Building blocks: Creative New Media Practice

While our program’s faculty is well endowed in offering instruction and expertise in traditional media which needs no further introduction (such as painting, drawing, sculpture in fine art, and graphic design, typography and the like in design) we would specifically like to draw attention to new media technologies which we routinely integrate into the creative and theoretical output.

New media technologies and practices have become a field which today’s artists and designers cannot avoid all too easily in their work. The state of the current technologies and their social effects has deeply changed not only our practical, day-to-day lives but also our conceptions as well as our perceptions. Indeed this change is likely to have caused one of the fastest transitions that human kind has ever undergone. The critical aspect of this condition is that this transition will keep accelerating as computational and telematic technologies and devices proliferate at an exponential rate. At Sabancı University’s VACD program we pay great attention to this transitory situation and ensure that our art and design students are endowed with the capacities to cope with this circumstance. This is where the term new media is a key, and the alphabetical list below will show you the main areas upon which we focus upon within this term.

Important Note: All of the following new media fields/technologies should be considered as the areas of implementation, or the structural components of a full master’s thesis project which involves a concept, an idea or a narrative in which these building blocks are utilized; and which falls under the jurisdiction of one of the three main tracks of our program – Visual Art, Visual Communication Design or Theory of Creative Practice - or possibly also as a hybrid of two or more of these three main tracks. 

. 3D Modeling and Computer Animation are inseparable as they are closely link to each other. Besides learning and understanding the digital modeling tools, ways of modeling, modeling techniques, modeling for animation, character design, rigging and other phases, students who wish to focus on this research area will generate an animated short film to support the under-researched discipline of animation theory. Exploratory research practice is encouraged. In its interdisciplinary approach, this study field addresses both artistic practice and theory in Arts & Media, Design and Visual Culture. While projects may vary, students may also implement 3D animation on various multimedia and creative practice projects.  
Related Faculty: Yoong Wah Alex Wong.

. 3D Virtual Worlds, Gaming and Virtual Reality: Online virtual worlds as well as self-enclosed/offline virtual reality systems present many vistas for creative work as well as theoretical research: When it comes to creative activity they involve many aspects of visual design, including virtual architecture, the creation of virtual interiors and geographies, issues related to ambience such as lighting, and character creation, coming about through avatar appearances. In terms of the theoretical aspects surrounding these spaces some of the issues revolve around fields and topics such as Presence, immersion, virtual reality, Play, virtual economics, produsage, collaborative creativity, ludology, narratology, virtual identity, cyberpsychology and cyberpsychology.
Related Faculty: Elif Ayiter.

. Augmented Reality is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. It is related to a more general concept called mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented), by a computer. As a result, the technology functions by enhancing one’s current perception of reality. Augmented Reality has been coming into prominence as a tool for artistic expression as well as a part of design solutions particularly through the proliferation of hand held devices such as smart phones through which computational interventions into the display of reality can be undertaken with relative ease.
Related Faculty: Selçuk Artut, Ekmel Ertan.

. Information Art is a practice of art that has been influenced extensively by computer technology, and some contemporary forms of art such as performance art, visual art, and conceptual art. The information art courses offered at Sabancı University course reviews several conceptualizations of the relations between art and technology. Related Faculty: Selçuk Artut, Ekmel Ertan.

. Info Graphics: Information that surrounds us in today’s complex world faces the risk of ambiguity. How can we identify this multi-layered information and clarify its form? What are the most effective ways to describe and explore natural and man-made worlds, and help ease the complex procedure of information design? What types of methodologies are used to analyze and communicate statistical information, and bring order to the built environment through graphical elements? This field explores the nature and conventions of information design, and its long-established ground-rules. Visual concepts of information graphics are explored such as, color and visual hierarchy, visual economy, layering and separation, data ink-ratio and data density.
Related Faculty: Elif Ayiter, Onur Yazıcıgil.

. Interaction Design has a main focus on behavior of human action with interactive systems. The interaction design courses offered at Sabancı University VACD program aim to focus upon contemporary digital materials such as software, electronics and internet. Thus, the main concerns of this field involve creating low level solutions - tools, protocols, etc. - to let people and machines talk to each other for any given purpose. Students work on common hardware and software methods and tools to understand the medium and to design their own interfaces for their design or art projects.
Related Faculty: Selçuk Artut, Ekmel Ertan.

. Interface Design: Interfaces rule how people interact with their environment and link audiences to any informative material to be conveyed. Interfaces are mediators between input and output. The simpler the interface is, the less time we will waste in interaction and hopefully the more time we will spare for our personal interests / leisure. The objective of the interface design master’s thesis work is to inspire students to construct innovative ideas independent of physical, cultural, educational constraints. Cross-platform thinking is endorsed and inventive exercises like making students who are not educated as architects create visions for architecture are envisioned. Our approach encourages students to integrate daily life experience into their design philosophy, be pro-active and feel responsible in finding solutions for the improvement of daily interfaces. Interface design is about creating contextual conversations between human and machines through new interfaces or by reusing the existing interface methods to give information, tell stories, or express ourselves. These interfaces can be either screen based or physical installations, which in many cases also undertake to offer playful user experiences.
Related Faculty: Murat Germen, Ekmel Ertan.

. Motion Graphics/Arts: Motion Graphics and Arts are designed as non-narrative, non-figurative based visuals that change over time. A misleadingly simple explanation of motion graphics would be "graphic design in motion." The distinction of non-narrative, non-figurative based visuals is to separate motion graphics from the larger general definition of animation or film. Motion Graphics and Arts often incorporate video, film, animation, photography, illustration, and music. The boundaries of these related art forms are difficult to delineate, especially with multimedia works: for example; how sequential images, forms of communication and application of Motion Graphics and Arts to related disciplines in motion picture, creative multimedia, video art and installation can be further researched in this distinctive area? This practical research question should be composed and supported by theoretical writing and analysis, conceptual development documentation, technical and artistic implementation toward the final thesis submission.  
Related Faculty: Yoong Wah Alex Wong.

. Photography: Documentary or fictional, photography is indeed a tool of individual testimony. This fact should not prevent photography from making novel worlds from scratch, in addition to representing, interpreting, and sharing already existing worlds. Photography is a very powerful communication apparatus and the increasing use of it in contemporary art proves this fact. New possibilities of content creation, dissemination and printing after digital image making / processing instruments, enabled photography to develop a distinctive aesthetic in the artistic realm. The photography courses offered at Sabancı University VACD program aim to form a sound basis for individuals motivated to be visionary creators using unique visual / artistic languages rather than being mere practitioners or operators.
Related Faculty: Murat Germen, Stephanie Paine.

. Sound Design explores sound fundamentals as an ingredient of art and design, focusing on varied sound segments for installation, performance, video/film, WWW, and audio. The sound courses offered at Sabancı University VACD program aim to relate to sound as a material; teaching acoustics as the nature of the material, its composition and textures, and how to recognize its nuances, weaknesses, and strengths, teaching ear training to develop the ability to recognize the audio material in basic ways; size, shape, dimensions, and color, the introduction of using everyday sounds as compositional material.
Related Faculty: Selçuk Artut.

. Video: Graduate students who wish to concentrate in video study must work hands on processes and study area of script writing and directing, as well as cinematography and editing. Students working in a narrative genre write a script for their final video project, connecting, contrasting, analyzing and interpreting their script and video project to the referred sample. In addition to learning fundamental principles of digital cinematography and imaging, students explore the creative problems and possibilities introduced by the marriage of digital tools with the art of cinema. Cinematography is an interpretative process that culminates in the authorship of an original work rather than the simple recording of a physical event; it involves an artistic research with the technical constraints of camera, lens, camera angle, distance and movement study.  Finally, students approach editing from both the ideal and the real perspective, emphasizing both the technical and theoretical aspects of editing video images and sound. As the final video project takes shape, the student investigates alternative editing strategies in the post production process corresponding to the readings, referred video samples. This practical research should be supported by theoretical writing and analysis, conceptual development documentation, technical and artistic implementation toward the final thesis submission.
Related Faculty: Yoong Wah Alex Wong.

. Wearables/Fashion Art: Wearable art in the context of creative practice is defined as an interdisciplinary subject, comprising skills from craft processes, technology and industrial methods associated with fashion, textiles fiber and material construction as well as fabrications found in the fine arts; all these combined in a single dynamic identity of a reconciliation of industries and craft skills with artistic components. A second topic which also falls under this jurisdiction is virtual fashion design and the creation of apparel for virtual representations of the ‘self’ in avatar mediated environments, or the exploration of novel forms of identity inside virtual worlds.

These wide-ranging creative practices, applied to the ergonomic rational of the human body active designs which open up new possibilities for art and design investigations related to these fields.
Related Faculty: Elif Ayiter for virtual fashion art and Selçuk Gürışık for wearable art.

. Web Design is a medium which has long become ubiquitous, and thus should no longer be taken to cover stand-alone sites only, but instead should be considered in all of its ramifications such as the blogosphere and collaborative sharing platforms, indeed very much as the conveying mechanisms of an indigenous Web Culture. Thus, we no longer see web design as a standalone medium but rather as a receptacle/cover within which diverse purposes ranging from artistic expression and advanced interactivity, to documentation and creative writing via blogs, to the sharing and extending of creative output through creative sharing domains can be acted out. We therefore, encourage our students to become full participants of web culture by creating a strong online presence, particularly through blogging activity and creative sharing/networking platforms such as Flickr, YouTube, tumblr, vimeo, DeviantArt and the like. Related Faculty: Elif Ayiter, Ekmel Ertan.

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