Course Description

Electronic Media Studio: Interactivity and Computation (60-210) is a practical introduction to programming and computational media production within the context of the arts. In this course, students develop the skills and confidence necessary to produce computational and interactive artworks, discuss their work in relation to current and historic praxes of digital art, and engage new technologies critically.

Intended as a first course for arts students, this class introduces computational craft skills through exercises in creative coding tools such as p5.js. Students will develop command over the basic vocabulary of constructs that govern static, dynamic, and interactive form, with the aim of applying these skills to problems in interactive art, computational design, and other creative explorations of transmediality, connectivity, generativity, and immersivity.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Develop basic computer programs capable of responding to user interaction, using a variety of different creative coding tools.
  • Discuss the repertoire of artists, designers, works and activities around interactive art, generative form, and computational design.
  • Understand the role of computation in artworks that explore concepts of transmediality, connectivity, generativity, and immersivity.
  • Document and present creative work online, and in person.


  • Week 1: Analogue Computing and Rule-Based Art (Lewitt, Ono, Moniker).
    Assignments: Conditional Design system; Minimum Inventory, Maximum Diversity system.
  • Week 2: Graphical Elements; Generative Art. (Molnar, Mohr; Sarin, Lieberman, Manolo, Crespo). Introduction to p5.js. Drawing with code. Shape, color. Variables, randomness. Assignment: Generative composition (Valentine).
  • Week 3: Iteration. Patterning. Functions. Repetition and variation, for loops, nested loops, noise. Assignments: Repetition in space (Wallpaper), non-repetition in space (Landscape).
  • Week 4: Movement. Repetition in time (GIF Loop), One-shot “Celebration” in game design.
  • Additional Units TBA.