Computational Media – the New New

Computational Media – the New New

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Computational Media programs are sprouting up all over the organized world these last few years. They are a hybrid of technology, analytics, engineering, and art, or computation as a medium for creative expression. Take a free course at MIT and learn more or sign-up for General Assembly’s User Experience Design course and explore sitemaps, user flows, and wireframes.

As a discipline (distinct from the “practice” of a garage band or the hum of a hacker’s space), computational media combines the theories and research approaches of the arts and humanities with those of computer science to analyze, explore, and enable the computer as a medium for creative expression.

Artists have always been hackers. Poets beg, borrow, and steal language, reassembling it later to leave a trail to their thoughts, like meteors and their messy mark on the universe.

It makes sense that the creatives are latching onto the power and flexibility that modern tech has to offer and beautiful results are popping up everywhere. We have fun, weird and educational games, apps, and virtual reality experiences on our personal devises and in our public spaces. The common thread among all of them is that they require large amounts of computation and feature a level of interactivity that can only be created through computer technology.

As an emerging discipline in the academy, we are sure to see some fancy names, like bioinformatics, and some big new budgets. Put art, science, and engineering in the same program and blow the roof off the curriculum and the cost ceiling. The sky is indeed the limit, beautiful chemistry is just the beginning.

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