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Moore College of Art - Web Media

Web Media

Moore College Of Art And Design - Photography and Digital Arts
Course: Web Media PDA203
Semester: Spring 2015
Class: Tuesday and Thursday 8:30am - 11:20am
Location: Penelope P. Wilson Hall, Room 037
Instructor: Lee Tusman
Contact: ltusman @ moore
Office Hours: By email appointment

Course Description

Students will learn HTML and the Javascript library P5.JS (Processing in Javascript) as a means to explore interdisciplinary web based media. Through a series of weekly assignments both in and outside of class, as well as a culminating self-identified project, students will be expected to synthesize their understanding of motion, time, information and interactivity as effective visual strategies in a web environment.

This lab course is an experimental forum for questioning the potential of the Internet and creating online projects that push its boundaries. Students will be exposed to an array of new media artists, experimental net art, online archives, and social platforms that will inspire original ideas. Each student will conceptualize, propose, and execute projects based on concepts established in class, using the web, apps, and other digital tools.

Course Texts

  • Envisioning Information, Tufte, Graphics Press, 1990
  • Getting Started with Processing. Casey Reas and Ben Fry, 2010
  • W3 Schools: Tutorials for HTML5 and CSS at – This is a website with online tutorials we will use to learn HTML and CSS.
    Optional - No specific reading assignments but you may find these useful:
  • HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, Musciano & Kennedy, O'Reilly Media
  • Sketching User Experiences: The Workbook, 2011


  • Sublime Text 3 – a code editor for HTML, Javascript and more. (Also, check out Atom)
  • Processing - a development environment for Programming in Processing
  • P5.JS – a free library for programming Processing in Javascript
  • Photoshop (Adobe) or Gimp (open source and free) - image editors

Course Objectives

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the history of web media past and present
  • Evaluate web media projects aesthetically, conceptually and technically
  • Demonstrate foundational competency in learning visual programming languages in HTML, CSS, Processing/P5.JS (Javascript)
  • Demonstrate understanding of thinking computationally through writing code and templates
  • Communicate ideas and meaning through visual communication and problem solving in web media

Attendance & Participation

Attendance and participation is the single largest contributor to your grade for this class. Students are expected to be prompt, participate in critiques, and contribute individually and in teams. Students are expected to assist one another in studio and lecture and to give each other feedback.

Class attendance is mandatory. Please inform me via email if you are going to miss a class. Habitually showing up late for class or an excessive number of absences will adversely affect your grade. Absences for religious holidays will be excused and not counted as a cut. Failure to attend one-third of the classes will result in an F for the course. Any class missed prior to the drop/add period constitutes an absence. A student who is absent for a serious medical or personal problem should consult with the Dean of Students.

Weekly Homework

Each week there will be a homework assignment. Homework may include reading, watching videos, doing code exercises, creating web prototypes, and completing projects. Feel free to collaborate with your classmates and work together on any assignment(s), but everyone must submit their own individual work.

Class time will be spent each week going over the homework assignments. Expect to be asked to show your work every week. Some classes everyone may demonstrate their work, other classes only a few students will share, but always be prepared to do so. All of your weekly work must be completed on time prior to class, uploaded to the web, and documented on your online journal.

Online Journal

Students are expected to keep an online journal to be graded on documentation of creative process towards assigned work. A tumblr page is suggested, though other sites (wordpress, etc) are accepted as well.

  • provide a direct hyperlink to your work
  • describe the assignment
  • discuss what you chose to do and why
  • document any resources/research/inspiration
  • explain your process
  • highlight both successes and failures

The journal shows me your understanding of the material learned and documents your progress throughout the semester.

Classroom Rules & Personal Conduct

  • No cell phones during lecture. Please put them on vibrate or turn them off before you come to class.
  • Classroom spaces must be left in the condition in which you found them.
  • Whenever classmates are presenting please give them your full attention.


25% Weekly Assignments
15% Online Journal
40% Participation and Attendance
20% Final Project

Weekly assignments will be assigned based on material learned in class and through readings and assigned websites. Students should be prepared to show and talk about them in class as well as participate in discussion and critiques. All students will create and maintain a blog for their assignments.

Assignments will be graded on a student's comprehension of classroom material and professional execution and presentation. Innovative design must take risks; therefore assignments will also be evaluated on choice of subject and challenging nature relative to individual abilities and individual goals. In other words, a highly polished project that plays it safe may be judged more critically than a project that stretches for a truly innovative solution that demonstrates understanding of class material.

No assignments will be accepted after the deadlines, so get it done on time. Deadlines and constraints are the prompts that enable great art! For exceptional circumstances, see the section on “Attendance/Lateness.”

The following definitions are applied to appropriate letter grades:

A = excellent performance, well above expected achievement.
B = good performance above expected achievement
C = expected achievement
D = poor or below expected achievement
F = failure

Note: A C- or below in a major class places a student on departmental probation.

Disability Policy: Any student needing classroom or exam accommodations due to the impact of a learning difference, disability or medical condition must first contact the Dean of Students ( or the Associate Dean of Educational Support Services ( Students should not request accommodations directly from the faculty. The Dean of Students or the Associate Dean will explain the College’s procedures for documenting disabilities and making reasonable accommodations, and will help the student take the necessary steps. (See Disability Policy in the College Policy section of the Handbook for further details: Once the accommodations have been documented and approved by either the Dean of Students or the Associate Dean, students should contact their faculty privately and in a timely manner to discuss the most effective methods to implement the accommodations.


Introduction and Escaping Flatland, Envisioning Information, Tufte
Molly Soda Asks What's Your Wifi?
Getting Started with Processing
Ten Myths Of Internet Art
Web Work: A History Of Internet Art
So You Want To Join A Surf Club
Old Boys Network 100 anti-theses Cyberfeminism
Some Notes on New Expressions
Internet Art Safari
5 Problems Showing Internet Art
Rich User Experience, UX, and Desktopization of War
The Commodification Of Net Art
Notes On Being A Net Artist
User Generated Content
Searching and Sampling - Becoming An Expert Web User
HTML tutorial at
Hackers and Painters
Watch Casey Reas - Chance Operations, 37 minutes video
P5JS.ORG website
Chrome Experiments website


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