Mike Rugnetta '06

Image of Mike Rugnetta

Mike Rugnetta is a composer, programmer, and performer who, as host of the PBS web series Idea Channel, has reinvented the critical essay for the web.

On Idea Channel, Rugnetta explores the idea that technology holds the power to make us happier. His inventive videos tackle some of life’s most pressing questions, such as, “Does playing Dungeons and Dragons make you a more successful person?” and “What are the similarities between Santa Claus and professional wrestling?”

The work Rugnetta makes generally centers on two ideas: complexity and human relationships. He believes there are these differently weighted points of control throughout our structure of sociality that are at once very easy to intuit and complicated to spell out.

We are able to deal with huge amounts of complexity. Why? And how? Rugnetta tries to make things that test the limit of our ability to process information and to make remote logical connections in order to test and expand through performance what could be explained and codified by neurology.

In addition to his other activities, Rugnetta is a member of the fast-paced, performative lecture trio MemeFactory that has spoken worldwide about Internet culture.

Photograph © Carolyn Cole