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About Public Digital Arts

Public Digital Arts is a “cluster” of faculty drawn from seven different academic units: Art and Art History, Cinema, Computer Science, Dance, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Music, and Theatre. They are augmented by a strong cadre of existing faculty in the performing and visual arts, engineering, and other departments throughout the University. Together and individually they focus on exploring the use of emerging technologies and artistic practices to create new approaches to artistic production and performance.


The mission of the cluster is to promote interdisciplinary teaching, research, and creative work, using art to strengthen the human component in science and technology, and using science and technology to enrich works of art.


The great challenges of art are those that human beings confront at a moment in time. Among the many challenges we face today are two that the cluster members engage:

  • Rapid change can be a source of enormous stress. Art combined with technology has the power to illuminate issues, communicate complexity, and help us grapple with the new. 
  • Gender, racial and cultural diversity can be strengthened by building teams of artists, scientists, and those engaged in technology

Curricular Offerings and Certificate

The cluster offers a Certificate Program in Public Digital Arts. It is open to all UI students. To complete the certificate, students take two required courses, five courses from one of several tracks, and present a capstone project for a public viewing. For more information, follow this link.

Civic Engagement

The Big Ten Alliance Committee on Engagement defines engagement as “the partnership of university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to enrich scholarship, research, and creative activity; enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address critical societal issues; and contribute to the public good.” The Public Digital Arts Cluster is enthusiastically committed to these values and goals.