EDPX 2100 Cybernetic Performance Syllabus

Course Description

Cybernetic Performance is a structured sandbox to challenge you to combine the technical skills you've been developing in your previous EDP classes (coding, design, physical computing) with your own creative and conceptual interests through the platform of live performance art. We will study the history of performance within the avant-garde onto contemporary work within new media using software & electronics. Students will not need a background or experience in performance but will be expected to present and perform their projects in front of a live audience.

The first half of the quarter will be focused on the production of a weekly crash-course cabaret performance for your fellow EDP students based on special topics & challenge assignments given in class. Students will be tasked with not only developing their own solo/group work but with the practical production of each cabaret, including technical needs, organization, and promotion.

The second half of the quarter will be spent developing an extended piece to be presented in an off campus show organized and promoted by me. Like the early moderns, you will be expected to blend the materials and methods of the present toward your own unique digital performance within the realms of music, media, film, video, vjing, theater, science, and a mix of inter- and anti-disciplinary actions. This will take both experimentation and practical skill which we will hone throughout the quarter.

Students leaving this course will have a list of performative actions for their portfolio as well as confidence and understanding for the realities of live, new media performance: staging, design, redundancy, expectation, and audience participation/feedback. The skills developed are applicable to public presentation and the continued production of your own art practice.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course you will:

Materials List

Recommended book for people who like physical texts:

Course Policies

Attendance and participation are required and mandatory in this course.


You are expected to attend every class and stay for the entire duration. Two incidents of tardiness, leaving class early, or lack of preparedness will equal one absence and will accumulate and impact the final grade. A student may be absent from class two times during the quarter without impact to their final grade. There are no excused absences beyond the two. Any further absences will result in a 10% deduction for every missed class - upon the 5th absence (regardless of reason), the student will receive a failing grade for the quarter. Attendance will be rigorously monitored. It is your responsibility to get assignments and make up the work for missed days.

There are no make up credits available. Missing any portion of a critique/presentation will constitute the drop of one letter grade for that assignment. The performance dates are mandatory & cannot be made up later (this is a performance class, after all). An unexcused absence or missing any portion of the "Final Exam" (critique) will result in a full letter grade drop for the course. Resubmissions are accepted for up to 10% of the original given grade; the last day to resubmit work is the Tuesday two weeks before our Final Exam.


Students are expected to assume an ACTIVE and ENGAGED role in every aspect of class through verbal communication.

Turn OFF all personal electronic devices before you arrive to class.

Religious Accommodations

Students who will be absent for religious holidays will notify the professor in writing within fourteen days of the beginning of the quarter in which those days will occur. Pending assignments will be completed and submitted prior to those days.

Student Athletes

Students who will be absent due to participation on DU official sports teams will notify the professor in writing within seven days of the beginning of the quarter in which those days will occur. Pending assignments will be completed and submitted prior to those days.

Disability Services Program

Any students with disabilities should contact the Disability Services Program to determine whether and to what extent services or accommodations are required for this course. If you think this notice might apply to you, please contact the Department of Disability Services at 303-871-2278 or visit the program’s website at: http://www.du.edu/disability/dsp. For preexisting conditions, students should provide a letter from DS within the first week of school; if conditions are discovered during the quarter, a letter from DS should be provided ASAP – newly discovered conditions cannot be retroactively applied. Students who already have DSP standing at DU but have not turned in the required paperwork by the end of the first week of classes will not be eligible for DSP consideration based on when it suits the student to produce this information.


Solutions to assignments you submit must be your own work. A student who is discovered to have plagiarized another's work will immediately receive a grade of "F" for the course, and a recommendation for disciplinary action will be forwarded to the Dean of Students. The same project or other materials turned in for 2 different classes without the consent of both instructors, will earn the letter grade of "F" for the course.

Readings & Videos

Required material will be referenced from a variety of texts and online sources. Readings will be assigned and referenced 1-2 class sessions and videos/time-based work will be assigned and referenced 1 class previous to discussions and related presentations. You are expected to keep up with all the materials and be prepared to discuss them in class.

Critiques & Discussions

Active participation in all discussions and critiques is essential. Successful critiques include thoughtful input (verbal communication) during critiques and class discussions.

Successful Critique guidelines

Progress Blog

All students are required to setup a weekly progress blog using a free service like wordpress.com, tumblr.com, etc or setup an equivalent on their own website if they have hosting.

Blog entries should be no less than 2 paragraphs long and includes links and multimedia.

The content of the blog entries overall should include inspiration, historical and current context about what the student is doing, synthesis, and reflection on their projects and progress. Entries should be clearly marked that they are for the course especially if the blog is used for multiple courses.

Blog updates are due at the end of every week.


The exercise are an opportunity to be creative and ambitious. Students will be responsible for all aspects of production.

Topics/subject matter that will not be accepted for performance work include: family, friends, children, animals, dorms/apartments, DU/college looking environments, cars, any sports related activities, anything considered "cute" and the "lowest common denominator." Any required filming should take place at least a few miles away from the DU campus (you can utilize your free student Light Rail pass).

All work must be newly created just for this class. Older work, even that which has not been used in former works is not acceptable.

Statement for Creative Works

A statement for creative works will be submitted with each assignment unless otherwise stated.

Statement for Creative Works guidelines

Final Project

The final project should reflect the culmination of the knowledge acquired throughout the quarter in this class and should be the most ambitious work for this course.

Cultural Events

The attendance/participation to a minimum of 3 cultural events is required. For this course, cultural events should be in the field of New/Digital Media. It’s highly recommended that you seek pre-approval for cultural events.

For each event create a document with the title, date, 2-4 images from the event, 1-2 sentence description, as well as a brief and concise paragraph of your impressions.


Fulfilling the requirements of the course is considered average and will earn a "C." Every student starts the class with a "C" grade. It will be necessary to work outside of class to complete all projects and assignments. A minimum of eight hours per week of work outside of class is suggested to get an average grade of a "C." Additional effort will be necessary to earn higher grades.

An Incomplete can only be assigned to students who already have a satisfactory record but find it impossible to complete assignments due to non-academic reasons (major health or personal problems), a written request stating the reason for a quarter grade of "Incomplete" will be given to the professor prior to the deadline for the final assignment. A grade of incomplete must be cleared before the end of the next quarter. See the Undergraduate bulletin for procedural details.

Total is based on 100%

Grades will consist of the following:

Exercises & the Final Projects will be graded on the following basis, listed in order of importance.