Course Info

PAT413 / PAT 555
Course Title:
Student Partnerships in Technology and Performing Arts
Meeting Times:
Tuesday 6:00-9:00pm
Davis Technology Studio (Moore 0376)
Prof. Michael Gurevich
2047 Moore
Office Hours:
Tuesday 11:00am-1:00pm in the PAT Workshop
and by Appointment
Class Website:

Course Description
To be a 21st-century performing artist inevitably requires engagement with technology; digital technologies have become integral at every level and stage of artmaking: creation, production, documentation, and distribution. This project-based course will provide performing artists and technologists with the opportunity to engage meaningfully with media technologies through the collaborative creation of a substantial piece of the work. Performing artists of any discipline (including instrumental and vocal musicians, dancers, actors, composers, directors, designers) will team up with Performing Arts Technology students and work on semester-long projects at the intersection of technology and the arts.


  • are devised by each student team
  • may be in any style or genre
  • may involve original compositions and/or pieces from the repertoire
  • may use fixed media and/or realtime or generative elements
  • but MUST culminate in a live performance.

Learning Objectives
  • Gain experiential understanding of media arts technologies—their principles, applications, and limitations
  • Learn to employ technology in a high-stakes, real-world environment with multiple stakeholders and diverse creative interests
  • Produce a substantial piece of work that integrates technology and performance in innovative ways
  • Experience both the creative rewards and constraints of working in a peer-based collaboration

Grading (1000 points)
Blog Participation 15% (150 points)

Class Participation 15% (150 points)

Project Documentation 15% (150 points)

Final Project Process 20% (200 points)

Final Project Outcome 35% (350 points)

Grading Scale

A+ = 100-98
A = 97-93
A- = 92-90
B+ = 89-87
B = 86-83
B- = 82-80
C+ = 79-77
C = 76-73
C- = 72-70
D+ = 69-67
D = 66-63
D- = 62-60

Attendance and active participation in all class meetings are essential. This includes project workshop sessions, in which you will be expected to demonstrate weekly progress and bring questions or problems you are facing. Your grade will be lowered for each unexcused absence.

Blog Participation
Regular blog participation is expected of all students. Learning to communicate clearly and document your process is essential both in collaborations and in securing funding and space for your future endeavors. Participation in the discussion on the collective main blog page which may include original posts on topics pertinent to the class, posts on subjects discussed in class, substantive replies to other students’ or instructors’ posts, and sharing of pertinent links or videos accompanied by a substantive commentary. Students will also be given specific prompts to respond to. Graded blog posts will be assigned for 25 points each and extra posts will go towards class participation.

Final Project Process Documentation
A key element of your project will be to document your process as well as the outcomes. You should keep all your sketches, notes, and incidental documentation throughout. As you do so, create a well-curated digitized collection that helps tell the story of your process. It sometimes helps to subsequently add annotations. Be sure to record videos of trial runs, proofs-of-concept, or demonstrations. There will be assigned Group Blog Posts for 25 points each which will go towards project documentation (each team member will receive the same grade). The posts may be done collaboratively or individually; but ALL students should share equal duty on publishing their progress (teams may not designate one member as their blogger). Video documentation is acceptable as long as it contains or is accompanied by substantive commentary. Each project team will have their own page to update. This grade is for thoroughness of the blog posts themselves; the next item will be for the actual process.

Final Project Process
Your process is almost as important as the outcome in this class. Thus, it is of utmost importance that you document your process. The Project Process Documentation will be assessed on the presentation of the posts. The Process itself is a measure of the 'distance you traveled' over the course of the project, and the level of investment in the process you have demonstrated.

You will have a chance to show your Project Process in three graded ‘In Class Presentations’ throughout the semester, assigned 50 points each. The grade is NOT for the performance itself, but for the cumulative effort and engagement with the process to that point. The final 50 points of the 200 points awarded for process will be given at the end of the semester as an overall grade on process.

Final Project Outcome
The Final Project will be presented on December 11 at the University of Michigan Museum of Art. We will strive to have a professional level deliverable of whatever form on that date; i.e. polished content and glitch-free presentation. This necessarily entails meeting outside of class time for rehearsal. Note that the Davis Studio becomes incredibly busy at the end of the semester, so plan your use of the room accordingly.

Discussion Guidelines
Your success in this class depends on engaged, constructive participation in discussion and critique, within your project team as well as among the entire group. Effective communication is essential to any collaboration. Among the aims of this class is to gain experience in clearly communicating your ideas and concepts, and in giving and receiving feedback and critique.

It is important to understand that our identities are often wrapped up in our ideas. Therefore, it is especially important that we pay attention to how we give criticism and how we receive it.

Below are a set of guidelines for discussions, both within your project team and the larger class. Please revisit them throughout the semester. You will be reminded of them periodically as well.

1. Be courteous. Don’t interrupt or engage in private conversations while others are speaking. Avoid in-jokes or other exclusionary behaviors.

2. Allow everyone the chance to talk. If you have much to say, try to hold back a bit; if you are hesitant to speak, look for opportunities to contribute to the discussion. If you notice someone else hasn’t had an opportunity to speak, try to actively include them in the conversation.

3. Be aware of disciplinary knowledge and conventions. We can’t assume that everyone will be familiar with with the same set of terms or concepts. We all probably have knowledge and experiences that are unique to us. Be generous in sharing and explaining what you know, but don’t diminish someone else for not already having this knowledge. We are here to learn from each other.

4. Celebrate diversity. Try to be aware that your personal experience, background, and convictions may lead you to different conclusions or interpretations than someone else. This can be an asset; a basis for healthy discussion and mutual understanding.

5. Be constructive. As we develop works-in-progress, we will have incomplete ideas, and not all ideas will be great or even feasible. It is often easy to identify areas that need to be fleshed out, but rather than interrogating with questions only to highlight the incompleteness, try to offer constructive suggestions or possibilities. Think about statements like “What if…” or “I could see this…” or “It could be cool if…”

6. Qualify your statements as opinions or ideas: “I think,” “I suggest,” “It seems to me,” are good ways to start constructive critiques. If you disagree with something that is said, challenge or criticize the idea, not the person.

7. Listen carefully to what others are saying even when you disagree with what is being said. Comments that you make (asking for clarification, sharing critiques, expanding on a point, etc.) should reflect that you have paid attention to the speaker’s comments.

8. If you are offended by something or think someone else might be, speak up and don't leave it for someone else to have to respond to it.

9. These guidelines apply to online discussion, email, as well as in-person. Recall that it is often more difficult to decode sarcasm or humor in written communication than verbally.

10. Even though some of our communication will take place online in a blog setting, this remains an academic endeavor. Your style of writing should reflect this. Try to avoid excessive colloquialisms, omgs, ;-)s and the like.

Course Schedule (Subject to Change)

T Sep. 4
Introductions, Course overview, Exercises in Interdisciplinary Collaboration
T Sep. 11
Exercises in Interdisciplinary Collaboration /
Developing a Framework and Language for Critique /
Group Formation
T Sep. 18
Presentation on Proof: The Ryoichi Excavations / Davis Training
T Sep. 25
Present initial ideas
T Oct. 2
First Project Workshop
T Oct. 9
Guest Artist Presentation / 
Second Project Workshop
T Oct. 16
No Class -- Spring Break 
T Oct. 23
First In-Class Presentation (Graded)
T Oct. 30
Third Project Workshop
T Nov. 6
 Second In-Class Presentation (Graded) 
T Nov. 13
Fourth Project Workshop
T Nov. 20
Fifth Project Workshop
T Nov. 27
Third In-Class Presentation (Graded)
T Dec. 4
Dress Rehearsal
T Dec. 11
FINAL Concert at UMMA