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Research Paper and Artist Presentation Instructions

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on February 12, 2008 at 9:01:10 pm

Topic due March 3

Artist Presentation due March 24

Research paper due April 7


Research Paper: 


Pick a technology/invention that has been used widely in society and also to make art.  Write a paper discussing the pros and cons of this technology.  How is it useful in society?  What are the downsides?  Use commentary from social critics or scientists to back up your statements.  You might not be able to cover the topic completely but try to lay out clear advantages and questions about your invention.  Pick at least two artworks, by different artists, that use this technology expressively.  How does the artwork comment on the technology or its use?  Does it broaden the possibilities for this technology?  Does it change your view of the social consequences of this technology?


Examples of topics from the following website include:






Kinetics & Robotics


Virtual Reality

Motion, Gesture, etc

Artificial Intelligence

Information Systems


Computer Media    

Telecom - radio, telephone, telepresence

Web Art


Animals & Plants


Body & Medicine    

Math, Algorithms, Artificial Life

Particle Physics, nanotechnology

Dynamic Systems, Geology, Chemistry

Rapid Prototyping

Space Science



These are broad categories.  Try to narrow your topic to be more specific such as:


Internet application forms

Microchip implantation for pet identification

Cloning for food

Nanotechnology for surgery



It doesn’t necessarily have to be a new technology.  If you desired, you could do historical research into technologies like film cameras, video games, television, etc.



How to write your paper:



You may find yourself attracted to a certain invention.  Another approach would be to explore artworks first, and find the technology you are interested in that way.  The web is a great place to start, but ultimately you want to be doing research in journals and books that cover both the social impact of an invention as well as the artistic impact.  The more specific you are, the easier it will be to keep your paper focused.


Your paper should be approximately five typed pages in 10 or 12 point with 1.5 line spacing.  You should carefully proofread your work for correct grammar and spelling.  Your first paragraph should state a clear thesis and each paragraph should support that thesis.  The last paragraph should be a summary of the points of your paper.  Consult writing guides from Strunk and White or the Chicago Manual of Style for help.  Help is also available in the Writing Center or at the library.  Your paper should include at least four non-internet based resources. 



In addition, each student will do a 10-minute presentation on one of the artists they are researching for their paper.  Use at least two sources.  These can be internet or non-internet based.  Give us a sense of the artist as a person with some basic information such as birthdate, residence(s), education, awards, type of work (media used), and general themes of the art.  Present three specific works including title, media, date, and dimensions or duration.  Describe and interpret the work.  What is it about?  What elements lead you to your interpretation? Does it relate to other people’s artwork in any way?  Finally, tell us what led you to choose this artist for your presentation.

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