School of Arts and Cultures

Digital Media

Digital Media

This research theme addresses the multiple relationships digital technologies can have with aesthetic practice.

Our work concerns the aesthetically-informed creation of digital artefacts. It also investigates how digital impacts traditional practices and materials.

The research is trans-disciplinary in character and draws on multiple scholarly perspectives. The design and creation of artefacts and artworks is motivated by theoretical inspiration and empirical groundwork.


Our research topics have included:

  • exploring digital technologies in live performance settings
  • improvisation and intermedia performance
  • data visualisation
  • wearable technologies
  • bio-signal interaction and embodiment
  • interventions in tourism and cultural heritage sites


We aim to impact communities and academic fields with a practical concern for the design and use of digital technologies.

Much of our work is delivered to computing conferences and publication outlets (especially in Human-Computer Interaction) alongside traditional artistic settings.

The work addresses and is delivered to a wide range of publics. It has a deep concern with knowledge exchange and enhancing the skills and opportunities of otherwise excluded people.

This has included:

  • long-term loans of pieces to communities
  • national and international exhibitions
  • performances at international arts festivals
  • participation in design and science festivals
  • creative workshops and 'living laboratories'

Our researchers

New staff have brought a design research orientation to work in Digital Media.

John Bowers's multifaceted practice draws on design traditions to create interactive digital artefacts. He works closely with maker/hacker grassroots groups and open source communities and arts festivals to create participatory pieces on-site.

Abigail Durrant (Leverhulme ECR Fellow) considers the creative role of design in supporting how people shape, and are shaped by, digital technologies.


Digital media research is supported by Culture Lab. Our work involves close collaboration with researchers across the arts and humanities, with computer science, medicine and the bio-sciences at the University.

We promote connections with the cultural industries and local municipal collections and archives. We work closely with Newcastle Institute for Creative Arts Practice, which has laid the basis for a Masters programme as well as supporting a lively community of PhD students.

Collaborative projects

The Creative Exchange aims to develop industry and cultural-sector partners. It will run from 2012 to 2016. £4.2M AHRC.

Social Inclusion through the Digital Economy aimed to tackle social exclusion by enabling access to the life-changing benefits offered by digital technologies. It ran from 2009 to 2014 and was a £12m EPSRC Digital Economy hub based in Culture Lab.