Monday, January 24, 2011

Various Updates

As is often the case, the blog action is over at the blogs for the courses I'm teaching this semester. I've got Digital Narrative Theory and Practice again, very exciting, and it is now required for two new interdisciplinary minors, Visual Culture and Interactive Media Studies, and Video Game Scoring. The students are smart and focused, and I can't wait to see the cut scene or game projects they create by the end of the semester that explore the concepts we will encounter between now and then. I don't have a blog for The Language of Film, a Film Studies course I teach in the Film Scoring department; maybe someday. And the new course I have is one of the most exciting projects I've ever worked on, a seminar called "What Is Being?" It's the product of a National Endowment for the Humanities Enduring Questions grant, and plays off of the Berklee motto, "to be, rather than to seem," an interesting proposition in any age, but especially in our time of increasingly convincing illusion, and for our musician-students, in light of performance, both on stage and in every day life. The students in that seminar blew me away in our first full meeting last week, maybe profound connections between Cicero's essay "On Friendship" (the origin of our being/seeming motto) and questions about friendship in contemporary life, some unchanged from Cicero's time, and some quite new in the age of the facebook "friend."

I've been working slowly on an OpenSim region on the Education Grid, and that is exciting, but also makes me really appreciate all the content available in Second Life. I joined Pathfinder's Hypergrid Adventurer's Club and look forward to my virtual metaverse experience continuing to expand across the grids, and I've been nosing around on Craft, Jokaydia, and other places. All very interesting, and I do indeed feel like a pioneer. I continue to build, make virtual art installations, collaborate, and make machinima in Second Life as well. My Domestic Technology or, Never Alone installation is still up at the inworld Cyberfest, so check that out if you haven't, and I hope to have some new interactive sculpture sometime soon.

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