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.
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.