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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.

Degree program

MFA
2-year graduate program

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

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“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.”

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Shona Kitchen | 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

Clement Valla MFA 09 | artist/programmer

Through his practice, Clement Valla considers the role of computer vision and automated image-making in shaping contemporary life. Working at the intersection of art and computer programming, he explores tensions between creativity and the influence of systems on individuals in both widely-exhibited solo projects and interdisciplinary collaborations. The New York-based artist has also had an instrumental role in establishing the Computation, Technology and Culture academic concentration at RISD, where he is an associate professor.

Hyojin Yoo MFA 14 | artist/researcher

Believing strongly in the power of interactive and collective experience, Hyojin Yoo creates objects and performance-based work that investigates boundaries between visible and invisible, tangible and intangible. Working across several media—from drawing to code and physical computing—the Brooklyn-based artist uses her research and creative practice to explore the role of the senses in framing and reframing identity within multiple social and cultural contexts. While also working in the commercial sphere, Yoo also exhibits widely in solo and group shows throughout the US and internationally.