Mark Franz is an Assistant Professor in the School of Art + Design. He also serves as the Chair of the area of Graphic Design. He received an M.F.A. in Art & Technology from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an M.A. in Electronic Art & Animation from Ball State University. His exhibitions and primary research projects involve the creation of interactive installations that reflect on issues of violence, dislocation, and other social constructions important in contemporary cultures. Recently this work has been exhibited as part of the PhxArtcade in conjunction with The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Art of Video Games presented by the Phoenix Art Museum in Phoenix, AZ, as well as at TriTriangle’s Magic Mansion Offline exhibit in Chicago, IL and is featured in Strangest Thing: An Introduction to Electronic Art Through the Teaching of Jacques Lacan, by David Bard-Schwarz. This work explores the boundaries between visual art, interaction design, and serious games. The foundations of graphic design, especially regarding considerations concerning form and the composition of formal elements, play an essential role in this practice, as time-based elements, interaction, and sound, take this work in new directions.
Franz’s secondary research involves creating custom hardware and software for audiovisual performance and installation, and references the art historical current of visual music commonly discussed as part of animation history. This work has been exhibited at Pixelerations at the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University in Providence, RI, the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago, IL and the Society for Literature Science and the Arts conference in Milwaukee, WI. This work extends the tradition of visual music by challenging technological conventions and experimenting with synesthetic responses to objects, imagery, and sounds. These projects have often been collaborative. By learning from, observing, and working with other new media artists, this work has provided an opportunity to create complex projects that draw from various practices and technologies.