MICA's MFA in Photographic and Electronic Media is a platform to explore the reverberating social and artistic uses of optical and electronic media technologies. Its curriculum and intent is to ground artistic practices in a rigorous investigation of historical and critical contexts; it prepares students to realize artistic projects involving complex techniques, and provides intellectual and technical skill sets demanded for professional practice and teaching. Crucial in the Photographic and Electronic Media program idea is to probe and extend the continuing efficacy of the photographic (in all its forms) while simultaneously recognizing that optical media have been challenged by computer graphics, animation, data-visualization, virtualization, mixing media, or by the incorporation of scientific, medical, or experimental technologies. In this it is essential to join creative practices with cultural, scientific, critical, and historical discourses and to encourage and evolve a wide array of theoretical and reflective practices.
The program is organized to sustain continuity with longstanding and diverse approaches to the media, while simultaneously widening the circumference to encompass surging developments and implementations. Through coursework, studio practice, and regular group and individual critiques with faculty and visiting artists, students trace the effects of digitization on the traditional practices of photography, examine the implications of images integrated into immersive or interactive systems, survey the role of systems (cultural and technical), rethink the merely utilitarian role of networks, re-imagine the use of hardware, reformulate the idea of software, reinvent "dead" media, revive experimentation, resist the normative. MICA works to sustain a community of artists rethinking the way technologies can digest and extend the diverse practices of photography, digital cinema, interactive environments, sound installations, web-based practices, social networking, and, more and more, wireless media.
The curriculum for the MFA combines liberal arts coursework, regular critiques, and individual studio explorations, and is grounded by a dynamic series of intensive technical and critical workshops that provide essential skills and are adapted to meet the specific concerns and expertise required by students in the program to realize their creative vision. In developing their own work, students follow two tracks: 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.
Students in Photographic and Electronic Media have access to MICA's dedicated graduate facilities for digital image creation and output. The program is housed within Studio Center, MICA's graduate hub, which offers close access to artists working in a wide array of mediums and approaches, with dedicated studio and workspace. MFA students take full advantage of MICA's campus-wide wireless access, outstanding technological resources and support staff, liberal arts and studio coursework, studio facilities, library, and other resources of one of the nation's top colleges of art and design.