ACTLab programs help students to:
their skills using ACTLab principles of intensive
discussion, conceptual freeplay, and intellectual daring. Working
in the ACTLab's technology-rich environment, students would
master cutting edge hardware and software with an
eye toward new ways of representing their work. We encouraged
unconventional approaches, flexibility, and transdisciplinarity,
not only for their intrinsic worth, but because multiple knowledge
sets are what you need to thrive in an era of exponential
by study and example to translate their research into advanced media, emergent technology, sound, movement, performance, and other dynamic modes of representation.
a member of the ACTLab's international community of award-winning researchers, entrepreneurs, performers, artists, and scholars.
their advice and experience via ACTLab mailing lists, workshops,and personal encounters.
You can participate in the ACTLab community in many different ways. If you take ACTLab courses at one of our sister programs, your final work, besides being an exploration and/or refinement of your semester's theoretical studies, will be an original contribution to the development of transdisciplinary approaches to research, redefining the scholarly mission, and exploring new pedagogy for the twenty-first century university.
We're aware and proud of our past
twenty years of contributions to modern thinking, advanced
communication theory and practice, and academic excellence. We're
proud to say that we didn't jump on the New Media bandwagon -- we
The ACTLab and our sister ACTLabs are shaped and distinguished by the extraordinarily diverse backgrounds and skill sets of its faculty, students, and guests. From its inception, the ACTLab has been a major international presence in defining the nature and direction of new transdisciplinary organizations. ACTLab principles of risk-taking, extreme interdisciplinarity, and openness to innovation have been extensively quoted and debated at institutions worldwide as they attempt to chart their own future courses.
ACTLab courses are concept-driven, rather than skills-driven, but making -- activity which requires physical engagement -- is the heart of our pedagogy. The basis for our class structure is that deep learning engages all the senses. We believe that theory flows from the act of making. We consider hermeneutics to be the basis of ACTLab philosophy: active, playful engagement, informed by individual effort and open to surprise. The point of each ACTLab course is to help you define, develop, and produce a project that reflects on the social, cultural, aesthetic, political, and personal issues raised in that particular class. For undergraduates and for masters students doing projects and reports, our aim is to teach you critical thinking about media and technology and to help you develop a portfolio of representative projects to take with you when you graduate. For masters students doing theses and doctoral students, our goal is to quicken your appreciation of technology's foibles and potentials, and to ask research questions that interconnect with these technologies and their social, economic, aesthetic, political, and personal environments.
Our motto is MAKE STUFF-TAKE RISKS-BE AWESOME!
MAKE STUFF refers to the philosophical concept of poiesis: that is, human culture arises from the essential act of making. TAKE RISKS doesn't mean thrashing, but rather learning to welcome the unexpected and to create circumstances in which you can be surprised by your own work. In the real world, being comfortable with risk means you are ready to unhesitatingly sieze opportunities when they speed by. And BE AWESOME means being ready to put all of your potential out there where others, including possible employers, can appreciate it.
We offer you the opportunity to engage cutting-edge technologies, but
we also encourage you to view these as means rather than as ends in
themselves. Make sure you're taking advantage of technology, rather
than waking up to find that technology is taking advantage of
you. That's why we encourage critical thinking, and offer you the
opportunity to engage cutting-edge theory along with making.
We situate our work at the hotly contested intersections where technology, art, and culture collide. ACTLab courses have a broad range and allow for multiple topics. You can taste a course or two or work intensively over time, and even repeat courses because course topics always change.