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Contents © 2020 Golan Levin and Collaborators

Golan Levin and Collaborators


Pedagogy and Teaching Activities

I am currently an Associate Professor of Electronic Time-Based Art at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), with courtesy appointments in the School of Design and the School of Computer Science. My pedagogy is simply one educatorís attempt to reclaim computation as a personal medium of expression. I teach courses in interactive art, computational design, information visualization, generative form, and audiovisual systems, in addition to mentoring both graduate and undergraduate students from a variety of departments. I am available as an workshop instructor and as an external thesis reader on a limited basis. Prospective students or workshop hosts should feel free to contact me by email.

Other resources:

Tenure-Track Teaching

Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.
Director, STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, College of Fine Arts, January 2009 to present.
Associate Professor of Electronic Time-Based Media, School of Art, June 2007 to present.
Assistant Professor of Electronic Time-Based Media, School of Art, January 2004 to May 2007.
Courtesy appointments held in the School of Design and Computer Science Department.

Courses taught:

Autumn 2010: BFA/BXA Senior Studio (co-taught)
Spring 2010: Special Topics in Interactive Art and Computational Design
Autumn 2009: Electronic Media Studio I
Spring 2009: Interactive Technology and Live Performance
Autumn 2008: Fundamentals of Computational Visual Form; Electronic Media Studio I
Spring 2008: Audiovisual Systems and Machines ; Electronic Media Studio I
Autumn 2007: The Interactive Image ; Electronic Media Studio I
Spring 2007: Information Visualization ; Senior Project Studio
Autumn 2006: The Interactive Image ; Electronic Media Studio I
Spring 2006: Audiovisual Systems and Machines ; Concept Studio II
Autumn 2005: The Interactive Image ; Electronic Media Studio I
Spring 2005: The Interactive Image ; Graduate Integrative Seminar
Autumn 2004: The Interactive Image ; Electronic Media Studio I
Spring 2004: The Interactive Image ; Information Visualization

Course Descriptions:

Audiovisual Systems and Machines
(Sometimes called Sound/Image/Performance or Sound+Image) The idea of a synaesthetic bonding of sound and image is a recurring motif in art, design and cinema; new technologies provide powerful new tools with which to explore that idea. Major topics in this studio course will include: static and dynamic visualizations, information sonification, sound for film and animation, and interactive tools and toys for audiovisual play and performance. Along the way we will also give attention to psychoacoustics, computer graphics, sound synthesis and analysis techniques, abstract film, information sonification, and other related fields. The first half of the semester will focus on rigorous weekly assignments aimed at exploring creative mappings between the auditory and visual domains. The second half of the course will develop individual projects, culminating in an evening of public installations, screenings and performances.

The Interactive Image
(Sometimes entitled Fundamentals of Computational Visual Form or Introduction to Interactive Graphics) This course is an introduction to the use of interactive graphics as an expressive visual tool. It is a "studio art course in computer science," in which the objective is art and design, but the medium is student-written software. Previous programming experience is not necessary. Rigorous exercises in Java and other languages will develop the basic vocabulary of constructs that govern static, dynamic, and interactive form. Topics include the computational manipulation of: point, line and shape; texture, value and color; time, change and motion; reactivity, connectivity and feedback. Students will become familiar with basic software algorithms, computational geometry, digital signal filtering, kinematic simulation, and the application of these techniques to aesthetic issues in interaction design, information visualization, and reactive art.

Information Visualization as a Mode of Art Practice
Traditionally the tool of the statistician and engineer, information visualization has increasingly become a powerful new tool for artists and designers as well, allowing them to present, search, browse, filter, and compare rich information spaces in order to reveal thought-provoking but otherwise hidden narratives. Like many visualization courses, this class will examine computational techniques for displaying temporal, spatial, hierarchical, and textual data. The class will also focus on visualization strategies from the "designer's perspective," exploring how to decipher and represent data in ways that make it meaningful for others, and on critical and conceptual applications of visualization from the "artist's perspective." Emphasis will be placed on the origin of data, as well as what information is worth visualizing and why. This course is heavily project-oriented; students should have programming skills or an interest in learning how to apply computation to their work.

Interactive Technology and Live Performance
This studio course considers the performance skills, design aesthetics, and technical issues unique to effective communication in digital and networked storytelling and performance environments. Through weekly projects, students will develop skills in working with and/or creating a wide range of technologies for stage, film, video, the Internet, and performance art, including: systems for motion capture and CG avatars; voiceover and ADR; remote direction and teleprompting; interactive lighting, projections, and costumes; improvisation with synthetic (AI) agents; and distributed systems for coordinating large-scale participatory events in the public sphere. In so doing, the course explores the ways in which these technologies are changing our understanding of the actor's body and shifting the nature of performance itself.

Special Topics in Interactive Art and Computational Design
This is an advanced studio course in arts computing and new media practice. Topics surveyed in the course will be tailored to student interests, and may include: experimental interface design, information visualization, game design, real-time audiovisuals, locative and mobile media, computational form-generation for rapid prototyping, image processing and vision-based interactions, augmented reality, simulation, networked crowd-sourcing, dynamic typography, mechatronic and device art, physical computing, and other topics. Through a small number of exploratory assignments and a public capstone project, students will bolster interdisciplinary problem-solving abilities and explore computation as a medium for curiosity-driven experimentation. Enrolling students are expected to have demonstrable programming skills, without exception, at or beyond the level of an introductory class such as 15-100. Although the course will provide technical introductions to major arts-programming toolkits (including Processing, Max/MSP/Jitter, openFrameworks, and Arduino), assignments can be executed in the student's preferred programming environment.

Electronic Media Studio I (EMS-I)
EMS-I is an introduction to a range of artistic practices on the Mac: an introduction to computer-based art making using the CFA Multi-Media cluster as a studio. Technical and philosophic issues surrounding the emergence of computer art as a practice and as a part of the larger culture will be explored. This class will introduce you to a range of electronically assisted artistic practice through projects on the computer. We will also look at historic and contemporary examples of computer/electronic based art. We will see media art in context through: recordings, videos, demonstrations, discussions and critique.

Graduate Integrative Seminar
This course is an intense, weekly graduate seminar dedicated to students' growth as professional artists. It is our chance to meet together, share our progress and offer constructive criticism to each other. Written assignments in the course are designed to help clarify your understanding of your own work, as well as build a set of core presentation materials which every artist ought to have.

Concept Studio II: Space and Time
This course is a continuation of Concept Studio I with a focus on space and time through projects of increasing complexity. Such topics as biological time, historical time, psychological time, celestial time, clock time, and public space, private space, mathematical space, and virtual space are addressed through projects. Open to freshmen in the School of Art, or by instructor permission.

Adjunct Teaching

Parsons School of Design, New York City, NY.
Adjunct Faculty, 2001-2003.
Autumn 2003: Faculty Thesis Advisor for 13 MFA students.
Spring 2003: Faculty Thesis Advisor for 19 MFA students.
Autumn 2002: Faculty Thesis Advisor for 10 MFA students, and adjunct professor of introductory seminar, "Interaction Design Studio."
Spring 2002: Faculty Thesis Advisor for 12 MFA students, and adjunct professor of the elective course, "Studio in Audiovisual Systems and Machines."
Autumn 2001: Adjunct Professor of introductory seminar in Digital Arts and Technology, "Interaction Design Studio".
Spring 2001: Faculty Thesis Advisor for four graduating Master's students in the Digital Arts and Technology Department.

The Cooper Union School of Art, New York City, NY.
Visiting Artist and Lecturer, 2001-2002, responsible for the courses:
Autumn 2001: "Introduction to Interaction Design Concepts".
Spring 2002: "Advanced Studio in Interactivity".

Columbia University, New York City, NY.
Adjunct Professor, 2000, responsible for the course:
Autumn 2000: "Fundamentals of Computational Visual Form".

Buck's Rock Creative Arts Camp, Mew Milford, CT.
Art Teacher, Summer 1993. Gave one-on-one instruction in painting, drawing, printmaking, color and composition to adolescents in a fast-paced Montessori environment.

Masters Theses Supervised (Select)

Bernstein, Michael Robert. "Audiovisual Granular Synthesis for Composition and Performance". M.F.A., Design and Technology, Parsons School of Design, 2004.

Burgener, Carrie. "Jot: A tool for collaborative information capture." M.F.A., Design and Technology, Parsons School of Design, 2003.

Chang, Chun-I. "Inner Twins". M.F.A., Design and Technology, Parsons School of Design, 2004.

Lin, Marc. "Motion Melody". M.F.A., Design and Technology, Parsons School of Design, 2002.

Myint, Jacky. "(Un)folding Events". M.F.A., Design and Technology, Parsons School of Design, 2002.

Podkolinska, Alina. "REACHing: Exploring Bimanual Spatial Input Devices in Static and Manipulable Environments". M.F.A., Design and Technology, Parsons School of Design, 2003.

Richards, Matthew. "Multiplayer Games: A Spectatorís View". M.F.A., Design and Technology, Parsons School of Design, 2004.

Sanders, Angie. "Elevator Angst A Critical Design Approach to Addressing Problems That Arise From Elevator Usage". M.F.A., Design and Technology, Parsons School of Design, 2004.

Warren, Jonah. "Unencumbered Full Body Interaction in Video Games". M.F.A., Design and Technology, Parsons School of Design, 2003.

Zlatar, Mateo. "Aural Limbo: Space as a Sonic Interactive Interface". M.F.A., Design and Technology, Parsons School of Design, 2003.