Topics: College of Fine Arts, Emerging Media, College of Communication Information and Media

November 4, 2009

The future of digital media and its impact on art, research, industry and higher education is the focus of the International Digital Media and Art Association's (IDMAA) seventh annual conference Nov. 5-7 at Ball State University.

"At the Digital Edge: Innovations and Challenges" will bring many of the nation's leading academics, professionals and artists from assorted digital media fields to campus to share ideas, discuss potential applications and review many leading-edge technological applications.

"One of the best ways to solve a problem is to analyze it from a variety of angles with people from different disciplines," said conference host David Ferguson, associate vice president for emerging media initiatives and executive director of the Center for Media Design (CMD) at Ball State.

"During the upcoming conference, some of the top people from related technology fields will convene to develop new ideas and pursue new avenues of thought," said Ferguson, adding that Ball State is a natural fit for the conference, since the application of digital media is a major focus of the Emerging Media Initiative, a planned $17.7 million investment focusing the university's historic strengths in this area to accelerate benefits to the state of Indiana and give students and faculty innovative and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Events will include pre-conference workshops, keynote and plenary presentations, panels, a lounge environment for ad hoc discussion, evening events, an art walk and an insider's look at Ball State's state-of-the-art digital media facilities. The complete schedule may be found at

The conference also will allow Ball State to showcase its student-created emerging media projects. At the same time, the university's Museum of Art will host  "IDEAS09: Arts at the Digital Edge," a contemporaneous exhibition of artistic and innovative digital installations, interactive pieces, Web sites, games, digital images, film and video.

Among the conference's keynote speakers is Tom Kelley, author of the best-seller "The Art of Innovation" and general manager of IDEO, which was named one of the World's 50 Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company magazine. He will address conference attendees on Friday, Nov. 6, shortly after his Nov. 5 public speech "Designing for the Future," as part of Ball State's ongoing David Letterman Distinguished Professional Lecture and Workshop Series.

Other featured presenters include Dale Herigstad, chief creative officer, Schematic Inc., and a previous Letterman lecturer; Michael Adamson, vice president, content and creative, Turner Sports Interactive; Joe Mandese, editor of MediaPost; and Rueben Steiger, chief executive officer of Millions of Us.

Additionally, the findings of the Video Consumer Mapping Study will be presented by Mike Bloxham and Michael Holmes, director and associate director, respectively, of CMD's Insight and Research. Funded by the Nielsen-backed Council for Research Excellence, the $3.5 million study represents the largest in-depth look at cross-media consumption and exposure ever undertaken, documenting minute-by-minute media use among consumers in six major cities across the United States.

IDMAA is dedicated to serving educators, practitioners, scholars and organizations with interests in digital media. Ray Steele, founding director of Ball State's Center for Communication and Information Sciences (CICS) and currently the CICS distinguished professor, serves as IDMAA's executive director, while Ferguson is a member of the organization's board of directors.