Art and Technology Studies: Graduate Overview
Faculty and students in the Art and Technology Studies department are pioneers and innovators who not only create new aesthetic experiences, they invent the very tools and processes needed for their realization.
Technological art calls for new aesthetic approaches, relies on unusual materials and skills, and most importantly, requires different modes of thinking than other media. Art and Technology Studies students appropriate, repurpose, and subvert technological systems to unlock new creative possibilities. They create and manipulate objects, images, sound, text, music, voice, and movement with custom-written software, newly fabricated materials, unconventional processes, and new methods of integrating other technologies. This DIY and hacking philosophy is embodied throughout the curriculum.
A World-Class Community of Faculty
Art and Technology Studies faculty are artists with national and international reputations who are also leading theoreticians, master machinists, computer scientists, engineers, composers, and inventors. They teach the complexities of programming, electronics, fabrication, and other practices in ways that take full advantage of the freedom inherent in an interdisciplinary environment. Students gain an understanding of the social, political, and economic forces that drive the development and utilization of technology and are prepared for the rapidly developing arena of globalization.
In Art and Technology Studies, new technologies are not simply viewed as flashy new tools for making art, but as freshly minted cultural material begging to be subverted, improved, questioned, co-opted, demystified, and shared. Thus, we are committed to embracing new technologies to both improve our existing artistic processes and provide dense substrates for both critical and aesthetic engagement.
In addition to selecting and working closely with graduate advisors in Graduate Projects, the Art and Technology Studies department offers several graduate courses on topics relevant to the discipline. Recent examples include: Art and Biotechnology, Performing Interactivity, Electronic Media Colloquium, and Experimental Media in Art and Technology. Department courses as well as those taught in collaboration with other departments provide opportunities for the study of virtual reality, mixed and augmented reality, mobile applications, networked objects, wearables, soft computing, bio-art, data-driven live performance, digital sound, light performance, performative sculptural objects, and game spaces and environments.
The department offers a number of jobs for graduate students including:
- Departmental Technical Assistants
- Teaching Assistants (TAs)
- Class Assistants
- Lab Monitors
- Special Project Positions
The cornerstone of SAIC’s graduate studio program is its focus on tutorially guided studio practice. Each semester in addition to selecting from graduate advisors in the department, you will select from more than 100 graduate faculty advisors at SAIC, representing myriad disciplines, approaches, and intellectual positions. Ultimately, it is the student’s work that drives the choice of advisor, and both disciplinary and interdisciplinary work is supported and advanced. Faculty from the academic programs in Art History, Arts Administration and Policy, Art Education, and Visual and Critical Studies also serve as graduate advisors, providing yet more expertise in support of SAIC Graduate Projects.
Critique Week, one of the principle means of assessment each semester, is a week-long schedule of critiques during which classes are suspended and the entire faculty and invited visiting artists and designers assemble into panels that conduct intensive studio critiques with all studio and writing graduate students.
Fall semester critiques are organized by department, with panels representing the discipline. They provide you an opportunity to have your work evaluated by the department, look at your work from a disciplinary point of view, and reinforce the expectations for your graduate study.
Spring semester critiques are interdisciplinary, with panel members of faculty, visiting artists, and peers from across SAIC departments. Interdisciplinary critiques in the spring semesters allow for a broader range of responses to the work, and are intended to assess the success of your work for a more general, yet highly informed, audience.
Studio critiques are required of every full-time graduate student pursuing an MFA in Studio or Writing degree. Typically, SAIC graduate students have at least four critique panels throughout their studies at SAIC, augmenting biweekly tutorials with their graduate advisors.
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Continue to explore the Art and Technology Studies website to learn more about our curricular offerings, faculty, students, alumni and more or schedule a tour.