The Media Systems project identifies key opportunities, challenges, and recommendations for the future of creating and understanding media — a future in which computation will play an increasingly important role. The project began with the Media Systems convening (held at UC Santa Cruz in 2012) and in 2014 completed a final report based on more than a year of continuing analysis and discussion ("Envisioning the Future of Computational Media"). This website presents an executive summary of the report, the full contents of the report, and video of presentations from the convening.
The Media Systems convening brought together field-leading participants from media-focused computer science, digital art, and the digital humanities — located in and across universities, industry, federal agencies, publishers, and other stakeholders in the future of media. Different participants focused on diverse aspects of how new media forms are impacting culture, education, the economy, and other areas of national importance, using examples ranging from the World Wide Web to computer animation, and from video games to social media. Surprisingly — despite this diversity of background and focus — rather than struggling to explain our different fields to each other, we found ourselves engaged in deep conversation focused on a coherent set of shared activities. We refer to these activities as computational media.