University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Intermedia

Because technological advances add vast layers of complexity to the art we can create through still and motion capture, the Department of Art offers courses in Intermedia, a discipline encompassing what would traditionally be called the fields of Photography and Video Production. 

Still Capture:

Digital processes and computer-aided manipulation of images complicate the already profound questions regarding photography’s relation to truth, history, and documentation of events and scenes.

Still capture students confront the ongoing tension of defining their discipline as a distinct artistic medium while following the evolution of its increasing intersection with other artistic, technological, and societal media and mores.

In our academic courses, students receive a thorough grounding in both analog and digital forms of capture.  They study photographic mechanics and theory, lighting, darkroom processing and printing, digital editing and printing, moving image, and multimedia applications.  Throughout their course of study, Still Capture students are taught to develop analytical, writing and research skills, and to build their knowledge of art history, critical theory and cultural studies. Students also benefit from courses in photographic history and film studies.

Time-Based Capture:

Capturing moving images and sound holds both old and new challenges for today’s artists. In Time-Based Capture courses, students are encouraged to investigate concepts of sound and time (duration, speed, rhythm) in relation to narrative, documentary and experimental practices.

Instruction focuses on a strong foundation in technical skills and the histories of film and video in their larger cultural contexts. Students deepen their knowledge of video capture technology and computer editing software, along with their theoretical understanding of narrative structures and the experience of time.

Students also work with the concepts and techniques of video installation, projection mapping, video performance, and basic programming, including CGI and interactive installation design.

All BFA students complete a senior thesis project in their final year, combining a cohesive exhibition or screening of work, a significant piece of writing, and an oral defense, all directed by a faculty committee.  Faculty also provide support to students wishing to engage in practicums and internships, both inside and outside the university.