Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
ART 103
Course Title:
Understanding New Media Arts
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces aesthetic, historical, and critical issues of new media arts and design. Presents aspects of printmaking, photography, graphic design, video, film, performance, installation, and other forms of timebased art in terms of experiencing, appreciating and understanding their roles in our lives. The series ART 101, 102, 103 may be taken in any order. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion students should be able to:

  • recognize formal qualities in new media arts and read visual elements, artistic and cultural styles, and symbols
  • view works of art "dynamically," that is, to appreciate and communicate simultaneously individual viewer response, the uniqueness of a work, its origins and precedent, its potential as an inspiration and influence on later art, and its relationship to a particular cultural moment
  • decipher new media arts and design through understanding of historical, social, cultural, economic, and political contexts
  • generalize course content to other art not covered in the course so that he/she can understand and value new media arts and design in allencompassing global ways

Outcome Assessment Strategies

The student will:

  • comprehend, apply, analyze and evaluate reading assignments
  • identify artwork, and relate facts and ideas about these works of art in exam format
  • research, plan, compose, edit and revise short papers
  • keep journals assessing learning development in and out of the classroom
  • participate in class field trips

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


  • theory and criticism in the history of design
  • pattern-based thinking and historical process
  • various interpretations of design
  • art and gender
  • creativity and the impulse to make art

Stylistic and Interpretive

  • visual literacy
  • art media and artistic technique
  • "seeing and knowing"
  • iconography
  • formal principles and elements of fine art and design

Social and Cultural

  • other peoples and their histories, values, and culture
  • design and economics
  • design and the social fabric
  • design and religion
  • design and politics
  • design and gender
  • relationship of culture and style
  • design and cultural transmission
  • historical impact of design
    • the influence of design on oneĀ°s own culture
    • the influence of design on relations with other cultures
  • design and designers
    • the impulse to make art
    • the Gestalt of art
    • the role of the designer in society
    • biography
  • geography and its influence on design and culture
  • artifact recovery, analysis, restoration, and incorporation into a larger historical fabric

Competencies and Skills:
The successful student should be able to:

  • work creatively with art historical data, using it to develop principles of art history
  • recognize and appraise patterns in historical phenomena
  • assess the ways in which a design object is affected by our own vantage point
  • recognize and discriminate among various styles of design
  • trace the development of design from one period to another
  • analyze formally works of design and appreciate the interrelationship of its elements
  • determine symbolism in design
  • employ iconographical nomenclature
  • express the relationship of design to society and culture to style
  • analyze the "meaning" of art and design objects through understanding of historical, social, and political context
  • use specific terminology to describe works of design
  • transfer to a four year college and continue a course of study in the field of design, art history, fine art, anthropology, and history in general

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills:

  • oral and written command of college level English