In the late nineteen-seventies, the School of Art and Design was one of the first programs in the country to incorporate video and electronic technologies into its curriculum. This helped to lay the groundwork for a broader, cross-disciplinary Electronic Arts Initiative that began in 1989 within the School of Art and Design. This initiative was started by faculty members within the Division of Two Dimensional Studies and grew out of a response to the profound impact emerging technologies were having in the fields of print, time based, and interactive arts.

The Institute for Electronic Arts was established in 1997 to focus on the development of electronic imaging studios, to sponsor cross-disciplinary work, and to sponsor interactive artist residencies for the promotion of professional dialogues. The Institute for Electronic Arts is currently developing net-based projects to support studio and international communications.

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