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MICA's New MFA in Photographic and Electronic Media Builds on College's National Reputation in Photography

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) announces the launch of a new master of fine arts (MFA) program in Photographic and Electronic Media in fall 2008

Posted 08.14.08 by MICA Media Relations

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) announces the launch of a new master of fine arts (MFA) program in Photographic and Electronic Media in fall 2008. This new program reconceptualizes the role of master's-level study in digital media within the College's curriculum. Previously, MICA offered a one-year MA in Digital Art and a two-year MFA in Photography and Digital Imaging. The new program explores the social and artistic applications of optical and electronic media technologies which are shaping art and visual communication in ways that have a profound impact on contemporary culture and thought, as well as the technological advances and changes in artistic practice that have rapidly changed the nature of photographic art in recent decades. MICA's Master of Fine Arts programs were ranked among the top four of 220 master of fine arts programs overall, and its MFA program in photography among the top 15, by U.S. News & World Report, in its 2009 "Best Graduate Schools" edition.

Unlike solely studio-based fine art programs in photography or more vocationally oriented programs, MICA's new MFA curriculum grounds artistic practices in a rigorous investigation of historical and critical contexts to prepare students to become leaders shaping this influential field in the 21st century. Students in the program pursue both practical research, directed on production and implementation of a body of artwork, and conceptual research, which builds a solid critical and historical foundation for artistic practice. The program encourages students to rethink the way emerging technologies can extend the diverse practices of photography, digital cinema, interactive environments, sound installations, web-based practices, social networking and wireless media.

The new MFA program's architect is its director, Timothy Druckrey, who has led the graduate photography program at MICA since 2006. A curator and scholar who lectures internationally about the social impact of photography, electronic media, the transformation of representation, and communication in interactive and networked environments, Druckrey co-organized the international symposium Ideologies of Technology at the Dia Center of the Arts and co-edited the book Culture on the Brink: Ideologies of Technology (Bay Press). He also co-curated the exhibition Iterations: The New Image at the International Center of Photography and edited the book by the same name published by MIT Press. He edited Electronic Culture: Technology and Visual Representation and is Series Editor for Electronic Culture: History, Theory, Practice published by MIT Press. These books now include Ars Electronica: Facing the Future, net_condition: art and global media (with Peter Weibel), Geert Lovink's Dark Fiber, Future Cinema: The Cinematic Imaginary After Film (edited by Jeffrey Shaw and Peter Weibel), Stelarc: The Monograph (edited by Marquard Smith), and Deep Time of the Media: Toward an Archaeology of Hearing and Seeing by Technical Means (Siegfried Zielinski). Recent exhibitions he has curated include Bits and Pieces and Critical Conditions; he co-curated New Media Beijing (2006). He has been Guest Professor at the University of Applied Art, Vienna (2004) and Richard Koopman Distinguished Chair for the Visual Arts at the University of Hartford (2005).