Instructor  Mark Cetilia, mcetil01 [at] / mcetilia [at]
Google Group  
code-as-medium [at]


Monday, 8:00 am – 1:00 pm, CIT / Mason Building Room 303 / 304



This course will explore the technical and conceptual fundamentals of computer programming in the broader context of a sustained studio practice. In addition to teaching basic software coding skills from the ground up, the course will focus on the social and historical backgrounds of these technologies and how they shape the growth of media, identity, politics and the everyday. Related works from the contemporary art and design fields will be examined, ranging from visual, performance and sound art to architecture, product design and beyond. Students will be expected to engage with computer coding and related technologies conceptually or technically in their studio work. 

The course will consist of introductory exercises in computer programming, discussions of articles related to contemporary digital media, frequent critiques, and an intensive final project that pushes the boundaries of computer coding as a creative tool. Mistakes, pitfalls and frustrations will be expected and encouraged as students navigate this quickly changing medium. No prior programming experience is necessary.

Permission of instructor required 
Graduate elective


This intensive studio course investigates the use of code as an artistic medium. Precedents from structural / materialist film, experimental / electronic music, and sound / installation art will be examined in relationship both to human perception and to the students' artistic practice. The course will include discussion of key historical works and texts, hands-on demonstrations and in-class projects, as well as critical engagement with new works by class members. Students will use the graphical programming environment Max and its object libraries for sound and video, MSP and Jitter, to explore the creative and expressive potentials of an intermedia production practice, culminating in the development of a larger work that incorporates knowledge gained throughout the course.


Required text: Max, MSP, Jitter manuals and tutorials:

Required equipment / materials: portable computer (Mac OS X 10.7+ or Windows 7+) and student license of Max 7 (recommended) or portable computer (Mac Intel running OS X 10.5+ or Windows XP+) and student license of Max 6.

Max 7 Pricing: monthly subscription: $9.99 / yearly subscription: $59 / full purchase: $250


Final project: 40%
Midterm project: 20%
Weekly assignments: 20%
Attendance & participation: 20%

Each student is responsible for attending class, completing in- and out-of-class assignments and participating in critiques and discussion of readings and example materials. Students will be assigned to lead reading assignments on a weekly basis. We will be starting class on time with these discussions, so prompt attendance is requiredStudents missing more than three classes will be withdrawn.