Creative Media Manipulation

Creative Media Manipulation

CAMS 216  •  Nicholas Knouf

Computer code for a poetry project

A screenshot of code for a generative poetry project (contributed by Nick Knouf).

The arts and humanities are infused with media, from the printed word to digital images, videos, and sound. Knowing how these media are constructed at a fundamental material level means that one can be an active producer of digital artifacts, rather than a passive consumer who cedes creative control to someone else. In this course students will learn programming skills that allow them to create and manipulate images, text, video, sound, and the physical world. Students will become acquainted with programming languages and environments such as Processing, Python, Arduino, and Lilypad. The course will regularly illustrate the intersection of the arts and humanities with computation and digital technologies through the reading of historical texts and the close examination of specific works. Skills learned in the course will be useful for future work in the digital humanities among other domains.

In Nicholas Knouf's words, "My understanding of digital humanities is quite broad. […] I […] understand digital humanities to encompass not only the use of advanced technologies to study humanistic questions, but also the learning of how these technologies work at a fundamental level. […] Being a critic is not enough; knowing how to program is not enough. Bringing the two capabilities together, however, enables the student to respond to the changes wrought by the digital not with unbridled pessimism or optimism but with a nuanced understanding."

This course is part of the Digital Humanities Program.