• Offered by School of Art and Design
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Art History
  • Areas of interest Art History, Digital Arts, Visual Arts, Design Arts, Digital Humanities

Art in the Digital Age explores the various ways artists and designers use or develop emerging computational technologies to articulate conceptual ideas or transform cultural production of objects. This course examines the changing social dimensions of the digital age and the impact of networked connectivity on contemporary creative practices. It deals with some of the key debates and issues of the body, space and time, and outlines a range of outcomes through a hybridity and cross-disciplinarity; interactivity, cybernetics, robotics, physical augmentation, artificial intelligence, information and social networks, virtual reality, data visualisation, 2D and 3D digital and additive printing, programming and coding. It also touches on how hybrid art practices explore frontier sciences such as bio-art and genetic engineering. Framing creative works within broader historical and social contexts, art history and theory, this course also considers some of the ethical concerns that artists and designers address through an interdisciplinary practice. Students will develop a critical knowledge of the impact of digital and computational technologies on contemporary art and life, and learn to discuss and analyse the new kinds aesthetics that are created in an increasingly networked society. The course is complimented with relevant guest lectures and excursions.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. critically examine creative practices that address computational technologies;
  2. identify conceptual ideas and key concerns that drive contemporary artists and designers in the digital age;
  3. present and speak confidently about the new kinds of aesthetics that are created in an increasingly networked society; and
  4. apply art historical and theoretical methodologies to researching and writing about art and design in the digital age.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Wattle forum and online quiz participation, 500 words (10) [LO 1,2,4]
  2. Major Essay, 2500 words (50) [LO 1,2,4]
  3. Tutorial presentation, 10 minutes (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  4. Participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:

a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: lectures, seminars and tutorials; and

b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing. Contact hours may include visits to major art institutions in Canberra.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 36 units of courses towards an ANU degree, or with the permission of the convenor. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed any of the following courses: ARTV2018, ARTV6008 or ARTH6162.

Prescribed Texts

Donna J. Haraway,  Simians, cyborgs, and women : the reinvention of nature Routledge, New York, 1991. 304.5 Har

Charlie Gere, Digital Culture, Reaktion Press, 2008. 303.4834 GER

Darren Tofts and Murray McKeich, Memory Trade : A Prehistory of Cyberculture, Interface, North Ryde, 1998, 303.483 TOF

Preliminary Reading

Charlie Gere, Digital Culture, (Reaktion Press, 2008), 303.4834 GER

Darren Tofts, Annemarie Jonson, and Alessio Cavallaro, Prefiguring cyberculture : an intellectual history (Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press ; Sydney : Power Publications, 2002 ), T173.8 .P688 2002

Darren Tofts and Murray McKeich, Memory Trade : A Prehistory of Cyberculture, (Interface, North Ryde, 1998), 303.483 TOF

Darren Tofts, Interzone: Media Arts in Australia, (Craftsman House, Vic, 2005), N7433.84.A8T66 2006

David Bell and Barbara M. Kennedy, The Cybercultures Reader, (Routledge, New York, 2000), 303.4833 CYB

Geert Lovink, Networks Without a Cause: A Critique of Social Media, (Polity Press, Cambridge, 2011), HM851 .L687 2011

Donna J. Haraway, Simians, cyborgs, and women : the reinvention of nature Routledge, New York, 1991. 304.5 Har

Geert Lovink, Zero Comments: Blogging and Critical Internet Culture, (Routledge, New York, 2008), HM851 .L689 2008

Margaret Wertheim,, The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace: a History of Space from Dante to the Internet, (Doubleday, Sydney and Auckland, 1999), 303.4834 WER

Mathieu O’Neill,, Cyberchiefs: Autonomy and Authority in Online Tribes, (Pluto Press, London and New York, 2009), HM1017 .O54 2009

Rebecca MacKinnon,, Consent of the Networked: the Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom, (Basic Books, New York, 2012), HM851 .M3327 2012

Stephen Jones, Synthetics: Aspects of Art and Technology in Australia, 1956-75, (MIT Press Cambridge, Mass., 2011) , 700.105 JON

Stephen Wilson, Art + Science Now, (Thames & Hudson, London, 2010), 701.05 WIL Ede Siân, Art and science (Palgrave, McMillan, 2005), 701.05 EDE

William S. Haney, Cyberculture, cyborgs and science fiction : consciousness and the posthuman (Amsterdam ; New York : Rodopi, 2006), T173.8 .H36 2006


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $3180
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $4890
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
7478 25 Jul 2022 01 Aug 2022 31 Aug 2022 28 Oct 2022 In Person View

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