INTERNET ART 3001: Data Visualization


The Ohio State University, Department of Art Generative and algorithmic approaches to the WEB
Art & Technology

Instructor: Florence Gouvrit. <gouvrit-montano.1(at)>
Office hours: Thurs 1:00PM -3:00PM Hopkins Hall 160 or by appointment
Meeting Time: Tues – Thurs 3:55PM – 6:40PM
Location and Lab: Hopkins Hall 0180A


Course description:
For this course we will use the Processing IDE to create generative, static, animated and interactive applications for the web within the context of new media arts. In the process the student will learn the fundamentals of software programing.

Motivation to learn and apply the knowledge you learn in this course to the creation of your research and creative project.
Prereq: 2500 or 350. Not open to students with credit for 451. Repeatable to a maximum of 6 cr hrs.

Course objectives:
This studio course will cover how to use the software “Processing” ( to produce a wide range of possible applications such as generative drawing, interactive applications, data visualization, and video and sound applications for the web in the context of new media art. It will also cover its possibilities and uses for digital imaging, digital production and physical computing.
Hands-on demonstrations, tutorials, lectures, art presentations, discussions of readings and required production of a final project are all part of this course. Significant work outside of class will be necessary to realize your artistic goals. Readings and media reviews will be handed out and will be used to stimulate and contribute to class discussions.

The student will learn the main constructs of programming (functions, variables, loops,…) through the usual stages (plan, code, test and debug). This course is designed for people with no programming experience, but assumes that you know how to use a computer. It operates in the idea to watch, code, test and talk about it. Collaboration is expected along with individual research and practice.

Learning outcomes:
Students will learn to create generative, static, animated and interactive applications for the web
Students will gain an understanding of interactive graphics in the context of new media art
Students develop a unique creative voice and a personal approach to using visual programming as an expressive tool.
Students will learn the fundamentals about programming languages
Students will display their works in an end of the semester show to test their works
Student will be exposed to the possibilities of this platform for physical computing.

Processing IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is free to download and works on Mac, Windows and Linux ( It was created by Ben Fry and Casey Reas in 2001 while both were John Maeda’s students at the MIT Media Lab. With one click it exports applets for the Web or standalone applications. Graphics from Processing programs may also be exported as PDF, DXF, or TIFF files and many other file formats. Using libraries, Processing can also import sound, video, vectors, bitmaps, 3d, opencv or be used with kinect, arduino and max msp to develop physical computing or as a gaming platform for the web or mobile devices. The language builds on the Java language, but uses a simplified syntax and graphics programming model.
Projects will be uploaded in

The sketches run as Java applet, exported from Processing, the students will be able to upload their program to a website. We will use the community website to upload our sketches and learn from our colleagues. Each program will require a comment with name and course information at the beginning of the code. Each student must be able to explain line by line it code and modify the code to show to the class.

Required Book
Learning Processing: A Beginner’s Guide to Programming Images, Animation, and Interaction by Daniel Shiffman

Participation 10% (Class discussions and critiques)
Reading and Research 10%
Homework (sketches) 20%
Project 1: 15%
Project 2: 20%
Project 3 (final): 25%

Grading scale:
A 94-100, A 90-9
B+ 88-89, B 83-87, B- 80-82
C+ 78-79, C 73-77, C-71-72
D+69-70, D 64-68, E 0-63

Evaluation will be based on
The conceptual elegance of your ideas
The quality and aesthetic result of your completed artwork
The coding craftsmanship and the ability to understand and explain your code.
The completed assignments must demonstrate the comprehension of class concepts and your effort in achieving your goals and the exploration of new ideas in support of your personal artistic development.
Satisfactory achievement of these course objectives is based on the quality of projects but also quality of class participation, including contribution to critiques, discussions and in class presentations and end of semester Exhibition.
All projects will require students to work both inside and outside of class. Assignments turned in late will be decreased by 1/2 points for each day the assignment is late. Example: 20 points will equal 10 after 1 day. 20 points will be 5 points after 2 days late.

Work Load
You have to participate in the class. Ask question, discuss your results, and collaborate with your peers. Just sitting in and listening is not enough. You need to work every week. Ideally, you need to work a little every day. There are only 3 projects, but in between there is short weekly homework assignments that ensure practicing and understanding of concepts.

Copyrights in media and code
Your assignments might use image, sound or video. All this is on the web but that doesn’t mean it is free to use. Much is copyrighted. Create your own media, find public domain or ask for permission. In that case, contact the owner. Always write permissions or right in the code comments, along with your own name and contact. This is also to protect your own work since it will be available to anybody on the web.

Using other people code is not only a copyright violation but also a academic misconduct. You can and should read other programmers and artist’s code, to gain an understanding of the programing language. You will have to comment all your code, be able to explain line by line and edit and rerun to demonstrate you are making something you understand.

We only have 14 weeks, so it is important that you do not miss classes. Regular attendance is required. Every topic is build over the previous topic covered. Students are expected to come to class on time, and ready to work. Three unexcused absences will lower your final grade one full letter grade for each additional day missed. Excused absences are *only* for one of the explicit reasons listed here: family emergencies, established religious holidays, and illnesses with a doctor’s note indicating that the student needed to stay home on that particular class day.
Do not ask the instructor if it is all right to miss a class for any other reasons beyond these three. For excused absences, you will be expected to make up class time. If you miss a class for any reason rely on your classmates to fill you in, read class notes and make the homework. Missed classes do not excuse you from having your work on the following class.

End of semester exhibition:
“Art & Tech Exhibition” is the semester juried showcase of Art + Technology, which displays, undergraduate and graduate students works in new media, hybrid forms, video, holography, 2D/3D modeling/animation, interactive robotics and algorithmic composition, sound, digital imaging and web-based artworks. For more information:

You will be required to submit your final project for the show. If you do not submit your final project finished and ready to be juried, the assignment is considered failed. All the web applications will be displayed in a web gallery. For interactive applications, the professor will curate with each student how each artwork will be displayed individually. If the professor curates a project to be printed, laser cut, or displayed as an installation, the work must be professionally presented, framed, and/or put on a pedestal. No exceptions. You will be responsible for bringing what you will need for the installation of your work, including extension cords, gaffer’s tape, and special hardware. There are some pedestals available, but you should think about this in advance. For any other installation needs, please check with the professor at least two weeks before the exhibition.

Students will need to bring $4 to class during final weeks of class, to contribute to the refreshment fund for the exhibition. Expect to be appointed to the set up crew, food crew, or breakdown and clean-up crew.

All work must be removed by the show closing date at 4pm, or it will be discarded. This show is a group effort and your participation affects your final grade. Note: This is a general schedule, which, like most schedules, is subject to change.

Academic Misconduct:
It is the responsibility of the Committee on Academic Misconduct to investigate or establish procedures for the investigation of all reported cases of student academic misconduct. The term academic misconduct includes all forms of student academic misconduct wherever committed; illustrated by, but not limited to, cases of plagiarism and dishonest practices in connection with examinations. Instructors shall report all instances of alleged academic misconduct to the committee (Faculty Rule 3335-5-487). For additional information, see the Code of Student Conduct (

Disability policy:
Students with disabilities that have been certified by the Office for Disability Services will be appropriately accommodated, and should inform the instructor as soon as possible of their needs. The Office for Disability Services is located in 150 Pomerene Hall, 1760 Neil Avenue; telephone 292-3307, TDD 292-0901;