Art and Technology Studies (ATS) is a fine art department focused on the use of technology as an art medium. Unlike other disciplines that use technology at the service of traditional forms, faculty and students in Art and Technology Studies employ technology itself as their medium. Works produced in ATS are often time-based, interactive, immersive, multi-sensory or hybrids of retro and cutting-edge technologies. In its current configuration, ATS teaches numerous courses in the following disciplines: Programming, Light, Electronics & Kinetics, Audio, VR, AR & Games, Bio Art, and History & Theory. The department also teaches courses in Exploratory areas that fall outside these disciplines, such as Poetic Systems, and Olfactory Art, to name a few.


You can choose to focus your studies in the following areas of concentration within the Art and Technology Studies curriculum:


Electronics and Kinetics

Artists interested in pursuing real motion in their work are provided with the instructional and material support to create self-contained moving objects, pneumatic and airborne systems, inflatables, autonomous machines (such as robots), remote-controlled devices,  and many other kinds of kinetic works. Students work with electronics, mechanical fabrication and programming to produce a range of works going from simple kinetics sculptures to complex interactive works. Students learn machining skills to be able to fabricate motion components and build moving objects. Utilizing electronics, students can implement custom circuitry to control their work.

Topics and classes Include:

  • Art and Technology Practices
  • Mechanisms, Movement & Meaning
  • Kinetics and Computer Control
  • Actuator Design & Integration
  • Electronics as an Art Material
  • Hacking the Object
  • Pneumatics: Art with Compressed Air
  • Fabricating for Motion
  • Wearables and Soft Computing
  • Motion and Air
  • Analog Electronics
  • Activated Objects: Digital Control
  • DIY Broadcast Media


Open software and hardware are integral to departmental curriculum. Students learn programming for embedded devices and media applications. Students can utilize languages such as openFrameworks, C++, Processing, Javascript, and Python to develop interactive works or employ embedded controllers in objects, machines, media and systems of their own creation. ATS courses also treat data as raw material for visualization and machine learning.

Topics and classes Include:

  • Art and Technology Practices
  • Interactive Art and Creative Coding
  • Data Visualization
  • Web Art
  • Object Oriented Programming
  • Intro to Computer Vision
  • Internet of Things
  • Hacking the Book
  • Poetic Systems
  • Electronic Writing

Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Games

Students are able to study and create works that explore virtual or augmented reality, gaming, simulation, immersive digital performance and installation, and many other related forms.

Topics and classes Include:

  • Virtual Reality
  • Experimental Game Lab
  • Mixed Reality Performance
  • n3w_b0d1es
  • Video Game Music Composition


The department explores musical composition in a wide array of contexts, as well as sound as an art form. Students work in a state of the art lab with current hardware, software, instruments and a whisper room.

Topics and classes Include:

  • Digital Sound
  • Video Game Music Composition
  • Max/MSP
  • Sound Performance
  • Raspberry Pi and PD
  • Synthesis
  • Sound Installation


No artist needs to be reminded of the importance of light, and rare is the art that is not affected by it in one way or another. In ATS we work actively with light in multiple contexts and from an impressive range of sources.

Topics and classes Include:

  • Neon
  • Holography
  • Social Solar
  • Shaping Light
  • Light Experiments
  • Digital Light Projection
  • Public Light and Space

Bio Art

When working with Bioart, artists literally create or manipulate life both at the macroscopic and microscopic levels. In Art and Technology Studies, we produce works that are (or incorporate) living organisms or systems in which the living and the non-living are intertwined.

Topics and classes include:

  • Bioart Studio
  • Synthetic Futures
  • Art and Biotechnology Graduate Seminar

History and Theory

The Art and Technology Studies department contributes significantly to the SAIC community by teaching both the history and the theory of art and technology. This occurs not only in the context of the studio classes but also in a group of focused graduate seminars and undergraduate lecture courses infused and enriched by the work of international artists and theoreticians. History courses underscore the fertile, complementary, and long-standing relationship between artists and technology. Theory courses explore a range of contemporary issues and perspectives uniquely provoked by technology as a general mode of human enterprise.

Topics and classes include:

  • History of Art and Technology
  • Digital Art in Europe Now
  • Art and Biotechnology
  • Philosophy of Technology


While providing several courses in its main areas, the department also develops other areas that don’t fit larger rubrics. ATS faculty continuously develop new courses that invent new approaches, anticipate new trends, or meet the demand for specific experimental media.

Topics and classes include:

  • Sensing the Landscape
  • From Model to Object
  • Embodying Code
  • Alternative Image Capture
  • Olfactory Art
  • Social Media Narrative