Digital + Media operates at the nexus of art, science, technology and critical theory. Offered at the graduate level only, the program emphasizes interdisciplinary, research-driven practices in which conceptual intention determines form and media. Through a rigorous curriculum, graduate students in D+M discover new methodologies, technologies and sites of cultural production.
- 2-year graduate program
In the studio
D+M majors work directly with a diverse and dedicated faculty to develop cross-disciplinary research agendas that advance their artistic practices. Within the constantly evolving space of the studio, students explore a variety of topics and pursue fundamental questions about human nature, knowledge, technology, economics and geography.
Stephanie Muscat | MFA 17
“We seek to simplify the world by slicing it into categories: science and art, humans and technology, them and us. But the space between these divisions is often the most dynamic. Digital + Media at RISD is one of these in-between spaces. I’ve always felt torn between disciplines, compelled to keep my academic pursuits in human biology/neuroscience separate from my artistic practice. But in D+M, we’re not supposed to fit neatly between the disciplinary lines—we’re encouraged to obliterate them.”
Mark Milloff | department head
"D+M students are 21st-century artists—cross-disciplinary hybrids. With a vision that is never limited by process, you are free to float over your work conceptually and find the vehicle necessary to bring it to fruition—whether purely digital or molecular or a combination of the two. And remember: You are in school. This is your opportunity to take risks. Follow ideas on a whim. Exchange them with your gifted peers. Develop your specific, idiosyncratic voice. Work with passion. Be productive. Have fun."
Digital + Media alumni pioneer new modes of artistic inquiry, pursuing rewarding work in cutting-edge research, academics, studio practice and more. Many graduates have contributed significantly to the advancement of the field of new media—as successful artists, experimental designers, writers and critics.
Alumni at work
Twin brothers Nate Mueller MFA 10 and Kirk Mueller MFA 10 share the same interests, passions, bank account, calendar and alma mater — not to mention, collective identity. After honing their design abilities and understanding of interactive media at RISD, they have been making a mark through their NYC firm Studio Mercury, where as art directors, lead developers and principals they work with other RISD grads in creating award-winning apps, e-books and websites. Their iPad app for Martha Stewart rocked the media world in 2011 and they've since created viral wallpaper, video series and compelling digital work for The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Newsweek and Bon Appetit, among many others.
An assistant professor of Art + Architecture at the University of San Francisco, Liat Berdugo MFA 13 creates critical and expanded considerations of digital culture at the intersection of video, writing, performance and programming. She collaborates and exhibits internationally and also serves as Net Art/Special Programs Curator for Print Screen, Israel’s international festival of digital art; cofounder and curator of the Living Room Light Exchange, a monthly new media art salon in the Bay Area; and cofounder and curator of World Wide West, an annual summit, exhibit and performative new media event, among others. Berdugo’s writing appears in Rhizome, Temporary Art Review and HZ Journal, among others.
Blue Wade MFA 06, chair of Arts & Media at Marymount California University, creates and curates immersive installation environments and experiences. Her passion for both object-making and the human figure led her to envision and cultivate worlds in which these figures and characters can exist and belong. Utilizing a combination of virtual/real space, video, animation and digital sculpture, Wade’s environments are meant to be experienced first hand. As a professor at Marymount, she works directly with students preparing portfolios in animation, game design, website design, film, digital design and interdisciplinary arts. Her work is exhibited both nationally and internationally.
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