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Announcement
December 7, 2020

Call for applications: MFA in Digital Arts and New Media

University of California, Santa Cruz

Marianne Weems/The Builders Association, Continuous City, 2010.

The University of California, Santa Cruz, is now accepting applications for the MFA in Digital Arts and New Media. This two-year program emphasizes collaborative interdisciplinary digital art practice, and research that is innovative and socially engaged. With close faculty mentorship provided by internationally recognized artists and scholars, students join a research-based cohort that focuses on creative, critical, and curatorial projects. In addition, core and elective courses support the development of individual thesis projects that are premiered in our annual MFA Exhibition.

Prospective students will be invited to a virtual “campus visit” to discuss with faculty an application to one of the following groups:

Future Stages
Future Stages proposes a radical rethinking of live performance which emphasizes interdisciplinarity across media, fluency in contemporary theater practices, and a critical understanding of the role of performance in the public sphere. Combining seminars in critical theory with rigorous studio work, the program invites students who want to investigate new modes of creating, presenting, and consuming performance across media. Students have access to two fully-equipped black box performance spaces for research and production, as well as working in mixed-reality and online formats. The program is led by Marianne Weems, founder of the New York-based performance and media ensemble The Builders Association. Students will have the opportunity to work with Weems on research and production, both in California and New York City.

Experimental Play
In a time when games and interactive digital experiences are ever present in our society, it is critical to engage with the medium of play and investigate its use in art, entertainment, scholarship, civic engagement and resistance. The Experimental Play group seeks participants who will take innovative and critical approaches to play as it relates to identity, ideology, social and environmental justice, public and personal performance, civic participation and other critical aspects of human endeavor. Ideal candidates will have interdisciplinary backgrounds with practices that involve two or more of the following areas: game design, game creation, game studies, documentary practice, creative writing, computer science, digital arts, other arts, critical race and ethnic studies, and critical feminist practice. Faculty mentors include: A.M. Darke, Elizabeth Swensen, micha cárdenas, and Robin Hunicke, with advising and support from faculty in Film & Digital Media, Computational Media and Theater Arts.

Isaac Julien Lab
Students interested in curating, archiving, and the presentation of still and moving image should apply to collaborate with artist Isaac Julien and curator Mark Nash on research and artistic production through the intensive research-based program in the Isaac Julien Lab. The two-year Lab program aims to create innovative visual and sonic languages for production, exhibition and installation whilst examining the various aspects that concern contemporary artists and curators working in the field of media art and moving image today.

In keeping with a course of study that provides project-based learning, each year a residency opportunity will be offered that includes case studies, workshops, guest speakers, seminar discussions, and site visits. Students will be immersed in exhibition and installation work with contemporary artists and curators across the fields of media art and moving image, examining current modes of research, development, exhibition, production and scenography of moving image artworks. The program emphasizes partnership and collaboration with leading institutions such as Tate, the Royal Academy of Arts, British Film Institute, Goethe Institute London, Iuav University of Venice, and Kunsthochschule Kassel. In 2022, residency in the Isaac Julien Studio in London will be focused towards survey exhibitions in the United Kingdom and the United States.

DANM students are guaranteed two years of teaching assistantships which provide tuition remission, a stipend, and some fee remission.

A virtual “visiting day” for the Digital Arts and New Media program will be in early March 2021, to be announced.

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