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, photography, digital interactive arts, video arts, and sonic arts.

Art - Expanded Media

A study in the fine arts that transcends the traditional

Explore the traditional and 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, photography, digital interactive arts, video arts, and sonic arts.


Campus Locations

Main Campus - Alfred, NY

Area Of Study

Art - Expanded Media (BFA)

At the School of Art and Design we offer an integrative design program that allows for a robust and diverse studio and academic experience. Contemporary designers need to learn the skills to become conversant across a range of intellectual, conceptual, aesthetic and technical areas.

You will acquire knowledge and skills in a wide array of art and design studio practices including typography, digital interface design, print media, video, motion graphics, sound design and digital imaging. These areas of study will provide you with the opportunity to apply the design process to complex, interdisciplinary art and design projects. You will utilize the flexibility of our design program to achieve your personal learning goals and explore your particular strengths and interests.

The experiences acquired through the variety of art and design practices will prepare you to confidently and responsively join the ever evolving contemporary design fields. To this end, the university offers experiential learning opportunities with on and off campus internships. Interested students maintain a design club active with publications, field trips and visiting artist events.

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.

Studying in the area of photography offers students a comprehensive education in this timeless yet evolving art form, providing the skills and knowledge necessary for a variety of photography-related careers. A standout feature of this program is its state-of-the-art facilities, which enhance the learning experience.

Students begin with access to a well-equipped black and white darkroom, featuring 12 Bessler enlarging stations during their sophomore year. This facility forms the foundation of traditional photography techniques, encompassing film development and printing skills.

As students progress, they gain entry to an advanced black-and-white darkroom, equipped with 6 new Saunders enlargers and 3 Omega enlargers capable of handling various negative formats, including 35mm, medium format, and large format. An 8x10 enlarger further expands their creative possibilities, facilitating large-scale prints.

The program also embraces the digital era with a newly renovated digital photography lab and large-scale digital printers, ensuring that students are proficient in modern photography technologies. Additionally, a non-silver/alternative process darkroom allows for creative experimentation.

Further facilities include a photographic documentation studio for controlled lighting setups and a mural processing/enlarging darkroom for ambitious projects. A state-of-the-art ventilation system ensures a safe and comfortable environment.

Upon graduation, students are well-prepared for careers in commercial and editorial photography, fine art photography, photojournalism, art direction, gallery curation, and digital retouching. This comprehensive program equips graduates with both technical expertise and a deep understanding of the conceptual aspects of photography, enabling them to excel in the dynamic field of visual storytelling.

The Print Media program creates a context for you 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 will provide 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.

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.

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