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 candidate
“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 define their own areas of interest within a strong body of research. The challenge is to find the right way to communicate complexities, and to find a way to present research as a whole. Is there an end? Are there chapters? Does this take the form of performative conversations, artifacts, writings?
As a faculty member, I encourage students to really explore new forms of engagement. They have the time to take risks—and research is endless—so I try to help them find and identify revelatory moments throughout the process."
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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