Professor of Design and Communication
Eric Somers received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Michigan State University where he principally studied media production, theatrical design and directing, mathematical logic and music.
Always interested in fine arts and especially in the relationship of sound to visual experience, he worked as a fine arts television producer, especially for classical music broadcasts and art documentaries, on programs shown regionally and nationally. His M.A. thesis dealt with the problems of showing paintings effectively on television.
Because of his logic background he also became a pioneer in computer and electronic arts, first working with electronic animation in 1969 and electronic music in 1972. His early work was exhibited widely and ultimately led also to a career in advertising where he won thirteen regional and national awards. He became interested in interactive media in 1978 and worked as a commercial software developer in the early 1980s.
Eric Somers has also spent a considerable portion of his life as an educator, principally at Creighton University, The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, Valdosta State University, and currently at Dutchess Community College of the State University of New York where he chaired the Department of Performing and Visual Arts for 15 years.
He has also presented workshops and master classes at the Banff Centre for the Arts, The University of Glasgow (Scotland), The Juilliard School (New York), the University of Illinois, The Storm King Music Festival, The University of Iowa, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and other venues. He has authored and presented papers at conferences held at a variety of institutions including Dartmouth College, the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, the Georgia Centers for Advanced Telecommunications Technology (GCATT), the Advanced Telecommunications Research (ATR) center (Kyoto, Japan), the Royal Swedish Academy of Music (Stockholm), etc.
Actively involved in research and scholarship related to both sound and the visual arts, Professor Somers has served as President of the International Community for Auditory Display, Senior Newsletter Editor for the Society for Electronic Music in the United States, President of the Museum for Preservation of Illustrative Art, Chair of the New York Section of the Audio Engineering Society, and as a board member of a number of arts and technology organizations. Currently he works with VisionIntoArt, a NYC performing arts organization.
At Dutchess Professor Somers teaches courses in sound recording, digital and traditional photography, electronic music composition, video production, interactive media, and animation.
He also runs a small media design practice, The Sandbook Studio, which specializes in media production for the fine arts: classical music sound recording, video documentation of dance and theatre, sound design for theatre and dance, and digital photographic imaging.