He occupies a charmed space in the academy, holding a joint appointment in the Comparative Media Studies Program, the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies, and in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).
One question underlies and unifies these pursuits. “How,” Harrell wonders, “can I take advantage of what computers do well—such as representing and transforming information—to help us to better understand, and improve, the human condition?”
Harrell is interested in how computation can create powerful new forms of phantasmal media—interactive narratives, computer games, social media, AI-based art, and “new forms unanticipated by any of those.” He believes that digital media can transform users’ ideas, improvise new aesthetic meanings, and critique society and culture.
“How An Artist-Scientist Conjurer Thinks, Works and Lives” (PDF)—Article from the Spring 2011 issue of the IRAAA, posted with permission.