Module code: DMA1002

Module Overview

This introductory module explores the historical relationship between art and technology, and its development up to the emergence of digital technologies. It explores the field of digital media arts, its definitions, development and its various strands and instantiations, providing the necessary background for a more specialized study of digital media arts in the other modules of the programme.

Module provider

Music and Media

Module Leader

STEWART Gavin (Music & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

JACs code: P390

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Histories of “New” Media Forms

  • Relationship between contemporary digital media arts and early avant-garde art practices

  • The development of early computer graphics

  • The seminal 1968 exhibition ‘Cybernetic Serendipity’

  • The rise of .net art

  • Hypertext literature

  • Virtual and Augmented Reality

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework ESSAY 60

Alternative Assessment

An individual presentation may be submitted as an alternative to the group presentation

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of the historical development of digital media arts (exam), demonstrate, apply and share their knowledge of historical traditions and movements of media arts (exam and group presentation), and contextualise contemporary cases of digital media arts (group presentation).

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Group presentation with individual self-reflection of 700 words, (40%, week 8)

  • Essay, 2000 word (60%, 2 hrs, week 13)

The formative assessment and feedback for this module consists of:

Short essay tasks and SL on-line quizzes. Students will also present an oral outline of their essay theme in week 6-7. Feedback will be given in during seminars, one-to-one tutorials, and in-class after presentations.

Module aims

  • Place digital media arts into a wider art-historical context
  • Historicize the emergence of digital media arts and their relation to other media arts
  • Highlight pioneers and important moments
  • Differentiate between different strands and movements of digital media arts, such as .net art, computer art, virtual art, etc.
  • Explore the various digital media arts instantiations that exist today in performance, installation art, music, writing, painting, and multimedia artworks

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between arts and technology in its historical development until the emergence of digital technologies. KC
2 Demonstrate an understanding of the historical connections between the different strands of media/digital media arts and how they have emerged and developed. KC
3 Distinguish between media art, digital art, and its various strands such as .net art, computer art, visual art, etc., and be able to apply this to relevant examples and case studies. KC
4 Demonstrate understanding of the historical traditions, movements and influences behind contemporary digital media artworks C
5 Work effectively in groups, in order to deliver a presentation PT
6 Articulate ideas and information comprehensibly in visual, oral and written forms PT
7 Present ideas and work to a variety of audiences. PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 128

Seminar Hours: 22

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Provide students with the necessary knowledge of the history and development of digital technologies in order to contextualize the role of digital media arts in contemporary society.

  • Enable students to relate and apply the acquired knowledge to case studies to their own practice.

The learning and teaching methods include:

11 class sessions covering the following:

  • Lectures (2 hrs x 6 weeks)

  • Seminars (2 hrs x 3 weeks)

  • Presentations (2 hrs x 2 weeks)

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for HISTORIES OF MEDIA ARTS : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/dma1002

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Digital Media Arts BA (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.