Use technologies the students have already embraced.
Have students take a photo series with their camera phones (or work in teams). Create a narrative, explore texture. Blow images up and consider the grain and distortions.
Crop in on small details of well known art and blow them up. Can the students guess the artist? Discuss the texture, brushwork, use of color, abstraction of form.
Collect found objects and incorporate them into a collage. Combine physical and virtual collage. Use a camera or scanner to get resource images into the computer.
Shared art. Create a progression by passing around digital artwork that is added to by each student. Each student begins a work, then passes it on. This can be done using an online gallery (or school server) to share the art. How does this collaboration change ideas about autonomy in art? Since each iteration is preserved, what is the original? What is lost?
Create a portfolio. Using software, shareware, scanners and/or simple HTML, have students select and arrange their best work. Discuss digital portfolios vs physical portfolios, slides vs CD and web portfolios.
Use free online services (or simple software) to create a slideshow of students’ work.
Research. Have each student pick an artist to research online. Gather images (discuss copyright and fair-use) and information about the artist and present via simple HTML or slideshow.
Use screenshots to document a search. Discuss the different ways information can be presented and how the search evolved; the false leads, interesting side journeys. Discuss the advantages and pitfalls of online research.
Use free online art-making tools to make some original art.
Explore algorithmic “code art.” Visit online presentations and explore interactive art. Save some original creations. How does such art change perceptions of authorship, originality? Where is the “art?” Is it in the programming, the code? The presentation? The interaction between spectator and artist?
Graphic Design. Explore typography. Have each student pick a letter of the alphabet and create an original poster celebrating that letter.
Use combinations of copier art and digital manipulation to explore and abstract an object.
Compare digital and film photography. Shoot the same object with digital and 35mm cameras. Develop a print from each. Is the “real” photograph richer? How are the processes similar and different? Photography was the “new media” of the late 19th century. How did it change the role of artists? Discuss new media’s influence on the art of today.
Prepared by Eleanor Ramsay, This article originally appeared at aecontent.net