Computational Media, Arts & Cultures

Computational Media, Arts & Cultures (CMAC) represents a collection of related activities at Duke University. Originating in the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies and the Mellon-supported Visual Studies Initiative, CMAC has evolved to include various graduate programs and collaborative research initiatives.

CMAC is housed in Bay 10 of Smith Warehouse, along with a number of interdisciplinary labs in the Media Arts + Sciences Consortium. The extended CMAC community includes faculty, staff, and students from all over campus and beyond. It is tied closely to the Franklin Humanities Institute Digital Humanities Initiative and PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge, the Information Initiative, Bass Connections, and other innovative projects on campus.

SLIPPAGE presented “…these borders that keep me down…” in 2018.

Degrees and Certificates


The doctoral program in Computational Media, Arts & Cultures is meant to be small, experimental, and interdisciplinary. Its focus is on the intersection of media arts and humanities, sciences, and technology, both in theory and in practice. It is affiliated with the interdisciplinary arts and humanities media labs led by the CMAC program faculty. Lab emphases include digital archaeology, emergent media arts, information science + studies, digital art history & visual culture, art, law and markets, digital humanities, media theory, and physical computing. At the core of the program is the computational revolution, and its implications for how we live, think, work, create, and communicate within and across various disciplines. Critical engagement with the global, social and cultural impact of computational media is a central feature and value of the program, alongside media affordances and effects within existing and emerging fields.

Master of Arts

The M.A. in Digital Art History/Computational Media is designed for graduate students focused on the study, creation, and use of digital media and computation in the arts and humanities. It is offered by the Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies in partnership with the Information Science + Studies Program.

The Digital Art History track of the M.A. focuses on the furtherance of Art Historical research with new technologies, while the Computational Media track is related to the core CMAC Labs led by the CMAC core graduate faculty. Both tracks explore research and presentation strategies enabled by the information sciences, new approaches to computational processes, and new forms of interpreting quantitative and qualitative data.


Two Computational Media, Arts & Culture certificate programs — one for graduate students, one for undergraduates — are offered through the Information Science + Studies (ISS) Program.

The ISS graduate certificate in Computational Media, Arts & Cultures focuses on the study and creation of new information technologies and the analysis of their impact on art, culture, science, medicine, commerce, society, policy, and the environment. The program is designed for master’s and doctoral students wishing to complement their primary disciplinary focus with an interdisciplinary certificate in CMAC.

This undergraduate certificate program offers students an interdisciplinary approach to study the nature of information and its impact on art, culture, science, business, society, and the environment. ISS helps students fill the gap between current academic training and the increasing demand in all professions for a broad understanding of the legal, social, philosophical, computational, cultural, and aesthetic issues concerning information technology and other related innovations.