The Interactive Media program at Alfred University has recently developed out of an interest in the technological art object's ability to be potentially manipulated by the actions and experiences of its audience.
Emerging out of the strong commitment to real time image processing found in the Video Arts program and Print Media's engagement with image as both a physical and electronic process, the program is designed to facilitate an understanding that both still and time based media are potential landscapes for interactive research and exploration. While the very nature of interactivity imbues the daily use of computers, Interactive Media asks, "What constitutes an interactive artwork?" To unearth this question, students will be given a foundation in theories and practices evolving out of interactive experiments in the arts that may include but are not limited to instructional art, public performance, mail art, installation, real time image processing, and net art.
Rather than focusing on the mediation of an art experience entirely predetermined, Interactive Media facilitates an inquiry into the possible dialogues between program and user on a number of different levels and through an array of media. For instance, a web object initiated on a touch screen may be turned and examined by the movement of one's hand. With a click it could open access to a Quicktime movie, a still image and/or an interactive file that engages audio through further exploration. The courses move conceptually from low-tech practice towards hi-tech experience, as students explore genres of interactivity including performance; installation; web,CD-ROM and DVD authoring. To facilitate this artistic inquiry, students will learn the latest interactive authoring software including Flash, Director, Dreamweaver, and DVD Studio Pro.
The program also encourages interactive experimentation in alternative installation venues that include working with touch screen technologies built into existing architectures and via mobile kiosks. In keeping with the interdisciplinary spirit of the Division of Expanded Media, students are also encouraged to expand beyond the concept of interface as mouse, keyboard, screen and touchscreen to conceive alternative interface design via video/computer projections onto site-specific locales and/or upon other media.