IMA 505 Syllabus

IMA 505

NUMBER OF CREDITS: 3            

COURSE TITLE: Multimedia History, Theory and Criticism      

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This class will present a historical and critical context within which the field of multimedia and interactivity can be studied. It will develop ways of analyzing the relationship of new interactive work to the rich history of multimedia art forms. Subjects to be introduced will include photography, cinema, radio, television, computers and the Internet, as well as study of the impact of new technologies on the field of cultural studies.


TITLE:                       on enterFrame

AUTHOR(S):                       Patrick Aievoli

PUBLISHER(S):      Whittier Publications

OBJECTIVE OF THE COURSE: Students will gain a perspective on the lineage of innovation and prior knowledge base needed to progress within the realm of digital constructs. An emphasis is placed on prior advancements that are reflected in innovative uses of the five areas concentrated on in this course: arts, information, education, entertainment, and commerce.

CONTACT HOURS: 6:40 to 8:40

Graduate level lecture courses 3 credits reflect 2 hrs. x 15 weeks = 30 contact hours

Patrick Aievoli

Office hours and location

Humanities Hall Room 119a –

12:30 to 1:50 / 4pm to 6 pm – Tues & Thurs

CONTENT DESCRIPTION: The content used in this class will be focused on technologies, societal trends and needs. Each lecture will use the previous timeframes as a starting point and arc towards the subsequent time or event.

INSTRUCTIONAL ACTIVITIES: Students will research listed areas of multimedia history. Each paper will focus on the following breakdown creating an ongoing linkage from past to present to future.

ASSIGNMENTS /HOMEWORK HOURS: (A 3 credit course meeting 3 hours a week should reflect 6 hours of supplementary assignments each week for a total of 90 assignment hours)

Past Technologies – Knowledge base and technological advancement from at least the previous century

Past – 60%

Present – 20%

Future – 20%

Present Technologies – Knowledge base and technological advancement from the previous 50 years

Past – 20%

Present – 60%

Future – 20%

Future Technologies – Knowledge base and technological advancements predicted for the next 50 years

Past – 20%

Present – 20%

Future – 60%

*Supplementary assignments should be further defined and quantified:

Paper Research and Development       1 hour

Readings                                             1 hour

Presentation                                         1 hour

*Each assignment should be clearly stated in paragraph form. Format outlines and assessment rubrics maybe included if appropriate.


EVALUATION (Percentage valued for each assignment and participation)

Final grade will be based on class participation, assigned reading, student progress, tests and evaluation of papers.

More than three absences will result in a failing grade.


Students will need to spend at least three hours per week in the lab (outside of class time) to complete these projects.

A= Excellent Work

B+ = Above Average

B = Average

C+ = Minimal Average

C= Below Average

D+ = Well below average

D = Minimal Level

F = Failure to meet expectations

Late projects will either not be accepted or will result in a lowered grade. In addition, there will be tutorial assignments worked on in class and a high probability of surprise quizzes. Finally, all students should maintain notes on class lectures, demonstrations and instruction.  Class attendance is essential.

WEEKLY COURSE OUTLINE: (A 15 week schedule to reflect the school calendar with week to week topics and assignments)


Class 1:         Introductions, administrative stuff, reading syllabus, discussion of what “multimedia” means, with definitions and derivations.


Class 2:         A history of different media: text, sound, recording, communications technology, video, audio and film.


Class 3:         History of television, broadcasting, and as much as possible of early computer history.


Class 4:         First Quiz

Handing in proposals and reviewing outlines for first paper.

Class viewing of “Triumph of the Nerds”


Class 5:         First paper due

The sixties and psychedelia, avant-garde music, performance art that led

up to modern computer history.


Class 6:         Guest speaker.

Handing in proposals and reviewing outlines for second paper.

Review for Mid Term


Class 7:         Mid Term Exam


Class 8:         Internet History and Significance.

Second paper due


Class 9:         Discussion of the confluence of factors necessary for modern “multimedia” to occur.

The beginnings of modern multimedia.


Class 10:       Second Quiz on material covered to date.

Viewing of “Pirates of Silicon Valley”


Class 11:       Handing in proposals and reviewing outlines for third paper.History of Archival Media.


Class 12:       Third paper due “Outside the Box”  presentation


Class 13:       Review for Final Exam


Class 14:       Final Exam




The list below links to some historical reference sites. If you would like to add to the list please email me


Trajan Column

Sieve of Eratosthenes


Blaise Pascal

Ned Ludd

Herman Hollerith

Eadweard Muybridge

Thomas Edison


Lumiere Brothers

Philo T. Farnsworth



Vannevar Bush

ENIAC eniac.html


Paul Baran

Bolt, Berenak and Newman


Robert Metcalf

Xerox Palo Alto Research Center

Information Architecture


Jakob Nielsen


Usability and Information


People of the Web


Art & Design

daVinci and the Internet,1284,57401,00.html



Josef Muller Brockman


International Typographic Style


Visual Design Timeline


Seven Deadly Sins of Web Design


The Grid


David Carson


Roger Black



History of Animation


Winsor McCay


Max Fleischer






Chronology of Animation


The Future of User Interface Design


Interactive and Multimedia Arts


Early Days

T. Marinetti


Morton Heilig


Laurie Anderson


Ed Emshwiller


Alan Kaprow


Billy Kluver