how purse was stolen, etc.

Vlog Reading Notes (C3 week)

Please view this video (or vlog) in which I've highlighted the key points of this week's reading. I've also read and commented on your reading posts; thus, this is meant to substitute for the in-class reading overview which I do each week.

SAMPLE C3 Student Project

Our project idea is to have a bathroom mirror which doubles as a camera (one of those one-sided mirrors). We'd have it in a bathroom and have people do crazy things when they think no one's looking. Then we'd cut to a shot of them leaving the bathroom how they WANT to be portrayed (eg. have a businessman going crazy/ singing/ shaving and then walk out somber and serious in a business suit). Then at the end we'd have the "student surveillance workers" watching all of the videos on screen and inviting their friends to come watch, w/ popcorn and such laughing.

VERY ROUGH sample script/ plan:

Girl on phone: “Ugh. I don’t want to go to this dumb work-study job. I’m just a security guard in one of the dorms.”
Other phone: “You could be surprised. I’ve heard of some funny things that go down on surveillance cameras when no one knows they’re being watched”
Girl: “Yeah, maybe in cooler places. But this is going to be boring. I guarantee you. I gotta run- talk to you later”
Girl sits down and turns on tv, starts playing with it.
Girl: “What’s this?”
Zoom in on camera
“OMG! Haha”
Zoom in on bathroom- guy in towel shaving, start singing, going crazy
Calls back- “Come over here you have to see this!”
Back on camera, another person being crazy in mirror
Cut back to bk room, 2 people watching. Put post on fbook OR send mass text
One more shot of people being crazy in BR
Have room full of Birnkrant kids laughing, passing around popcorn
End: one of them walks in, “what’re you laughing at?????”

Feedback from VK: This works well in terms of demonstrating the ways in which the performance of identity shifts in light of the relative public-ness of the situation in which one finds oneself. Using a bathroom--a place where the most intimate of self care occurs--is a nice touch (public bathrooms are the ultimate public-private hybrid in this light!) and then to have the 'audience' watching with popcorn is an interesting twist. Does it matter someone finds entertainment at the expense of an unwitting subject using a bathroom? What happens when this footage persists? All are very important notions that this project asks you to consider. I look forward to seeing the project. 

Syllabus IML201 Fall, 2011

ML 201: The Languages of Digital Media Weekly Schedule
student resources wiki
Fall Semester 2011
Monday, 3-6:50 pm
Location: IML Blue Lab + Seminar Room
Open to all students: 4 units
Prerequisites: None
Professor: Virginia Kuhn, Ph.D.
Office: EGG / IML 202
Office Hours: by appt
Course Description
From the printing press to the personal computer, developments in media technologies have fundamentally transformed the ways we perceive, think and communicate. This courseinvestigates the close interrelationships among technology, culture and communication in order to form a solid foundation for scholarly multimedia authoring. We will proceed from the assumption that theories of “old media” can significantly inform our understanding of “new media” and provide insight into the affordances of contemporary technologies. In addition, we will examine several genres of multimedia scholarship, with the goal of being able to deploy them strategically in a variety of academic contexts.
This foundational course combines theory and practice in order that you begin to thinkthrough the media, rather than about it. At the IML we believe that the history and theory of new media are best understood through the development of practical skills in multimedia authoring.
To that end, we will engage in extensive online discussions of the reading assignments, and we will spend extensive “hands on” time during class. There will be several projects—image editing, video capture, editing (remix) and, finally, interactive—which will help reinforce the theory we confront. You will work hard, but this will be among the most memorable and valuable courses you will take.
Grading Breakdown:
15 % Image Assignment
15 % Remix Assignment
15 % Camera Assignment
20 % Interactive Assignment (in two parts)
20 % Peer Review + Participation
15 % Reading Responses
Required Texts + Materials: 
How Images Think (Ron Burnett) MIT Press: Available at Amazon
Ways of Seeing (John Berger) Penguin Books: Available at Amazon
External Drive: an external drive is HIGHLY recommended. Here are IML tech team suggestions (in the Student Resources wiki, under IML Recommended Equipment): 
Fair Use and Citation Guidelines: We assert that all of our course work is covered under Fair Use, since it’s educational in nature. All projects will need to include academically appropriate citations in the form of a Works Cited section, which covers all sources, in order to receive a passing grade. The Works Cited is either included in the project or as a separate document, as appropriate to your project. The style we use is APA 5th edition and you may refer to these guidelines:
Statement on Academic Integrity: USC seeks to maintain an optimal learning environment. General principles of academic honesty include the concept of respect for the intellectual property of others, the expectation that individual work will be submitted unless otherwise allowed by an instructor, and the obligations both to protect one’s own academic work from misuse by others as well as to avoid using another’s work as one’s own. All students are expected to understand and abide by these principles. Scampus, the Student Guidebook, contains the Student Conduct Code in Section 11.00, while the recommended sanctions are located in Appendix A: Students will be referred to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards for further review, should there be any suspicion of academic dishonesty. The Review process can be found at:
Statement for Students with Disabilities: Any student requesting academic accommodations based on a disability is required to register with Disability Services and Programs (DSP) each semester. A letter of verification for approved accommodations can be obtained from DSP. Please be sure the letter is delivered to me (or to TA) as early in the semester as possible. DSP is located in STU 301 and is open 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

C3 Emergency Preparedness Remote Class Week

Please view this introductory video and then give Jon your full attention for the camera tutorial to prepare you for your camera project.  The remaining remix projects will have to be managed by the creators and their assigned peer reviewers. We will screen them, time permitting, next class. All work due is spelled out (both here and in the wiki) and all information about what's due is linked to the weekly schedule as well. If there are any questions, feel free to email me and I will reply as quickly as is humanly possible! By the way, this effect I used to film is found in PhotoBooth which comes on any Mac with a camera. The types of effects you can find there may prove useful for your projects. 

Camera Project Plan: Due 10/24

There is a page set up for each of your groups, and they are linked above. Please use whichever means you like to to collaboratively create your camera project plan (due 10/24 for class discussion) and place it on the page I've set up. You can author directly on the wiki page, use Google Docs or some other form (e.g. email, pirate pad) or even the IML201 blog on our class wiki. 
Include a concept, a potential shot list and/or script, potential location/s for filming, and at least one or two images taken via cell phone camera (or some other vernacular form of image capture) which can be a location (e.g. the IML courtyard or an interior office, a space on campus), an object (e.g. a surveillance camera, a card reader/swiper that reads your identification) or something else that figures in your conceptual plan.
The more detail you and hammer out ahead of time, the more smoothly your project will go. This plan is not set in stone, since I anticipate things may shift as you actually start working, but it will give you a point of departure and help to brainstorm some really nuanced possibilities. 

Weekly Schedule IML201 Fall, 2011

8/22 Seminar Room: Introduction to class + syllabus, screen Ways of Seeing, Blue Lab: portal registration. File naming protocols, SnapNdrag demo. Create a wiki page. Survey. Be sure to order book/s. Get a peer’s contact info. Do not miss class; if you must, you’ll need to get notes from a colleague.
8/29 Image assignment given; see examples. Photoshop tutorial. Cont’d WOS Screening. Shepherd Fairey discussion. For next time, read CH 1+3, look through CH2 of Ways of Seeing book and do a short post (on your own wiki page), looking particularly at the similarities and differences between the book and the film.
9/5 Labor Day: No class but have wiki post on Ways of Seeing (see above) complete by midnight (9/5)
9/12 Image assignment--Kruger portion--due; present in class. Introduction to How Images Think (HIT) in class; bring text. Screening: The Five Obstructions.
9/19 Image assignment--Fairey portion--due. Present in class. Remix assignment given. In class screening, various remixes: “Remix Culture: Fair Use is Your Friend.” Various Remixes: RIP Remix Manifesto (Brent Gaylor, 2009), A Fairy Use Tale (Eric Faden)
Begin video editing tutorial (ripping clips, compressing and Reelsurfer). For next time, read HIT, Ch 1: Vantage Point and Image-Worlds.Group A posts a response by Friday midnight, Group B replies to at least one post by Sunday at midnight (use the comment feature and link the page to your student spaces) + Complete Image project peer review.
9/26 FCP tutorial: have at least three short clips to work with. Screening Sur Name Viet, Given Name Nam and The Ties that Bind, selections. Cont’d work on Remix. For next time, read HIT Ch2: Imagescapes, Mind and Body. B Group posts by Friday midnight, A Group responds by Sun midnight.
10/3 Reading discussion via group notes/responses. Cont'd work on remix. 
10/10 Remix assignment due. Screening. Camera assignment given. Camera Tutorial. Choose groups and brainstorm topic. Peer review of remix. For next time, read HIT CH 3: Foundations of Virtual Images, Group A posts by Friday; Group B responds by Sunday.
10/17 3:00 pm Camera tutorial in blue lab. No formal class after; special remote camera work (V in NYC). For next time, read HIT Ch 4 Imagescapes as Ecology, Group B posts by Friday; Group A responds by Sunday midnight.
10/24 Camera project plan due for in-class discussion. Reading discussion. Screen any remaining Remix projects. Complete your camera project for next time (no reading assignment). At 6pm we'll go to SCA112 to see Eve Marson, who does work that is quite similar to what we are after form wise, particularly with the camera project. 
10/31 Camera Projects due; peer review of remix due. In-class screening. For next time, read HIT, CH 5 Simulation/Viewing/Immersion, post response. Group A starts; group B responds.
11/7 Interactive assignment given. Flash workshop (4 pm). Work on warm up exercise for next time with your image project. For next time, read HIT Ch 6 Humans____Machines. Group B posts; Group A responds.
11/14 Cont'd Flash workshop. Read HIT Ch 8, Computer Games and Aesthetics of Human and Nonhuman Interaction and Ch 9 Reanimating the World: Waves of Interaction. No post due. Interactive Pt 1 due. Complete remote assignment survey:
11/21 Present interactive project maps. In class feedback. Cont'd reading discussion. In class mapping of CH 8 + 9.
11/23-26 Thanksgiving.
11/28 Last class. Interactive project round robin/gallery. Course evaluations.
12/12 Final: any revised work due in wiki by 2pm

Camera Project

IML201 Camera Assignment: Surveillance and the Public Sphere
Fall, 2011
3-5 minute video argument with filmed and found footage. Done in groups. Plan due: 10/24: Final due 10/31
Background: John Berger argues that women are always aware of being surveyed, such that they split their identity, since:
From earliest childhood she has been taught and persuaded to survey herself continually. And so she comes to consider the surveyor and the surveyed within her as the two constituent yet always distinct elements of her identity as a woman. (46)
Of course, given his larger argument about the role of advertising in society, he clearly suggests that these images continually remind her of this identity. Recall his discussion of 'glamour' and how it is used to create a desire, in both men and women, to attain a better life. He speaks of images that are received by humans and how they impact us. Since Ways of Seeing was created, there has been a huge increase in image technologies to survey us, adding weight, we suggest, to his notion of the awareness of being surveyed. This surveillance is far more generalized and impacts both men and women, and, again we would add, anyone whose appearance is somehow outside of the norm. According to Michel Foucault, we live in a surveillance society in which:
There is no need for arms, physical violence, material constraints. Just a gaze. An inspecting gaze, a gaze which each individual under its weight will end by interiorizing to the point that he is his own overseer, each individual thus exercising this surveillance over, and against, himself. A superb formula: power exercised continuously and for what turns out to be a minimal cost.
In recent years, while the scope and diversity of surveillance technologies has soared, the array of rights designed to protect basic limits of privacy has been steadily eroded. Even here at USC, we can witness the proliferation of information and surveillance technologies in our everyday lives (everything from video cameras mounted on campus police cruisers to the use of Blackboard’s “Turn-It-In” anti-plagiarism software). On its own, each of these systems may appear benign, innocuous and intended for the common good. In combination, however, we must ask whether we are comfortable with our own “interiorization” of these technologies and the power relations they inscribe. The focus of this assignment is to analyze from multiple perspectives the numerous systems of surveillance and/or information that surround us. In order to thoroughly address this phenomenon, and to bring it as close as possible to home, this project will investigate the phenomenon of surveillance-information culture as it functions at USC and/or the larger LA area.
To begin:
- get in groups of 2-4 people as assigned
- brainstorm a topic
- research and select an approach
- submit a camera plan, including shot list, to the wiki. [project plan due: 10/24 posted to wiki.]
- film and edit your footage based, in part, on feedback to your propject plan
Questions to keep in mind for this project (and answer as many as is appropriate on your wiki page in your camera project plan:
1. Who are you? (you can be yourselves, or it may be more interesting to assume a different identity as an organization or group with a distinct agenda) 
2. Who are you trying to reach?
3. What is the goal of your video? (are you trying to provoke individuals to act? Do you want to inform people or build awareness? Do you want to bring down the global surveillance infrastructure?)
Final digital arguments should be well-researched, articulate, creative and convincingly argued. Instructions for exporting and compressing for wiki placement are linked on the wiki. 

Some Background to consider:
an interesting article on cameras in the public sphere: 
also a study finds that a male objectifying gaze reduces women's math scores:
also, don't forget good old descriptive type films. Here are several 3 minute documentaries and they function as very compressed sources of information:
and, finally, visual privacy (opens with anecdote about students busted for smoking pot en masse thinking the crowd aspect with lend anonymity):
Peer Review: Two stages
I. Camera plan: see list of mapping software; use SnapNDrag (free application) to capture a screen shot and add to your wiki page. Peer reviewers comment on the strength of the controlling idea and the clarity of the shot list. Please make constructive suggestions as you are able.
II. Final project (see criteria below)
Please comment on the following categories by next class using the comment function of the wiki. Please note strengths, as well as suggest possibilities for further strengthening, as you are able:
1. Choice of footage used and appropriate edit lengths.
2. Researched forms of evidence presented, and proper works cited.
3. Quality of the controlling idea.
4. Text used as both a graphic and ideational asset.
5. Technical efficacy.