Media, Arts and Design Conferences

Call for Contributions: Media, Arts and Design (MAD) 2024 Conference
Theme: “What if we can be heroes, just for one day?” – 04.05.2024 – Star Wars Day 2024

The conference will be primarily online, conducted through Zoom, and co-hosted by the Emerging Technologies Experiences Lab/Center for Applied Game Studies at the University of Continuing Education in Krems, Austria, and Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media, Arts & Design in Philadelphia, USA.

Submit your abstract here:

History: Media, Arts and Design (MAD) Conferences 2020 – 2023:

Over the course of history, the evolution of the media, arts and design has dynamically mirrored society’s growth, advancements, and transformation, reflecting human aspirations, desires, and the ever-changing landscape of existence.

Since its inception in 2020, the Media, Arts and Design (MAD) conference series has successfully drawn significant contributions and attendance from people across the world. The year 2020 saw two versions of MAD, namely the Media, Arts and Design | Blockchain 2020 Conference and the Media, Arts and Design | AI 2020 Conference, effectively witnessing a perfect amalgamation of technical, scientific, cultural discussions and contributions.

Jointly organized by the Drexel University’s Department of Digital Media, supported by the Education Arcade at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Learning Interactive Visualization Experience (LIVE) Lab at Texas A&M University, the Department for Arts and Cultural Sciences at Donau-Universität Krems, and the Conceptualizing Blockchain group at the University of Vaasa, the Media, Arts and Design | Blockchain 2020 conference was hosted online (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) by the Westphal College of Media Arts and Design at Drexel University in Philadelphia on the weekend of May 2-3, 2020. The conference aimed to explore Blockchain technologies and its impact on media, arts, and design.

The Media, Arts and Design | AI 2020 conference was organized by the Center for Applied Game Studies at Donau-Universität Krems, the Department of Artificial Intelligence at University of Malta and the Department of Digital Media at Drexel University. The conference was further supported by the MIT Education Arcade at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the LIVE LAB the Texas A&M University and the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Vaasa. The conference took place on June 19th, 2020, and explored the intersections of Artificial Intelligence (A.I), and media, arts and design.

In 2020, the 6th International Conference on Cyber Security and Privacy in Communication Networks (ICCS) included a special track organized by the MAD team with support from Thomas Gabriel Rüdiger. The track was based on the theme of cybercrimes in the field of game-studies and saw a variety of discussions on topics such as avatar and identity theft, misuse of credit card data, misuse of virtual goods, setup of pirate servers, terrorism planning through game chats, money laundering, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks via games, sex offences, grooming in game chats, mobbing, and insulting offences.

On December 8, 2021, a special edition of the Media, Arts and Design Conference MAD | 21 – THE FUTURE OF MEDIA, ARTS, AND DESIGN was held, exploring the metaverse, non-fungible token (NFTs), Blockchain technologies, visualizing what the future looks like for the fields of media, arts, and design.

In 2022, we published our first anthology titled Disruptive Technologies in Media, Arts, and Design – A Collection of Innovative Research Case-Studies with Springer. Theanthology examined the use of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain within the media, arts and design sectors.

Also, in 2022, the Media, Arts and Design Conference, in its 4th edition, got to the heart of Emergent Technologies (Decentralized Networks, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Worlds – Metaverse, Virtual and Augmented reality to name a few) in the domains of media, arts, and design. It took a wide-ranging look at how the impact of emergent technologies in the fields of media, arts, and design evolved socially, economically, and politically during times of crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, simultaneously exploring the impact of these technologies in our personal lives. Hosted by Alexander Pfeiffer, Natalie Denk, and Michaela Wawra (University for Continuing Education Krems); Scot Osterweil (The MIT Education Arcade); Stephen Bezzina, Alexiei Dingli (University of Malta), Michael Wagner, Nick Jushchyshyn (Drexel University), Simone Kriglstein (Masaryk University and AIT Austrian Institute of Technology), Klaus Neundlinger (Institute CE) and André Thomas (Texas A & M University), the conference stood out for its unique position paper tracks, wherein talks explored how communication and interaction in private as well as professional lives have changed over time due to emergent technologies.

In July 2023, we co-organized a multidisciplinary summer school event VARIATIONS ON HOW TO PLAY at the University for Continuing Education Krems, encompassing a broad range of discussions on topics delivered through diverse formats. The event delved into the impact of satellite traffic in space, utilizing Virtual Reality to enhance awareness, and provided unique outdoor learning experiences for children. Attendees explored the evolving landscape of Cinematic Virtual Reality and experienced the expressive power of language within improvisational theater. A workshop provided a deep dive into the complexities and challenges unique to filmmaking in China, enriching the event’s offerings. The conference day further expanded the discourse, addressing the transformation of speech acts, considerations for interactive literature exhibitions, the gamification of statistics, and the integration of AI in media, arts, and design. The event inspired the launch of DJAKK, or Digitales Journal für Angewandte Kunst und Kultur by the Department for Arts and Cultural Studies, a significant milestone in advancing the discourse in culture and the arts, with its inaugural issue published in mid-2024.

Stay tuned: Media Arts and Design (MAD) 2024

The Media, Arts and Design (MAD) 2024 Conference hopes to explore the human elements, specifically the potential of individuals within the MAD community to enact meaningful changes, leaving significantly lasting impacts on the world.

We invite academics, practitioners, and creative minds from around the globe (special note: aliens are also truly welcome) to submit their contributions that investigate innovative approaches, critical perspectives, and transformative practices in the (extended) field of media arts and design. See call.

MAD Anthologies
Disruptive Technologies in Media, Arts and Design
A Collection of Innovative Research Case-Studies that Explore the Use of Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain within the Media, Arts and Design Sector


MAD Pandemic: Stories of Change and Continuity during the COVID-19 Crisis

The Past (speakers list, abstracts and link to recordings)

MAD 2020 – Blockchain

MAD 2020 – Artificial Intelligence (AI)

MAD 2021 – the future of media, arts and design & special edition on cybersecurity

MAD 2022 – emerging technologies in times of a crisis

MAD 2023 – summer-school

Further Links (MAD co-organisers in the present and past)

Center for Applied Game Studies at University for Continuing Education Krems

Emerging Technologies Experiences Lab at University of Continuing Education Krems

Department of Digital Media at Drexel University

Department of Artificial Intelligence at University of Malta

MIT Education Arcade at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

LIVE LAB the Texas A&M University

Department of Communication Studies at the University of Vaasa


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