Research and scholarship are core components of Media Arts and Practice programs. The generation and sharing of new knowledge in media theory and practice have been the foundation of our faculty and student work for more than twenty years. Our arts-based research focus uses critical making as a key tool for examining new modes of expression in the media landscape. These cutting-edge endeavors are supported by a range of research labs, faculty and student-led initiatives, and state-of-the-art facilities located within the School of Cinematic Arts.
Arts-based research is defined as research carried out by scholar/practitioners – artists, designers, curators, activists, architects, writers and musicians – who, through their practice, contribute concepts, methods and models in order and share in the production of knowledge. Within the context of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, this arts-based research recognizes the power of thinking through making, understanding that a robust research question may arise through practice as much as practice may be used to pursue a particular research question. This research is also profoundly creative; it acknowledges the power of the imagination, tacit knowledge, and embodied knowing and is rooted in critical theory, framing the research process within the context of power and a deep questioning of the ethical and ideological implications of knowledge and change in the context of the cinematic.
Central to MA+P’s approach to arts-based research is critical making and praxis. Both terms emphasize a union of critical thinking and practice. In MA+P, while we expect students to be interdisciplinary in their thinking and making, students approach their practice in relation to and with critical thinking and theory. Media making can not be separated from critical thinking or reflection.
School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) Research Labs
MA+P Faculty Research Initiatives
MA+P PhD Student Initiatives
Research in the Classroom
SCA/MA+P Facilities and Resources
MA+P students have access to SCA’s world-class production and editing facilities, cameras, sound recording equipment, lighting kits and more. MA+P students and students enrolled in certain MA+P courses also may use our Transmedia Studio for audio, video and green screen work, or work in SCA’s IMAX theater. Other resources include room-scale VR facilities, 3D printing, laser cutting and projection mapping tools.
Our facilities include:
- Sound Stages
- Fabrication Lab
- Wide format plotter
- 3D Printer
- CNC / Laser Cutter
- Audio/Video Green Screen Transmedia Studio
- VR/AR Workspaces
- IMAX Theater
- Dedicated PhD and Undergraduate Student Studios
- Computer Labs with a full suite of digital media software
- Gallery spaces for installation and performance
- Drone + Certified Drone Pilot