Digital Arts and New Media: MFA: Collaboration, Innovation, Social Impact

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Announcing new DANM Research Groups for Fall 2016 applicants

Thursday, November 19, 2015 - 8:00am to Tuesday, January 5, 2016 - 8:00am


UC Santa Cruz’s Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) MFA Program announces its call for applications for Fall 2016 with a new website,

The mobile-friendly site highlights the four collaborative research project groups central to the DANM curriculum and admissions processes. Small clusters of students work with professors on artistic, technical and theoretical research in one of four focused areas: 



Monuments and Entropy

Faculty: Elliot Anderson, Jennifer Parker

The Mechatronics research group partners with the Performative Technologies group to create a collaborative research cohort that will develop interactive art and design projects as part of the “Monuments and Entropy” project. Fabricate functional experimental art devices that combine principles of sculpture, kinetics, electronics, motion control, sensors, actuators, motors, and other control devices.


Performative Technologies

Monuments and Entropy

Faculty: Elliot Anderson, Jim Bierman, Michael Chemers

 The Performative Technologies research group joins the Mechatronics group to generate a collaborative project that explores themes of entropy, the “monumental,” and the “tour” in the creation of a performative work including sound, animation, interactivity, and theater. Dig into larger socio-political issues such as climate change, and the destruction of landscapes and environments.


Participatory Culture

The Public Record: Expanded Documentary, Activism as Affectivism 

Faculty: Sharon Daniel

 The interactive, web-based, database-driven, new media documentary, or “iDoc” is, perhaps, one of the most rapidly emerging new media forms. Explore the aesthetic, political and ethical dimensions of such new and expanded forms of documentary practice — experimenting with new methodologies and technologies to generate new kinds of politically and socially productive documents of our situated realities.


Playable Media

Experimental Play

Faculty: Robin Hunicke, Michael Mateas, Susana Ruiz, Noah Wardrip-Fruin

 From the rise of the New Games movement and the emergence of the role-playing game (in the 1970s) to the current moment’s rise of independent games, art games, documentary games, political games, and more — we are changing who plays, how we play, and what play can mean. Join others who want to invent and explore new play spaces in storytelling, ideology, sociality, performance, and other rich areas of human life.



The DANM MFA Program at UC Santa Cruz is an interdisciplinary center for the development and study of digital media arts and their social impact. This two-year program brings together faculty and students from across the academic spectrum to pursue interdisciplinary artistic and scholarly research.

The diverse curriculum includes the collaborative research groups, and core and elective courses in the theory and practice of digital media arts in support of individual thesis papers and projects.

View videos of 2015 graduate thesis projects.


The application for admission deadline is January 5, 2016.