Media Systems

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About this Project

Interactive media are driven by computational processes.

Whatever purpose motivates us to create and interpret interactive media — art, entertainment, education, research — engaging with computational processes is key.

Yet it has become increasingly clear that computer science, the discipline that invents and refines novel computational processes, does not possess all the knowledge and methods necessary when pursuing basic research on the systems that drive interactive media. For example, while computer science often evaluates work in terms of efficiency (e.g., of execution, of task completion) it has no tools for evaluating the primary, media-focused aspects of this work.

However, at the same time that interactive media has been growing in importance to computer science, other disciplines have been developing new approaches to computational processes. Within the digital arts computational processes are being employed in media creation frameworks, evaluated in terms of design and critiqued in terms of art, while new approaches to teaching computational work are developed in terms of artistic expression. Within the digital humanities the interpretation of computational systems has moved forward along with the use of humanities concepts and interpretations as structures operationalized within computational media systems (both for communicating humanities ideas and opening new media possibilities generally).

Given these developments, rich interactions between media-focused computer science, the digital humanities, and the digital arts have the potential to drive major forward progress in interactive media creation and understanding. These disciplines have developed intellectual insights that could be of immediate use to one another, as well as ways of working that, when integrated, could produce important new methods of research, evaluation, and education.

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