Art - Expanded Media

A study in the fine arts that transcends the traditional

Explore the non-traditional in our Expanded Media program. The Division of Expanded Media was created to support and embrace an experience and understanding of art and art making that transcends the divisions that have traditionally existed among the disciplines of printmaking, design, digital interactive arts, video arts, and sonic arts.


Campus Locations

Main Campus - Alfred, NY

Area Of Study

Art - Expanded Media (BFA)

Dynamics of Art & Society

The syntax that once separated film, video, sound, digital imaging, graphic design, and printmaking have converged into a wonderfully complex set of possibilities, one comparable in significance and impact on art and society to the invention of the printing press and the advent of photography. This is due in part to the development of new technologies that allow for this cross-pollination. Explore them in this curriculum.

Several Distinct Areas of Focus

In the Division of Expanded Media, we recognize the way that technological developments are especially significant to the specific art forms we explore. Each area within the division strives to offer you the experience, knowledge, skills, and understanding of the tradition of each discipline combined with the creative vision necessary to expand the potential inherent to each medium.

The spirit of the Design program, within the Division of Expanded Media, follows that of Alfred University - both were created with a vision for exploration, invention and forging partnerships across disciplines. The Design program, founded in 1985, has grown from its roots in Swiss design and classical typography, embracing developments in emerging digital technology, interdisciplinary collaboration and the rigors of professional practice.

Design courses provide a solid foundation in graphic and typographic studies. A strategic sequence of projects emphasize creative problem solving, the relationship of language and form, investigative research, content, context audience and objectives as integral parts of the design process.

Studies include the impact of the design process on a wide range of print and digital communications. Students also learn professional levels of traditional and digital craftsmanship. Readings and discussions facilitate an awareness of current professional design issues.

The Design program is supported by comprehensive, state-of-the-art computer labs including high-resolution digital input and output, animation, video and sound. Faculty and staff promote a creative and challenging atmosphere where students investigate both theory-based projects and projects within real designer-to-client relationships.

In concert with the philosophy of the Division of Expanded Media, design students are encouraged to explore and push the possibilities of concept and form, technology and potential collaborations with other areas of study. The Design program strives to educate students to become thoughtful members of society and successful practitioners of design, making significant contributions to individuals and organizations, as well as regional and global communities.

Interactivity - what is it?  In describing interactivity as a creative mode that offers an important toolset for contemporary artists, it is helpful to start with a comparison to another time-based technological art-form, that of traditional animation art.

In contrast to traditional animation, contemporary techniques of Interactive Art use the construction or customization of software and/or physical components, to emphasize the interactive partnership of the artwork with the audience itself - the audience "completes" the work. This is a familiar idea to those who pay attention to the structure and dynamics of computer games. The audience enters into the artwork as the human component of a Dynamic System, a Sensorium assembled by the artist.  This Dynamic System (or set of interacting systems) displays behaviors that the audience can affect, and at the same time this very same audience is affected by the Sensorium in which it is immersed.  An example of this is a sound and video environment where an audience's physical movements and locations in the exhibition space can affect both the images displayed and the sounds that surround them.

The images and sounds affect the audience (emotionally, aesthetically, physically) and the audience itself can reciprocally affect the visual and sonic environment, changing that environment by moving around in it.  Adding environmental as well as online network events can richly complicate this Artwork/Audience dyad.  The artist can use physical sensors to correlate intensities of such things as temperature, light, humidity, physical proximities, long-distance earthquake data (among many, many others) to expressively extend the interactive artwork.  The artist can use these various "inputs" to enrich the morphing, changeable sensorium of the audience - producing not only video and sound displays but also mechanical/robotic events, or biological events, as in some recent works of "bio-media" art. 

Interactive Art is a new area of creative expression where the audience is integral to the artwork - the human component of a complex dynamic system or set of dynamically interacting systems.

The Print Media program creates a context for students to negotiate the challenging and complex issues embedded in the making of contemporary printed images. It historically grows out of an experimental approach to image making that was closely aligned to both the kinetic practice of drawing and the mechanical possibilities inherent in photography as a way of extending the traditional intaglio, lithographic and relief print processes. Ideas inherent to the process of printmaking such as reproduction, proofing, translation, transfer, synthesis, collage, recombination and recomposition translate, in digital technologies, into ideas of layers, resampling, remixing, reprocessing and improvisation.

This relationship between the static space of the printed page and the dynamic temporal space of the computer becomes the ground for inquiry common to all courses taught in the area of Print Media, opening the way for the image to be experienced as both physical and electronic processes. Through diverse perspectives that focus on a range of fundamental aspects of printmaking processes and forms of the print, our courses offer experiences that provide the tools to understand print media within a contemporary framework.

The area of Print Media is supported by a state-of-the-art, digital and traditional print facility that provides students with an extensive opportunity to participate in the exploration of the most current print technologies including several wide format digital printers, a computer networked image setter for color separations and hand and offset lithographic presses.

Work takes various forms including the printed page, wide format digital prints, the electronic and traditional books, various combinations and formats of moving and still images that might include text, sound and interactive components, CD, DVD and extended print installation forms. When explored within the context of print media, electronic forms such as CD and DVD production become an expanded form of print; the simultaneous presence of a web page in multiple locations at any given time becomes a form of time based edition. These linkages in the concepts, languages and processes that shift across boundaries and disciplines provide an approach to print media that inspires an experience of exploration intrinsic to the philosophy of the Division of Expanded Media.

Sonics Arts

Sonic Arts grew out of the Video Arts program at Alfred University and is an integral part of the Division of Expanded Media. Sonic Art is a relatively new and rapidly expanding artistic practice. It has been said by many that there is currently a sonic boom taking place in contemporary art; Sonic Art can be found in museums and galleries around the world.

"What is Sonic Art?" There are many answers to this question, but the simple and perhaps most useful is "anything you can do with sound that is not necessarily music."

Corresponding to the larger philosophy of the division of Expanded Media, the Sonic Arts curriculum focuses on the use of technology in a creative art-making context. The investigation of these various strategies and their applications in an independent and creative context expands the range of possibilities for sound to be synthesized into the multitude of new hybrid forms.

Students working in sound will experience a wide range of technologies and theories necessitated in the production of sound art. These elements include, but are not limited to, digital sound processing and post production techniques, digital/analog sound synthesis, digital multi-track editing, electro acoustic sound processing, sound for the web, graphic notation, improvisation, installation works with sound, and signal analysis. These elements are explored within an extremely creative atmosphere where students are encouraged to explore both assignment-based works and independent projects. Projects range from the production of compact discs to multimedia installations to soundtracks for video.

Video Arts

The Video Arts program at Alfred University is one of the oldest, most diverse and well-developed video arts programs in the country. AU’s video arts program is grounded in an experimental approach to image making with strong ties to the practice of real time image processing and imaging tool development. To work in real time means to process the video image live, directly as it happens on the television screen. The video arts studios are comprised of technologies that support this approach allowing the students working in video to experience a wide range of technologies and theories necessitated in the production of video art across both digital systems and analog/digital hybrid systems.

Video Arts incorporate performance and sonic art strategies and encourage the free use of these and other synergistic approaches throughout its curriculum.

Projects range from the production of single channel videotapes to multi media installations to interactive DVD authoring.

In keeping with the philosophy of the Division of Expanded Media, students are encouraged to investigate the multitude of possibilities for time-based images to cross over into other disciplines. The video image, exported in various formats, becomes as fluid as any other kind of image, ready to become a print, a frame in an animation, a button on a web page, or a structure for sound. Thus, the investigative research and work produced in the video arts program cross all forms of time based electronic art, including real time image processing, digital image manipulation, digital video, interactive media, installation, animation and studio design.

Faculty / Staff

The Division of Expanded Media is comprised of faculty whose experience is grounded in extensive backgrounds within each area, who within their own work and area within the division have a common interest in investigating what the new tools of digital technology offer each medium.


The facilities of the Division of Expanded Media encompass 22,000 square feet in Harder Hall and the new McGee Pavilion. The Main Digital Lab, Graphic Design Studio, large-scale digital printers, and senior studios are located on the fourth and fifth floors of Harder Hall. The second level of the McGee Pavilion houses new sonic arts, video and interactive arts studios. The third and fourth floors are the Robert C. Turner Student Gallery and a “black box” digital immersion space for interactive arts.

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Andrew Deutsch

Prof Sound Design & Video Arts

All Undergraduate Programs