The IMA program has an ongoing commitment to the role of sound in nonfiction media. Each semester we aim to provide a three-credit course where sound has a heightened focus. In addition, we frequently feature one-credit sound courses, live events, visiting artists and The Third Work: Sound/Image/Interaction Symposium, a research symposium on sound in time-based media.

Some of the topics covered include field recordings, sound design, sound installation, data sonification, Web Audio, spatial audio, sound walks, podcasts, broadcasts and more.

Upcoming Event

An Evening of Spatial Sound Works

February 20, 2018 – 7 PM – 9 PM

Two leading figures in the field of spatial sound come to Hunter College to create site-specific works. Daniel Neumann will be creating an 8-channel audio piece that uses speakers-as-instrument to resonate the vast Black Box space. In his compositions sound is used to heighten spatial awareness and practice listening from within a field. These works have a different focus to surround sound studio composition, which usually attempts to represent a certain studio-made spatiality and aims for spatial transferability into the concert hall. Instead Daniel aims not to represent sound in space but rather space is presented in sound.

In the TV Studio, Michael Schumacher will be presenting his new work ‘Variations’ with the ‘portable multi-channel sound system’, a complete 12-channel system that fits in a suitcase. This set of pieces applies the classical idea of variation to spatialization techniques, sounds – sonorities, motifs, phrases – are transformed through placement in a variety of sonorous spaces, which act somewhat like filters, emphasizing specific perceptual aspects. in contrast to the classical method there are no clearly stated “themes”, but rather a continual process of spatial redistribution.


>> Sound Fields

IMA Number: IMA 780.72 | 3 credits

Sound Fields is a production course in which we make a wide-ranging approach to the critical and aesthetic possibilities of sound, both in relationship to the image and, importantly, as a thing in its own right. We often think of the film/video experience as being primarily a visual one. We commonly speak about… read more

>> Sound Environments

IMA Number: IMA 780.81 | 3 credits

Sound Environments is a production course in which students engage with contemporary issues and techniques of sonic media. The course explores critical writings in music history, cultural studies, sound and media theory while students experiment with designing linear and non-linear sound installations… read more

>> Stories in the Air: Podcasting, Narrowcasting and the Electromagnetic Spectrum (Fall 2018)

IMA Number: IMA 78N | 3 credits

Experiment with telling stories for podcasts and the transmission spectrum in this hands-on production course. The goal of this course is to develop a highly resolved audio artwork for broadcast.

>> Advanced Studio

IMA Number: IMA 755 | 3 credits

Provides students the opportunity to work on an advanced project and participate in group and individual critiques. Particular emphasis will be on helping students prepare for the MFA Thesis Project. Students may repeat this Advanced Studio once with a different project.

1-credit courses

>> Intensive Tools and Technology Workshop: Sound, JT Takagi

IMA Number: IMA tbd | 1 credits

In this class students will learn and apply sound production theories and techniques.  They will become familiar with the language of audio professionals and the equipment they use, as well as current industry practices used by sound recordists, sound mixers, and boom operators. Students … read more

>> Interactive, Reactive Visuals with MAX/MSP, Sam Tarakjian

IMA Number: IMA tbd | 1 credits

How do we build systems for shaping and manipulating video in real time? Much like improvised music, real-time video communicates rhythm and energy, and moves in patterns of tension and relaxation. Our challenge is to design an interactive system that will let us mold video in the same way that a musician improvises with sound. Thi… read more

>> Non-representational Spatial Sound Composition, Daniel Neumann

IMA Number: IMA tbd | 1 credits

This workshop (with a presentation event following after) introduces spatial sound composition with multi-channel audio systems. After an introduction to key concepts and an historical overview with some listening examples we’ll go on to develop our own compositions and to practice and explore … read more

>> Sound Walks with Detour, Ariana Souzis

IMA Number: IMA tbd | 1 credits

Detour is a mobile application and publishing platform that enables users to easily create navigable auiod walks. The walks use the participants geospatial location to trigger stories about space, place and communities. Ariana will guide students through best practices for writing for this unique environment and walk the intracies of working with the scripting language to make highly resolved pieces that explore new ways to tell stories about neighborhoods.

>> Performing the Internet, Todd Anderson

IMA Number: IMA tbd | 1 credits

This class seeks to use the internet and web browsers in new and disruptive ways. Rather than the traditional use of websites as static means of one-to-many communication, we will use websites as stages to perform and intervene in front of a live audience. The technical side of the class will be taught using JavaScript as a means o… read more

Visiting Artists


The Third Work: Sound/Image/Interaction Symposium takes its name from Dziga Vertov’s call for a dialectic relationship between sound and image, a film object that is not soundtrack plus image track but a new composition, a third work, formed by the interaction of sound and image. The symposium, sponsored by the Integrated Media Arts MFA Program at Hunter College, will examine the audible as a locus of affect and site of meaning in contemporary non-fiction media practice.

In recent years, a diverse set of disciplines have come together under the rubric of Sound Studies, producing a body of scholarship about sound as psychoacoustic phenomenon, as psychogeographic marker, as social practice and as sonorous art object. Still, the relationship between sound and image in time-based media practice–the particularized semantic valences produced by their interactions–remains underexplored and undertheorized, and what critical writing there is on the subject centers primarily on questions of diegesis and narrativity in fiction film practice.

From the frame to shot to the cut, from the thought to the form, in theory and in practice, all too often film and digital video continues to be conceptualized, written and spoken about as a primarily visual medium. What is required is a conscious effort and concerted struggle to rethink the primacy of the image, and to open up the space of sound.

This symposium was held on November 13th and 14th in 2015 and featured presentations by Abigail Child, Ernst Karel, Pooja Rangan, and many other leading theorists and practitioners.