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Unit of study_

ARIN3630: Digital Arts

Semester 2, 2020 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Explore digital technologies in the visual and performing arts, film and popular culture to analyse how new media transform the ways art is made and experienced. Discuss and evaluate their technologies, aesthetics, and how audiences interact with, and even produce them.

Unit details and rules

Unit code ARIN3630
Academic unit Media and Communications
Credit points 6
12 credit points at 2000 level in Digital Cultures or 12 credit points at 2000 level in Art History or 12 credit points at 2000 level in Film Studies or 12 credit points at 2000 level in Design Computing
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Olga Boichak,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Participation Participation
engagement with lecture materials, contribution to tutorials and blog posts
10% Ongoing n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO5 LO4 LO3
Assignment Tutorial presentation
includes an in-class presentation and a blog post submission
20% Ongoing
Closing date: 30 Dec 2020
1,000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO5 LO4
Assignment Essay
a dossier on artist/collective, explored from four vantage points
Due date: 27 Nov 2020 at 23:59

Closing date: 30 Dec 2020
2,000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Assignment Art review
a comprehensive review of a new media artwork/exhibition/performance
30% Week 07
Due date: 16 Oct 2020 at 23:59

Closing date: 30 Dec 2020
1,500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5

Assessment summary

  • Tutorial presentation: For your assigned week, select a new media artwork/exhibition/performance that links to the week’s readings and present/analyse it as a case stydy in class. Each student will have an opportunity to select up to three topics of interest and will be assigned to do a presentation on one of them.
    This assignment includes an in-class presentation (oral/slides/supplemental materials – delivered in class in the assigned week) and a blog post submission.
  • Art review: Write a review of a new media artwork/exhibition/ performance. You should engage with ideas from at least two of the weekly topics. Your review should try to convey a sense of the audience experience of the new media artwork / exhibition / film for your reader (remember, you can’t assume they have seen the work). You need to describe the experience of the work for your reader. You may use both first person and third person in the review.
  • Essay: As the semester progresses, you will be compiling a dossier on your artist/artist collective of choice, which you will submit in an essay form at the end of the semester. Your essay must explore, analyse, and critique a digital art collection from four vantage points, showing a thoughtful engagement with relevant weekly readings as well as evidence of independent research. Use specific examples to illustrate and support your argument. You may not discuss the same artworks that you have already discussed in your Art review and Tutorial presentation. Please be consistent in your referencing style and make sure you properly attirbute all your sources.
  • Participation: Your participation mark will be evaluated on engagement with lecture materials positive contribution to tutorial activities and your weekly blog posts. It consists of three parts:
    ~tutorial participation (30%, as tracked by your tutor, with earned points for actively contributing to class discussion);
    ~lecture participation (30%, as tracked by Canvas, with earned points for each lecture you watched);
    ~blogging activity (40%, with earned points for each post).
Detailed information for each assessment can be found under Assignments tab on Canvas.


Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

Per University of Sydney's 2014 Coursework Policy, work submitted after the due date is subject to a penalty of 5% per calendar day late. If work is submitted more than 10 days after the due date, or is submitted after the return date, the mark will be 0 unless a special consideration is in place.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Welcome to ARIN3630 Digital Arts Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 02 Digital transformations in the creative arts: an overview Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 03 Art and media: reproduction, interaction, and remediation Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 04 Screens, simulations and special effects Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 05 Sonic architectures: sound and the politics of sensing and listening Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 06 Art in the digitally networked public sphere: affects, bodies, practices Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 07 Artistic data visualisation and the datalogical turn Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 08 Aboriginal and Indigenous digital arts in Australia and beyond Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 09 Artveillance: the politics of seeing and being seen Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 10 Art and audiences in neoliberal capitalism Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 11 Art, the post-human and the non-human: robots, virtual performance and bio-art Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 12 Lockdown aesthetics: machine vision and algorithmic imaginaries in the aftermath of the pandemic Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: According to Faculty Board Resolutions, students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are expected to attend 90% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of your synchronous tutorials (via Zoom), regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board. The Examiner’s Board will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold.
  • Lecture recording: All lectures for this unit will be recorded and may be made available to students under Recorded Lectures on Canvas.
  • Preparation: Students should commit to spend approximately three hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate an understanding of the way digital technologies are used in a broad range of contemporary art practices including visual arts, performance, sound, machine vision, and interactive media
  • LO2. foster an appreciation of the cultural and aesthetic diversity of art practices utilising digital technologies, and understand the ways in which power relationships are challenged/contested/unsettled through art
  • LO3. develop a grounding in the contemporary theoretical debates, conceptual issues, and policy informing digital art practice
  • LO4. practice the ability to critically analyse and discuss a range of digital art works in written and oral forms and in a variety of genres
  • LO5. hone research and inquiry skills, involving the ability to present evidence to support an argument reflecting your own perspective

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Minor changes have been made since this unit was last offered: revised assessment instructions for tutorial presentation and essay, and added a few contemporary topics in weeks 5, 8, 10, and 12.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.