Jul 23, 2024  
Rensselaer Catalog 2013-2014 
Rensselaer Catalog 2013-2014 [Archived Catalog]


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Acting Head: Caren Canier

Director of Graduate Studies: Curtis Bahn

Department Home Page:

The Department of the Arts is dedicated to interdisciplinary creative research in electronic arts.  It offers a unique environment to develop and realize innovative art within a technological university. The department offers three degree programs in Electronic Arts: a Bachelor of Science, a Master of Fine Arts, and a Doctor of Philosophy. Also offered jointly with the Department of Communication and Media is a B.S. in Electronic Media, Arts, and Communication. These programs provide students with an opportunity to pursue a degree with a particular emphasis on the use of technology and an interdisciplinary approach to electronic arts.

Within this department, studio courses engage students in hands-on activities that stress creative and expressive development. They also encourage students to develop their perceptual sensitivity, as well as to build their confidence to apply creative exploration and problem-solving skills to a wide range of aesthetic challenges. In addition to a full complement of traditional disciplines such as drawing, painting, sculpture, music, filmmaking, and performance, the department offers courses in electronic media including digital video, computer imaging and animation, interactivity, multimedia installation, and computer music.

Research Innovations and Initiatives

Arts department faculty members take varying approaches to the use of electronic media in artistic creation and performance. All are active artists/theoreticians whose works are represented internationally in museums, galleries, and performance venues.

Arts majors are required to become familiar with creative tools in a variety of electronic media and are encouraged to work with combinations of media. The center of such creative work is the Integrated Electronic Arts at Rensselaer (iEAR) Studios, which include professional quality facilities in electronic and computer music, digital video production and post production, computer imaging and animation, interactive media, installation art, and performance art. In addition, qualified students in the M.F.A. and Ph.D. programs may use elective credits to explore Rensselaer’s extensive technological resources. Opportunities to engage in creative or research projects with students or faculty from other departments or schools within the Institute are also possible.

Undergraduate Programs

At Rensselaer, the Department of the Arts offers bachelor’s degree programs in Electronic Arts (EART); Electronic Media, Arts, and Communication (EMAC); Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (GSAS); and Information Technology and Web Science-Arts. Information and requirements specific to each program are described below.

Baccalaureate Programs

As explained in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences introduction, all baccalaureate students take 24 credit hours of core courses. The Institute also requires all students to complete a 24-credit-hour math/science requirement. Required courses in mathematics and sciences are: MATH  1500 Calculus I for Humanities and Social Science, MATH 1620 Contemporary Ideas in Math, CSCI 1100 Computer Science or CSCI  1010 Introduction to Computer Programming, and BIOL 1010, Introduction to Biology. MATH 1010 Calculus I and MATH 1020 Calculus II may be substituted for MATH 1500 and MATH 1620, respectively. For more information, see a departmental adviser.

Special Undergraduate Opportunities

Visiting Artists Series
The Department of the Arts supports the iEAR Presents! series which brings leading composers, performers, theorists, and media artists to campus for performances, exhibitions, lectures, and workshops. All students are encouraged to attend the rich variety of events both on campus and in the Capital District area.

The department offers credit-bearing ensembles that may be applied toward the music minor: Rensselaer Orchestra, Rensselaer Concert Choir, Jazz Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Intro to Afro-Cuban Percussion, and Chamber Music Ensemble. Many noncredit ensembles, dictated by student interest, are available on campus. Typical examples have included symphonic band, pep band, swing band, and vocal groups such as the Rensselyrics and the Rusty Pipes.

Course Descriptions

Courses related to all Arts curricula are described in the Course Descriptions section of this catalog under the department code ARTS.



Canier, C.—M.F.A. (Boston University); painting, drawing, 2D design.

Century, M.—M.A. (University of California, Berkeley); new media history and theory, contemporary music performance, innovation studies.

Goebel, J.—M.A. (Staaliche Hochschule für Music und Theater); music composition and performance.

Kagan, L.—M.A. (University at Albany); studio arts.

Miller, B.—M.F.A. (New York University Graduate Film and Television Program); video art, media art.

EMPAC Affiliated Faculty and Professors of Practice

Knowles, E. A.—Ph.D. (University at Albany); African and Afro-Cuban music and dance.

Oliveros, P.—Honorary Dr. of Music (DeMontfort University UK); music composition, electronic music, improvisation.

Associate Professors

Bahn, C.—Ph.D. (Princeton University); computer music and interactive performance.

Bustamante, N.—M.F.A. (San Francisco Art Institute); new genres, performance art, video/filmmaking, sculpture installation.

Chang, B.—M.F.A. (School of Art Institute of Chicago); virtual reality, experimental games, interactive installation, open source software.

Hahn, T.—Ph.D. (Wesleyan University); ethnomusicology, performance art, dance.

High, K.—M.A. (SUNY-Buffalo, Center for Media Study): video art installation, film production and theory, bioart.

Lawson, S.—M.F.A.(School of the Art Institute of Chicago); real-time graphics, interactive installation, locative media.

Ruiz, K.—abd Ph.D. (Europäische Universität für Interdisziplinare Studien, EGS); interactive simulation, game studies, photography and emerging multidisciplinary genres.

Staniszewski, M.—Ph.D. (Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York); modern and contemporary art, culture, and media history.

Vamos, I.
—M.F.A. (University of California at San Diego); tactical media, video, film production and theory.

* Departmental faculty listings are accurate as of the date generated for inclusion in this catalog. For the most up-to-date listing of faculty positions, including end-of-year promotions, please refer to the Faculty Roster section of this catalog, which is current as of the May 2013 Board of Trustees meeting.

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