The rise of the Internet, the Web, digital media, social networking, and mobility are fundamentally transforming human culture. Human expression, mediated by virtual technologies, is augmenting physical-world interactions, creating virtual/physical interaction spaces. Furthermore, digital representations of media objects are driving traditional media, music publishing and film production companies through a rapid digital transformation, forcing them to adapt their products and intellectual property systems to maintain economic incentives for creative talent and business producers. California is at the center of this transformation (Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, gaming and Hollywood companies, etc.), making digital culture a market segment critical to future economic growth in California. As the digital transformation of culture accelerates and the global creation of digital content rapidly increases, it is essential to keep innovation in our universities vital, so there can be a continuing and enriching transfer to the private sector, maintaining California’s leadership role.
In many ways, it is the arts, humanities and social sciences that are leading the study of emerging virtual/physical spaces in which new forms of culture are evolving. Since its inception, Calit2 has stressed the importance of co-mingling digital arts with digital science and engineering, supporting pioneers in this mixed space. In the next decade the institute will extend these successes with continued experimentation in global digital cinema, television, and Internet media; immersive telepresence; gaming and game culture; machine improvisation; embodied interaction; distributed and participatory performing arts; digital art history; ethnography; archaeology and other areas.