Bill Manaris : Fall 2011 / CITA 295495

Computing in the Arts Seminar/Capstone


TR 1:40-2:55PM / LONG 220


CITA 295: A seminar course to develop through readings, discussion, and writing exercises the integration of themes developed across computing in the arts. Students will benefit from participating with junior and senior majors in a group seminar in preparation for their own enrollment in CITA 495. Open to CITA majors only.

Prerequisites: CSCI/CITA 210, CSCI 221, 9 hours in an art concentration.

CITA 495: A capstone course to provide a synthesizing experience for CITA majors across all concentrations. Students will read and analyze the latest research in the expanding field of computing in the arts, and will develop individual research projects integrating their skills and knowledge for both written and oral presentation. Open only to CITA majors with senior standing.

Prerequisite: CITA 295

Test Dates


Homework #1, Homework #2, Homework #3.

Readings & References

  1. Timeline of 20th c. Art and New Media by Rama Hoetzlein.
  2. Zoe Keating Avant-garde cellist Zoe Keating demonstrates her intricately layered compositions. Using a computer, some 'janky code', a cello and her imagination, the classically trained musician shapes her music into something wonderful.
  3. Interactive Robotic Painting Machine (2011) Interactive Robotic Painting Machine (2011) - Our everyday interactions are increasingly mediated by technology, be they mobile phones, chat systems, or social networking sites. These systems are designed to anticipate and support our needs and desires while facilitating those interactions. As these systems grow in complexity, or intelligence, how does that intelligence change what passes through them? Further, how does that intelligence evolve to make its own work for its own needs?
  4. Seth Horvitz – Eight Studies for Automatic Piano is inspired by the work of James Tenney, György Ligeti, Charlemagne Palestine, and Conlon Nancarrow. This work makes use of simple, computer-aided compositional processes to test the limits of human perception and machine precision. It relies on a bare minimum of technical means to explore notions of temporal distortion, iterative process, and elegant complexity. Presented in an immersive concert setting without the presence of a human performer, Eight Studies questions traditional notions of live performance and musical "life".
  5. Edwards, Michael. Algorithmic Composition: Computational Thinking in Music. Communications of the ACM, Vol. 54, No. 7, pp. 58-67.
  6. Pat Metheny's Orchestrion project is a new, open-ended platform for musical composition, improvisation and performance. It uses acoustic and acoustoelectric musical instruments that are mechanically controlled through a guitar, pen or keyboard. This creates a detailed compositional environment, which allows spontaneously developed improvisation. On top of layers of acoustic sound, Pat Metheny adds conventional electric guitar playing as an improvised component - a new level for solo performance by a single musician.
  7. Interactive virtual-to-physical mapping - projection of virtual artifacts onto physical ones. The future (present?) of scenography.
  8. PLOrk The Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk) is a newly established ensemble of computer-based musical meta-instruments. Each instrument consists of a laptop, a multi-channel hemispherical speaker, and a variety of control devices (keyboards, graphics tablets, sensors, etc.).
  9. Birds on the Wires Birds on the Wires - Reading a newspaper, Jarbas Agnelli saw a picture of birds on the electric wires. He cut out the photo and decided to make a song, using the exact location of the birds as notes...
  10. HARMONIA (3rd Harmonic Resonance) HARMONIA (3rd Harmonic Resonance) - The image and audio are generated by the same algorithmic process, an unfolding of the harmonic series across the course of an hour. Visually, the harmonic series is represented by the division of the circle. Sonically it is represented by a sinewave series built upon a fundamental frequency of 31.7 Hz (ultra-low C).
  11. M.C. Escher's 'Print Gallery' Achieving the Unachievable - An inquiry into the mystery of the missing hole in M.C. Escher's "Print Gallery".
  12. Impromptu Impromptu is a Scheme language environment for music composition and real-time performance.
  13. Phonautogram Researchers play song recorded before Edison. The 10-second recording of a singer crooning the folk song “Au Clair de la Lune” was discovered earlier this month in an archive in Paris by a group of American audio historians. It was made, the researchers say, on April 9, 1860, on a phonautograph, a machine designed to record sounds visually, not to play them back. But the phonautograph recording, or phonautogram, was made playable — converted from squiggles on paper to sound — by scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif.
  14. The reactable hardware is based on a translucent, round multi-touch surface. A camera situated beneath the table, continuously analyzes the surface, tracking the player's finger tips and the nature, position and orientation of physical objects that are distributed on its surface. These objects represent the components of a classic modular synthesizer, the players interact by moving these objects, changing their distance, orientation and the relation to each other. These actions directly control the topological structure and parameters of the sound synthesizer. A projector, also from underneath the table, draws dynamic animations on its surface, providing a visual feedback of the state, the activity and the main characteristics of the sounds produced by the audio synthesizer.
  15. fractals Intro to Fractals from Wikipedia.
  16. Interactive Mandelbrot Set - user interface allows to zoom in at different areas.
  17. Victor Staniosis and Hugh Berberich, "Computer Music - Science and Technology of a New Art", Monograph Series of the Liberal Arts, Dartmouth Electronic Bookshelf.
  18. Phil Burk, Larry Polansky, Douglas Repetto, Mary Roberts, and Dan Rockmore, "Music and Computers", Dartmouth Electronic Bookshelf.
  19. Richards R. (2001), "A New Aesthetic for Environmental Awareness: Chaos Theory, the Beauty of Nature, and our Broader Humanistic Identity". Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Vol. 41, No. 2, pp. 59-95.
  20. Spehar, B., C.W.G. Clifford, B.R. Newell, and R.P. Taylor. (2003). "Universal Aesthetic of Fractals." Computers & Graphics, vol. 27, pp. 813-820.
  21. Chazelle, B. (2006), "Could you iPod be Holding the Greatest Mystery in Modern Science?", Math Horizons, vol 13, April 2006. Algorithmic thinking is likely to cause the most disruptive paradigm shift in the sciences since quantum mechanics. The big ideas revolve around universality, duality, and self-reference.
  22. CofC Library resources related to Computers, Music, and Art.
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