The Hybrid of Soft and Hard Media: Expanded Media Art brought by the Interdisciplinary Art and Technology
Much studies and art practices have been on or using the digital media since late 20th century. The use of digital technology often carried the stereotypical aspects of digital media arts: cybernetic, immaterial, virtual, networked and etc. The scene of new media arts education changed accordingly in order to teach students the latest digital media technology including the very latest version of commercial but often called “industry-standard” software. Observing the reaction to this soft-media-driven arts education, the author likes to bring up the notion of “expanded media art” which results in the hybrid of soft and hard media in the recent art practices in USA. Hard media here is a metaphorical term used to refer to materials and substances taking place in a physical space, often referring to the traditional media like painting and sculpture. Several interdisciplinary projects from the Art Department at the University of Massachusetts Lowell will be addressed as examples. The projects include the “Virtual/Real Bridge” project, a collaborative projects of students in the Interactive Media and Sculpture class; “Uri” project, a kinetic robotic sculpture installed in a public location as a part of the RandomArts program; and the “Artbotics” program which combines visual art and robotics to create and publicly exhibit the robotic arts in a regional museum and to mentor students in the community.
Keywords: Digital Media Art, Robotics Art, Art and Technology, New Media Art Education, Pubic Art, Art and Community, Interdisciplinary Art
Prof. Hyun Ju Kim
Assistant Professor, Art Department, University of Massachusetts Lowell