Headed by an internationally distinguished faculty, the Graduate Program offers a rigorous, interdisciplinary environment for training in the visual arts. The program provides a thorough and intensive professional training for students wishing to pursue careers in the field of contemporary art, and emphasizes experimental and interdisciplinary approaches to art making, while also providing a solid grounding in various disciplinary mediums and post-studio practices. The MFA in Art with a Concentration in Critical & Curatorial Studies educates graduate students to pursue a career in the fields of curatorial practice, art criticism, and public programming.
As I write this, at the end of 2010, it is sobering to reflect on the fact that over a couple of decades of explosive development in new media art (or ‘digital multimedia’ as it used to be called), in screen based as well as ‘embodied’ and gesture based interaction, the aesthetics of interaction doesn’t seem to have advanced much. At the same time, interaction schemes and dynamics which were once only known in obscure corners of the world of media art research/creation have found their way into commodities from 3D TV and game platforms (Wii, Kinect) to sophisticated phones (iPhone, Android). While increasingly sophisticated theoretical analyses (from Manovich, 2002 to Chun, 2008 to Hansen, 2006, more recently Stern, 2011 and others) have brought diverse perspectives to bear, I am troubled by the fact that we appear to have advanced little in our ability to qualitatively discuss the characteristics of aesthetically rich interaction and interactivity and the complexities of designing interaction as artistic practice; in ways which can function as a guide to production as well as theoretical discourse. This essay is an attempt at such a conversation.