Video Programs at Alfred University: 1977-present (1998)

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Academic Programs
College of Ceramics at Alfred University
          A BFA Program in Photography in the Art Department currently offers five courses to about one hundred and sixty students each year. Professor Edward Stanton, Director of the Program, states its basic organizing principle as the "semiotics of visual perception." The Program began in 1970 in response to the need and demand for such a concentration of activity, and has since expanded rapidly with new building funds. Professor Stanton states that an attempt is made to individualize the curriculum to fit the needs of the student, but that there is some difficulty in consistently accomplishing this due to the great need for additional faculty, for assistants and for greater cooperation from maintenance. It is noted, however, that the photographic equipment/facilities for course use are quite extensive, with three darkrooms, thirty black-and-white enlargers and a color enlarger. These facilities are often utilized by students outside of the Photography Program. The Program also sponsors frequent artists and lecturers, and student shows are presented on a rotating basis.
          Media courses in video and 16mm/super-8 film are also offered in the Art Department and Professor Harland Snodgrass reports that a "Photo-image" course and/or program, which would incorporate work in photography, video, film, sound, slides and performance, is under consideration.

Multi-Media or Media Survey Courses at State University of New York Campuses
A number of campuses, often not offering courses dedicated to film, television, video or photography, have in their curricula a course or courses dealing with several of these media: "Multi-Media" or "Media Survey" courses is as good a term as any to generally characterize activity of this type. Since the courses do not fit into any individual category- as film courses or as video courses and so forth they have generally not been reported in the sections specific to each area. Four courses of this type are instead summarized here, representative of three different approaches and emphases in "Media Survey" courses. The first concerns itself with basic theory and production technique in the context of applied communications; the second, basically with the historical growth, theory and criticism and the cultural implications of the media; and the final two with the exploration of several new media and materials as means of personal creative expression. All three are interesting and useful approaches, growing rapidly and capable of interaction and synthesis on a wider scale.

College of Ceramics at Alfred University
Three Media courses emphasize video exploration (and have, therefore, been considered in the Report and Chart on Academic Video); the same courses, however, also offer work in super-8 and 16mm filmmaking and interact with the extensive photography facilities and coursework. The Media courses utilize black-and-white and color cameras, 3/4-inch decks and special effects equipment to investigate the experimental side of video as a visual medium by which studio artists may explore ideas, as well as "archival" documentary recording of visiting artists and performances and the possible uses of video as a teaching aid. There has also been some interest in the possibility of building a colorizer and the use of computer for graphics display. The primary concern of film activity seems to be the production of experimental or personal work, and numerous experimental films are also screened.

Professor Harland Snodgrass indicates that a "PhotoImage" course is being designed in conjunction with the photography curriculum to explore the possibilities of image-making in a variety of media. It has also been expressed that this might be expanded into a combination "program" through which students could major in photography and/or video.

          -Survey of Film/Television/Video/Still Photography/Electronic Music Activity at State University of New York Campuses.
           John Minkowsky. 1977

Vegetable Soup Kitchen at Alfred University
Harland Snodgrass, founder of the Electronic Art Program at the School of Art and Design at Alfred University, began the Vegetable Soup Kitchen.

Institute for Electronic Arts
Co-Directed by Peer Bode, Joseph Scheer and Jessie Shefrin. IEA offers programs which support the creation of new media works by artists. The Institute for Electronic Arts is dedicated to the integration of electronic media within the fine arts disciplines through a focus on art making, research, and education.  The Institute was established in 1997 to focus on the development of electronic imaging studios, to sponsor cross disciplinary work and to encourage interactive workshops for the promotion of professional dialogs.  The Institute is an active partner in the Video History Project, and supports the Internet activities and website.  Technical Specialist: Mark Klingensmith. Sonic Arts: Andrew Deutsch. Art History: Barbara Lattanzi, Gerar Edizel. Design: Paul Mazzucca. Honorary Members: Harland Snodgrass, John Wood.  Associated with one of the oldest video art programs in the country at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, the Electronic Arts Initiative is committed to furthering the field of electronic arts. In 1996 EAI received a $40,000 Educational Assistance Initiative Grant from the Office of Educational Technology of the State University of New York to install a video server in order to connect four SUNY units to facilitate ongoing on-line art project exchanges and innovative database constructions.

Group Name: 
Alfred University
Group Dates: 
1977 - present
Group Location: 
Alfred, New York