Sept. opening planned for New Media Centre
September has been set as the target for opening the University’s New Media Centre (NMC), a facility to encourage research and development in information and computing technologies, and enhance the cultural life of campus.
Plans are being drawn up to renovate space in the Arts Building to allow faculty and graduate students to analyse new media, develop collaborative projects and explore its creative potential. According to the associate dean humanities and fine arts, the centre is a response to the “paradigm shift” that has seen “digital technology become really important”.
Judith Rice Henderson said the greatest need for the NMC is in Art and Art History where, for example, virtually all photography is now digital. The humanities “are less technological and comparatively slow to get interested in this” but as new theories develop in areas like reading, writing and editing, “we can bring all our expertise to bear on different kinds of media and create synergies among researchers.”
The NMC was given “a commitment for funding” in the University’s Integrated Plan, she said, although “we haven’t quite got the budget worked out.” The centre is expected to include state-of-the-art equipment like studio editing booths as well as research space with networked links to instructional space and other University facilities. Partnerships are also being explored with on- and off-campus entities in order to “create a larger, stronger new media effort,” she said.
“If we can get artists and scientists working together, we might create some really interesting synergies.”
Staffing for NMC has also yet to be finalized but Henderson said two positions for faculty with an interest in new media have been advertised, one in studio photography and the other in Art and Art History. There is also “talk of hirings in other departments with specialties in digital technology”.