[-empyre-] Opening remarks on interdisciplinary approaches

Happy new year to everyone!

Well, I don't know about Noah and Jill, but I am about ready to leap on
the empyre. I'll offer this as a statement to open discussion this month:

As noted, Noah and I edited the New Media Reader. One of my main hopes is
that this book, along with my more recent Twisty Little Passages: An
Approach to Interactive Fiction, will help to bring different disciplinary
approaches together to deal with issues in the creative uses of the

To me, an interdisciplinary approach to new media doesn't just mean
casting a wide net and sampling several topics in different disciplines.
It means building real disciplinary strength and understanding the
methodologies and approaches of different disciplines -- to apply these in
innovative ways and address complex issues that arise from the social,
artistic, and computational nature of new media. The New Media Reader can
certainly be seen as a way to expose people to many ideas, as a way to
provoke. But I hope it will also help to bring some of the strengths of
the humanities to computer scientists, and make something of the approach
of computer science accessible to artists, and so forth. The results of
Ivan Sutherland's work are quite impressive; how much better to learn
something about how to approach problems as Sutherland did. The same thing
applies to work and methodologies of Sherry Turkle. Of course, a book and
CD can't provide people with a full background in all relevant
disciplines, but I hope that Noah and I have put together a resource that
at least supports students, artists, and professionals as they try to
learn new ways of thinking about new media.

I'll be interested to hear what thoughts Noah, Jill, and those on empyre
have about interdisciplinary approaches to new media arts or about other

-Nick Montfort
 http://nickm.com  nickm@nickm.com
 My new book, Twisty Little Passages: http://nickm.com/twisty

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