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New Director & launch of Center for Immersive Media
University of the Arts Philadelphia
Above: The Center for Immersive Media at University of the Arts. Architectural rendering: JacobsWyper Architects. 
Above: The Center for Immersive Media at University of the Arts. Architectural rendering: JacobsWyper Architects. 
University of the Arts Philadelphia
320 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102
United States

www.uarts.edu
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On November 20, University of the Arts (UArts) in Philadelphia, PA will open its new Center for Immersive Media (CIM). The Center will be the largest and only creative research center of it’s type dedicated to the arts and design in the region. The 5,600-square-foot facility will explore the fields of virtual and mixed reality, audio, performance motion-capture and human-computer interaction, through collaboration across the arts, science and medicine.

The CIM is all about content, creativity and innovation and how we leverage state of the art technology. It’s a place to explore opportunities and implications of what it means for ourselves to be immersed in data, simulations, stories, performances and digital communities. Technologies that become more integrated with our senses, our bodies and identity must be humane, and artists, authors, composers and choreographers have creative and critical sensibilities that can anticipate and illuminate meaningful ways of engaging with emerging and future media technologies.

Said David Yager, President and CEO of University of the Arts, “The Center for Immersive Media demonstrates our commitment to advancing human creativity in an increasingly changing world. We believe artists and creatives are uniquely positioned to help us understand the enormous impact technology is having on our lives, and the CIM affords a fantastic opportunity for experimentation and exploration at the intersection of the arts, design, science and medicine.”

The opening event will include several live demonstrations to enable guests first-hand experiences with immersive technologies. UArts’ dance students will demonstrate the many possibilities of the motion capture system on an expansive stage, and guests can explore virtual and augmented reality, as well as ambisonic sound experiences.

In addition, a highlight of the opening will feature an exclusive preview performance of new transdisciplinary work by Miwa Matreyek, the Center for Immersive Media’s first fellow. Miwa is an animator, director, designer, and performer. Her performance will create an emotional, dream-like meditation on climate catastrophe and the anthropocene.

The Center for Immersive Media is being led by director Alan Price. Price joined UArts in January of this year from The Ohio State University’s Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design, and was instrumental in the start-up and design of the Center. He creates networked virtual environments and real-time animation for interactive art, games and performance, and is a recipient of an international MUSE award for technology in museum exhibits and a Prix Ars Electronica award in interactive art.

Price commented, “To be involved with the Center from the ground up was an incredible experience. The CIM will allow our students and the community to further explore their creativity. Creative thinkers that understand and can anticipate emerging and immersive technologies can bring new perspectives and solutions to team projects. Personally, I am looking forward to continuing my research in this state of the art facility which will provide for unusual collaborations.”

Price came to UArts with a National Health Institute funded research grant. He is part of a team that is developing a virtual reality training simulator for first responders to mass casualty incidents.

Beginning in the spring semester, the Center will offer three courses including Projection, Body and Storytelling; Art Making in VR; and Spatial Audio Composition. Visiting fellow Miwa Matreyek will lead Projection, Body and Storytelling. All will be open to enrolled students from any discipline at University of the Arts.

UArts mission is simple: to advance human creativity. The University is offering the nation’s first PhD in Creativity based on the premise that creative thinking lies at the heart of innovation in all fields. The PhD and the addition of the Center demonstrate UArt’s commitment to provide students inimitable outlets to discover and accelerate the relevance the arts hold. For more information on University of the Arts and the Center for Immersive Media, please click here.

November 20, 2019

location

University of the Arts Philadelphia, Philadelphia