Mark Sullivan has had musical works performed in the US, Europe and Asia; has written a book on musical gesture that explores connections between music, language, and movement; and his music for film and video has been featured in recent conferences, programs, and festivals internationally. He has had photographs exhibited in the US and Europe, and has been published in several books and journals. He has taught music composition, computer music, and courses on art’s role in society at Michigan State University in the College of Music, and the Residential College for the Arts and Humanities.
He has carried out various kinds of research relating to sound, music, and a wide range of acoustic phenomenon, with a particular emphasis on ways to use computer technology to amplify, simulate, and extend the creative process of music composition. He has also worked on sound synthesis (particularly non-standard and algorithmic approaches), the creation of structural and referential models for acoustic events, and in modeling some aspects of the decision-making process involved in creating and evaluating music works. He continues to do research on the relationship between still images and music, on shared language and concepts found in music and video processes of creation.
As a teacher, he has been particularly active in the use of technology in educational situations, particularly, with regard to arts education and creative activity for children (K-12 contexts). He is specifically interested in the development of software tools that could be used to create multimedia documents and products that can be accessed and disseminated over the network (i.e. multimedia that includes text, high-resolution graphics, photographs, video, and audio), and is open source software that supports a wide range of creative activities. He continues to be interested in cognitive research related to the use of technology in the creative process, again, with an emphasis on the construction of audio objects, or multimedia objects. He has recently begun to explore the role of digital composing to the pedagogy of creativity, and to the empowerment of “at risk” learners in a wide range of formal and informal educational contexts.
He has received a wide range of significant external grants to support the creation of teacher development programs connected with the creative arts, and to support the development of a range of programs involving teaching creative artistic activities using technology, largely to “at risk” student populations.