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Digital Culture

Code: MDICD     Acronym: MDICD

Classification Keyword
CNAEF Design

Instance: 2020/2021 - 1S Ícone do Moodle

Active? Yes
Responsible unit: Design
Course/CS Responsible: Master in Image Design

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
MDI 16 Plano de Estudos do MDI_Publicação em DR de 03/11/2016 1 - 9 60 243

Teaching Staff - Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibility
José Miguel Santos Araújo Carvalhais Fonseca

Teaching - Hours

Theoretical and practical : 3,00
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Theoretical and practical Totals 1 3,00
José Miguel Santos Araújo Carvalhais Fonseca 3,00
Mais informaçõesLast updated on 2020-08-28.

Fields changed: Objectives, Bibliografia Complementar, Programa, Resultados de aprendizagem e competências

Teaching language

Suitable for English-speaking students


This course unit intends to map the current technocultural context and the way how computational and digital systems have been transforming it. Starting from historical and technological contexts, focusing not only on computational technologies but also on their impact in the arts, design, culture, and society, this course unit will offer analysis and reflection mechanisms for the development of their critique.

Learning outcomes and competences

- Develop a broad knowledge of the history, nature, and impact of computational systems in society and culture;
- Develop knowledge on the theory of, and on art and design practices with computational systems;
- Critically analyse the impact of the digital medium on contemporary society.

Working method



Each lecture will be organised around one or two main topics, starting from previously provided reading materials, and relating them with the remaining topics in the program:

- Artificial Creativity
- Artificial Intelligence
- Black Boxes
- Computation
- Computational Art
- Computational Aesthetics
- Cybertext 
- Design
- Digital Medium
- Games
- History of Computational Media
- Post-Digital
- Procedural Authorship
- Procedural Literacy
- Procedural Practices
- Regime of Computation
- Semiotic Machines
- Simulation

Mandatory literature

Carvalhais Miguel; Artificial aesthetics. ISBN: 978-989-746-092-0
Wardrip-Fruin Noah 340; The^new media reader. ISBN: 0-262-23227-8

Complementary Bibliography

Aarseth Espen J.; Cybertext. ISBN: 0-8018-5579-9
Boden Margaret A.; The^Creative mind. ISBN: 0-415-31453-4
Chun, Wendy Hui Kyong; Programmed Visions: Software and Memory, The MIT Press, 2011. ISBN: 978-0-262-01542-4
Denning, Peter J.; Tedre, Matti; Computational Thinking, The MIT Press, 2019. ISBN: 9780262536561
Eco Umberto 1932-2016; Obra aberta
Finn, Ed; What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing, The MIT Press, 2017. ISBN: 9780262338820
Floridi, Luciano; Information: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, 2010. ISBN: 978-0-19-955137-8
Floridi, Luciano; The Fourth Revolution: How the infosphere is reshaping human reality, Oxford University Press, 2014. ISBN: 978-0-19-166770-1
Fuller Matthew 340; Software studies. ISBN: 978-0-262-06274-9
Galloway, Alexander R.; Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture, University of Minnesota Press, 2006. ISBN: 978-0-8166-4851-1
Gere, Charlie; Digital Culture: Expanded Second Edition, Reaktion Books, 2008. ISBN: 978 1 86189 388 8
Hayles, N. Katherine; Unthought: The Power of the Cognitive Unconscious, The University of Chicago Press, 2017. ISBN: 9780226447889
Kelly, Kevin; What Technology Wants, Viking, 2010. ISBN: 978-0-670-02215-1
Kelly, Kevin; The Inevitable, Penguin Books, 2016. ISBN: 9780698183650
Kwastek Katja; Aesthetics of interaction in digital art. ISBN: 978-0-262-52829-0
Lévy, Pierre; Collective Intelligence: Mankind's Emerging World in Cyberspace, Perseus Books, 1997. ISBN: 0-7382-0261-4
Lialina, Olia; Espenschied, Dragan; Digital Folklore: To Computer Users, with Love and Respect, Merz & Solitude, 2009. ISBN: 9 783937 982250
Maeda, John; How to Speak Machine: Laws of Design for a Digital Age, Penguin Random House, 2019. ISBN: 978-0-241-42214-4
Manovich Lev 1960-; The^language of new media. ISBN: 0-262-63255-1
Manovich Lev 1960-; Software takes command. ISBN: 978-1-6235-6745-3
Mathews, Harry; Brotchie, Alastair; Oulipo Compendium, Atlas Press, 2005. ISBN: 9781900565189
Mitchell, Melanie; Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans, Pelican Books, 2019. ISBN: 978-0-241-40482-9
Murray Janet H.; Hamlet on the Holodeck. ISBN: 0-262-63187-3
Murray Janet H.; Inventing the medium. ISBN: 978-0-262-01614-8
Penny, Simon; Making Sense: Cognition, Computing, Art, and Embodiment, The MIT Press, 2017. ISBN: 9780262036757
Petzold, Charles; Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software, Microsoft Press, 2000. ISBN: 978-0735611313
Romero, Juan, Penousal Machado; The Art of Artificial Evolution: A Handbook on Evolutionary Art and Music., Springer, 2008. ISBN: 978-3-540-72876-4
Sack, Warren; The Software Arts, The MIT Press, 2019. ISBN: 9780262039703
Spiller Neil 340; Cyber reader. ISBN: 0-7148-4071-8
Tegmark, Max; Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, Alfred A. Knopf, 2017. ISBN: 9781101946602
Turing, Alan Mathison; Mechanical Intelligence: Collected Works of A.M. Turing, Elsevier Science Publishers B. V., 1992. ISBN: 0-444-88058-5 (Ince, D.C., ed.)
Upton, Brian; The Aesthetic of Play, The MIT Press, 2015. ISBN: 978-0-262-324219-2
Wolfram, Stephen; A New Kind of Science, Wolfram Media, 2002. ISBN: 1-57955-008-8
Zielinski, Siegfried; Deep Time of The Media: Toward an Archaeology of Hearing and Seeing by Technical Means, The MIT Press, 2006. ISBN: 0-262-24049-1
Zuboff, Shoshana; The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, Profile Books, 2019. ISBN: 9781781256848

Teaching methods and learning activities

This course unit will be organised around seminars with exposition, analysis, and discussion from previously provided reading materials. Students will develop theoretical and practical works with the intent of problematising the main topics of discussion and identifying further areas of action and study.

Evaluation Type

Distributed evaluation without final exam

Assessment Components

Designation Weight (%)
Apresentação/discussão de um trabalho científico 20,00
Participação presencial 20,00
Trabalho escrito 40,00
Trabalho prático ou de projeto 20,00
Total: 100,00

Amount of time allocated to each course unit

Designation Time (hours)
Elaboração de projeto 78,00
Estudo autónomo 60,00
Frequência das aulas 45,00
Trabalho escrito 60,00
Total: 243,00

Eligibility for exams

Positive average grade in the various evaluation components.

Calculation formula of final grade

Average of the works presented and of the participation in classes.
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