Bruce Pennycook has been appointed director of digital arts for the College of Fine Arts. Pennycook, a music professor in the Butler School of Music, will facilitate the creation of digital arts courses across the college’s academic departments, including Art and Art History, Theatre and Dance and the Butler School of Music.
“The arts, media and entertainment are being blended, blurred and globalized by ubiquitous, mobile, convergent, multimedia digital technologies,” said Douglas Dempster, dean of the College of Fine Arts. “These technologies are proving as revolutionary to the arts and entertainment as photography, electric light or sound recording proved to be more than 100 years ago. As director of digital arts, it is Professor Pennycook’s responsibility to make sure the curriculum of the college transforms in parallel with this revolution and that its facilities and equipment support that transformation.”
Pennycook’s responsibilities will include facilitating the creation of courses and directions in all departments that would lead to interdisciplinary minors in digital arts. He will be leading program planning and design toward the development of a new interdisciplinary facility.
“I am thrilled to hold this new position in the College of Fine Arts,” Pennycook said. “Many courses in the departments can be considered digital arts and will become the foundation for the new programs, courses and, most importantly, become opportunities for our students to explore and exploit the creative use of technology.”
Pennycook will collaborate with other university departments and units to maximize resources in digital arts and interactive media and to devise formats to increase the visibility of the college’s digital arts.
He will continue to teach composition, electroacoustic music and film scoring in the Butler School of Music. He also serves as panel chairman for the Digital Art and Media Bridging Disciplines Program.
Pennycook studied at the University of Toronto before earning his doctorate in musical arts from the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University. He joined the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin as a senior lecturer in the Butler School of Music and the Department of Radio-Television-Film in 2004. He was appointed professor of music composition and professor of radio-television-film in 2007.
Pennycook is an active performer, composer and arranger. He was the recipient of numerous commissions for his interactive compositions from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and other organizations. His work includes music for video, electroacoustic music, chamber music and music for large ensembles, and has been performed throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He has published a wide range of articles on new music and music technology.