This schedule may be subject to some changes – for example I am still waiting for the date for our field trip to be confirmed. Please check in here regularly.

1 – January 22: Overview, social performance and interaction

  • Introductions, syllabus, themes and goals of course, key concepts
  • How do we socialize? What is involved in communication, signaling and social behavior? We will take a look at some ideas from social science as well as hacks/subversions/tactics used by artists and designers to explore online and offline social interaction.
  • Class survey

Recommended readings discussed in today’s lecture

For next week:

  • Review the information on this site
  • Join the class google group and blog (reset your password with something more secure)
  • Complete class survey here
  • Complete week 2 readings and make a comment on the blog summary after Tuesday to initiate class discussion
  • Carry out exercise 1
  • Set up twitter account and send me your handle

Exercise 1
Create social breaching/hacking experiment in physical space. Describe the experiment in an instructive sentence such as:
“Ride the subway and walk up to a seated passenger and ask for their seat.”
These exercises must be done in person and are not to be technologically mediated. Carry out each of your social hacks and document the results – you may need to work in pairs to do this. Documentation should be in a medium that is both of interest to you and that represents your hack well (You might to choose to make a sound recording, a photo, a short video, a written reflection, a drawing etc.). Bring the instruction and the documentation to present in class next week for discussion.
Post your instruction and the documentation of your experiment to your blog.
If you are having trouble thinking of a social breach – carry out one of Garfinkel’s listed here.


Tino Sehgel, Kiss, 2007.

2 – Jan 29: Computer networks are social networks

  • What makes a social space? What was the promise of computational social spaces and have they lived up to this? We will consider historic and contemporary social spaces and their characteristics asking what are the differences between physical public space and virtual public space? What of bulletin boards, platforms like geocities, friendstar, myspace, facebook and ello? What do we mean by social capital, reputation based economies and ambient intimacy? What have been some approaches of the artist and designer working to explore these spaces?

Readings to be discussed this week – led by Andrew and Ivana

Supplementary readings

  • Shirky, C. (2008). Gin, television, and social surplus. Published online, April, 26.
  • boyd, danah, 2011. “Participating in the Always-On Lifestyle.” The Social Media Reader (ed. Michael Mandiberg), pp. 71-76. Online here

This week’s to do list:

  • Carry out your analysis of an existing social media network.
  • If you haven’t scanned Menkmen, Rosa, 1999. A Technological Approach To Noise. In the Glitch Moment(um) from last week please do. (page 11-16) It will help you with your task this week.
  • Carry out exercise 2 (you may want to spend time reviewing tools like iftt)
  • Complete week 3 readings
  • Make 2 tweets linking to artworks or design works that you like that explore social media, social interaction, social experimentation. Use the class hashtag #SSS15

Exercise 2

A) Create an artwork based on the creation and application of a breaching or glitch experiment in a social network. You are to use your chosen network unconventionally, misuse it, bend the established social protocols of the space, disrupt it, communicate in an unusual way or by using different means than normal or create a whimsical or poetic action within in it. You are aiming to explore our expectations of this space in some way. Make a post describing your work, its results, why you classify your chosen behaviors as breaking with the conventional use of the space. What has this exercise illustrated for you? Document your experiment with a description, with screenshots or other forms of documentation.

Come to class ready to discuss. And thank you Lauren McCarthy for this exercise.

Some inspiration -> think about how you might translate or try these in other mediums/platforms etc to get your ideas flowing.


3 – Feb 5: Decentralization and the Internet

Readings to be discussed this week – discussion led by Zach and Alex Zahn

  • Galloway, A. R. (2004). Protocol: how control exists after decentralization. MIT press. Introduction.
  • Oliver, J., Savičić, G., & Vasiliev, D. (2011). The Critical Engineering Manifesto. Online:
  • And if you can manage it, I really recommend reading the Deleuze below, Galloway talks about this essay in his work, its only a few pages and has some key ideas in it… Take a look.

Supplementary Readings

For next week:

  • Download OpenPaths to your phone or device and create a login. This application will allow you to access and use your geolocation data, you might want to use your geo-data later in term.
  • Complete week 4 readings
  • Carry out and exercise 3 – described here. This will be presented for critique to our guest next week.
  • Take three photographs of different internet infrastructure in your neighbourhood and tweet them out with the class hashtag SSS15.

4 – Feb 12: Visiting artist – Lauren Mccarthy

  • Visiting artist – Lauren Mccarthy
  • Homework discussion

Readings to be discussed this week

For next week:

  • Carry out exercise 4 – described here. 
  • Complete readings for week 5
  • Review, edit and further research your blog posts to date. Review and select the post that you will submit for submission as Assessment 1, Part 1 next week.

5 – Feb 19: Experimental design methods

Assessment 1 part 1 due today online.

Readings for this week


  • Introduction to physical computing. Arduino workshop #1.
  • Form assignment groups

For next week:

  • Review the list of artist examples tagged this week, as listed on the tumblr (will be published as of Thursday night). Come with your favorite ready to discuss next week. Analyse what artistic strategies have been used in this piece, and why these strategies have made you want to talk about this piece.
  • Review Arduino 1, doing the exercises we didn’t get to in class. Review electricity 1 tutorial on this site if you need a primer on circuits.
  • Read assignment 2 brief and get thinking.
  • Reading for next week.

6 – Feb 26: Data and the Internet of things: Privacy, power and ethics

Readings assigned  – discussion led by Danielle and Chris

  • Dada data and the internet of paternalistic things. Link here. 

Supplementary readings :

Tutorial: Arduino workshop #2.

For next week:

  • Prepare your brief and assignment 2 prototype pitches in groups. Your pitch should include your response to the Parts 1-3 in the assignment brief. Include preliminary research on how you plan to build your prototype and why. Make sure you do the assignment 2 readings as listed in the brief. What questions is it responding to etc. Prepare a deck and a presentation for critique in class next week. ( 5-10minutes)
  • Complete Arduino 2 lab
  • Complete readings for next week.

7 – Mar 5: Art and the API

Compulsory readings – readings led by Anthony and Julie (next week)

Objects of intense feeling, the case of the twitter api. Link here.

Supplementary readings:

Thorp, Jerr. (2013). Art and the API. Online here:

Tutorial: Arduino workshop #3

Assignment 2 pitches this week.

For next week (changed due to snow day today):

  • Work through the Arduino 3 tutorial exercise –  03A – TALKING TO PROCESSING.
  • Assignment 2 pitches to be presented at the start of class next week​. This pitch should include a conceptual outline of your project with research. This should respond to steps 1-3 in project brief. You should also develop a technical plan for the construction of your project. Identify any parts of your project that you don’t know how to make yet and list materials and sensors/components you need to obtain. If your work has a speculative angle (ie you are going to create a prototype with an imaginary functionality to explore your brief, articulate how you will create your prosthetic to suggests that functionality to your audience. Eg. using an indicator light ) You should prepare a deck and a presentation around 5 min long.​
  • Continue developing Assignment 2  in your groups. Bring any materials you will need to work on your project in class next week​
  • Please complete this weeks API reading and also the supplementary API reading by Jer Thorp if you haven’t already. Come ready to discuss next week. (discussion led by Anthony and Julie) (Next weeks reading will now happen the week after (week 9).
  • Think about the issues in these readings and how they relate to the Week 7 lecture links on artists working with APIS in the lecture part of the site​. Comment on Anthony and Julie’s reading summary, perhaps discussing some of the ideas in Jer Thorp’s reading, or commenting on one of the art examples from the lecture.
  • Take a look at some the artworks in ARTART section of this site.

8 – Mar 12:

Compulsory readings – API readings from last week to be led by Anthony and Julie

Tutorial: Project work

9 – Mar 19.

Readings for this week – discussion led by Erica.

RadioLab – Talking to Machines –


Cox, G. (2013). Speaking Code: Coding as aesthetic and political expression. MIT Press.

Politics of the English language –

10 – Mar 26: Assignment 2 due and : Introduction to Communication, code and language

Assignment 2 is due today

1 hour setup time

For week 11:

Watch this ted talk.

See this to do list.

Apr 2: No class

Spring recess

11 – Apr 9: Social Automation – bots bots bots

Readings for this week : 

Supplementary readings.


  • Javascript and text files
  • Introduction to p5.js

For next week:

  • Reading for next week
  • Analyze or create a text using a source text of your choosing and the code examples discussed in class.
  • Review bots resources and reading materials
  • Prepare final project proposal

12 – Apr 16: Security and Surveillance (TBC)

Due to our field trip event being not yet announced, we will now be going on a field trip on Sat 2nd to a conference on art, creative practice and code. More on this in class.

  • bot proposal presentations
  • bot workshop

Readings for this week  – readings led by Alissa and Emily

Supplementary Material :

  • Citizen Four – Edward Snowden Documentary (if you can find a screening or opportunity to see this, it is a must!). Trailer is here.

For next week:

  • Readings for next week

13 – Apr 23: Technologies for social change, resistance and protest

Readings for this week :

  • Gladwell, Malcom. (2010). Small Change. The New Yorker. Online here.


  • Bots workshop #2

For next week:

  • Final project work

For next week:

  • Final project work

14 – Apr 30: Assignment 3 is due

  • Assignment workshop but no formal class