Initiative for Advanced Research in Technology and the Arts

Exploring emerging technologies and new media for novel interactions between the arts, engineering and sciences


Technology and the arts come together in this innovative research cluster. Faculty across the arts, engineering and sciences explore new media applications based on shared expertise and evolving technologies. Concepts from diverse disciplines partner to create compelling expressions: dancers wired with sensors perform an interactive concert; media artists incorporate robotics and surveillance hardware in a social context; musicians compose complex scores based on math equations; computer-artists animate visual models from biological data. Experimental process and inquiry energize research and lead to new frontiers. The use of new technologies in art often acts as a laboratory for subsequent industrial and commercial applications. iARTA's affiliate journal, Moebius, gives critical insight to these emerging interdisciplinary practices in an international context.

Latest News

Music and Metals Collaboration

iARTA associated faculty James Thurman (Assistant Professor of Studio Art) and Panayiotis Kokoras (Assistant Professor of Music Composition) have brought together two separate courses in metalsmithing and composition for a collaborative project. In this project, the students in the senior-level metalsmithing studio class have to create a metal object that the music composition students use to make music. In Kokoras' composition class, the students have learned to make hybrid acoustic/electronic instruments using arduino controllers and other techinques. This cooperative instrumental design project challenges the aesthetics and techniques of both the metalsmithing and music students. "The ending product [for the metalsmithing students] may not have significantly changed, but the process will be very different due to the context." Thurman said.

According to Thurman, this change in context also challenges the presuppositions of design culture in which the idea of the lone artist prevails over the potential of working together with others. "Within craft and design, there's a lot more reluctance for collaboration. The culture of the disciplines, oddly and incorrectly, promotes the idea of the lone artist doing their thing. But in my practice, both inside and outside of academia, I can't do anything without other people. There's always some kind of exchange, negotiation, and collaboration, particularly in the most successful projects." 

The overall emphasis of the project, in addition to documenting the student work as both a performance and an art-object, is to teach students to articulate their ideas and needs within a group. "The point is to eventually find the right team and stick with it," Kokoras said, "so the more you know how to cope with [collaborating in a group] the better results you can have." 

All in all, both Thurman and Kokoras seem pleased at the possibilities of the current project and potential future projects, "It's one of the richest semesters that I can imagine," Thurman said, "having both this collaboration project and the visiting artists we've had." 

Tactical Robotics Seminar at CVAD

Tactical Robotics Symposium: Latin America Media Art at the Intersection of Pedagogy. The public lecture & Round Table Discussion will take place on Wednesday, October 1st in Room 223 from 5:30-8:30 PM.Guest speakers include internationally known artist/scholars Arcángel Constantini (México); Gustavo Crembil (Argentina/US), Guto Nóbrega (Brazil) and Mariela Yeregui (Argentina).

CIME/ICEM Festival and Conference

The annual festival/conference of the International Conferderation of Electroacoustic Music (CIME/ICEM) 2014, featuring iARTA participants Panayiotis Kokoras, Andrew May and Jon Nelson, will be held at the University of North Texas College of Music Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia (CEMI). The conference will focus on the topic of acousmatic music in the age of the internet. The conference will feature afternoon presentations (papers, studio reports, panel discussions, seminars, and/or workshops) and evening concerts. The concerts will take place in Voertman Hall and in the Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater (MEIT) and will feature music, video, and installations on topics as diverse as the following:

  • What is the future of acousmatic music within the context of new and emerging technologies?
  • How do the internet and new technologies impact the production and dissemination of acousmatic art?
  • Do new technologies create new modes of listening?

Both concert spaces feature immersive surround sound systems with more than 16 channels of audio and theatrical lighting systems. The MEIT also features 270-degree wraparound video projection screens. Installations will be presented in various locations within the college, including the CEMI studios.

For a complete program of the events of the festival, go here: