Photo courtesy NCC
Professor Hiroshi Ishii's musicBottles work as containers and controls for digital information - the 'sounds' of the violin, the cello and the piano in Edouard Lalo's Piano Trio in C Minor, Op. 7.
If anything can be certain about the future, it is that the influence of technology, especially digital technology, will continue to grow and to profoundly change how we express ourselves, how we communicate with each other and how we perceive, think about and interact with our world. These "mediating technologies" are only in the first stages of their modern evolution; they are still crude, unwieldy, unpersonalized and poorly matched to the human needs of their users. Their fullest development in those terms is emerging as one of the principal technical and design challenges of the emerging information age.
At MIT, the phrase Media Arts and Sciences signifies the study, invention and creative use of enabling technologies for understanding and expression by people and machines. The field is rooted in modern communication, computer and human sciences, and the academic program is intimately linked with research programs within the Media Laboratory. Computers and computation are the most prominent common denominators of this multi-disciplinary merger of previously separate domains. For underlying the explosive advances of the various technologies involved, we are discovering and cultivating a new set of shared intellectual and practical concerns that are becoming the foundations of a new academic discipline. In its simplest form, the field of Media Arts and Sciences can be thought of as exploring the technical, cognitive and aesthetic bases of satisfying human interaction as mediated by technology. In more forward-looking terms, it addresses the quality of life in the information-rich environment of the future.
For more information, go to http://www.media.mit.edu/mas/.