Letter to the editor: Response to Spectrum's 'Finding a Focus'

While the author of this article does due journalistic diligence to his main concern, namely the availability of video equipment in Media Study outside of university courses, he misses the point as to what this offer is intended for. Media Study is not an equipment rental service. Media Study Buffalo is not and never has been a film finishing school. The department is dedicated to experimental art practices of all flavors. As the field of media arts has expanded over the last decades, the department too has expanded consistent with its history of pushing the boundaries of media. Film and video remain an extremely important medium in our curriculum and we continue to offer a variety of courses in this territory. We have new visiting faculty on board (Sama Waham) with international accolades in film and video. And we do have a record of ambitious graduates going on to successful careers in film and video production. But what we really aim for is to offer students literacy in multiple fields, from visual media to games studies to computational media and theory. That approach enables students to respond with requisite flexibility to the unstructured world of mixed media. Mainstream media has always fed off the innovations of those working at the borders. Media Study is, and wants to be, at the edge. The lack of hands-on education the author laments is ingrained into higher education in general. This can lead to frustration for students whose expectations are more vocationally focused. Nonetheless, Media Study should do a better job at making internship opportunities available. Pointing out this fact is the only saving grace of this one-sided article.

Marc Böhlen

Chair of Media Study Department