Code: 23007
ECTS: 20
Departament: Department of Sciences and Technology
Field of Study: Information and Communication Technologies
    Computer Art
    Digital Art
    Computational Aesthetics
    Digital Artefacts
José Bidarra de Almeida
Área Científica: Education Sciences.

José Coelho
Field of Study: Computer Science.

João Miguel Fernandes Rodrigues

Pedro Alves da Veiga
Field of Study: Digital Art

Paulo Shirley
Field of Study: Computer Science.

Course Description:
This learning unit aims at providing the fundamental knowledge and competencies regarding the principles, concepts, models and techniques of the various sub-areas that constitute the area of technology and computer arts, namely, computational aesthetics; programming of systems and applications; sensors and actuators;digital sound and music; computer vision; virtual reality; information visualization; and digital storytelling and games.


After completion of this learning unit, students shall be able to:

  • Recognise the importance of the various subareas identified for computer art,in the design and implementation of computer applications likely to be integrated in artefacts of computer art;
  • Identify, classify and integrate the principles, main models, algorithms and techniques of the various technological subareas used to develop computational art;
  • Identify, analyze, categorize and evaluate available technology; apply it inthe development of an experimental artefact of computer art.


This learning unit is divided in the disciplinary subareas of technology and computer art as identified above in synopsis. The student has to choose 4 of these subareas summing up 20 credits.

The program starts with:

1) The foundations of computer arts: history of digital art, the contemporary art movements that uses computational means; concepts of computational aesthetics; main references for further study;

Inside of each subarea the syllabus covers the following topics:

2) Foundations: concepts, principles, objectives and main motivation;

3) Techniques: study of the technologies; their operation and application;experimentation; personal reflection and group feedback on experimental results;

The learning unit involves also the realization of project of experimentation and application of acquired knowledge.

4) Project: conception, design and implementation; test and verification; final presentation in the form of an artifact of computational art. Preparation of a descriptive and reflective final report.

  •  “Digital Art”, PaulCh., Thames & Hudson Ltd, London, ISBN: 978-0-500-20367-5;
  •  “Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists”, Reas C., Fry B., The MIT Press, ISBN: 0262182629;
  • “Handbook of modern sensors: physics, designs and application”, Fraden, J., Springer-Verlag, ISBN:0387007504;
  • “Digital Image Processing”, Rafael C. Gonzalez; Richard E. Woods; Addison Wesley;
  • “Complete Guide to Digital Audio”, Middleton, Ch., Course Technology PTR, ISBN: 1592001025;
  • “Handbook of Virtual Environments: Design, Implementation, and Applications”, Stanney, K.M. (Ed.),Mahwah, New Jersey: LawrenceErlbaum Associates, Inc., ISBN 080583270X, 2002;
  • “Digital Storytelling: A Creator's Guide to Interactive Entertainment”, Miller, C.H., Focal Press,ISBN 0240805100;
  • “Information Visualization – beyond the horizon”, Chen, Ch., Springer, ISBN: 1852337893;

Blended learning

Workload (hours): 520
Contact Hours: 156


Given the technological nature of this learning unit, the teaching/learning process follows an approach based on online collaborative theoretical-practical learning, in virtual class, that involves the realization of practical assignments, both individual and in group, whose results a represented in two face-to-face workshops, during the course of the discipline,to ensure mutual complementarity between theory and practice.

Language(s) of Instruction: Portuguese.

Contact for virtual mobility students: GDERI/International Affairs -