New Media + Sound Arts Major

  • Intro

    Expand your senses. Listen and be heard.

    Focusing on the relationships between arts, new technologies, and critical studies, the New Media + Sound Arts major generates new knowledges, sensations and artistic expressions. NMSA emphasizes experience—feeling, seeing, and hearing—inviting students to create worlds of difference.


    NEW MEDIA + SOUND ARTS (NMSA) is an undergraduate programme in the Bachelor of Media Arts housed within the Faculty of Design + Dynamic Media. NMSA provides a critical and technical framework within which students master the conceptual and practical skills for producing creative, innovative, and experimental research and projects that employ electronic technologies. NMSA acknowledges the growing interest in expanded opportunities and support for sound art at ECU. Students explore sound practices along with visual, performative, and object-making practices using new technologies. For example, curriculum pathways include: visuals and sound for interactive environments, new media performance, interactive video, sound recording, sound design, instrument design, computer music, web projects, robotics and wearable electronics. As part of the growing culture of indigenization at ECU, NMSA offers aboriginal storytelling and indigenous approaches to new media research and production.

    NMSA allows for open-ended inquiry, examining how art and technology can contribute towards positive social change. NMSA proposes critical investigations into making: How can technologies provide new methods of telling-story? How can technologies provide inquiry into the changing roles of artists and publics? Can technologies assist our physical relationship to the world? Can technologies enhance our perceptions, our hearing and seeing? How may technologies help support ecological relations with the earth? Students in the NMSA major are encouraged to develop their artistic voice within a context of contemporary and historical practices, and to develop meaningful engagement with social concerns.

    NMSA provides students with links to communities of professionals by forging opportunities with internal practitioners and researchers, and external organizations. The goal is to offer students the potential to be society’s critical makers; able to contribute creative research, engaged practices, and problem-solving skills.


  • Pathways

    The New Media + Sound Arts major blends creative exploration with the technical skills needed for contemporary practices using electronic media and new technologies. This combination of creative knowledge and applied practice prepares students for opportunities in cultural and industrial fields that specialize in new media. NMSA offers a number of pathways that students can choose from based on their interests. This list is a guide for possible pathways, but students may choose to design their own hybrid learning:

    Sound art

    Sound and music play a significant role in culture, and these forms are increasingly growing in contemporary art practices. This pathway allows students to focus on sound as creative expression for gallery based installations, public art, outdoor experiences, or live performance. Students gain knowledge on the use of acoustic and computational tools for creating sound, and learn industry-standard and experimental techniques for field and studio recording, sound editing, and sound composition. Projects explore sound installation, sound for the web, soundwalks, soundscapes, sound/music performance, and musical production in stereo or multichannel and other immersive formats. The knowledge gained in this pathway is transferable to opportunities in interdisciplinary art forms that incorporate sound, and in industrial fields that require skills in sound production and engineering. 

    New Media Installation

    The practices explored in this pathway support students to create media art installations for physical spaces, such as in gallery and public art venues, and unconventional sites. Projects focus on how video, sound, animation, and interactive elements can generate real-world-real-time audience experience. The knowledge gained within this pathway also transfers to industries that use new media, such as for commercial displays, and kinect/camera/sensor-activated spaces, sound and media design for VR, experimental music videos.

    Interactive Objects and Instruments

    Contemporary objects and materials are being produced or adapted to generate lively and meaningful interactions with humans. This pathway focuses on the potentials offered by combining electronics with materials. Students explore creative electronics, and maker and DIY methods, to produce interactive objects, electronic instruments, robots, interactive wearables, and kinetic sculpture. The learning in this pathway is transferable to opportunities in cultural genres such as DIY and maker cultures, and in industrial fields that use electronics and interactivity. 

    Sound Design for the Screen

    Sound and music play a crucial role in visual media such as film, animation and games. This pathway allows students to focus on sound as creative expression in relation to screen-based media. Students learn how sound supports story-telling in these genres, and how to do field and studio recording, sound editing, and sound design for the eye. This knowledge and expertise prepares students for opportunities in sound recording and sound design for filmmaking, animation, and games.

    Net and Mobile Art

    This pathway focuses on creativity using web and mobile platforms. It is for students who are interested in online story-telling and mobile distribution methods, and the potentials offered by online/networked audiences and virtual spaces. Students learn web authoring, and how to develop creative media— sound, image, video —for web projects, websites and mobile apps. This knowledge is transferable to opportunities in web art and mobile art, and to industries, such as web authoring, social media support, blog authoring, and app development.


  • Program

    After first year Foundation studies at Emily Carr, you will apply to enter the New Media + Sound Arts program in your second year. 

    Your studies will focus steadily in this field over the last three years of your four-year degree. Upon completion, you will achieve the undergraduate degree and designation, Bachelor of Media Arts, Majoring in New Media + Sound Arts (BMA, New Media + Sound Arts). 

    The second year curriculum provides NMSA majors with an introduction to a range of contemporary media practices in order to self-identify areas of interest for development in third year. The 6 credit NMSA core studio courses offer students opportunities to produce projects in a broad range of media and realize how ideas can be expressed in various ways. Projects include methods in listening, seeing and feeling, and methodologies for translating these experiences into video, sound art, performance, simple electronics, web-based projects and public space interventions. There is an additional 3 credit required course, called Open Source, that focuses on the creative use of computer technologies to help students develop essential research and production skills. The required critical studies course provides learning on the historical contexts of current practices within the field.

    The third year curriculum provides flexibility for students to expand on their media practices and, at the same time, helps them identify their own specialization or hybridization. NMSA students enroll in 6 credit MDIA core courses shared with FMSA major students. There are a number of these core courses that students can choose from, each thematically-based. Students combine learning in the core courses with self-selected studio electives. Students are also required to take the Embedded Practices course that provides hands-on learning inside or outside the university working on research and production projects with professional artists, designers, researchers or organizations. The required critical studies course, Meanings of New Technologies, provides students with knowledge on the social and ecological impact of technologies. 

    The fourth year curriculum is geared towards supporting students to realize their capstone project for the degree exhibition. Students are encouraged to continue to develop their skills and knowledge, for practice after graduation. The 6 credit MDIA core studio courses combine both NMSA and FMSA students and focus on research and production stages of student projects, including self-reflexive assignments. In the fall MDIA Core, students focus on the research stages of their project development and on some production stages. In the spring MDIA Core, students elaborate on their project production, focusing on the production and post-production stages in preparation for their exhibition installations. The required critical studies course provides students the opportunity to research and articulate the cultural context of their project and emerging practice. Students are exposed to documentation methodologies that can assist with effective representation of their practice, projects and skills, essential for their lives after graduation.

     

    See the Admissions section about application information for undergraduate, international, transfer, and aboriginal students.

  • Aims

    The Bachelor of Media Arts, New Media + Sound Arts program develops you to become a creative citizen of the new media arts community through conceptual, critical, cultural, practice-oriented, and career-focused education.

    The Bachelor of Media Arts, New Media +Sound Arts program aims are:

    • Individual expression: NMSA promotes individual expression and creative confidence amongst our students, encouraging students to find their own practice.
    • Critical making: NMSA faculty believe in the potential of our students, and encourage them to make work informed by research, exploration, and critical enquiry relevant to the concerns of the 21st century.
    • Experimentation and innovation: NMSA faculty are committed to contemporary art and value students who grow the field through creative ideas and making.
    • DIY/ diverse technical proficiency: NMSA faculty and technicians are experienced practitioners who are able to support students’ mastery of materials and means.
    • Breadth and depth of program offerings: NMSA students have the flexibility to explore and discover their own path through the diverse curriculum pathways.
    • Blending of curriculum with professional experience: NMSA promotes student immersion in professional opportunities with practitioners and organizations.
    • Year by year curricular philosophy: Second year courses focus on key concepts in electronic art and an introduction to technical skills; third year offers breadth of learning combined with exploration of personal interest, opportunities for collaborative modes of production, and opportunities with professionals; fourth year is the capstone year, when students dig deeply into their research and project production in preparation for professional practice.

    interactive sound and visuals, sound composition, media installation, sound for commercial and cultural venues, research with electronic media, experimental electronic music performance, robotics, charged wearables, interactive wearables, sound installation, sound theory, critical analysis, web projects, public art



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